Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dante Does Relationships

Saturday night, 9:45 p.m.

LT: "What are you doing, this late at night, in your apartment, on a SATURDAY? Shouldn't you be out?

Me: "Oh, I told some fool I'd keep Saturday night open for him, and now of course I'm regretting it, as he has apparently stood me up."

LT: "The girl I was waiting on to call me never called me either."

Me: "Dammit, sorry."

LT: "Screw all that, let's play beer pong!"

Me: "That is a terrible and awesome idea. I'll ping some people and we can get this party started."

About 11 p.m. it becomes clear that either no one is as lame as we are, or everyone who's decided to stay in tonight is already in bed, but we still decide to play beer pong.

And let me just say right now, to everyone reading this post and thinking, in their heads, "NO! Don't do it! That will turn out poorly!" that it actually turned out fine, as beer pong is a little too boring to play much with just two people. We played one game and then just sat and talked, which we desperately needed to do, and it was pretty great.

We both talked about the experiences we've had since breaking up, which was interesting. He's dating a girl that has him tied up in knots, and I dated a guy who put my heart in a blender, although of course I willingly handed over my heart to him to do so. And then built my own blender. But knowing that you walked right into it willingly doesn't help at all when you're actually in the blender and thinking, "I'm in the ninth circle of Hell, how do I get out??"

...huh. I started this post to write about something LT suggested I write about, and now I'm having a hard time getting into it.

Speaking of circles of hell: of course, you don't actually have to be in a budding relationship to willingly enter hell. You can be dating someone for two years and start the downward slope into hell without even realizing it, until you're in about the second circle and you're thinking, how did I get here and where is the exit? Dating the LT, I started my own personal slide about when he got out of the Navy, which could have been more than coincidental (but also may not have been, and FTN in any case) and I didn't realize it until about May, and then it took me an additional two months to climb back out, and I didn't really think about the entire process it until I had to: i.e., until I ruined his car seat.

The LT and I are still carpooling, and last week I rode in the back of his car and ate a piece of cheese with a wax rind, which I then left in the car over the course of the hot day, which melted into the car seat, which I then tried to iron out, which then caused a polyester cloth to melt ALL over his back seat and ruin it. It was a terrible afternoon, made more awful by the fact that I knew that the whole reason--at least, one of the big reasons--that I broke up with the LT was that my self-esteem was slowly shredding away, and here I was, having broken up with him to get away from this, bowing and scraping and grovelling for him to forgive me, over a CAR SEAT. I couldn't stand--absolutely could not stand--the thought that he might think less of me as a person, that I might be less than perfect for him. It's a terrible cycle: I'm a people pleaser, and he's demanding, and so the harder I tried to please him in our relationship, the more annoyed he got. It was awful, having your self-esteem so wrapped up in one person, and of course--like all personal hells--it's not as if he asked me for it or wanted it. I willingly gave him my self-esteem to do with as he liked. I walked right into it.

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