But, not as damaged as I assumed last night.
Last night, I was waiting for a man I had nicknamed Mush. Seriously. There was a whole post about it (not the waiting part, the nickname part, the why he deserved a nickname part), it was going up today at 5am.
[Spoiler alert…it’s in the trash.]
I wrote it on Monday and kept postponing the post date.
Just wait until after your next date.
But, things are going so well, they’re going to be the same after the next date.
Just one more. For good measure.
The next date happened last night. Start to finish, two hours. I had a feeling all day. It grew. It hit its crescendo at 6:30.
He’s not going to come. He’s going to bail. Things have been going great, but ALL MEN walk away. ALL MEN let me down.
He’s not like all men. We’re a great match. He’s intrigued and all the signs are there.
I couldn’t talk myself down. I made plans to make back up plans. To call my best friend and beg him to come eat the dinner I made for Non-Mush with me because Non-Mush stood me up.
That’s when I realized I was damaged.
Non-Mush knocked on the door slightly after the pre-determined time. How cute. Late is our thing. Both mine and his.
There was a hug and kiss. But he didn’t want to be there.
We made conversation as I finished the last of the dinner. The dinner I planned out, bought groceries for, prepped, donned an apron to cook to show him how adorable I am. I cleaned the house, I changed my sheets, I got a compromise of a movie.
All of this with a feeling in the pit of my stomach.
After dinner, I asked him to set up the movie. He turned on the TV, but made no move to start the movie.
I kissed his cheek and cuddled in. That’s fine, we’ll watch a little TV.
“So…conversation…hard to have…”
I uncuddled. I knew.
“I don’t have butterflies.”
What are you? A 15-year-old girl?
“I want to have them. You’re the most awesome girl I’ve met in like five years.”
[Insert story of the last girl he felt something for, back in 2006 and how he’s pretty sure the fact that he’s not found it since means that he’s pretty damaged too.]
Yeah? Well, shove that up your ass and join the club of men who think I’m awesome. The men who also think that knowing they see how awesome I am HELPS in any sense when they’re breaking up with me.
He had come over to tell me that – and in the process of telling me that, revealed that he HAD considered bailing, but thought I deserved a face-to-face conversation about why I’m amazing, but not amazing enough.
If I had anything to tell him last night it was going to be to stick with me. That my M.O. is that I’m awesome when I meet a guy, usually because I don’t give a rat’s ass, but when I start to like him, I get scared and nervous and box up my awesome and that he should just stick with me through that because when it’s safe again, it all comes back.
I didn’t get the chance to say that.
Well, I did, but not in the way I wanted and in the moment, it probably just sounded lame at best, desperate at worst.
“I suppose I should thank you for not pushing the sex thing. This would be a lot more difficult if that were a factor.”
“Well, I respect women. I never want to pressure that or push things. I really am a Southern gentleman.”
Yeah, again. Not making this easier.
We talked about rushing things v. pacing things. We’ve apparently both been known to rush. It’s apparently not worked for either of us.
“It doesn’t work until it does,” I told him.
And with that, suddenly I felt like the wise, mature and cool one. The awesome I lost when I started to like this guy came back and I was giving relationship advice to the man seven years older than me whom I had spent the last two weeks offering my heart to until he gave it back to me last night with a, “nah, no thanks.”
Suddenly, I was the one consoling him. I had kept my tears to myself, but he kept apologizing, telling me he felt bad. He actually pouted his lip out.
Hey, remember when I telepathically told you it doesn’t help me to know you think I’m awesome? It also doesn’t help me to know you feel bad. I WANT you to feel bad. You DESERVE to feel bad.
He knew my silence was screaming, “get the HELL out of my house.”
There was a hug. I allowed myself to tear up a bit as he held me, rubbed my back a bit.
We pulled away and he stepped out the door.
“I’ll wait for about three weeks for you to realize what a fucking idiot you are, but that’s it.”
“I really want to keep hanging out with you, let’s go hiking, let’s work out together. You never know what might happen.”
Yeah, I do know. You just told me you want nothing to do with me in the way that I want so much to do with you, so I know that NOTHING will happen except maybe you’ll feel better about the whole “being a damaged asshole” thing.
So, there you have it. Instead of the mushy Mush story, the tear-stained Non-Mush story. The story of how I thought I was damaged, realized I was just intuitive and probably became more damaged in the process.
DO all men leave? WILL all men let me down? Where’s the man who will hold me tighter when I feel safe enough to tell him that those are my fears?
suppose hope it’s true what they I say…it doesn’t work until it does.