I’m hesitant to post this. Is a little close to home.
I remember how I felt the day one of her cards arrived at the house. It was my birthday and we were making dinner (hashbrown kind of Hamburger Helper). He was home on one of his two-day stints between deployments, before they had mandatory R&R and one year breaks.
It was from the second girl he tried to marry while dating me. She just wanted him to know she was thinking of him.
Yeah, I said “second.”
I walked out of the kitchen and went out into the back yard, to the corner I usually retreated to when my head was screaming. I sat for a long time…
When I went back in, I basically begged him to tell me what made me so different from them. Why choose me when he had two (?) women yearning to be with him. He would feed me a country son (“That was a river, this is the ocean…”) that was too pathetic for even the singer to put full stock in. He would say some line I know he fed to a “her” before me when she was minutes from leaving.
That wasn’t just unique to him. It seems like I’m always right on someone’s heels. I get the recycled lines. The ones that they fed their true love when she was down that always helped her. I can’t help but wonder how many of these recycled lines I was getting.
Over the years, I’ve created this man in my head. My dream guy, so to speak. Unfortunately, he is created out of all the ways I’ve been hurt.
Like when I was a young teen and I dated a 20-something who was married with a kid on the way. No more guys with secrets.
Then I dated a guy who got so drunk he pissed himself in my car. No more drunks.
Then the microfridge throwing guy who proposed in a motorpool. No more bipolar meatheads.
The DJ with wandering eyes, the redneck passive-aggressive, the womanizer, the drug addict, the gaming addict, the pure alcoholic, the still married and hiding me…
I can’t help but feel like maybe I am a little more broken than I pretend to be. I get hurt and mad when someone unintentionally does something. I keep thinking my glass menagire is going to fall apart… that the truth is going to come out and they’re going to be just like everyone else.
Being hid isn’t fun. Neither is holding your breath when they drink more than a beer and completely shutting down when they hit 3. Neither is finding out that they have a parade of ex’s they keep in touch with or (even worse) finding trails of their love when all you wanted was just to look at a piece of them for a minute.
A year or so ago, I thought my perfect someone might be out there somewhere. The guy who knows how to have fun… who can hang out without drinking… who is smart but not arrogant… still has wonder in the world and doesn’t want to just retreat to their hometown… Isn’t afraid to look stupid trying something new. I almost thought I had found him.
Maybe I just need to heal my wounds and learn to trust.