Dec 5, 2009

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

This is hard. I saw my ex, BA, last night for the first time since we broke up in June. I've been expecting to run into her for the last 6 months 'cause this is a pretty small town. Even though I've walked my dog past the building where she works numerous times, semi-hoping to run into her, and yet being afraid I WOULD run into her, it hasn't happened.

Well, last night that all changed during First Night while out with my buddy D. Every month that I go do First Night, I keep expecting to run into BA because she LOVES art and theater and jewelry and basically all the things First Night is about. Before I met up with D to do the gallery crawl, I'd wondered yet again about running into BA, but immediately dismissed it as a possibility.

The Meeting
D and I didn't even end up going to any galleries like we had planned. Instead of being mobile like people tend to be on First Night, all we did was sit in a coffee shop and talk for 3 hours. The weird thing is that hiding out in a coffee shop significantly decreases the odds that you're going to run into any given person. And yet after about 2 hours, in walks BA, alone, to warm up and look at the newspaper.

I felt a shock and an electric charge go through me. Finally, there she was! After all this time, when I least expected it! She didn't see me, even though D and I were sitting near the door. Should I go over and say hi, or ignore her and hope she leaves quickly? After 10 or 15 seconds of automatic "checking in" with myself while ignoring D and staring at BA, I decided to go over and say hi. It felt like the right time and like I was in the right space and ready for it.

She looked great. BA is a beautiful, athletic blonde girl with long curly hair and blue eyes. I walked up behind her and said something like, "Gee, I didn't expect to see you here," or some such brilliant opening statement. She turned around, and crowed upon seeing me, "Oh my God, I can't believe it! It's you! You look so good! What have you done to your hair, it looks so groovy!" She then went on about how I looked like a cool European artist or something, and complimented me on my clothes and hair (it's a lot longer than the last time she saw me), along with noticing my new glasses. It felt really good to get complimented by a pretty girl, especially her, as I spent the whole year and a half that we dated trying to win her love and approval and be what I thought she wanted me to be.

The Aftermath
We chatted for a few minutes, which was very enjoyable and fun. It was great to see her because I still care about her very much, plus I was getting a nice little rush from all the compliments. Then I started to feel weird, like I was getting sucked back into the head space I had when we were dating, trying to please her all the time and win her affection and be "good enough" for her. I started to be aware of needing to set a boundary of not getting too close. She suggested we go walk around and catch the last bit of First Night, but I said I needed to get back to hanging with D and that maybe we could do something the next afternoon. Since BA is a radio producer, I suggested I help her set up to record the local symphony, something I had done regularly while we were going out. She agreed and we made plans to talk the next morning. We said our goodbyes and she left.

After I went back to the table to sit with D, I was on cloud nine. A pretty girl, my ex no less, who I'd been missing and longing after for 6 months, had paid attention to me and said nice things about me. She was clearly glad to see me and wanted to hang out. I'm really trying to work on NOT depending on female attention to feel good about myself, but I have to admit it did feel good, and that for the next hour D and I hung out and talked, I felt more energy, self-confidence, wittier, better looking, and much less depressed. I had been dreading going out but was forcing myself to do it so I wouldn't feel so isolated.

What a success! I rule! It had all turned out just

  • Fucked up
  • Insecure
  • Neurotic
  • Emotional

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