Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I guess some things were meant to be...

Tonight, while minding my own business, I received a notification that I had a FB friend request from someone from a past life - college days to be exact. I accepted the request for two reasons - one, we had been so close at one point in our lives it just seemed rude not to and two, to be completely honest, curiosity got the best of me. About him and our "mutual acquaintances."

For anyone that knew me in college, I'm sorry. I'll start with that. My sincere apologies. I was a certified a$$hole. Had there been a salary cap on being the biggest a$$ in all of Northern Virginia, I'd probably have maxed out and still negotiated more on my contract. Aside from losing whatever meager softball career I had left, I dated a jerk. Oftentimes I think about why I'm still single at 29. I'm not saying it's a bad thing or my life is ruined because I'm single, but I think back to all the things that got me to where I am, relationship-wise. I think back to where my trust issues stem from and I'm taken back to the days where he was in my life.

For anyone I've ever dated, I'm sorry. Something else I need to get out of the way. I know I haven't been the easiest person to date. Somehow that's probably in the running for understatement of the year, but I'm sorry and congrats for making it out alive.

My relationship resume probably looks a little like this: I'm pretty sure I doubted every word out of your mouth, thought you were lying about everything under the sun including the color of the sky, thought you were cheating on me with your ex-girlfriend or that skank you met at the bar, didn't believe you when you said your pager ran out of batteries, and worse. There's a reason for that - the first guy I ever really loved (in an adult, I think I can marry you and probably wouldn't abort our baby if we were ever dumb enough to get to that point) did all of that to me. And more. Much more. So needless to say, I'm not so trusting with guys. And it's not just that - I tend to get fixated on an issue and have an impossible time moving past it, and it's definitely hindered more than a few relationships from getting to the next level.

Before you get all crazy on the comments here, I get it - everyone has baggage. Once you reach your late twenties/early thirties, baggage is a prevailing part of the relationshipquation. That's not to say your suitors will all have baby mamas or prenups in the works, but emotional baggage is just as damning, I can assure you.

So back to my distressed and sorrowful college days with this guy. I was a disaster. That was probably when I first developed insomnia. There would be nights he wouldn't come home (while I was asleep in his twin bed upstairs in his parent's house while his little brother slept on the floor beside me, as weird as that may be), there'd be nights he would pocket dial me and I could hear things in the background. There'd be days he'd disappear and no one knew where he was. Not his job, not his family, and certainly not me, "the love of his life". So I'd stay up all night checking my Nokia razor flip phone incessantly waiting for his call. More than a few times this call ended up coming from the police station. I made myself sick waiting up to make sure he was OK. To make sure he was still alive. That he still loved me. That he didn't F.U.C.K another chick. His ex-girlfriend to be exact.

Aside from his lies, his extreme binge drinking (even for a college kid), bouts with drugs, financial struggles, and other problems, there was another constant problem in our relationship - his highschool sweetheart. After a year into our relationship, he transferred to a community college outside Virginia Tech, so we were forced to do long distance. If only I had listened to every single adult that long distance while in college was dumber than marrying Kim Kardashian on E!, this may not be an issue. But I didn't listen. So re-cue all those same alcohol, drug and lying problems, but add into the mix that I was now 4.5 hours away from my unstable boyfriend and his highschool sweetheart was just a mere 15 minutes away at a neighboring college.

I remember skipping some of the biggest sorority parties to either drive up and visit him or sit and talk to him on the phone (or more like wait for sporadic voicemails from him during his fraternity parties where the phone would always cut off as soon as I heard a girl's voice). I remember crying my eyes out because he didn't call for 3 days. His AOL Instant Messenger would change from idle yet he wouldn't respond to my messages. For days. Upon days. I'd have no clue if he was dead or alive, with or without herpes.

And then the phone calls started coming and the dirty away messages (you remember away messages on AIM, right?). His ex and I were in full-on he's mine bitch mode. (Seriously, watch that video as a short interlude.)

