Peter and I met today at a little pizza house down the street from my office. I kicked off my Calvin Klein pumps for my battered Chucks and walked under rain-heavy clouds, my laptop in my tote. I was immersed in my work and a glass of white wine when he arrived all long legs, lean hips and a shy smile.
He looked worried which kept me rooted to my seat. What was he here to tell me? Were we going to say goodbye? I wasn’t sure what would happen; I have no experience telling people they can’t treat me a certain way.
We made pleasantries and I marveled at his dashing good looks. “So, why did you want to meet besides showing off how pretty you are?” I said breaking the ice, smiling slyly.
He made a coiffing motion with his hand and smiled back, laughing.
He explained the circumstances that prevented him from coming over Sunday and apologized again for hurting me. “You deserve to hear from me in person and not over text,” he said. He’s disoriented and lost since ending his relationship last month and he’s been couch surfing. He’s also somehow already gotten entangled with another woman who wants him to move in with her. He looked hurt as he told me.
“I don’t want to repeat my past,” he said. “But she seems to think we’re a thing and it’s not what I want.” I did a little probing and discovered she’s a woman I noticed on his Instagram despite no social media trail I could see. (“I’m psychic,” I told him.)
“Get out, Peter, you can’t keep staying there with her. You don’t seem to realize your effect on women. You are so pretty and so kind and so sweet and we are all so horribly treated that just the most minimal humanity shown us is seen as interest or intention to commit. You need to be sensitive to this about you and be responsible for it. Get the fuck out of there before you hurt her.”
“This is why I love talking to you,” he said. “You’re so mature and respectful and straight forward. I believe everything you say.”
“We’ve known each other for years now and I care about you. C’mere.” I moved my purse and patted the seat next to me. He moved closer and we embraced. I nibbled on his lips and he stroked my hair and back.
I told him about The Golfer and The Vet and how his flakiness has been coinciding with their whatever; I wanted to show him what a woman typically deals with.
“All my friends who date experience similar things: men are fucking awful to us. Please, you can stay with me when Pey is gone, sleep on that bed, you don’t have to share mine. We’ll get high and watch cooking shows and I’ll play with your penis.” I pulled him down to my lips again as I laughed. “It’ll be like a slumber party!”
He laughed into my kiss. “Thank you, and I may…” he hesitated. “It’s just I’m never jealous of you and all the men you go out with, but I’m jealous of her.”
“That’s your gut telling you to get the fuck out. You have got to end it now before you hurt her more. Look at these men I’ve been dealing with: yeah, it hasn’t been awesome for me, but they’re being honest and setting boundaries. They’re not interested in a relationship with me and they’re being very clear; I’m free to leave if I wish. You need boundaries.
“I was in a 3-year long relationship with someone who loved all I offered him, but didn’t really want me and it was devastating. Don’t do that.”
“I heard that “you teach people how to treat you,'” he replied.
“Yes, exactly. That’s why I called you out yesterday for hurting me and why I called The Golfer out for ignoring me for 3 weeks. If I decide to accept less than I deserve or want it’s on me, but I have to set the boundaries. We all do.”
I don’t know why, but I feel like it’s a losing campaign with Peter. He’s catnip to women and he doesn’t know how to be on his own. I don’t know why I care, but I do. I just really don’t want to see him ‘shipped up so soon.
I also feel something – that this one-month chick is being so damn nutty and capturing his attention and being rewarded – What about me?? Why is her fucking ridiculous behavior attractive?? Am I chopped liver? It kinda sorta feels like it. I’m in the Sex Silo, but not the Girlfriend one. Maybe if I were clingy and inappropriate I’d have a boyfriend by now, maybe Peter would want me – except I don’t want Peter, he lies. It’s all so fucking fucked up. I’m fucked up.
I “taught him” not to treat me like that and I was rewarded with a warm smile and a kiss of friendship. It wasn’t half bad. And hopefully I’ve spared some idiot chick years worth of heartache loving a man who was “too nice” to hurt her to her face and instead cheats on her for relief behind her back.
I paid for my glass of wine and he walked me out. A line of cars on the street waited for the light to turn green as we kissed on the sidewalk in front of them; I cupped his buns and pulled him closer and we smiled into our kiss at the little show we were giving. I walked back to my office and the clouds let loose little kisses of rain along the way.
I’ll see Peter again soon.