So I’ve been wicked busy, both personally and professionally, which accounts for my radio silence. Inasmuch as it’s true that I would characterize myself as an extravert, even we people who get energy from other people reach a certain maximum after which we need to crawl into a cave and recharge. This weekend was meant to be about that hermit-like recharging for me, and for the most part, it did work out that way.
Professional busy-ness is about what you’d expect for this time of the semester. Meeting with students, responding carefully to student assignments, advising students, colleague-related interactions, meetings, and so forth. I’m fairly caught up, or at least not drowning, so things are going ok. But I need for the next couple of weeks to go quickly before I’ll truly be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, semester-wise.
Personal busy-ness in the past week to ten days has been… verging on the bizarre. Where do I even begin? Well, I guess I’ll say first that in terms of friend stuff everything is normal and fun and good, and all is well with my many, many friends, and that last weekend I’d gone away with my aunt and mom, so things are great on the family front, too.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, however, that when one’s general social life is in such good shape, when one is feeling content and fairly happy with what’s going on personally with family and friends, that GUYS swarm around one to throw everything into a nutso tailspin. It’s like they get some sort of alert on their phones or something, “Hey, everything’s grand with Dr. Crazy, and she’s really busy but holding steady, so perhaps it’s time for you to make a dramatic appearance!”
To be fair, not all of the appearances have been that dramatic, but still.
Suffice it to say:
- I heard from High School Crush, with whom I had one horrible pseudo-date in like 2010, and with whom I’ve not talked in a couple of years, though we do play Words with Friends, from totally out of the blue via a Facebook message. (I responded, and he didn’t reply, for he is a weirdo.)
- First Love has been leaving phone messages worried that I’m “mad” at him (which, I have no reason to be mad at him! I’m just busy!).
- Fake Boyfriend has been calling me all the time, rocking it out like it’s 2007 when we actually were in a fake relationship. (As I said to Medusa, it’s like when one door closes, another one opens, and what lies behind it is an ex who, phoenix-like, rises out of the ash of what you had believed was a totally dead relationship.)
- A guy I went out with in August and then blew off with the start of the academic year reappeared, and while it was fine, it did remind me of why I blew him off.
And then, The Dude.
Because apparently all of the above needed some sort of Crescendo of Craziness. Now, The Dude and I have been in contact over the three or four months that we’ve been broken up, but we’ve only hung out once, and he’s kind of been being a douche-nozzle for the past 6 weeks or so. I’d kind of figured that he was seeing somebody else, but since he didn’t TELL me that, I was actually feeling hurt and like he didn’t want to be my friend. Also I was feeling crazy for spending excessive analytical time thinking about whether he was seeing somebody, especially since I’ve gone on dates and fraternized with guys who aren’t him, so why did I care?
Well. So the short version is as follows: He called me up last night, we talked for a couple of hours, he had been seeing somebody but thought it would “hurt” me to tell me, but now he wanted to tell me since it was over, and I was all, “you didn’t care about hurting me! You just didn’t want to deal with how I’d react! And I knew anyway, but you not being honest made me feel like crap, so you were hurting me anyway!” and then I stopped that line of conversation because honestly I don’t care that he went out with somebody else as he was totally within his rights to do so and I really don’t want to know any more about that than I now know, though I did lecture him about the particular category of lying that is the “Lie of Omission” about which he seemingly had never heard, being raised by wolves or something.
But so anyway, that was like only 10 minutes of the conversation, which when I stopped that topic, then took a VERY SHARP LEFT TURN in which 1) he asserted his continuous in-love feelings for me, which involve having dreams about me as well as thinking about me constantly, whether we talk or not, like every single day, which has apparently been a hardship for him, and 2) I said maybe it would be easier for him if we just stopped talking altogether, and 3) he replied that no, what really should happen is that we should be together for the rest of our lives, because he realizes all the things he did wrong and I am his One True Love and blah blah blah things about my perfectness for him and that he can’t live without me, whatever. I was so caught off guard by all of the Passionate Emotions and Intimacy that I actually responded to his declarations as if they weren’t Totally. Fucking. Crazy. Like, I entertained what he was suggesting. We then got off the phone and I went to bed.
I then jolted awake at 6:30 AM in full-on panic mode, and I sent him a series of texts (they were numbered) in which the gist was, “we need a two-month trial period to figure our shit out if we are going to do this, and we don’t even know if we really want to be together because we haven’t even hung out, and I don’t trust you and I’m scared to death of trying with you again and you pulling the same commitmentphobic bullshit.” Only (slightly) nicer than that. Then, having articulated my panic feelings, I felt soothed, and I went back to sleep. We talked this morning, and it was fine, and he said he’s going to get together with me this week (interesting, in that when we were going out he refused to come over during the week).
Here’s the thing. We are in love. Still. Perhaps more now than we were 3 months ago. That is true. And yes, it is like a crazy once-in-a-lifetime sort of a deal.
I’m just not so sure that this matters, or matters enough. And I’m not willing to just pick up where we left off (and, to be fair, nor is he, actually, which is the ONE reason I’m actually entertaining giving this a shot). And I’m very suspicious about whether this is happening now 1) just because I really was feeling like I’d “moved on” and had given up hope and 2) because we’re coming up on what would have been the year-mark of our relationship, so maybe there is just some sort of calendar-mojo monkeying with our senses?
It’s exceptionally strange thinking about starting a relationship with a person with whom you’ve already been in a relationship. I mean, I know it happens. Hell, I have two different aunts – one on my dad’s side and one on my mom’s – who got divorced and then REMARRIED their ex-husbands. But what’s strange about it is that I know exactly what’s wrong with him. I’m not all hopped up on the anticipation and excitement and the feelings of newness. I know what I’d be getting myself into. That changes the dynamic considerably. And, frankly, both of us have all our cards on the table now, in a way that you just don’t when you first get involved with somebody. Breaking up puts the “warts and all” out front and center. In other words, I don’t know if I actually want to be with him. I might not. I certainly don’t want to be with him if he’s not all in. And I can’t be with him if I’m not all in, and I don’t know if I can be or want to be. And, honestly, I don’t really know that he wants to be with the me that I am “warts and all,” though he claims having seen this side of me is what makes him confident that we could work. Whatever. In the words of Hamlet, “words, words, words.”
So, we’ll see what happens. Regardless of all of his Declarations, what really matters is what he does. And regardless of my declarations (for I did make some), what matters is what I do.