Like Donkey Kong

Remember my post from yesterday? OMG, that was such a long time ago, my friends. How do I write this. I try to keep this blog fairly family-friendly–ish… I mean, in a dysfunctional, f-bomb, keeping-it-real family-friendly way, so I want to keep this all G-rated, or at least PG-13.

Let me just tell you this: It is ON.

Ladies. Gentlemen. Everyone else. I think you know what I mean.

Let me just lay it down for you like this: Ella got her groove back.

Here’s how it went down. Mark got all upset with me because I’d forgotten to mention a couple of previous partners when discussing our sexual history–the details or numbers of which, btw, are none of his business, but which I’d brought up partly because my ex Steven had made a big deal out of promiscuity and shaming women who’d had multiple partners, and I want to be upfront with any guy in the future that I’m not a virgin yet I’m also not on Tinder hooking up with random dudes all the time. I’m a human being and a grown-ass woman with needs just like you, Mister, and I will not be shamed for having made some drunken, embarrassing mistakes in the past, nor will I be shamed for having a friend with benefits after my divorce (or at any time, for that matter).

When Mark got upset, that told me one of two things. Either dude likes me and feels jealous, or he’s a germophobe and a shamer-blamer like Steven. I felt pretty sure it was the former, but just in case it was the latter, I decided good riddance because I don’t need that in my life. We’re not in high school anymore and I don’t need some grown man in his 40s acting like I’m a bad girl because I had a one-night-stand. I decided that if Mark was going to make a big deal out of this and not talk to me, I would move on, because no way will I be ignored or judged like that.

When I was in high school I dated a boy who was crazy about me. I was not that crazy about him but thought he was fun and funny so I dated him. Same kind of situation with my first husband, except I thought he was stable and not really that fun or funny. In both cases I had them wrapped around my finger because I really did not care if they stayed or left. It was manipulative and controlling on my part, and not fair to them. But let me tell you: they loved it. They just kept coming back for more. Steven did the same to me, and it hurt so badly to be on the other side. It’s such a cruel way to treat someone.

So I felt like I was reverting to my old self when I decided not to contact Mark again after he got upset, because I had apologized (profusely and earnestly, btw), and I sensed he was holding a grudge. It felt like Steven all over again, a situation in which I’d made a mistake, and he got his feelings hurt, and I’d spend the next day or week or however long with a knot in my stomach unable to sleep or eat because I’d “ruined the whole relationship” by saying the “wrong thing.”

When I came into AA I learned that the way I’d treated men with mind games like that was not cool, not a spiritual way of living, that it’s best to be honest and upfront, genuine, and don’t withhold your love. Somewhere along the way for me that got blurred with not setting proper boundaries. It’s one thing to say or do something in order to try to manipulate someone into doing what you want, and it’s another to say this is not okay to treat me like this, and I have no problem walking away if this is how it’s going to be. I’d apologized and now the ball was in his court. If he didn’t accept my apology for this minor detail that I wasn’t even required to offer him anyway, which I’d offered of my own volition, well then I’ll be on my way, sir.

And I did have a problem walking away, because the chemistry is beyond galactic, and we haven’t even kissed yet. But I meditated, prayed, went to the gym, texted with friends, colored my hair, repeated the third step prayer in my head throughout the day, and basically did everything I could to distract myself and try to think of everything but him (or studying, which is what I should’ve spent the whole day doing yesterday). Finally I went back on Match and started emailing and “liking” other guys at the advice of my guy friend Spencer, who is a bad influence. I was like, I feel like I should not do that, Spencer. I should be doing something else, like I dunno reading the Bible or something. To get on Match is just trading one drug for another, and what I really should do is just cancel my subscription and focus on school, friends, myself. God. And I only went on Match for about half an hour because, tbh, it was boring me to be on there.

My therapist had actually suggested something similar before, and another friend also texted me that the best way to get over a guy is to get under another. I’d like to go on the record for saying I think—or thought?—this was all terrible advice, and it seemed to me it’s just avoiding the real issue, which is that I’ve got to get right with me, to be okay with me, and not look to external things or people to make me feel better about myself.

But I have to admit.

It worked.

It didn’t completely keep my mind off the situation, and it did get boring after a few, but it helped me to remember that there are so many other fish in the sea who I can have chemistry with, and I barely know this guy. He is not the last man on earth. Okay so maybe he is six foot six and I try not to think of how big his hands are. But this is just lust. Infatuation. And like I said before, big hands are not a requirement. But it felt good to know I had lots of likes, winks, and emails from other men just as or more interested in me. Don’t give your power away, my guy friend had told me. Make him wait. Do not grovel. Amen to that, brother.

Spencer made a bet with me that he’d contact me again though I felt sure he was gone forever like how I always felt with Steven, and my abandonment issues were in high gear. I braced myself, decided who needs him anyway, though I did start to let go a little bit. These guys are interchangeable, my CODA sponsor had told me before, and I’d thought, Wow, that’s a jaded view. But what I think she means is that there’s no such thing as The One, the fairy tale romance, knight-in-shining-armor who does everything you want all the time, not anymore than there’s any person who does what you want all the time. If there was only One then what happens when dude dies or if he leaves you?

Sure enough, Mark texted me around 3pm. It may have helped that I’d already told him the day before, when we were talking about dealbreakers, that I will not be with someone who ignores me, that if I don’t hear from the guy for a day or so without any explanation I assume he’s no longer interested and I will not go after him. He’d basically said yes ma’am to that, so I figured time and his actions would reveal the truth.

And sure enough.

He came back.

He says he’s interested in me, hopes this will develop into something more, plans to keep me warm this winter, etc. Oh you will, Mister.

But at the same time, we’ll see about that. Because this girl is not hanging around waiting for someone to decide when and if they want me or not, ie, that today you hope this will develop into something more but tomorrow you have no time or space for me, nor will I be hanging out with someone just to have someone around.

And that’s all I got to say about that.

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