I have started this before after glasses of wine and bottles of beer sipped at the counter of a bar. Surrounded by noise and conversations unnoticed as we were in engrossed in ours. Girlfriend to girlfriend and a week’s worth of stories to tell marked by, “why’s” and “how’s” of text messages and unreturned phone calls. These kinds of stories have been told countless times, by me, to me, multiplied by us all. These stories were created in bars just like that one started on nights just like that with a girl, a boy and a Gucci bag full of stories left for their friends in the nights to come. I have had this thought countless times.
These stories are not mine and are not unique to those who orbit around me. They are based on questions of, "why does this not work" and known for having such inconclusive answers as, “He’s an asshole”. In between the versions change but the message is the same. He said he would call and he didn’t. He spent the day with basketball, football, or anyone but you. You were neglected, trampled and made to feel less than. There were kisses, sex, but you were left in the morning with nothing to hold. Well maybe that phone when the texts came in that read, “Later babe, I am with the guys.” Taking solace in that he called you “babe”. But that is all there was.
It is clear it is not you, it is him. The problem is you want it to be a real relationship. You hope for it to be. In the moments of panic, when the call goes unreturned for three days, you reflect only on the good believing things will be fine. That last moment in bed, when he looked into your eyes and swore to your cuteness has to mean something, or everything. When he disappears at the party for twenty minutes and you find him in the corner talking to his ex-girlfriend, the tears and anger well up. But he makes it better by taking your hand and telling you that too expensive cleavage revealing BCBG top is hot. You know it and realize he does too. So you stay, squeeze his hand, and whisk him to the other side of the room. After all he came with you. And he leaves with you. That night it is again just the two of you, that sparkly top now on the floor in the hallway, but she still permeates the room as his phone chimes at 3:47 a.m. Just freshly asleep, you hear it and pray he does not move. Because it is supposed to be about you, snuggled in the pocket of his arm breathing in the D&G cologne. You think this is bliss and that this will last forever. But you are the only one who thinks so, you are the only one who is thinking, period. He checks that text. He makes plans around you, not with you. He spends whole uninterrupted days with no effort thrown your way. He cancels without an after thought. It is not about you. That is all about him. So why do we spend so much time thinking of him? Agonizing over him? Wanting to make it work? When he puts in the same effort as he does to pick out a pair of boxers in the morning.
These are the stories and questions that single girls lives are made of. What kills me and makes me want to dump the Stella Artois on top of the Chloe toting single-tte is that they stick around for it. Make excuses why it is okay, to make themselves feel okay. Excusing excuses. When inside they are hurt and tears maybe shed publicly and in the quiet of the down comforter. They wonder what they did wrong. When it was nothing. Not a thing. Except spending too much time wasting after a never will be guy. Basing their egos on a follow up date and his affirmation. When he is worth little and should not hold the balance of your worth in his effort to hit send. No person should make another feel that bad, that they excuse such horrible inconsiderate behavior. No person should hold that much power of your person and esteem. No person should allow that kind of respect-less attitude prevail. And what is worse is that no person should stick around once they are placed in that position. The excuses should not be excused. That should be it. One time and you are out; forget three strikes. That is too much to give to a person who has nothing to offer. It is never going to work, so why wait and try, again and again. It ends in tears and heartache each time worse and more humiliating than the time before. He cares less and less, keeping you intertwined and entertained. His entertainment at all expenses, with you left holding the bill. This is not it. This is a waste, of time, energy, emotion and tears. When it is real, none of this exists. Love is grander, easier, prettier and heartfelt. It will never wear this ugly mask not once, not ever. No excuses.
These tales are centered on the why did it happen and how do I get it back. When they should be focused on moving on and moving up. At that bar, next to cocktails and cell phones, we should not be looking for answers and making excuses. We should not be giving second, third and ninth chances. People make mistakes, but when your ego and heart are in the balance generally one is more than unforgivable. Especially in the early stages of love and smiles. It should be all good without the edge of anxiety and the possible tear fest. Those are saved for real drama and the meat of a relationship. Not the courtship. Our attention is focused on the negative looking for a way to make his ugly positive. When he has blown that wad early and already. When our attention should be focused on those around us, next to us at the bar stool to the left. Looking for new people, eager to buy the next glass of Pinot. Who have fresh chances at making it right, without the excuses. Who are ready for the pretty, to make you feel pretty, all the time. No excuses.
Sounds like you would be a wonderful friend. In my current singleness and too often way of forgiving unkind behavior, I need to read, and re-read this post.
I've never been on a date before (sounds lame, I know), but the horror stories make me kind of glad about that fact. I'll keep this post in mind when I start dating.
I think I'm one of the few who never put up with that sh*t but one of the many that have talked a girlfriend out of putting up with it herself.
Good for you, for telling it like it is.
Beautiful. You are so right about this! Thanks for sharing that, I feel I am going to have to refer to it in the future.
This post was beautifully written. When I was reading I was thinking how this type of behavior seems to be a rite of passage for us women, but really it shouldn't be. It is tempting to let the women in our lives make their own mistakes, but doing that continues to give power to the loser assholes that are reinforced by this behavior. It's a sad thing. Keep this post somewhere and make your future daugher(s) read it before they start dating!!