I was reminded about how dumb it was to be a teenager trying to date. It was dumb, but I also remember the excitement of trying to choke down your voice cracking, and the sweaty palms, and the freaking hormones just spraying from out changing bodies into the air.
I had a girlfriend my sophomore year of high-school. (She was a freshman, I know, scandal.) We started going out sometime in April and everything was over before school started back up after summer. Until Sallie, it was the longest relationship I had.
My hormones probably are the reason I stayed with her for so long. I found her very attractive and she could be very girlfriend like. At least what movies told me girlfriends are supposed to be like. But we had some serious compatibility issues.
The first big negative was her father. He was shaped sort of like Baloo the bear and had one of those military crew cuts. He made the mistake of having a kid when his wife was only 16, so he very much played into the shotgun cleaning, hard nosed father that I was never going to win over.
Every night, I had the same routine. Talk to her for about an hour on the phone, and then I would call my best friend Allie and talk to her for 2-3 hours until she basically passed out. It didn't even cross my mind that this small detail was weird.
Then one long weekend my girlfriend went away to her grandma's house and we couldn't really talk on the phone.
I continued to talk to Allie, but our conversations started getting really long. Like six or seven hour-kill the cordless phone battery-long.
The break with my girlfriend allowed my brain to re-calibrate.
I started realizing things like how my girlfriend was incredibly verbally abusive to me. I had a job and was constantly feeding her McDonald's, renting movies from Blockbuster, and following up the McDonald's with pizza rolls, all on my dime. And frankly, she wasn't a good kisser.
She finally called me like three days after not talking and she could hear in my voice I wasn't very excited. She started asking if I wanted to break up, why I wanted to break up, etc. Eventually, she told me to email her what I was feeling because I couldn't put it into words.
I still have a copy of that breakup email because it was one of the first times I realized I could write. Yes, I plagiarized some of Kurt Cobain's suicide note, but I wove words together and made a solid breakup proposal. (Don't burn me at the stake, she asked for a breakup email. I was planning to man up and do it in person.)
Then we did that stupid thing where we remained "friends." Really, we realized our friends had sort of combined and there was no way to stay away from each other.
My Ex got a new boyfriend like three weeks later. He was this 6'5" red headed beast that Allie and I affectionately called, "Big Red." I never actually met him, but in my hormone controlled mind, he was an abusive, uneducated, redneck. Of course, even though I did the dumping and knew it was the best idea, I got jealous.
So to get back at the Ex, I started dating a cheerleader / ballerina that other people said was hot. I wasn't really into her, but she was nice, and I could see my Ex's face get pissed.
So for the sizzling next three weeks I dated this person. We went to the mall and spent hours in Claire's botique while she picked out more pink crap to deck herself out in. We would talk on the phone, and while she told me how dance practice went, I was busy playing Doom 2 on my computer. Luckily for me, she would fall asleep by 8 and I would get to do what I wanted.
Ultimately my Ex told my new girlfriend type person that she wasn't comfortable with us dating. It really was about the best situation, because in my friend's eyes, I was now the victim.
So, I sort of reclaimed my friends while my Ex was assimilated into Big Red's friend circle. I think we both ended up happier in the end. Sallie and I ran into her at a wedding not too long ago. She commented, "WOW, you ended up marrying essentially me."
I took one look at her, and one look at Sallie, and thought, "Thank God you are almost always wrong my Ex. Thank god."
3 years ago