the storm that wasn’t

img_2937Kittens – 2, Boyfriends – 0

If it wasn’t for a windstorm that didn’t actually happen, it’s hard to say where things would be.  The plan was to join E in Leavenworth for Oktoberfest.  But with the forecasted apocalyptic doom headed to the PNW, the trip was canceled.  So what better way to spend our botched weekend, than at our small town beer festival down the street??  Perfect.  For about five minutes.  Admittedly, I was on the lookout for someone else who lives in the same town, who likes craft beer.  I was still sort of reeling from the brunch incident three weeks before.  Sure enough, Joe walked by about 10 minutes after being there.  I was pretty sure he saw me, but I also turned my head away as we passed each other. I’m not saying that was mature. E saw him too, asked if we should leave.  And I was like, ya know what? No.  We’re all adults, it’s a small town, this is bound to happen (apparently… although that never happens when I want it to).  I saw him a few other times during the event. At one point, I debated on just confronting Joe.  E said that would be a bad idea, not to do it.  Little does he know, I don’t listen.  I didn’t end up confronting Joe at the beer festival though.  Later on, we went to a craft beer spot that E liked to go too.  Coincidentally, so does Joe.  Joe was the one who took me there originally, it’s his favorite spot to hang out. He friggin pays to be a member of the place.  Third ring of hell.  So we are out back, having a beer on the patio, and whaddyaknow… Joe walks by, goes to his car.  I’ll also mention that May was working, Joe’s friend. So eventually, we left, continued on with the day.  Sidenote…. I thought it was strange that E kept suggesting that we go to the craft beer spot, knowing full well that Joe was a member and that we were bound to run into him there.  Not that it is E’s fault, ultimately I agreed to go.  But something made me feel like E wanted to run into him on purpose.  It was so obvious, E wasn’t a “regular.”  Hell I know the owners, May and patrons more than he does.  The same 10 people go there on the daily, and he had never seen them there.  Mind fuck to say the least.  I mean, why go there of all places??

So this time, I couldn’t shake off the Joe sighting.  E knew I couldn’t.  What hit me, was that Joe would rather be all by himSELF, than with me.  And that hurt.  Saturday continued on, the windstorm of the decade did not happen.  We could have gone to Leavenworth, after all.

The next morning, I woke up, determined to feel That something with E, erase Joe for good.  And then I got turned down.  “I’m tired…  Not feeling it… Don’t really like it in the morning.”  Who doesn’t like some morning booty?  Are you kidding me? The fuck.  Of all times to turn me down, with what had just happened the day before, where my head was at… Bad effing timing.  Then I had to leave E’s house for a bit since the ex-wife would be dropping off their son. Which is fine, that’s a whole ball of awkward that I didn’t want to face. But it also added fuel to what I was feeling.  Mix that all in with the numerous Joe sightings. Perfect storm.

I went home for a bit, showered at home since my bathroom is not covered in dog hair, did some laundry. E and I had plans to watch the football game, so I headed back later that morning. Watched the game, hung out with the kid, the dog and his pornstar of a smelly cat (she cannot clean herself and it ends up looking like she’s pleasuring herself… need some alone time with your kitty, kitty?).  And something just broke in me. I couldn’t wait for the game to end. When it finally did, I said I had to go home.

I had all intentions of going home.  I didn’t.  Instead, I drove around aimlessly for about 30 minutes. Called my friend, B to tell her what I was contemplating.  By the way, when someone doesn’t answer their phone and you’re calling to see if what you’re about to do is a good idea… it doesn’t mean to wait, talk to them later for advice, then proceed or most likely, not proceed at that juncture. No. It means you have the green light to continue on with the plan. Ha. Try and stop me! Ok no answer? Means you agree and think I should do it, k thanks bye.  You see, I have a listening problem.  I am well aware.

Me: Knock, knock, knock ….

Joe: Who’s there? Oh. Shit. Is that Lynn’s car in the driveway? … opens door

Me: “Ummmm, here’s your sunblock.  We need to talk.”

Joe: “Fuck…. alright. Let’s do it.”

We talked for almost 3 hours.  About everything.  He apologized for saying I wasn’t the one.  He knew he made mistakes.  I asked him if he regretted what happened.  He did.  I apologized for things too.  We traded dating war stories, I told him about E and he told me about a couple dating mishaps that led nowhere.  We laughed about the marshmallows.  Turns out he didn’t see me at the restaurant or the beer festival, but May had texted him my whereabouts when I was at the bar after the festival.  I don’t know if I really believe that he did not see me.  But I also know that he is usually in his own little tunnel world and oblivious to his surroundings sometimes.  After I explained where I was coming from, that I kept seeing him everywhere, he understood why I was upset and showed up on his doorstep.  At one point, I asked him, “If you could just forget all the bullshit, what’s happened, would you go back?”  I did not go over there with the intention of asking for him back.  Well maybe I did, but maybe subconsciously.  There was a long, long pause.  Finally, he said the answer would always be, ‘No.’  He doesn’t want to keep coming back to this point, hurting me.  He said he missed me.  He has wondered if we could be friends but wasn’t sure if I could handle that, or even wanted it after he had been so mean to me (his words).  He’s probably right about that.  But even that’s faltering.  I would take him back in a second.

