Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Crimes of the Heart

It occurred to me this afternoon, as I was feeling all bouncy and clear-headed after 90 minutes of sweating my arse off at Bikram yoga, that for all the bitching and moaning I do about the men who've treated me badly--and lord knows there've been a few--bemoaning my fate and wondering what, precisely, I'd done to deserve such treatment, well... Perhaps, just perhaps, I myself have not always done right by the opposite sex. Which brings me to my first blog entry in ages:

Open Apologies to Guys I've Treated Poorly.

* * *
I cheated on a guy. Once. In the 9th grade. I only started dating him at my friends' encouragement. It was a chilly night at a football game, high school hormones were running high, and, in all honesty, I liked the idea of having a boyfriend better than the idea of not having one. Never mind that, aside from the passing notion that he was kind of cute, I had no interest in this guy. Or that I was already set to go to Homecoming with a guy I actually did like, and who obviously liked me or he wouldn't have asked me. But I was still theoretically "single," and so gratified that somebody, anybody wanted me to be his girlfriend, that when he asked, it only took a minimal amount of encouragement from my gathered girlfriends to say "yes."

When I think about it, this is probably worse than the fact that, less than a month later, I made out with another guy. I did try to break up with my nominal-boyfriend first, but he wasn't home when I called. Also not an excuse.

True, I do believe I got my comeuppance a thousandfold when, little more than a year later, the guy who took my virginity cheated on me by sleeping with his ex less than a week after said virginity was lost. Ouch. But this example of karmic retribution in no way excuses my behavior.

So, to the guy I only dated to boost my own self-esteem and then proceeded to cheat on--which you found out about via the rumor mill that decided we'd apparently had sex on his kitchen counter (not true), I'm sorry. You didn't deserve that.

* * *
Though I was unaware of it at the time, I used to be completely and utterly terrified of commitment, likely because the last person to whom I'd been truly committed had used my devotion to wreak havoc on my general well-being. (See virginity story, above. I stayed with him for 3 years after that. Yeeeeah... I know.)

When I first moved to NYC I worked with a guy who was my age, a year or two older at most, and had a son. I respected his taking responsibility for a child that had been the result of a one night stand with an ex. More than taking responsibility, he was a doting father. He was, put simply, a good guy, and I told him as much during a few drunken evenings after work.

We flirted, kissed chastely a few times, and essentially brought the situation to a point where he was very clearly interested in me, and I had shown myself to be interested in him. And then...

... I fucking panicked.

This guy had a kid! I was only 22, and in no way ready to be a mom! What the hell was I doing? I didn't want to get locked into a relationship that came with that sort of drama, etc, etc...

Worse than my panic, however, was my complete and total inability to go to this guy and say "Look, you're great, but I don't think we should date..." Instead, I avoided his phone calls and suggestions that we hang out until my best friend, who also worked with us, got sick of the whole thing and told him I wasn't interested.


So, to the nice guy I couldn't let down easy: Sorry you had to hear it from someone else. That was really shitty.

And to the best friend who unwillingly did my dirty work for me: Sorry. You were right to be pissed at me. Sometimes, I kinda suck.

* * *
At the same place I worked with another guy on whom I had an ENORMOUS crush. He was a sweet rasta boy who used to sing to me while we broke down at the end of the night, and gave me a GIANT teddy bear for Valentine's Day.

When he finally asked me out, I, like a moron, said No. After the behavior outlined above, I was convinced that this nice, sweet guy was too good for me, and that I would only hurt him. I told him as much, and, like the sweet guy he was, he let it go.

To you, sweet, sexy, rastafarian boy, I'm sorry. This one is definitely my loss.

* * *
Several years ago I knew a guy. We hung out in the same bar, I always thought he was cute and had a bit of a crush on him, and one day, I'm not sure how, we ended up on a date.

Theoretically the date went well, but I couldn't stop focusing on little things that were turning me off. Dark spots on a few of his teeth were all I can now remember. Then I got stoned and made out with him anyway.

The situation descended rapidly into awkwardness as I couldn't find a way to reconcile my behavior (making out with him in my kitchen), with my complete lack of desire to date him (dark spots! dark spots!). It seems that once I had what I thought I wanted, I didn't want it anymore... so I fell back into bad habits and just hoped that if I ignored the situation, it would go away.

And it did, but not without my feeling like a total bitch.

So, to you, guy who probably has NO idea what happened there, I'm sorry. Hope you've found yourself someone less shallow than I, apparently, can be.

* * *
And there you have it. I'm not sure what I meant to accomplish by this post. Certainly not to paint myself as a horrible person, I don't think that, at least, not often... but we all make mistakes. Some little, some big, we all make them, and we all occassionally hurt people while navigating the unpredictable waters of interpersonal relationships.

There are likely people I've forgotten in writing these little notes, and likely still more people that I've hurt without even realizing it. So, to all of you who've been hurt by something I've done, I'm sorry.

And to those who've hurt me? Well, I'm not going to say that you're all forgiven, because many of you damned well aren't... but at the very least I can say that I understand. Nobody's perfect.

Certainly not me.


Lpeg said...

I like this, and if you don't mind, might do a post of my own!

I think we've all done very stupid things that we regret.

Jude said...

I used to follow your blog, you remind me of myself and you have a fantastic way with words which makes reading your posts very enjoyable. What happened to your blog?

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