I searched my feelings, an activity never far removed from looking for a dead rat in a spidery crawl space under the house
When she looked up at me again her eyes were narrow and cold and not entirely devoid of hatred. I had been wasting her time, and that was the worst thing I could have done.
What have I done to piss you off now? is not the kind of thing I want to hear, much less read in an email, which is open to an interpretation like: What have I done to piss you off NOWWWWW?
See, I think that suggests a reaction to a certain consistent, longterm level of hostility.
So my kneejerk response was, Ohhh, Im sorry, I think you have me confused with a WIFE... His cavalier use of the subjective now implies that this was just the latest in a long chain of perennial and perpetual pissed off moments.
Good call, is what youre thinking
but youd be wrong.
Contrary to the harridan that I think we can all agree is personified by the word NOW, Id been angry with the aforementioned Mr. Impressive precisely ONE time, in six months.
Hed asked me to spend Labor Day weekend with him, and then blew me off. OK. Plans change. But it WAS my first holiday off in a year, and Id turned down about 73 invitations to keep the weekend open, and he left town with his buddies, not with an apology, but with a jaunty: See ya. Ill holler at ya Sunday.
Well. Anybody who knows me even casually mightve predicted that this wouldve been
ill received. Anybody who knows me well mightve counseled him to stay out of town (preferably in the boyfriend-relocation program many of my ex-es have joined... widely thought to be based in Scottsdale, Arizona.)
And yet, improbably enough, that all blew over.
In fact, we eventually came to a full understanding of each others respective
positions. Several times. In a row.
I found that my capacity for conflict resolution grew in direct proportion to his
agenda. Which was
impressive. Perhaps there are more mature, evolved ways to solve problems
my point is: who cares?
Shoulda known that was too good to last...Instead, I was like one of those stupid 80s lab rats that tested cocaine for its addictive properties. I kept on pressing that dang bar, long, long after the supply had dwindled to a trickle.
At least with the rats, once the rewards are randomized, a few of the (smarter) rodents wise up and mosey on. Not me. Id been pressing that lever (so to speak) for months, with results so sporadic (albeit spectacular) as to be statistically insignificant.
Im not made of wood, people. In fact, if you believe the magazines, hes squandering my prime.
Maybe I spend too much time with my wingmen, but their point is hes wasting his time trying to better-deal me, because in their eyes at least, I am the better deal: I dont have roommates; I dont have a cat; I have no interest in marriage or pregnancy; I rarely have time to stay over, and if I do, I dont plant girlie things in the medicine cabinet to stake out my turf, and Im gone by dawn, so nobodys ever had to fake a seizure to get me to leave (thats very important to them).
Admittedly, their standards are low. Also, they spend a great deal of time obsessing about superheroes, so its possible I should not seek them out for mature and enlightened counsel.
My point is, that its not like Ive suddenly turned into THAT girl (that girl who cross-stitches new monograms on His and Hers hand towels
that girl whose third bead of the rosary is reserved for Vera Wang). All Ive EVER asked out of this is a basic observance of the physical laws of supply and demand.
Sure, there have been SOME legitimate scheduling conflicts, but Id been so far beyond a good sport about those that I practically deserved canonization (Im reluctant to admit this, but I even did his kids CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. Me. At the Disney Store. In a mall. Yknow he had to have sumthin.)
Then there was a smallbut symbolicincident (ok, he didnt invite me to his office Christmas party, if you must know...presumably because A. hes obviously embarrassed to be seen with me, and B. if Id been there, it wouldve lowered his odds of an office hookup). Thats when I felt forced to throw in the towel.
Given that most flings rarely outlast the expiration dates on the dairy products at my house (and that this is almost always my fault), I decided, in fairness, to seek out a male perspective, from my fake husband.
I explained the circumstances briefly, but with righteous indignation. Then I asked, now why do you think I was upset?
His first answer was, Well I know ONE thing. It is CERTAINLY NOT because you have PMS! Adding,
because thats how I got this scar.
Then he asked, Well, did you tell him why you were upset?
I couldnt believe he didnt remember (from looong experience) the answer to THAT question, which is, IF YOU DONt KNOW, I am CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO TELL YOU. (And he knows better than anybody my pathological aversion to Big Talks. Communication is my job; Im off the clock once I get home.)
I think the reason he forgot is because he usually bypasses that part of the exchange entirely. Because at the first sign of conflict, he wisely progresses straight to those three little words every woman wants to hear most: I was wrong.
Some men might find such an approach emasculating
but I refer those guys to the wingmen, who counter with this, would you rather be right, in FriendshipLand? Or would you rather be wrong
in NakedLand? n