I know I’ve said I’ve cleared things out of my life before, but I’ll be the first to admit I never really did. I’d always have some hanger-on, some dude whose bad manners and nice dick lingered on the peripheries of my consciousness, but this time I have truly swept it all away.
I officially ended things with Peter yesterday. After he ignored a bid of mine to connect and discuss things between us I decided I needed to pull the trigger.
Hey there. I didn’t want to write this, but I’m not sure what else to do with you since you don’t seem to want to talk to me. So I’m just gonna call it and say thank you and goodbye.
I wish you the absolute best, always, and I’ll be happy to hear from you one day when your time is your own and we don’t have to rush or sneak around.
Take care, sweet Peter. Thanks for being kind to me. I’m sorry it had to end. x
Fuck, that hurts but I also totally get it. I’ve been very Reckless with your feelings and it was never my intention to hurt you. You’ve been a true champion to deal with me and I sincerely apologize. I will always wish the best for you and yours and I’m sorry it had to end too. Take care, sweetheart. Never forget how amazing you are
I cried when I read his message. I’m not amazing enough for him.
And then I got mad.
I got mad that he couldn’t have been respectful and mature and told me he was in a new serious relationship with that new woman, mad that he’d flaked on me 5 out of the last 6 times we tried to get together, mad that he glossed over me.
I also ended things with a young man who sat too close to me all night and argued with me about non-monogamy, then showed up to our second date a wasted version of himself because he’d blown his wad doing something else before we met. When I eventually lost patience with his toddler-about-to-pass-out-in-his-spaghetti-bowl attitude and called him on it he seemed to lose patience with me. Several days later I called it with him, too:
Hey there – so, I’d like to thank you for the drinks and for dinner, but also put a bow on this. I’m just really not into dating anyone right now. I’ll say Hi if I see you down on the river, though ?
Sure no prob.
Even his response was lackluster.
I said a polite goodbye to the dad who emanated dad-vibes and grilled me about my shitty relationship with my ex:
Hey Dad-Vibe Guy, I’m so sorry for being an asshole and not responding to your nice note sooner. The truth is, my heart is just not into dating right now. I had fun, too though, and thanks for the adult grilled cheese ?
Appreciate the note. Best of luck to you.
And lastly, I tied it up with a potential sub whose conversational skills were severely lacking which I’d gently pointed out to him at dinner, as was his sex appeal (no, I didn’t point that out):
Hey thanks again:) I had such a great time chatting with you. Sorry I didn’t have more questions for you! I hope you didn’t take it as a lack of interest.
You’re welcome! And really, it was my pleasure :)
I didn’t take it as a lack of interest, per se, but more of a lack of effort.You’re very chatty and curious about me via text. I didn’t feel much curiosity about me from you and I was looking/hoping for that. I can talk to anyone and carry any conversation, so I didn’t want that to skew things bn us.
I still don’t feel like I have a good read on you. I can be very disarming and seductive and lose sight of being seduced myself. That’s why I mentioned the questions of me – or lack there of. I’m actually paying attention to what’s going on lol
*bc I take this stuff seriously
It’s about more than just getting laid after all ?? lol
Oh sorry – I forgot the ?
Haha! Gotta get all the necessary elements in there
I totally hear you, and that makes sense. I do find myself more chatty and open via texting than in person, at least at first meeting. But I do open up more.
I think also my sense of someone and our connection comes more from just “hanging out” rather than any interview-style questioning
I feel like I get to know someone better that way. But I can totally see how it would come across as a lack of effort!
You were definitely disarming, easy to talk to, fun to be around
And very pretty
Haha thanks ??♀️
[The next morning:]
Hope you slept well:) I definitely did after that meal and glass of wine!
Your text woke me up haha
I have my phone set to sleep until 7 am but I forgot to mute it.Oops
Oh no, I’m so sorry!!!
No it’s ok!It was my fault for not turning my ringer off
But I was slow to wake up which is why I didn’t text back right away
Sure, that totally makes sense:)
What are you up to today?
[Some small talk, then two days later:]
How’s it goin?
Hey!! Thanks for the text:) just out at the creek right now getting some sun. How’s your Monday so far?
So far, so good.Just wanted to be transparent with you that I’m not sure we have the kind of connection I‘m looking for based off our one date.I can usually tell these things, but I don’t want to be rash about it either.What are your thoughts?
I gotcha! No worries, I kinda got that vibe from you. It’s okay.
I’m glad we met and at least tried
Agreed.Best of luck to you :)
There’s one you might notice not on here, The Golfer. I don’t know what to do with him, honestly, so I’m going to just let it lie. He’s consumed with work at the moment – and booze and golf – and I don’t feel like letting that one go just yet. It may be that it’s already gone, but knowing he’s still in my solar system makes me feel better. I can’t be that healthy.
Sunday morning I drifted between lucid dreams and consciousness and felt myself being led down a path. Curious, I followed the Hy who was leading me and she took me to a box. In it were things I’d chosen to keep years ago when my father’s boxes arrived at my house after he died.
I had sat crumpled on the floor with his baby teeth and drawings of 1950’s cars with fins and bawled: there was no one left on the planet to care about these things. I got rid of most of it, his photos as a young man with my mother, hair long and straggly, sideburns and mustache down to his jaw line, anything of him as my father who hurt me past the age of 15. I kept the drawings, the baby pictures, and him as a young father. Before he was a monster.
This is what remained in my box.
When I woke, I knew it was time to get rid of it all.
I listened to Joni Mitchell and carefully went through all my boxes, 5 in total. My mother was a great historian and I culled through my ABC books and old classwork and report cards filled with Cs and Ds in anything mathematical and shining with As in everything English and creative. Note after note she’d left me and my sister (we were disowned at one point for leaving all the lights on and our curling iron) and letters to Santa. Peppered throughout were littles bits of Dad.
A letter chastising me for not cleaning the rat’s cage, but pleading with me to call him collect from my grandma’s house, cards scribbled in crayon announcing my love for him, drawings of him with his glasses and big mustache. Those were ok to get through; I made a special pile of his things.
The very last box at the very end of the night was where I began to falter. This was the box I had meant to clean out all along. There were the baby pictures of him, fat and smiling, his blonde hair glistening. I sat on the couch and cried as I passed the pictures to Peyton, wanting my baby to see my father before I erased him completely from our world.
Then I found a manilla folder with an inch of printouts dated from 1996. Emails between me and my mother, sister and father, and some between my mom and dad. I had forgotten that year, the year I had railed against my father and screamed at him to Please stop being awful! Please stop leaving me!
I loved him, I said, but I couldn’t keep allowing him to treat me the way he did, to make me feel so less than and undeserving. I didn’t even know he’d hurt my sister yet. His responses to me swung from touches of compassion to all out disdain, “Everyone has a fucked up childhood, Hyacinth. It’s time to suck it up. You’re not special,” he said. My childhood being fucked up hadn’t even been a complaint of mine.
I contemplated taking a few of the more vitriolic emails to my therapist this Friday, but in the end decided I didn’t want them anywhere near me anymore. They had to go.
It took three trips to the recycling bin to get rid of all my homework and drawings of rainbows and by the time I took the box with the framed pictures of Dad with his arms wrapped around my mother, his drawings and letters it was full. It went into the dumpster instead.
When I told my mom there wasn’t any room in the recycle bin she laughed. “There’s no need to recycle that anyway.”
“Sorry for putting that negative mojo in you, Mother Earth,” I quipped.
But it’s done.
I’m all done.