There were tears, on my end.  There were laughs.  Time stood still, like it used to.  I’m not really sure where things stand now.  Whether to hope, or not.  Whether to walk away, or stay.  My heart wants to believe love finds a way.  My head says there’s no chance in hell.  I want to be friends, but not sure how to approach that with him.  I also want him to come to me.  I don’t know if he will ever do that though.  Maybe that’s my answer.  Or maybe I keep fighting for it.  

Meanwhile, I told E I needed space. We had jumped into this relationship so quickly, I needed to balance things out.  We had been spending so much time together that I knew I was losing myself.  Of course my bestie called it, shouted her warnings for weeks on end at this point, knowing full well that I would reach my inevitable breaking point.  She tries to save me from myself, and I just continue on, la la la uh huh sure, you’re right, la la la yup not listening…  I knew I was guarded and I felt myself holding back.  And the fact that I still couldn’t drop the walls was making me realize even more so, that I had to get out of the relationship with E.  Strangely I had reversed roles and become Joe in the situation.  After a few days, he asked if I still needed space/balance and then said it was probably stemming from anxiety.  He suggested that “we” spend more time not going out, hanging out at my place.  I had been wanting a kitten and when he suggested we go look at an adoption event a couple weeks before, I snapped his head off, replying “I can’t get a cat, I am never home because I am at your house.”  But he wasn’t getting it.  I needed balance, as in time to myself, doing things I needed to do for me.  It did not mean spending all of that time with him at my house, and not going out.  It wasn’t social anxiety, as he characterized it.  Eating out of food trucks and drinking gallons of beer wasn’t helping either.  I had gained 10 pounds in 2 months.  My booty needed to get back to the gym.  Anyway, a couple more days passed by and I knew I had to just end it.  It wasn’t fair to make him wait things out for me to balance myself, especially because I knew full well that wasn’t the entire problem.  The fact was, I had jumped into dating way way WAY too quickly and I had no business being in a relationship, since I was still pining away over that soulless ginger.  Then you toss in the multiple sightings, the 3 hour conversation, and peace out.  I had to just end it.  I realized I would rather be by myself than with E.  Seems strangely familiar of someone else going to brunch or beer festivals by himself… Hmmmm, thoughts for another day… I told E that I am not ready to date anyone, that I am broken.  He confessed he has had the same issues, equated it to me being depressed and needing to take Xanax.  Ha, thanks for the tip (Sidenote:  I guess he had a history of anxiety and depression issues.  Not that it’s anything to be ashamed of, but just showed me how much I didn’t know about him and he was probably guarded too).  I didn’t dive all the way into my Joe issues or the fact that he was actually making  me miss Joe more.  I would dream about Joe, and wake up next to E wanting to cry because he wasn’t Joe.  You’re supposed to meet someone new and whether a rebound or not, the shiny new relationship is supposed to make you forget about the one that went wrong.  Instead of the opposite, making me miss the one that went wrong.  I didn’t tell E any of this or that he was bugging the holy shit out of me with his constant tickling and constant singing of the Doc McStuffins theme song (see video for reference:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PopMSJFa0og)  Pretty awful right?  I mean he would even send that exact video to me randomly throughout the day.  I guess it was an inside joke with us, but I had missed the joke.  I would be falling asleep, he would start tickling me and singing that song.  My irritation was nearing the level it gets when my brother is being a dick and that’s no good for my boyfriend to reach my tipping point of annoyance.  There was also the repetitive, ‘You’re pretty, I like you’ and that was driving me batty.  I have a hard enough time with taking compliments, so hearing that I am pretty ten times a day, just makes me not believe anything you say.  Poor guy never had a chance.  I mean here I am dumping my boyfriend who thinks I am beautiful, wants to see me constantly and likes me…  I went as classy as I could about it.  He took it pretty well, or pretended to anyway.  I didn’t even cry, just further affirmation that my heart wasn’t in it.

Ironically, he left my stuff on his doorstep and asked me to pick it up when he wasn’t home, about a week after our break-up.  What is it with the tragic exchange of personal belongings on one’s porch?

The very next day after dumping E, I adopted two kittens.  One being named Ginger.  I am fully aware of the irony.  Her name has been changed on the off chance that Joe walks back into my life and not wanting to explain why my cat is essentially named after him… I’m not that crazy (debatable in other areas).

So lessons learned.  Don’t date someone else when you’re still in love with the past and don’t leave bathroom items at your boyfriend’s house.  Ever.  That’s the second time in recent history that I have left personal stuff at the SO’s house (contacts solution at Joe’s and shampoo/conditioner at E’s) and we broke up within a week.  Maybe a coincidence, maybe not.  But I’ll err on the side of not leaving things or in reality, not dating until next year.  This year is jinxed.

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