He was another Army guy. His profile picture didn’t give much away. He leaned confidently on a guard rail with a range of mountains extending behind him, jagged, rocky, and an ugly shade of tan. His eyes were covered by dark glass. His relationship status was set to “It’s Complicated.” How complicated can it be? Either you’re dedicated or you’re not.
The message he sent was short. Not really implying that he hoped for long conversations, just a simple question. Answering it would just instigate another response from him. Do I even want a response? Shouldn’t “It’s Complicated” be more concerned with making things uncomplicated than browsing women in social networks?
I push “reply.” Dear “It’s Complicated”, What’s complicated? The fact that you can’t commit? The fact that you would rather surf the internet for a replacement than try to fix what’s wrong in your own relationship? Breathe. Don’t yell at the man because of his status. He just asked if the picture was taken on the Outer Banks, not if you wanted dinner tomorrow night.
The red “x” is glowing in the upper right-hand corner. His question is outlined in black and white, his picture is a small version of itself where his name would normally be. My picture is below it with a huge empty box and blinking cursor. One click and I don’t have to worry about it. Just one click and I don’t have to think about whoever is making it complicated. I can make a choice not to do to what was done to me.
A few days later I receive another email. He’s deployed and homesick. He made an offer of conversation. I look over his profile again. No suggestive comments, no pictures cuddled up to random girls. Just a boy, his friends, and their toys. I go back to his email and hit “reply.”
My picture is in the Outer Banks. I drove myself there the day he told me he wanted a divorce. For every bad thing that happens in my life, I always find myself next to the sea sorting out my next step. I did it when my first love found his first love. I did it when my parents died. I did it when my husband found his second wife.
My response was short. There isn’t much you can say without making yourself sound crazy. I laugh as I go through the potential opening lines in my head. Fancy meeting you here. What are you in for?
I hit send before I have a chance to think about what I said and the sanity of it. But why was I so nervous?