Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Now: Backtracking.

I want to be in Colorado right now. Just look at that picture and tell me YOU don't want to be there. Take away the weather they're having right now and I'm there. That picture was taken on a trip to Steamboat Springs with a boyfriend. Yes, "a" boyfriend, there have been many. In fact, my ex and I broke up not too long ago after a four-year on again, of again relationship. He claims I was going through a "find myself" period and that he was my one stable thing. I BEG TO DIFFER. OK, I begged to differ, now I think he may have been on to something. Although I did/do love him dearly, I think it was bad timing and I knew all along I wouldn't wind up with him. I suppose I desperately wanted to believe I would.
Are you asleep yet? In order to talk honestly about our relationship I have to point out my faults first. I do this so that you don't' think I'm the jaded ex-girlfriend who wants to talk poorly about my ex-man. Not true. I want to speak honestly of our relationship. I'm impatient. I have a horrible instant-gratification problem. I mean, it's bad. Couple that with a long distance relationship--disaster ensues. Before, we'll call him Doogie, Doogie, I wouldn't have considered myself a "jealous" girlfriend, but that changed.
The first eight months of our relationship was blissful. Give or take a few arguments. When I first met him I had NO idea how old he was and he had no idea how YOUNG I was. So, we started "talking" per MY request. Yes, I pursued him. I met him in a salsa club in downtown Nashville. He was in from Huntsville, Al with a group of his friends and I was there with my friend, (we'll call her Christo) Christo. So, Christo and I were partaking in the lesson portion of the night when I noticed a good looking, well dressed dancing fool-not Doogie. Now, I make the mistake of assuming because of his dress, looks, and ability to move his hips as if they're not bolted to the wrest of his joints, that he didn't play for my team. Wrong. Anyway, Christo and I joined the guys at their table. There were quite a few of them. Amongst the group I noticed Doogie. He was tall, slim, very handsome and FUNNY. The man was so quick. I was instantly attracted. To this day he doesn't believe that I thought his friend was of the alternative lifestyle, he thinks I had a crush on his friend. I did not. Long story short, we started talking, I found out his age, called it off, he got sad, started talking to another girl, I got jealous and got him back. (I know that sentence is grammatically incorrect.) Yeah, I said it. Every girl does that. No matter the excuse she uses about her reasoning for all-of-the-sudden changing her mind, it's because she's jealous and doesn't want anyone else to have you.
So, we started dating. He used to drive up to Nashville from Huntsville (a two hour trip, one way) every week to take me to dinner. He was so charming, and such a gentleman. He held the door for me, he opened my door religiously and hung on every word I said. Unlike most of my relationships, I didn't hop into bed with him right away. I liked him. That, and he wore grandpa pants on our first date. It sort of freaked me out. I'd like to take this time to tell all of you men out there to THROW AWAY YOUR PLEATED PANTS. Unless your line of work requires you to wear tasseled shoes and pleated pants, there is NO reason to own them. Get rid of them, NOW. So, the 42-year-old man began his relationship with the 21-year-old woman.
My friend, Tara, (that's her real name) once told me she was reading in one of those girlie magazines, Cosmo or something, that women go through a period where they date the older man, the rock star, the younger man, blah blah blah. Anyway, she told me this after one of my breakups with Doogie, basically saying that my relationship was a phase. It was a four year phase, but a phase nonetheless.
After a while in our relationship I started to begin to not trust him. I don't know what the actual event was that made me question his commitment to me, but there was something, and THAT was when I should have gotten out. WOMEN-if you have a gut instinct, it's usually right. Instead, I just pretended to ignore it but had man gut wrenching nights where I couldn't sleep thinking about where he was, who he was with, what he was doing. Which, by the way, was so stupid, because he NEVER went out, he did all of his "searching" online.
I believe our first breakup was close to our first Christmas together, or not so much. It was a big one. It was just before Christmas. I don't remember what it was about, something stupid, I'm sure, but traumatic for me. I was at his house, we fought, I packed and bawled and left for my two hour drive home. I cried the whole way. I was napping on our sofa when I missed the phone call from him. Now, that doesn't seem like a big deal, but this man NEVER called first.
