~Monday, April 30, 2007
~Thursday, April 26, 2007
Sometimes when I am without inspiration, I read through my archives. I came across this post this week and I choked and shot Diet Coke out my nose.
"You equate tearing you down with love. If it's not a battle, you don't think it's real because it's too easy, " he said.
Oh holy god, he was totally right.
~Monday, April 23, 2007
Triumphantly, I held up my vibrating phone to show my friends across the bar table.
"Don't answer it!" Harvey shouted.
I smiled and stuck Jack back in my pocket, unanswered.
"I don't get game playing," said Helen as she picked up her pint glass and took a drink. Well Helen wouldn't have to: she's 6'1" and absolutely gorgeous with a dreamy boyfriend of two years who worships her.
The next phone to vibrate was Helen's. I had a feeling who it was before she picked up.
"Quick everybody! Laugh!" ordered Harvey. I heart Harvey.
"Hey Jack," laughed Helen. "Yeah, we're out. It's me and Harvey and Sarah and... I don't know why she didn't pick up her phone. Mine was sitting on the table, so I saw it light up; she may not have heard hers..."
Helen laughed before hanging up. "He was really bothered that you didn't answer your phone. He tried to make it a joke, but he was complaining too much."
"And that, Helen, is why you play games."
Jack's perplexing: he likes his own freedom, but doesn't seem to respect mine. Yet at the same time, he's so afraid of commitment and co-dependency. It's like he wants his girls to have a need for him. But he doesn't.
There is no win in the solution. There is only lose.
~Sunday, April 22, 2007
Originally written Tuesday, April 10th, 2007:
Operation: Treat Him Mean and Keep Him Keen has been employed. However, while driving home from work I realized that Jack isn't going to be envious that I don't wait around for him unless--I don't know--I actually go out and do things. So I am forcing myself out tonight when all I want to do is hug my TV and whisper sweet nothings to Gilmore Girls and House.
~Thursday, April 19, 2007
Jack called again early Saturday.
"So what did you do yesterday?"
"Let's see. I went to Helen's and watched the Deal or No Deal marathon."
"Then I went out to dinner with the group--I met your old coworker."
"Then we all went to see B.O.G."
"Yeah. So you're off the hook."
Jack then got really upset with me for going to see the movie without him. He thought I did it just to spite him because he had originally wanted to see it with everyone and I asked if just the two of us could go. He conceded to my wish, but at the same time he pushed the date back again.
I had never for one second thought that me going without him would hurt his feelings. If anything, I thought I was doing him a favor so he wouldn't have to take me anymore. The movie was becoming a bigger issue than it should have been, so I removed it. I thought he would be relieved.
I no longer trusted Jack. Thursday night's phone call was too hurtful. He said he didn't want to go to my party, he didn't want to see me, and he didn't want to call me. I took that to mean he didn't want to take me to see the movie anymore.
In that conversation, he actually said he didn't want to stop me from doing things with my friends. So I did. I reminded him of this.
Jack said I should have called and invited him along.
"But you wouldn't have been able to go! You were working!"
"You didn't know that at the time."
So I told him. I told him I didn't feel comfortable calling him.
"You said to assume I'm not going to see you unless you call."
Jack vehemently denied that. "I would never say anything like that. That's a terrible thing to say."
I flipped open my diary I had been writing in when he called. I saw it on the page from the phone call, so I knew I wasn't drinking the crazy juice. "But you did say that. I told you it was a terrible thing to say right then and you told me it wasn't."
"No. I didn't." Jack's voice was stern and hard, letting me know how serious he was. He's never spoken to me like that before. I dropped it, knowing I was right.
He then explained it exactly how Helen tried: to not assume we're doing something every weekend. But the way he said it on Thursday was much harsher. "Just assume on not seeing me..."
Maybe he was in a weird mood on Thursday and took it out on me. I certainly paid for it. But he was kind on Friday night and he called the next afternoon after he said he wasn't going to call as much anymore.
I don't know what the outcome of our conversation will be. I hope he realizes that I won't wait around for him. He probably sees it as getting screwed and playing the victim. That I indeed am a bad person. That I'm like every other crazy girl. But I'm not. If he could only see how good I really am.
