Chatting with a friend about her fast-fix, In & Out boyfriend got me thinking about all my past drive-thru relationships. I call them drive-thrus because they were speedy and convenient at the time, which often involved breaking up and getting back together several times (in & out) and satisfied a craving without really nourishing me.
After my divorce to Nice Man, I went through a series of serious relationships—the kind where movie make-believe fairy sparks twinkles in our eyes, and we quickly copulate right into a cohabitation situation. And soon thereafter, we claw at each other with bitter words about how we each should change but doing nothing of the sort and instead hanging in there (on an in-and-out basis) for the great (make-up) sex—and companionship. Mr. For-Now becomes Mr. For-Nicating.
I look back at the man-boys I dated, and it’s no wonder I was with them at the time. I wasn’t who I wanted. I wasn’t who I wanted to be. But they were all perfect for me at the time. Perfect for me to learn from (still sucks to admit that) directly or indirectly, as I was for them. Win-win. (Still have that silver-lining syndrome!) And after I got over the pain of parting ways, it was easier to look back and appreciate our time together.
I wouldn’t exactly say we’re all friends now. I have my theories on male/female friendships, but we are friendly. I’ve talked, texted or chai tea’d with them all in the last couple weeks and, though they’ll never be BMFFs, they too have learned and grown and are now different people than they were then. They’re better men, though we’re not right for each other romantically. We were meant for each other ‘In that Meantime’ and that time has moved on. (Note: There’s nothing wrong with ladies needing a Mr. For-Nicating or two [or 12] along the road to finding Mr. For-Ever.)
My conversation with Junior (we went for tea)—first round (texting):
Junior: “Hey, want to go for coffee sometime? I could use your advice.”
Me: “Hello, stranger!”
Junior: “I can drive to your area.”
Me: “In that case, sure! lol”
Junior: “Bring your Bible”
Me: “Want to spell check that??”
Junior: “Haha. I’m serious.”
Second round (Serious Coffee):
“You smell good.”
“Thanks, you, too. So, how’s it going with [super adorable girlfriend]?”
“She’s too young.”
“Oh, how is that?” (chuckling)
“Yeah, yeah, laugh it up. Now I understand what you meant about not having enough years, experience.”
I smile: “Shit happens.”
“But we so seem perfect for each other, err, her and I …”
He tells me his woes.
We talk about business and other catch up stuff from the 5 years since we were boinking.
“What’s with the bible thing?”
“I’m going to church.”
Me: (raised eyebrow)
Junior: “I know, right?”
I shrug: “What the hell?”
He’s definitely matured, and I’ve still definitely got more ‘years’ on him.
But, wait a second—let’s get back to companionship. Didn’t I have friends for that function before I met Junior, Handsome Millionaire, The Fibber and Mr. Sexy Pants? (See “Memoir.”) Oh right, I abandoned them during those times. Bad, BFF, bad. Why do women do this? I know it’s not just me, as I’ve had first-hand experience as the litter of a swooning gal pal in love, or lust, whichever the case may have been. (We readily forgive each other so we can take liberties in future.)
We can be—when we’re ‘In the Meantime’—needy and clingy with our men in the attempt to capture them, and we lose sight of ourselves, never mind our girl friends. I suspect (from my own experience), this occurs because we know deep down inside that this is an ‘In the Meantime’ guy and, instead of embracing this idea, we embrace the poor dude like a straight-jacket (which is really what we ought to be wearing).
What if instead of trying to fight it (and him), we let go and say to ourselves, “Okay, I know this isn’t Mr. Right, so I’ll see what I can learn from and with Mr. Right Now”? Now we’ve got a way of detaching, accepting, releasing, learning, self-empowering and maybe loving—them and ourselves.
My conversation with Handsome Millionaire (we went for lunch)—first round (texting):
Me: “Are you ever coming to town again?”
HM: “I’m here”
HM: “Are you back with the Irishman?”
Me: “God, no. Why would you think that?”
