July 28, 2009

Say What, Say Huh?

Last week, I received an email from an ex. The subject line read: "Just Hear Me".

I opened the email to find the following message:

"You are a truly beautiful and amazing woman! I was thinking about you and looking at some of your pictures and recalling the moments we have spent together. Thank you for have enriching my life. You are truly amazing…"

Ordinarily, this would have delivered a nice confidence boost, making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. However, I was left with a screwed up face, wondering what the he!! he had been smoking. Because...

He sent another email, about 20 minutes later, that told me he and his wife had filed for divorce, that he was planning his future and wondering if we could revisit our past relationship. He'll be in town in September and wants to meet.

I have not seen this man in 7 years. Yes...7. S-E-V-E-N. We dated in 2000, maybe 2001, for a few months. He proposed then and I, nowhere near the 'love' stage had to *politely* decline. We reconnected via LinkedIn (damn social networks) earlier this year and, since then, I've been getting long missives that describe his feelings for me and how much he misses me.

Here's what I think:

This guy believes me to be a simp who will gobble up all the compliments and readily open my legs for him when he comes to town.


He is unhappy where his life is headed and is thinking back to a more "innocent" time, where he didn't have to deal with the realities of a real job, a family and a failed marriage.

I am going with Option 2.

You see, women do this a lot: cling to old memories because it reminds them of a time when they felt young or hot or both. Some of woman kind makes up ish in their heads, all because they want a better/different life. But you rarely get to witness men in this state.

It's interesting, to say the least.

What is it about life - real life - that makes us create some alternate world where we think we can just pick up with a former flame - one who turned down your proposal(!) - we haven't seen in seven years?

Is the reality of being a grown up - mortgages/rent, bills, family obligations, etc. - so overwhelming that we have to dive head first into a fantasy world? Doesn't creating this fantasy make life that much harder? I mean, won't living in dreamland only make you more frustrated that things aren't working out the way you envisioned them?

You tell me.

In case you were keeping score: Men lost this round, too.


Nicki Sunshine said...

WOW. Seven years???!!!

I agree with you, "cling to old memories because it reminds them of a time when they felt young or hot or both. "

for I've been there..not necessarily for those reasons, but I've been guilty of wondering what if and acting on it. I think LONELINESS has a key in that.

It's idiotic because people change.

Luvvie said...

Men are sooo losing the battles to the kitties. WOMP.

And he is on some other if he thinks u'd pick up where u left off 7 years ago. GROWTH much?

Lite Bread said...

“You tell me”

Hummmmm …
Wonder how long this comment section is? Will it cut me off like Luvvie’s, lol? ‘Cause, Girl, you just asked the $1,000,000 Question.

About said “man”. Both option 1 and 2 will apply. Option 1 is hoped for, option 2 the emotional background to it all. He couldn’t/wouldn’t hold to his previous “heartfelt” commitments, why’d he do it for anyone else?

See V. dot, you just right on the cusp of it. The very edge. Of that time when all the illusions, delusions and bankrupt ideas of the past crash onto the realities of life.
I’ve noticed people choose two paths here.

A few of us face it, straight on and unblinking. Decide what we really are going to get out of a usually ‘less than you ever planned for’ life and come to grips with it. And work to still have a satisfying existence.

Most though end up running from the stark reality of it all. You watch them cycle out partner after partner, looking for that illusion (and always thinking it’s the other person making them unhappy). Some go on the ‘I ain’t never growin’ up’ train, singin’ Rick James and Eddie Murphy’s “Party All the Time”, acting like they are 25 forever (and refusing the hard responsibilities of adult life). Or they do as you mentioned above, about the guy, daydreaming away the realities of life by trying to live in that make-believe world of youth, this time singin’ Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Years”. Some even just give up; you see them slide away, as they no longer put out the effort to care for themselves (or others) spiritually, emotionally or physically. They were “done” at 37 and just took a long time to finally die.

As an aside here, 35 – 36 also appears to be the “magic” years for when an African/American woman might seriously begin thinking about the possibility of the (dreaded) “Interracial” (should I be real here and just say it - “White Man”, lol). All the disappointments and stripped illusions of what’s really available and its quality, coupled with the realization she ain’t getting any younger and would really like (this time) a permanent (can I actually say “marriage”?!) relationship.

You got a lot going on, on the inside, V.dot?

(Note: I mean nothing hurtful or snide by anything I just typed. Really. I mean that)

V dot said...

@ Lite Bread:

First off: I am not 35 or 36, fool. I'm not yet 34. lol. But I do agree with you: some black women hit their late 30s and start exploring 'other' options. I can't blame 'em but, because I am not pressed to get hitched, I don't think (never say never) that will be me.

Secondly: I like your take on the whole thing and this - "Some even just give up; you see them slide away, as they no longer put out the effort to care for themselves (or others) spiritually, emotionally or physically. They were “done” at 37 and just took a long time to finally die." - is so true. I have some friends currently in this place. So sad.

BlkBond said...

This guy (SMH). I agree with you assessment of option 1 and 2. One, I believe he threw that out there in a state of desperation to gauge where you are in your life. In regard to option two, he is delusional. I get those ridiculous calls often. In my mind I'm like, "girl we were 17, move on already". Crazy. I think people do have a problem growing up. It seems to be our generation X/Y (27-35 crowd). I think that's why I see so many kids who can ricky bobby (dance) but can't tell me who invented the cotton gin (knowledge). We have got to get it together, start being honest with ourselves about what we really want-in relationship, career wise, and life in general. Otherwise, it just looks foolish.

Bond. BlkBond.

Lite Bread said...

LOL! Call me a fool, lol! OK.
But I wasn’t referring to you in specific with the age reference. That’s just a general mark. Not tryin’ to age you too fast, lol.
The “other option”, again, wasn’t mentioned with you in mind, but as a point of reference on how much can change in a woman in that maturing span from late 20’s to the later 30’s. Lots of things they never, ever thought they’d look at in a certain way now look markedly different. So, don’t be surprised in yourself if, in a few years, you look very differently at any number of issues, the “other option” totally aside.
And sorry about your friends too. I don’t understand giving up …

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