"That's what I wanted to do--see it with everybody--and you told me I wasn't allowed."
"No! I said I would rather see it with just you."
"And I agreed. If you wanted to see the movie with me, then why did you go with everyone else?"
"Because I didn't believe you." I felt small. I didn't want to be honest with Jack. I didn't want to admit that I'm damaged.
"Well that explains your behavior, even though I have no idea why you would think that."
He said that we agreed he would take me and he said he would. I still don't know if that would have happened or not. I didn't want this to be one more thing that I got my hopes up for that didn't happen. I didn't want to get hurt again. I took control over the situation instead of staying at home and crying. But it also resulted in this weird phone call.
I should be ashamed for not trusting Jack. For not believing him. I'm so afraid of getting hurt that I'll do something that makes no sense. But I never considered Jack for one second for my plans that night. And neither had anyone else. Of the six people out, including his old coworker, not one person invited Jack and I think that hurt him the most.
However, the fact of the matter is that he didn't call and they did. They wanted to see the movie with me more than he did.
~Tuesday, April 17, 2007
"The way he speaks to you, Sarah, it's borderline abusive."
I called Helen the next morning when I woke up in a fit of tears. We both had Good Friday off and I drove to her boyfriend's house where we watched the Deal or No Deal marathon. I felt horrible calling her—Jack is her friend too—but she's a good person and said she feels like she's gotten to know me too within the past month we've been hanging out.
I stopped when I heard the word "abusive." That's a heavy accusation, one I had never considered before. Even now I'm not sure it fits.
Helen did her best to decipher Jack's harsh words. She thought that perhaps Jack meant that there might be the occasional weekend, such as Easter, when other obligations would take priority. But that was about the only excuse she could give him. She mainly just called him names when I remembered something else horrible that he said.
"I've got a date, but the rest of the gang is going to see B.O.G. tonight. See we are totally cool enough that we can just refer to it as B.O.G."
"I dunno, Helen. I think I just want to stay in and be alone."
"No! I know you don't want to, but if you force yourself to go out tonight, you will feel better. You just need to get out."
"Jack had originally wanted us to see it with y'all, but I asked if we could go alone since the last two or three times we've been out in group settings. I questioned why he wanted for us to go with everyone since the last time he said it felt too couple-y, and he responded that us going alone would be more couple-y.
"We were supposed to go last week, but he pushed it off so we could hang out with his roommates. And then we were supposed to go tonight but... he was just so mean," the tears began running again.
"What a douche. That settles it—you're coming out tonight to see Blades. It's hilarious. I laughed so hard that I missed jokes."
"It's become this issue," I continued. "My god, it's just a movie. It shouldn't be an issue. Maybe I should just see it to remove it from the equation. I don't even know if I'm going to see him again and I don't want to give him the chance to disappoint me."
"In the past month where I've really gotten to know you, I just want you to know that I think you are so easy-going and so cool. You don't need this. You can do better. I know Jack is my friend but there are nice guys out there. And if it ever comes down to it, I like you more."
That was also something I had never considered before. That I could do better. And again, I'm not sure I believe it. Jack is behaving like all my exes before him; this is just how men are. It's not a matter of me deserving better, but that there isn't better out there.
Jack was supposed to be my nice guy.
At the restaurant, Harvey slipped her hand in my lap. "You okay?" she mouthed. I nodded. She had stopped by Helen's when she heard I was there and helped convincing me to come out.
It was a small group of six, but still managed to include one of Jack's coworkers from a previous job. Eventually, and after a couple of concerned looks, I forgot about my day-off cryfest and began to enjoy my friends; Helen was right.
"Holy crap everybody! Our movie starts in 10 minutes!" Four of us looked down at the giant margaritas that just arrived.
Swayze looked at me and grinned. "Race ya," he said.
"Never get into a sucking contest with a girl. Go!"
The four of us began sucking down our frozen margaritas, stopping to squirm and cry from the brain freezes. And as I predicted, I won.
We were fully drunk by the time we sat in our seats for the movie. I grabbed my cellphone and debated putting it on silent and sticking it in the cup holder in case Jack decided to call, but instead I just turned the phone off and shoved it underneath my seat. And B.O.G. was so hilarious, I thought I was going to throw up frozen margarita. Twice.