Whether she'll admit it or not, I'm finally adult enough to admit we were terrible to each other. Full on stalker mode. She left messages for my friends, and me hers. It became almost obsessive to destroy her than it did to mend my fleeting relationship with this guy. After basically foregoing any enjoyment my last two years in college because I was so upset and consumed with this misery, one day it all became crystal clear. He was in fact cheating on me. He had in fact turned two girls that had never met into two of the biggest enemies on the planet. You thought Robin Ventura and Nolan Ryan had a blood bath? You hadn't seen anything. I moved out from his parent's house (because yes girls, you can get cheated on even if you live with him and his parents) and wrestled with how to move on (which is what led me to move to Miami on a whim, but that's a different story). I was heartbroken and had trusted this guy who swore over and over and over that he loved me and he would never cheat on me. And to find out that every single gut instinct I had wasn't just a nightmare, but reality?

Every once in a while, I still battle with the what if questions. What if I had dated someone who truly loved me unconditionally and respected me during those primitive years? What if the moment I didn't trust him, I left instead of sitting through the pain? What if I had just told his so-called sweetheart she could have him? What if I was a better girlfriend and he never would have thought to cheat on me? What if I didn't quit my sorority because I had a controlling boyfriend?

Anyways, if I have any reader's left after this lengthy onslaught, let me get back to my actual point... The friend request brought all these thoughts and memories back. And low and behold while all this is swirling around in my head, I notice a photo of HER in a wedding gown.

And guess who the groom was?


Sunday, November 20, 2011

there's never a promise of a next date...

All dating analogies and horror stories aside, this is a rather serious post. Recently, I went on a few dates with this guy I had just met (two dates to be exact). I'm not sure if there was any potential for a love connection, but he was definitely a sweet guy that seemed to enjoy or at least put up with my snarky comments and he was fun to be around.

A few days ago he sent me a text asking for another date. I know - a text asking me on a date. But given my disdain for talking on the phone and our mutual hectic schedules, it was fine by me. I hadn't played my cards right in any of my last date-ships (because I certainly can't call them relationships as they ended just as quickly as they started), I thought I'd take a more casual approach and wait until the next day to respond. You know, give him a little time to wonder what I was up to and if I was interested. Except the next day was too late. Literally.

I responded to his text a mere 15.5 hours later (which in my world is forever) and was met with a phone call in return. I answered with a snide response something to the effect of how he must have missed my voice already but was caught off guard when I heard a woman's broken voice on the other end. She started by saying she was sorry to have called instead of text, but she wasn't sure how to tell me over text. We both quickly realized she wasn't sure how to tell me over the phone either. But she now had possession over her son's phone. He had died the night before in a car accident.

I was stunned. Partly because I didn't know the feelings inside my own heart and head, but also because I didn't know how to handle being on the phone with this loving and distraught mother. She sounded like she was still in shock and just wanted to know who I was and how we met. She wanted to know if he treated me like the gentleman he was raised to be. Every second of that seventeen minute conversation broke my heart and still replays in my head. His mother was desperately trying to hold onto some of the last moments of her late son's life.

Today is his funeral, which she kindly asked if I'd attend. I don't know what frightens me more - the fact I'll be surrounded by people that got to know him - something I will never have the chance of doing myself or just how close this hits home.

What if
this was my boyfriend, or my husband, or my bestfriend? What if I hadn't made time to return my mother's phone call or respond to my bestfriend's text message? What if the last chance I'd ever have to respond to someone was taken away in an instant and I never got the chance to say yes to a date or tell someone I loved them?

For the past few days my head has been inundated with these types of questions all starting the exact same way: what if?

I just pray that in his last moments, he left this earth a happy man. Knowing that his friends and family loved him and knowing there was a girl sitting on her couch next to her chihuahua ready to say yes. I pray that his friends and family find comfort and have no regrets. And most of all, I pray that each and every one of us remembers to tell our friends and family how much we love them on a daily basis, for you never know when it'll be the last chance you have to say anything.