Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The sun is out. The unusually cold weather has taken a vacation just for today. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day [one of the dumber made-up holidays] – I got up early to ride Denzel [my new Schwinn 240 indoor recumbent bike.]
People always assume I don’t like Valentine’s Day because I am single.
I don’t like made-up holidays that “require” me to buy things for adults with jobs. I remain gainfully employed to pay my mortgage, interrupt my beauty sleep, talk to a lot of people with whom I have nothing in common and to buy dumb things for myself – not other people.
But I digress…
Spring is in the air and I am feeling spring-y. I am psyched to get “stuff done” today.
And I am only a half an hour late to work – which is the new “on time.” [Spread the word.]
The phone rings on my desk. I usually press the reject button [this is the coolest invention EVER. It sends people right to voicemail - which is a good thing because the odds are I do not want to talk to them.]
I answer reluctantly – deciding between finishing my coffee and forced conversation.
Caller ID is being cryptic as well.
“Hey, it’s Ben.” [Clearly, I should have chosen coffee. Grumbles.]
“Oh crap.” I snarled. “Why are you on my phone?” [Yes, I said it. Whatever. At least I didn’t say suck it or use the F word – and I don’t mean flower.]
Here is the deal.
Ben said he wanted to be exclusive just before his vacation last July and never came back, choosing not to contact me again until months later, and then explaining he was being stalked and um…was unable to call. [Yes, the story is dumb. Ben is dumb.]
I cried. I was hurt. I got over it.
Okay, back to Ben…
Today, I am annoyed because my attention is now shifted from work [with which I rarely sustain prolonged interest] to what will inevitably be a dumb conversation.
“I know. You are probably busy working,” he demured. He is so annoyingly nonchalant – if he weren’t on the phone, I would be metaphorically hitting him with it.
“If I knew it were you I wouldn’t have picked up the phone. What do you want? Talk fast.” I said through gritted, trying-to-be-professional teeth.
[I don’t do public drama or scenes. Chez tacky.]
“Ouch.” He says a little wounded - but proceeded to weave an idiot’s tale with conviction. “I explained what happened and I know I could have handled the situation better. Have you ever been stalked? It is really wild.”
I interrupt. “Let me be clear with you. I do not care,” I said sharply. [Because I don’t.]
Here is what I learned from dating last year.
I had issues I had to resolve.
Not the people I was dating.
I was horrible with setting boundaries with men
Because I always needed to leave the door open for the lukewarm promise of affection
And if I set a boundary
I thought respect was a price they were not willing to pay.
And so I settled - saying yes or maybe when I really meant no – clinging and clinging until teeny tiny pieces of my soul were chipped away.
Because some attention – half-hearted and distant though it may be – was better than none.
I always thought I was a direct and clear communicator until I realized when dating that I am only great at communication when I do not expect or want love in return.
Suddenly, I am no longer the velvet hammer [which I adore] and I morph into just plain wishy washy
Because I want to leave the door to love open.
In retrospect, there is a good chance I didn’t communicate clearly enough with Ben in our goodbye conversation many moons ago...
I said something like “be careful” [just in case Glenn Close was really cookin’ bunnies in his kitchen and I was raised right] and “I wish you the best in your future” [without me. Duh.]
I know. Right? So mature [and no F-word. Who knew that was a thing?!]
But this leads me to believe I am also too nice [for all of the reasons stated above.]
“Let me be clear with you - do not call me ever again. This IS our last conversation. Do you understand?” I said in a staccato and deliberate way to Ben this time around.
“Yes, ma’am,” he whimpered. [Ma’am?! You are like 2 billion years older than me. More coffee now… Click.]
Something about last year – and everything I learned here about myself – seemed like training camp. And this year feels like I am being tested.
Honestly, there was a time where lame people and lame excuses were enough
Because I never felt I was.
That time is over.
If they want me – they can call me, special deliver themselves to my front door, fall through my roof…whatever.
They know where to find me.
I am the Queen of me and I am always in my castle.
And the days where I am nice to other people in lieu of loving myself are over.
So bring it.
Bring it to the castle.
That is where I live.