the evolution of my dating baggage

I had a boyfriend once for a few months.  He kind of looked like Paul Rudd.  He was exceptionally funny, and he always seemed to be around.  One night we crashed a house party and stole a keg to have our own private party, and I guess that was the start of our romance.  He lived in Kelowna, I was still living in vernon.  We hung out 2 or 3 times a week.  He was exceptionally funny, even funnier after a few drinks.  We had a good time, but it wasn’t even a sliver of serious.  One night he stood me up.  Stood me up then dropped off the face of the planet for a week.  I was pissed off.  Early 20’s and I used to run much hotter than I do now.  (Scary thought, I know).  He reemerged apologetic and about to spout some reason for the Houdini act.  I stopped him, I didn’t care why, but if he did something like that to me again, I was done.  We were done.  Over.  Relationships are communication, and space is good, as long as there is communication.  A few weeks later, he didn’t call when he said he was going to, and I “quit” him.  That was the end, Cherise asked where he was I  told her I quit him, she asked “does he know?”  I figured he would put it together eventually.  Was done with him, I wasn’t a priority.  This girl doesn’t take that BS.  (I didn’t used to…silly me…)

After him I decided no dating.  I would spend the summer being a man eater.  I had no desire for romance (not too far off from undertaking 40 flipping dates).  My guy friend B, and I would go out and tear thru the bar getting numbers, breaking hearts.  Earned the title of best wing girl ever.  One really sweet boy asked what my favourite candy was, cinnamon hearts, and managed to hunt down some in july to bring to me at work.  My bar was full of boys, and there was more than a couple awkward moments when boys would show up at the same time and place.  I love those awkward moments now… but then, there were a couple “face palm moments” as my mom calls them.

Then I met my ex.  Well, I had met him a few months earlier, Cherise was with me and she said, “stay away from him, he’s trouble”  I am a better listener now… LOL!  He dated not one but 2 of my closer friends.  There may have been an overlap between them… Which I knew about…I thought he was a Douche bag.   One of his best friends would call me relentlessly.  There was NO reason him and I should ever date.  I thought he was a slime ball.  Cute, but slime ball.

We went to all the same places, I saw him again and again.  Some boy asked me to come watch his team play, my ex was on his team.  His friend would invite me out in the hopes sticking his tongue in my mouth my Ex would be there too.  He would be on a date with one or the other of my friends and I’d drive them home.  He would come into work and sit in my section.  I went to the bar in vernon one night after work.  Meeting some girls, and he was there, on the dance floor right beside them.  I was trying to sneak past him, say hi and get to my girls, but he caught me, pulled me off the dance floor and smelling like Jack Daniels and watermelon bubbalicious leaned in real close and told me he had the BIGGEST crush on me.  I laughed, drunk guys love me.  He was drunk.  Plus, a crush?  Big deal, lots of boys had crushes on me, why did he think that would make any difference?  So the end of the night rolls along and he asks if we can talk.  Uh, I guess, what are we going to talk about?  He’s super cute, but I still think he’s a dirtbag.  Plus it’s summertime, I work 6 or 7 days a week, I don’t have time for him.  He gets my home number, but I know no one will answer it till september.

Finally I decide, we can make out, and if anyone will give this guy a run for his money it’s me.  He was smart enough to figure out calling me at work (remember text messaging hadn’t been invented yet)  We start a secret romance.  It was messy.  His friend was snippy about me not going out with them anymore, My one friend claimed she was still seeing my ex.  There was an ocean of nasty drama.  I still filled my bar with boys who thought they had a chance, and flirted like a maniac.  It was a mess.  But he always called when he said he would, and wanted all the time I would give him.  Our secret was poorly kept for 6 or 7 months until I told him I couldn’t take the drama anymore.  We had the exclusive talk.  Unfortunately the first few months of our relationship set the tone for the following 10 years.  We led separate lives, home life and vacation time were the only things we shared.

It was so long ago I really had to sit and think of the romantic things.  He used to ask if I would get ready to go out at his house, then it would smell like me and he could see me even for a few minutes.  He would want to shower with me, in a tiny one person shower, and he would sweetly wipe the crack whore eyeliner from my cheeks.    My parents moved, and there was a month long gap, he was so excited for me to stay with him, he had a key cut, and cleaned out a closet for me.  His bed was pushed against the wall, I slept between him and the wall, I think he was afraid I would try to escape, the thought had crossed my mind a few times in the first few months…We slept in a double bed, and he was upset when we switched to a queen size because he felt I was too far away.  He would call me whenever he got drunk, wherever he was, and tell me how wonderful I was.  We would watch NFL and cuddle on a futon, or sit together in an armchair for one.  I had a crush on Orlando Bloom, and he would e-mail me pictures of him, or change the desk top on my user account.  He set up my user account on his computer.  He was crazy about me.  Would just look at me and smile, with that soft look in his eyes, the one reserved for puppies, babies, and the one you love.

I was not looking for a relationship, and absolutely not with him.  He was just supposed to be fun, temporary.  I wouldn’t have to worry about his feelings.  But he grew on me.  About a year in I went over there to break up with him.  I was crying, he had been so sweet, but really, we didn’t do anything together,  was I making the right decision?  If he cared we would share more, friends activities, something.  I was breaking up with him, I had convinced myself.  There was still a little crazy girl drama going on too.  I was breaking up with him.  I got there, sat on his bed, He was concerned, you can tell when I’ve been crying, I’m red and puffy, not a good cryer. he sat beside me, and brought a box of tissues.  he pulled one out, handing it to me, and started rubbing my back.  I was breaking up with him.  He was rubbing my back, he asked what was wrong, I took a deep breath.  I couldn’t get the words out.  He said to me, You don’t need to tell me, but know Holley, I love you, you make me very happy, and I’m here if there is anything I can do to help.  I did not break up with him.

I do not regret for a moment that I did not break up with him.  It was hard, ups, downs, and buckets of tears.  Heartache and pain, but so many great times too.  He helped make me who I am today, and I him.  Our romantic era is over, but I am comforted knowing that still to this day he loves me very much, and is always there for me.

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