Every relationship has it's struggle with the "upper hand" syndrome. Well, maybe I should say every dysfunctional relationship struggles with that. I'm not sure I've had a functional relationship yet. Anyway, he called, we met up and got back together. I believe, or maybe used to believe, that every relationship needed to have it's ups and downs so that people really appreciated the ups. I don't think you can truly be thankful for something wonderful unless you know the flip side of that. We'll delve into gratitude more later. So, Doogie and I had our definite share of ups and downs. The highs were SO amazing that you felt like you forgot the lows. However, as I sit here, today, writing this, the negative comes to mind first, which is a shame because I'm usually a glass-half-full kind of girl.
Just after that Christmas, on a new road, our first break up, still high on the euphoria of being back together I'm broadsided with the news of Doogie wanting to move to Ohio. I, being supportive, hid how crushed I was and supported his move. It was now going to be a five-hour one-way drive to see him. I thought, this is love, I can overcome anything. Distance, schmistance. Oops...
I believe his online "searching" began shortly after he moved to Ohio the fall of our second year together. Bare in mind this is after a few more breakups and hookups. I will say, part of my instant gratification problem included attention from men. When Doug would break up with me I would partake in the "grudgefucking" that guys always talk about. However, I wasn't honest to these guys. I love the attention so I let them like me more than a grudgefuck even though I only wanted sex and had no intentions of dating them. Every time I'd want Doogie, and only Doogie.
I distinctly remember the day I actually confirmed that Doogie was looking elsewhere. I had taken a Friday off of work and drive five hours to surprise him. I knew he was playing golf that evening, so I knew he wouldn't be home that night for a little while. I let myself in his home and went upstairs to use the computer while I waited. Well, his computer wasn't even "asleep" in geek terms, the screen was still as it was left. What I saw broke my heart one e-mail at a time. DOZENS of women, DOZENS, of naked pictures. It was like he had an entire secret life. One of those you hear about on Oprah and Dr. Phil, I mean, I was shocked. I sat at his computer and cried. Then, like an woman who's just been broken down would do, started questioning myself. What did I do that made him want to look? What didn't I do? What could I do? What should I do? I can't believe I actually thought I had something to do with it. Now, I have no problem being accountable, but this wasn't my fault, I wish I could have seen it then.
I think women confuse love for being fucked over. Love means sacrifice, yes, but love doesn't mean you shut your mouth when you find an entire e-mail account of dirty e-mails to dozens of other women. Love is unconditional--with NO CONDITIONS. This is why I hate it when people say, "I love you, but..." Don't say you love me if it's followed with a "but." Same thing as saying, "I'm sorry, but..." Don't humor me by throwing out an "I'm sorry" just to make yourself feel better. It's like in the movie Talladega Nights where Will Ferrell says, "with all do respect..." and then goes on to insult the person he's speaking to. Yeah, I just quoted Talledega Nights, what of it?
So, as I said, love does not mean to bend over and take it in the ass, which is exactly what I did. I didn't even tell him-at first. We went to a concert the next night. He knew something was off. At the time I worked for a company that has an acronym for a title and is in the Country Music industry, we'll call it CWMT, (Country and Western Music Television). So I had a couple of interviews to do, talked my boss into letting me do the interviews in good old Dayton, Ohio. After the interviews Doogie and I were walking around trying to find hot girls to send backstage when he asked me what was wrong. I finally started to tell him. We left the show early and got into a HUGE fight where I tried to walk away and his response to that was to tell me it was over because I acted like that. Not, "I'm sorry I was a total schmuck," but "holy shit, you're acting crazy, we're done." That should have been my 34,534 sign that he didn't love me. Maybe he loved me, but not the right way. I have to back up again. I said earlier that I'd try to balance the good with the bad and so far I've not shared too many good things. I'd like to do that right now.