Have you ever done something you knew was going to come back around and slap your karma silly but you didn’t regret it one single little bit? I’m not normally prone to drama, but once in awhile it comes looking for me.
My landlady – who is AWESOME – gave me two huge silk trees a couple weeks ago because they didn’t sell at her garage sale and she didn’t want to deal with hauling them to Goodwill. (She only lives a half mile up the road from me.) She knows I’m a craigspert (i.e., expert with craigslist.com) so she offered them to me if I wanted to sell them, and she didn’t even want a share of the money! This is not the first time she’s practically given me the rent this way. Like I said – total sweetheart. <3
When she dropped them off, they had price tags that said $60 crossed out and marked down to $50. I can’t believe no one bought them for that price. They were both in excellent shape and not even dusty, and given their size and quality, a designer would charge upwards of $150 each for them. I put them on craigslist for $80 each including delivery and today they sold. Yay! I had to drive 45 minutes to Mira Mesa to drop them off, but it was worth the gas to make the $160. Pure profit is a beautiful thing.
Turns out the lady that bought them only lives 2 miles from my – dare I say – boyfriend. You see, our relationship (like everything else in my life) is not easily pigeonholed by conventional terms. This male friend and I have been seeing a lot of each other (A LOT) over the last several months, and the mutual respect and love has carved a groove a little deeper than either one of us intended. Even so, we have both agreed that our long-term goals do not mesh precisely; therefore we have not made any commitment to each other. I accept that and I understand the reasons why, even tho my hormones sometimes commit mutiny.
He’s the one that started the name-calling tho. I thought perhaps “girlfriend” was just a convenient adjective to describe me to his buddies since I am his friend and I am a girl and humans are territorial creatures, but he’s stated it means more to him, and his actions match his words. He seemed pleased when I started referring to him as my boyfriend, so no trouble there. My heart ran away with that even while my brain was shaking its finger saying, “You know this doesn’t change anything; he’s still not thinking marriage. He’s made that clear.” My Cinderella complex was like, “Yeah yeah, whatever. Shut up. Can’t you see I’m busy swimming in this romance here?”
This is why men and women are generally not best friends outside of romance, because eventually one gets too keen on the other and it ruins the whole thing. Damn the bad luck of owning the boobs, cuz it’s usually that one which falls first. ::sigh::
Up until now, when he’s chosen to spend an evening with someone else, I’ve just swallowed my emotions and reminded myself I have no claims on him. It’s been easy because he’s not spending multiple evenings with anyone serious and he’s certainly not an ass about it or anything. If anyone has been an ass, it’s been me because I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut about my own isolated incidents (which mostly happen because I feel like they should, since I know this won’t last forever). Some might say that’s passive aggressive, but really it’s just me being dreadful at keeping secrets. I hate secrets because they make me paranoid.
I know there will come a day when he will find the right girl and I will have to let go and it will suck hard (except for the pints of Haagen-Dazs), but until then I’m having a really good time. Live in the moment, right? Appreciate what is NOW. I totally get that. I try really hard to walk my talk. He’s not breaking any promises, so it’s up to me to be an adult about it and keep myself in check. I’m just enjoying it while it lasts. I keep deciding it’s worth the pending heartache.
Do you see the big BUT(T) coming?
A woman he used to date from across the pond arrived Tuesday to visit for a month. I know that Europeans vacation for much longer than Americans do, so I don’t find the timeline suspect. I also know she’s not staying in his guest room (or a hotel if you get my drift), but again – I have no claims so I can’t complain. What bothers me is that suddenly I’ve gone from “girlfriend” and primary companion to secret (??!) dinner date after the Mon/Thurs workout, and the sleepover ritual has been terminated until further notice. He was even checking his watch after we ate. It’s like he got married overnight. (And no, he did NOT. God, I hope I’m not THAT blind.)
When I asked what the deal was, he said his foreign friend was not mature enough (emotionally) to understand our relationship. (Read: he didn’t tell her what he was doing.)
Christ, haven’t I been here, done that? What did I miss the last 10 times around? How am I here again?
I admitted I was jealous, and told him calmly and rationally about all my icky thoughts on the situation; how I felt very excluded even on a regular friend level. I am not this shut out when his family visits, or even when he has parties attended by State-side ex-girlfriends. He stuck with the “she wouldn’t understand” (read: approve) story. The Inside Voice said fuck her – she needs to grow up.
Instead I said, “Then why are you still friends with her? People that didn’t get Mark’s and my openness didn’t hang around long. If you can’t run with the big dogs, then stay on the porch.”