As I walked back to my truck, I pulled out my phone and turned it on. I prayed for an instant for a message to pop up, but knew better.
So I was really surprised when one did.
"Hey, it's Jack. I'm just now getting off work and I'm on my way home for some food and bed. I hope you had a really good day off and a really good Friday. You can give me a call if you want."
I smiled and unlocked my truck. Inside I tucked my phone back in my purse.
I'd talk to him tomorrow.
~Monday, April 16, 2007
The following Thursday Jack began the phone call with, "I have something to tell you and it's going to make you upset."
I felt my whole body clench tight in anticipation of whatever that was going to make me upset. I felt like whatever it was, I had to prove him wrong.
"I don't want to go to your birthday party."
I actually breathed a sigh of relief. Yeah, we were going to have yet another ridiculous conversation, but this I could live with. "Okaaaaaaay."
"You're not upset?"
"It's just that any time anyone brings it up, something rubs me the wrong way. I'm just getting a bad feeling about it. Your theme party is just too coupley for me. I feel that if I went, I would not have a good time."
"Well, if my choices are you going and dragging me down or you not going at all, I'd prefer it if you didn't come. It's just like the roadtrip a month ago: you can come, you can not come--either way I'll be going and I'll be having a good time." Then I mentally added, I've been going to parties for 26 years before you. I can go another 26 years. "I don't need you to go for me to be apart of something."
I was honestly okay with him not coming. I mean, I thought it was shysty the boy wasn't going to my birthday party thrown by our mutual friends, but given the alternative--him going and pouting the entire time--and me already knowing exactly what that's like, I know I would have a better time if he just wasn't there. I was right when I said it the first time: I don't need Jack.
I don't know if my surprising reaction served as the catalyst, but Jack let the floodgates open. Since our first date, we'd been planning to see Blades of Glory together. It released the previous weekend and he decided to push it back until this weekend. When I asked if we were seeing the movie the following night, Jack said he wasn't sure yet. He didn't feel like thinking about it right now.
"Okay, well if we didn't see it tomorrow, would we try for Saturday or just another time?"
"Why are you trying to get me to commit?"
"I'm not asking your five-year plan! I am just trying to see if we're going to see the movie this weekend. I'm just requesting information, that's all. Sometimes I feel like you think I'm going to do the 'girl' thing and trap you into a secret wrong answer that will get you in trouble; I'm not. I'm just trying to plan my weekend."
Jack at least admitted that he did feel that way and then proceeded to launch into an entire speech about how we shouldn't expect to see each other every weekend.
Only Jack has no tact, so instead he said, "Just plan on not seeing me unless I call you."
He also used the phrase, "I don't care" a lot.
Then he said he felt like I have this expectation that he has to call every night, and he does, but sometimes he doesn't feel like it. "Obviously I do like talking to you or else I wouldn't call at all," he finished.
"Jack! I'm not the one calling you! You call me! How am I getting into trouble for something I'm not doing?!"
"You're not in trouble. I just feel like you have this expectation."
"Well I don't. I mean, I enjoy that you call. It makes me feel good. But it is perfectly acceptable and valid to not call every night." For the record, I've actually mentioned that before.
We got off the phone and I kept staring at the screen, wondering how the hell that happened. I could have handled any one of those objections separately. Maybe even two of them. But that was an awful lot of rejection for one phone call.
The phrase that hurt me the most, however, was when he said that maybe I'd meet someone at the party. It sounded like he wanted to pass me off. I felt so cheap.
I never let on for a second to Jack about how hurt I began to feel as the call progressed; I handled it like a champ. But now that the call was over, his careless words began to sink in: I don't want to go to your party, I don't want to see you, and actually, I don't want to talk to you either.
I was angry; he knows how hard it was for me to trust him. The panic attacks and the crying, but he kept pushing. He knew fully well what he was doing--there was no room for confusion--and he kept barreling through. A man has the right to change his mind, but I wish he could give it an honest chance first.
I'm not going to let him annihilate me. I can play the game. He wants to run away, I'm going to let him. I don't need him. I honestly don't.
I don't want things to become issues and I don't want to talk about my feelings. I'm going to see the damn movie by myself just so I don't give him the chance to disappoint me. He doesn't care, so neither will I.
