I cried tonight. Which is a shame because really I should be over this shit.
But I saw my ex last night. And I have so much hatred for him inside of me still. He never apologized for so many terrible things he did, yet he expects me to treat him nicely and be cool when he’s around. I’m supposed to let him play beer pong with me, like we’re all good. I’m supposed to let him sit in the same room as me, like he didn’t hurt me repeatedly. I’m supposed to be polite, like he deserves it. When really, I just want to hurl heavy objects at him until he disappears because he is a bad, bad person.
When I got home, I saw that he’d texted me, passing judgement on my life and acting superior to me because he has a girlfriend. He seems to think that I am “desperate” and “sad” because I dance with my friends in bars and those friends happen to be male. I responded with all the nonchalance of drunkenness.
But this morning, when I had to wake up to go into work on my weekend, I was filled with hatred. So I texted an addendum that was biting and mean. And when I was sitting through boring professional development, he and I threw insults back and forth. Trying to hurt each other some more. Because you can never have too much of that.
It’s really quite ironic when he tries to make me jealous of his relationship. I could have a relationship if I so desired… He actually asked me today why I don’t have a boyfriend yet. I didn’t answer him honestly because he doesn’t deserve any answers from me. But the truth of the matter is that he is the reason I don’t have a boyfriend yet. I am so absolutely petrified that it’s going to be the same story. I am so scared of being hurt again. I’ve got all sorts of walls up around me after all his shit. And every time we communicate, the walls go up a little higher. Because fuck all if relationships aren’t just a pair of people trying to get away with as much selfishness as possible, with a chintzy facade of love to justify it all.
Deep breath. The bitterness will pass. Inshaallah.
This weekend my friend and I took the 1.5 hour flight over to the island kingdom of Bahrain because you only inhabit the earth for one lifetime. (Or yoitefol, as the kids are saying these days.) Being a racist American, I sort of just expect that all Gulf countries are the same, but they really aren’t. They’re similar, don’t get me wrong. Bahrain looks like I imagine Dubai looked twenty years ago. Things are mid-construction, it’s not super crowded, the building styles are similar, the roads are similar.
Bahrainis are super nice and laid back though. For example, living in a land of opulent, showy wealth, it was refreshing to find that the taxi drivers aren’t all imported people of significantly lower classes. The taxi drivers were actually Bahrainis. The chance you would ever see an Emirati (or Saudi or Qatari, from what I understand) taxi driver is none.
Taxis were ridiculously expensive though. As was food and drink. Which surprised us. One would think that the more wealthy country (i.e. UAE) would have higher living costs, but that was not the case. It was definitely a drain on my wallet.
To be honest, I could never live there and I don’t particularly think it’s worth the cost to return, but I did genuinely enjoy the people I met there. We met a group of naive British army men who assumed we were also in the army because what other jobs are there? We met a Saudi man who was fantastically liberal and talked politics with me (which is one of my favorite pasttimes with people from other countries.) We met a philosopher professor from Tunisia who assumed that as an American, I would obviously love Derrida. We met an over-the-top gentlemanly Canadian who attempted to speak Arabic to everyone. And we met many, many Bahraini taxi drivers.
In my exhaustingly human way, I am constantly anticipating when I will meet my mate for life, so that I can procreate and contribute to the continuation of our great species. (That statement is only 43% facetious.) When I stumble upon articles such as “5 Steps I Took Before Meeting the Love of my Life,” obviously I want to read it.
This one actually caught me a little unawares when it advised me to imagine being single for the rest of my life though. A life where I do not find The One? A life where I do not have a life companion? A life without a traditional family structure? A life without a forever-lasting, meaningful relationship? A life where I have to grow old by myself?
But the truth of the matter is that at the wee hour of 3am, I had already drunkenly contemplated the single life option. And I’d decided that perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. I’ve been extremely happy for the past month or so, which is largely due to the freedom of being single. Which isn’t to say that my ex was a tyrant, but rather that I naturally considered him when I made my decisions. Which is a restriction I no longer have to work with in terms of imagining my future. I get to plan vacations with more freedom. I can contemplate moving to New Orleans in a few years. I can make long term financial schemes without having to account for possible children.
I love being single, in many regards. But I also love male attention, and I’m not asexual. And I’m not into a million one-night stands with random men. (A few is fine, but a million is just excessive.) So most of the time when I am single, I end up with a fake boyfriend. By which I mean someone that I’m casually hanging out with from time to time while I wait to meet someone more exceptional. We don’t discuss the state of things, we’re just kind of hanging around, sort of seeing each other while I procrastinate “the talk” about our “status” for as long as possible. People really do not enjoy being someone’s fake boyfriend, though, let me tell you…
And that is where we run into problems. And that is why I can’t properly imagine a single-forever life.
And that is perhaps why I will never find the love of my life? What a catch-22.
(Although I guess you could argue that I’m not properly living a single-for-now life. You could argue that single means celibate and sans any male attention. But if you argued that, I’d probably assume that you were unpleasant and antisocial and didn’t come by such a version of single life by choice…)
I urge everyone to go read this op-ed, written by the ruling sheikh of Dubai, about the ISIL situation. It’s something that I can’t imagine any American politician writing. I found it quite refreshing, for reasons I can’t quite pinpoint.
I was going to write a wishlist for my next boyfriend, but the truth of the matter is that my requirements aren’t too crazy. Have more than two friends. Have a job that pays well. Have a car. Know how to read in at least one language. But speak at least two. Don’t live with your mother. Don’t be blonde.
You know, normal requirements.
The other truth of the matter is that it wouldn’t make a difference if I wrote it down or not. It isn’t relative until there’s an option in front of me. And when there is an option, he might fit all the criteria, but then remind me of other little random things that I want. Or more likely, do not want. Like terrible shoes. Or the expectation that I will lead a phone conversation he initiated. Or complaints about my laziness (when really he just hasn’t done anything to merit my effort/attention/interest/what-have-you.)
But he still technically meets the criteria. (Because let’s be real, I totally wrote the wishlist. I’m just not posting it.) So am I just being a picky little bitch, as usual?
And then someone says “You just know it when you see it.” And while I agree in theory, in practice, the last time I just knew it I wasted three years of my fucking life… So before you blame me of over-thinking with my pro/con lists (which I obviously wrote out as well,) remember how terrible my gut is at making choices for me.
I still want to believe that you just know it though. I’m a hold out like that. And it could probably even be argued that I knew it this time. I picked him, in my way.
Or perhaps I’m just not ready, despite telling myself a thousand times that I am…
(My ex congratulated me on my new boyfriend when he saw me out with him. (Despite the fact that he is fully aware that he is not actually my boyfriend.) He insisted that he was happy for me, for real. Which is likely because for hours of our months of breaking up, I insisted that if he really loved me, he would just be happy to see me happy. I’m so sick of reading between his lines. But my new prospect doesn’t really write anything in between the lines….
Add it to the wishlist.)