THEN out my mouth came “Fuck her, she needs to grow up.” (Because THAT was so mature. And yes, Jess, I see the irony.)
Points to him for letting that go.
He went on to say she’s way more into him than he is into her. It sounds lame, but it’s something he’s expressed before outside of these circumstances and it’s been my own experience with him, so why would I think he’s lying? She IS a friend, which is why she’s staying at his house. They have a history, and he and I aren’t exclusive. Just because he likes her too doesn’t mean he likes me any less, so case closed.
My own logic does nothing to assuage my stinging emotions.
To support his claim, he explained he’s not that into her because she’s gained weight. Knowing how freaky he is about his own weight and his penchant for trophy women, I have to assume this is also true, but neither does this lessen my jealousy. What IS it with the stupid human emotions?? I should know better.
To preserve the scrap of dignity I was clinging to, I asked him not to come over again until she’s gone home. (I have some decisions to make between now and then anyway.) Which means we won’t see each other at all for a month – not even for the party he’s throwing, which he did invite me to even tho she will still be there. I have truly warred with myself on whether I’m cutting off my nose to spite my face, or whether I’m just enforcing my boundaries. Just when you think you’ve got all the grey areas covered, the Universe makes a greyer one.
I relented on IM/email, so we will remain in contact for as long as I can stand sitting on my Ego. This is weird in so many ways after spending almost every day together for so long. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth (which my friends Ben and Jerry are going to help fix).
So I told you all that so I could tell you what I don’t regret…
Todaaaaayyyyy I told him on IM that I sold the trees because we like to share our craigslist triumphs. I also told him I was delivering them 2 miles from his house, to which he replied, “Why don’t you drop by for a game of pool?” (He just bought a new pool table and he’s been having fun seeing how much he can screw up his game just so I can keep up. What a doll. :) I dunno if he really thought I would or not, but hey, he offered and I MISS him and it’s only been a handful of days. And then the ‘tude kicks in and I decide perhaps the balls on the pool table aren’t the only ones that need to be dug out of the pockets. I mean seriously. How old are we?
(HA – quick note here: A ladybug just flew in, buzzed my head, and landed on the wall in front of me. It’s been dark out for awhile; I was under the impression that ladybugs are not generally nocturnal, so I take this as a sign. I Google “ladybug medicine” and I get this page, which is weird in its own right because the title is “Follow the Dragonfly.” HELLO. Universe is texting me again. Except it’s not limited to 160 characters since it’s all Infinite and stuff. Haha
In summary, ladybug represents energies of renewal and regeneration. It teaches us to release worry and “let go and let God.” Shows us how to stop harming ourselves. And lastly says to get out of our own way and allow Great Spirit to enter.
::sigh:: Crap. Ok, I suck.
I don’t know how atheists can believe there is NOTHING [even if it is an advanced version of our own selves] watching from some other dimension we haven’t even dreamed of yet.
So I deliver the trees, collect almost $200 and pass go. This is the part I’m sure karma will swing back on me for, but perhaps I also learned a valuable lesson already. Afterall, isn’t that what we’re here for? To provide each other with learning opportunities?
First let me say, his take on the following was that his ladyfriend avoided confronting me, like some kind of mouse. Could be true – certainly he knows her and I don’t, and it’s always amazing how a group of people may all witness the same event but come away with different versions of what happened. Another girl he was fooling around with when we first started hanging out was also very mousy when I finally located my pride and put myself in front of her to say hi at a party, so it’s not an unreasonable conclusion. We do tend to pick the same type of people over and over in our lives. But his view is not at all what I experienced.
When I asked him tonight how much trouble he was in, he said none. He could be blowing it off to avoid any further bullshit from me (which is entirely understandable; I’m not exactly being reasonable over this). His answer gave me some perspective on why I may have experienced it the way I did. (As in my personal history skewing my perception, much like how we see light refracted through a prism.)
Perhaps my version only took place in my own head (well, of course it did, but you know what I mean), but I’m learning to trust my sixth sense and a lot of it was hitting that radar, not the standard five. We’ll never know since the other two parties wouldn’t be inclined to talk about it (nor would at least one party be capable of self-examination to that depth from what I’ve heard), but it’s food for thought. This must be how people end up in the nuthouse.
Anyway… here’s what * I * saw happen.
He had given me a key to his house, so I used it. Loudly. I walked in and yelled jokingly, “Ok, put your clothes on and let’s play some pool.” No response. The house was weirdly quiet. Hmm. Maybe he knew they were leaving which is why he extended the invite. Oh well. It’s not like I made a special trip. We do play pranks on each other. If I was interrupting anything I figured I would’ve heard something immediately, so that wasn’t it.