HM: “Haven’t heard from you”
Me: “Um, communication is a two-way street. Assuming just makes an ass out of you”
HM: “I texted last”
Me: “Are you buying me lunch?”
Second round (oceanfront restaurant):
Me: “You smell good.”
He seems solemn: “Thanks.”
Me: “So, how often have you been stealthing around town without telling me?”
HM: “I pretty much live here. Go back to [the city] on weekends.”
I slap his arm: “You suck as a friend.”
HM (now cheerful): “Bite me.”
Me: “Haha. That’s better.”
He tells me his woes with What’s-Her-Name (not good) and tells me how he’s been doing (good) and how business is doing (very good) and we rehash some past personal trash (i.e., the time I left in tears years ago [Note: Four years since boinking]).
Me: “Delicacy in the delivery—sometimes you’re just too brutal.”
HM: “You’re the same way, sister.”
Check mate. (But not the mate for me. Besides, he still shaves his chest. Ewww.)
I once read or heard that we attract our emotional equal. Damn it, it was true for me even though at the time I didn’t want to admit it. Looking back, it’s so obvious. Most of the things I chastised ex-mates about were qualities I, too, possessed at the time (and some I still do). Those poor bastards were not nearly as good with whipping words around as I was (perhaps with the exception of Mr. Sexy Pants, damn him) and even though they may have tried to point out my hypocrisy, well, I have boobs.
My conversation with The Fibber previously known as HBUAB (Handsome But Unworthy American Boyfriend)—first round (texting):
(Note: Haven’t heard from him in maybe a year. Two and 3 years since boinking.)
TF: “I miss your smell”
Me: “Have you been drinking? Are you okay?”
TF: “I still think of you often”
Me: “You have been drinking. Are you okay??”
Several minutes pass.
I’m worried: “Hello?”
TF: “I’ve changed”
Me: “Ok. Me too”
TF: “I have a client … I could come up …”
Me: “Don’t come to see me”
Several minutes pass. I think we’re done but apparently not quite.
TF: “I’m not the same person anymore.”
Me: “You still buying Hugo Boss suits?”
TF: “Ha! Got me there”
Me: “I don’t buy name brands, anymore”
TF: “You’re still a beautiful person”
Me: “I sold my house and furniture and am living with my mom”
TF: “Give her a hug for me”
Me: “I sold my fancy SUV and bought a VW Golf hatchback”
Anyway, I did share many of the traits I punished them for having—needing validation (Junior, Handsome Millionaire, The Fibber: previously known as HBUAB, Handsome But Unworthy American Boyfriend); vanity (same guys as last group); lying (in my case, living a secret life elsewhere—still counts in the lying book as far as I’m concerned, and I am concerned, The Fibber); not lying (brutal honesty can equal no delicacy in the delivery, not a great trait, Handsome Millionaire, Mr. Sexy Pants); self-righteous egotism (all of us!). I remember another thing I read somewhere: Become the person you want to attract.
My conversation with Mr. Sexy Pants—first round (texting):
(Note: Boinked less than a year ago as of this writing.)
Me: “I’m bored and lonely. If you’re just watching your show, text me on commercials, please.”
I’ve gone to the gallows with ‘In the Meantime’ men. I’m not quite the person I want to attract, but I’m getting there. I’m ready for radio silence in the boinking department until I’m Mrs. Right, which will be sometime after I’m Ms. (published) Writer, when I might be ready to nurture a nourishing, sit-down-dinner relationship. Unless, of course, God swoops down and intervenes. (He’d pretty much have to, since I never go anywhere where I might meet someone.)
(I’m okay with that. For now, minus one is just right.)
Sexy Pants’ new iPhone name: Knucklehead.
What have I (re)learned?
There’s something to be learned from every relationship I’ve experienced. It’s always about me, not the other person. I choose to think of it as continuing education. Plus, I can write stories about it—ha!
Remove: ‘Drives a black 2-year-old Range Rover’ from my Mr. Perfect-For-Me colour-coded spreadsheet pre-qualifier list. Not only is a RR not required, but it might be more on the no-go side of the list.
Stay away from drive-thrus.