I joke a lot about my taste in men and it is comical once the dust has settled. I just wouldn’t joke about it while I am deep in it. As cynical as I can be when it comes to life, I am still a hopeless romantic deep down. It doesn’t help matters that when I am out with the guys I am just as crude as they are, screaming as loud as them at the TV and joking about our collective failures . . . well, my failures.
I didn’t date after Chandler because my heart wasn’t in it. I starting talking to the boy again knowing that it wouldn’t work out because in his shallow heart, I would never be good enough. And maybe that is why I didn’t try as hard as I should have trying to shed the weight. I knew that we could get along decently, we had a few things in common and he wouldn’t make an effort, on anything. My self-preservation is interesting, trust me. Looking back on that whole disaster in the making I just shrug and thank God that he happens to be a selfish, shallow kind of guy.
What I don’t have in a love life, I make up for tenfold with my guy friends. The boys have been there to question my judgment, tease me about sticking around so long in a horrible relationship and of course, talk obsessively about football. It always baffled my Granny as to why I always hung out with guys but for whatever reason my parents never saw it as odd.
I have always firmly believed there is a fine line between that friendship and something more. I have always stood firmly on the side of friendship until a stupid incident a few years ago with Hyde. Hyde was a good friend, between him and Reb; there were a lot of times hanging either at a sports bar or my place watching football and playing Scrabble. I liked Hyde, he was kind, funny and we got along really well. Unfortunately since I am blind when it comes to seeing if a guy is interested in me, I didn’t have a clue that he had a crush.
We crossed the line one weekend, blurring it and making me instantly regret it. It was just a kiss but to me it felt wrong. I tried to hash it out in my brain but nothing could make that one decision disappear. I finally saw that he was in fact, interested in me. We tried on three separate occasions to take the friendship to the next level but I failed miserably. I wasn’t comfortable, I was skittish and to be honest with myself, I wasn’t interested.
But like the time you accidently squeeze out too much toothpaste, you can’t take it back. I tried being honest with him, apologizing over and over for misleading him. There were times I thought if I just tried hard enough, I would learn to be comfortable with him. After I crashed and burned with Hyde, I would occasionally get an email from him full of hate, telling me what a horrible person I was and then listing everything I did to wrong him. Each time I responded without lashing out; I even got Reb to review the emails to make sure I wasn’t hurting him further with my responses.
Our last interaction happened just as I had started seeing the boy. We met for dinner and I was to meet Reb for coffee after this dinner. It was horrible. Once again Hyde went point by point discussing exactly what made me a horrible person. And then to add insult to injury; he continued this when I met Reb for coffee. Instead of taking his cue to say goodbye, we sat awkwardly at Starbucks for the next hour. At that point all I wanted to do was go home without having a moment to actually catch up with Reb.
Of course things didn’t work with the boy; at the time I was devastated because he looked the part of the perfect boyfriend. I had long forgotten that a relationship should be based on unconditional love. I overlooked my needs since he just wasn’t interested in fulfilling them and I sucked it up when I caught him in a lie. Looking back I realize that maybe on the surface the relationship looked fine; but dressing a pig up in designer garb doesn’t change the fact that it is still a pig.
When Chandler caught me by surprise two years ago I started to think about what I wanted in a relationship. I didn’t want games, I wanted someone to be with me because of what is inside and I wanted to be loved. He hit it out of the park. When things ended, I was sad but I had seen it coming. He was pushing me away but I couldn’t figure out why. The only thing I knew was I didn’t want to try again. I was tired of being drug up the hill to see just how wonderful the view was only to be kicked down to the bottom again. It was like a horrible tape playing on loop, reminding me that I didn’t deserve any of it and taking me back to the dark days with Bubba.
I knew when I started talking to the boy again it wouldn’t last; he had unspoken conditions that I would need to meet. Needless to say, I didn’t meet them because I knew I didn’t really want to be with him. And Chandler had one more message for me when I was in DC with the boy and it was to finally see the boy for who he really was, which isn’t much. The ghost of Chandler has stayed with me for a long time and subconsciously I have used him as an excuse not to move forward.
The truth is taking that risk again and again, only to be knocked on my ass gets old. Stace said to me the other day that I have to be the most unlucky person when it comes to love. Her wish, which I know a lot of friends and family members have for me, is that I find love. I don’t put a lot of stock in that wish since all I need to do is look back on my history and see how wonderful it all turned out. . .
It is like Charlie Brown and Lucy with that stupid football. Charlie Brown keeps trying, against his better judgment and Lucy keeps yanking the football away. And if I ever get near Lucy, I am going to smack the poo out of her because Charlie Brown deserves to kick that stupid football.