But there’s rustling coming from the garage. I go check it out and he’s putting the arcade back together. Oh good, he just didn’t hear me and we get to play afterall. He looks only slightly surprised to see me.
After greetings, we set up a game. I’m racking up balls and he’s checking his cue stick when his ladyfriend appears at the top of the stairs. He tries to introduce me as his friend that helped him change all his furniture thru craigslist (which is entirely true :) but I can see she’s not buying it and his words seem to fade at the end of his sentence. I’m amazed that he sounds not like his normal cocky self, but more like a little boy trying to avoid trouble. Who is this guy? I know he’s told me he hasn’t always been as confident as he is nowadays, but wow. I almost feel guilty for coming over. Almost.
She barely glances at me and mumbles some acknowledgment with an accent I can’t help but find charming, which of course sends my Ego into a whirlwind of conflict. (Fuck charming – but it was charming – I said fuck charming! I’m not ready to let go of my jealousy!)
I try a dry “nice to meet you,” which garners not just NO response, but the true meaning of DEAD AIR becomes crystal clear to me at that moment.
She keeps staring at him and doesn’t look at me again. The silence is beginning to stretch.
There are people I know, and others that have been described to me as “being able to suck all the fun right out of a room just with their presence,” but this is the Dyson of uncomfortable vacuums. For a split second I am paralyzed as if we’ve been caught doing something naughty (not even close – we’re at opposite ends of the table). I think I was actually holding my breath. Then suddenly I find the whole thing terribly amusing and I have to beat down a laugh.
It looks like he is in a lot of trouble (or perhaps we woke her up? But I doubt it). I had to rethink whether the words I heard in my head were actually spoken by her, and honestly I don’t think they were, but they came across loud and clear and even in her accent, which I had only heard in one mumbled sentence two seconds ago. I heard “Why is she here?” You know – in that clenched teeth tone, but only inside my head.
The lack of sound now feels like a lead weight infusing itself into every particle in the room and dropping effectively to the floor. No one said anything. This could all be just me, I dunno, but it was absolutely surreal. I always joke about “thinking things really loudly” but in this case, it might be the truth.
I think he’s lucky to be alive because I wasn’t real sure looks couldn’t kill right then. She seemed to be totally staring him down. He was kinda all deer-in-the-headlights, which was odd because normally he’s quite brash in a fantastic way. I was surprised by the continued non-conversation.
After a very long pause she pretty much just turned and went back in his bedroom without another word. No goodbye or anything. I didn’t see her again for the rest of the time I was there.
We played three or four games, during which he must’ve lost his mind - he invited me to stay for lunch and to go to the beach with them after. (Black’s Beach – which is clothing optional. Because that wouldn’t make things more uncomfortable AT ALL. That is the impetuous guy I’m familiar with, although I did not hear a true teasing challenge in his voice like normal. Maybe it just lacked the flirty part. He sounded tired. Maybe he didn’t sleep well. Who knows.)
Ya know, he has the most powerful motorcycle on the market and he likes to get all dangerously fast on it, but I wasn’t taking his DEATH WISH so seriously.
On the way home, my Ego was really having a field day of evil thoughts about what I could’ve said.
“Oh, nice to meet you – you’re not nearly as fat as he described.”
“Oh, nice to meet you - do you mind if I come up and get my toothbrush? I left it in his bathroom.” (True fact.)
“Oh, nice to meet you – do you have trouble with the cats laying on you all night too?”
I know I sound psycho, but I'm much meaner in my head than I ever would be in the real world. The chances of me expressing those thoughts unless seriously provoked was nonexistant. Just the fact that I went to his house was out of the norm for me. I am usually the mouse. But like I said, I don’t regret it a bit.
Anyway, reviewing her non-response I can see why he may think that she was simply avoiding confronting me. However, I also have intimate knowledge of the nature of women and even those that are demure and keep their mouths shut are usually seething underneath, so I’m equally as sure that even if she never did show her anger, it wasn’t like it didn’t exist.
But again, perhaps that’s just me. My experience with this type of confrontation has always been angry, so I acknowledge that may be the sole reason I felt all that. Our worlds really do only happen in our own heads afterall, which is why everyone has a different experience of the same event.
I’m glad I gathered the guts to go, even if it was for the wrong reasons and creates entries on my karmic record. I figure at the very least, if a big dose of reality is getting spread around, I’m sure as hell not going to be the only one without a knife.
One of these days I hope to evolve tho and not get into or feel this kind of pain over such silly emotional matters.
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Soundtrack: Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne