I read about it on other blogs. I formed my own opinions and “what if” scenarios in my mind wondering how I would handle the same situation if it ever happened to me. I judged those bloggers based on their decisions and how they handled it.
And now it has happened to me. Karma has come to bite me on my dimpled butt.
I signed onto my Facebook account yesterday to see what my family had been up to.
And I was surprised to see I had a friend request.
From an old boyfriend.
My very first reaction was “oh cool! Look who it is! Wow, he’s changed!” Because we all have this image stuck in our brains of people from our past being the same young person from our past.
It’s a bit shocking when we see that that person from our past? Is no longer young. Or the same.
Then the very next reaction was dread. We didn’t exactly end things on a positive note. In fact, our relationship had deteriorated to the point where I couldn’t stand this guy’s guts.
We started out as friends. I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t have a lot of girlfriends when I was in high school because I simply couldn’t stand most of the girls in my class. I’m a very impatient and grounded person. I didn’t do the head games. I didn’t do the girly stuff. I was simply … me. A few girls accepted that, most did not.
But whatever. I honestly didn’t care. I had plenty of boy friends to keep me company. And boy friends as in guy friends, nothing romantic. I guess you could say I was tomboyish in nature. I just got along better with guys than I did with girls. I knew how to joke around with them. I didn’t take their crap, in fact, I dished out more than my fair share of crap back to them. In return, they had a sort of grudging respect for me, I guess.
In short, we got along. They tolerated me. I tolerated them. It worked. *shrug*
We met on the streets. This was back in the days when “cruising” was a hot past time for teenagers and was allowed. Now, cops will bust you for cruising up and down a strip. But back then, it was tolerated. And I remember spending quite a few nights driving up and down Kearney street in my smokin’ little silver ’72 Monte Carlo and showing off my dorkiness to hot guys. A group of us would congregate on a parking lot and exchange BS for a bit before we got back into our cars and cruised around some more.
What can I say, there wasn’t a lot to do back in those days. And gas was cheap. And we were bored. And it kept us out of trouble (most of the time *ahem*).
So, I’m out cruising. And I see a group of people in a parking lot. When I recognize a few of them, I pull over. And that’s when I met him.
He didn’t go to my school. He went to a rival school and I think that is what initially caught my attention. He was off limits. He was dangerous. He was a new face.
We started talking. And I enjoyed his brusque, rude, and obstinate attitude. He was quickly elevated to “challenge” and that, my friends, is something I rarely turned down. A challenge to match wits and exchange barbs, with a guy.
I became interested.
We started hanging out. And I got to know him better. And the more I got to know him, the more impatient I became with him. He was a Downer Dan. He never had anything good to say about anybody or anything. He was always grumpy. He had a permanent scowl. He never saw the positive side of things and in short, was one of the biggest pessimists I’ve ever encountered in my life.
I became quite cynical around him. And I slowly started turning into this … person I didn’t like around him. I treated him like crap, and yet, he continued to hang around me. I took him for granted, but he continued to bend over backwards for me.
I felt powerful. And when it became obvious that this guy was starting to have feelings for me, I felt claustrophobic. And I started to feel guilty for treating him like crap. So, my attitude toward him started to subtly change and he took that as encouragement.
He suggested we become a couple.
But he was persistent. And I was lonely. I was a senior in high school and every other girl in my class had a boyfriend. And I wanted to experience the hand holding, the soft kisses, and the inside jokes. I wanted to wear someone’s jacket. I wanted to wear someone’s class ring.
So, I grudgingly agreed.
Our friendship turned sour from that point on. My heart simply wasn’t in it. I simply did not feel that way about him. And I started to feel guilty. I didn’t want to hurt this guy’s feelings. He had helped me out of quite a few, er, situations and I owed him.
I stuck it out for about a month until I simply couldn’t lie to myself, or to him, any longer.
The relationship became stressed because I was picking fights and being a pain in the arse hoping that the guy would simply dump me and I would be out of the relationship. But instead, it was like the guy thrived on my unhappiness and it was at that point that I knew, not only was our “relationship” over, but our friendship was over, too. I couldn’t be around a guy like that. He wasn’t healthy for me.
So, I broke it off with him, cold turkey. I don’t remember exactly how I did that, but I do remember being really mean to him.
I feel so bad about that now. But I was a kid. And I was feeling trapped. And I think I panicked.
Life went on and I lost track of him. And then I forgot all about him. It wasn’t until years later that he somehow found an old email address of mine, one that I hang on to for some strange reason even though no one contacts me through it anymore and the only mail I get through that account is spam mail.
But he found me. And he emailed me. And his name caught my attention one day as I was going through my spam folder. Actually, he hadn’t emailed me directly, but I was on his friends/family list. I reluctantly opened the email and saw a link to his My Space page. I clicked over and read up on his life. Military – married – no kids.
I was happy for him. I hoped he was happy. But I didn’t contact him. I had no desire to open that can of worms again. And really, why should I? I had a husband, a family, a life. There was really no REASON to begin a friendship up again. Where would it lead? I wasn’t interested.
I think a part of me knew, a deep, dark, little secret part of me knew, that it wasn’t quite over for him. I sort of suspected that if I contacted him, he might want to try and worm his way back into my life causing strife, stress and certainly sorrow. It’s hard to explain, but I think he might still have feelings for me. It’s just a weird feeling I have and I hope I’m wrong – but it’s there, none the less.
And if you will recall, I don’t DO drama. I simply refuse to put myself in a situation where there might be drama. I like my life. I love my family. We’re happy. We’re content. I have no desire to expose my family to a part of my past.
So, I ignored him.
And now, he’s found me on Facebook. I’m sure that the unease I’m feeling with this guy is all me. He’s probably just some nice guy looking to add more friends to his Facebook account and when he combed his past, there I was. I’m sure he’s happy and has moved on with his life. I’m sure I’m just being paranoid and egotistical in thinking he even still thinks of me like that.
But when I read portions of his My Space page and detected just a bit of “attitude” toward his life and some of the things he said … I don’t know, I’m a pretty good judge of character and it just didn’t sound like something someone would say about their life if they were happy. Again, it’s hard to explain, it’s just a feeling.
But all of that really doesn’t matter. The bottom line is, the contact with this guy wouldn’t be appropriate given my current status: happily married. I mean, let’s put the shoe on the other foot for a minute. How would I feel if my husband’s ex-wife sent a friend request to him?
And he accepted?
I’d go ballistic, that’s what would happen. I’d always wonder if they were exchanging secret messages or he was flirting with her (or vice versa). Their history is just that, history. There is no room for her in his life. None. A friendship is out of the question, given their history.
And that’s when it dawned on me – I can’t accept this guy’s friend request for the same reasons.
It would be opening up a can of worms and in the end, would it be worth the strife it would cause in my life? Absolutely not.
So dude, I’m sorry. I truly am. But I have a life, a good life. And you have a life. And it’s just not feasible, practical, or WISE, to intersect those lives.
I have no choice but to ignore you.