Oh god, this sucks. I allowed myself to trust him and the tears just kept coming. He's just a boy. He's just a stupid boy. But he's a stupid boy who I thought would be different. I was the stupid girl who trusted the stupid boy.
And I dealt with things the only way I knew how: I grabbed the bottle of vodka out of the freezer and a single shot glass and I sat down on my couch and began to pour.
~Friday, April 13, 2007
I lasted until Sunday morning. When Jack referred to my affection as "clingy" and then changed the subject to how he can't sleep in the same bed as me, I began to cry.
When he noticed, Jack did a 180 and wrapped his arms around me and asked me what was wrong.
"It's just so hard."
"Living with the burden of everything I've done wrong," I sniffed. I told him how I tried to not let it get to me, but the constant criticism has worn me down. I explained that it wasn't this morning in his bedroom in particular, but something I've been carrying for over a week, festering.
Jack was immediately remorseful. "You're absolutely right; I've been a real jerk." He laid on his back and ran his hand up and down my shoulder.
"You just gotta mix things up. Add some good things in there. Tell me when I'm doing something right."
He paused for thought, "I'm not good at building people up."
"It's not about building someone up; it's about not completely annihilating someone. There's a difference."
"I'm good at dating. I'm not good at this relationship stuff." Jack said it like admitting it would keep him from being accountable. That saying that he's not good at relationships gives him permission to be. I didn't verbalize any of this. I wish I had.
We talked for a few more minutes, but never really got any further than I was validated for being hurt by his words. I hate awkward conversations where I sit around the campfire and talk about myself and my feelings.
"I'm over this conversation. Are you over it? I'm over it."
"So what now?"
"What now is that I'm finally going to learn to tickle you. Which one's the webbed foot?" And I pounced.
~Thursday, April 12, 2007
I wanted to spend at least a week without talking about Jack because, frankly, I didn't think he deserved to be talked about. I had said I was working my way through his criticism, but in reality, I was still hurting. I found myself wanting to write blog posts not about the truth, but rather in defense of him. I know the hypercriticism didn't go over well with a lot of people and the quick answer was for me to walk away, but I wasn't ready to do that yet. Because this blog is a format designated primarily for The LoveLife, I found myself without much to say. I have been extremely stressed out over work, but I think I used it as an excuse to avoid the Jack situation.
All day long I've been composing little posts in my head, so I know it's time to write again. But now it's time to catch everyone up.
Love, Sarah at 7:41 PM|
~Monday, April 09, 2007
Work continues to be padded-room crazy. The Hairless Chimpanzees, liking the work I do to maintain our company website, decided that I was
cheap enough skilled enough to redesign our entire website.
In 5 weeks.
And, uh, I never took a course or even read a book on HTML and CSS; I've just picked everything up through my four years of blogging. Which means when my boss asked me to sit down and provide her with a project schedule, my head screamed, "How the #%$&! do you schedule in spending three hours on a margin that won't behave!?"
I'm used to working under the radar, and having weekly meetings with THE BOARD isn't exactly a position I want to be in. They can tell if I screw up so much easier when they're flapping at my desk every two minutes.
At first I was really excited about the redesign: I could use my artistic eye and fix a lot of problems I saw with our current website. My philosophy was if I wasn't interested enough to read the words, then no one was. I planned more white space, huge margins, a sidebar, clean lines, and a non-monochromatic color scheme. But while I was gone for Good Friday, THE BOARD redesigned my redesign and we're back to four different shades of blue and words jumbled every which way on the page.
It's very... whimsical.
(It's like when Word first came out and people realized they could have wavy text and shadow letters, and no one had quite figured out yet that they were ugly. Kinda like that. And by "kinda like that," I mean "exactly like that." Yes Virginia, wavy text and shadow letters are involved. Oh thank God they haven't figured out there is such a thing as blinking text.)
So this project has gone from something that I could ask for a raise and put on my résumé, to "No, Future Employer, my company does not have a website."
And frankly, when I get home the last thing I want to do is fight with Blogger and bang my head over more web stuff. I have stories. The boy is still around, but we've both been crazy busy (me with the Hairless Chimpanzees and him with whatever he does. He's IT and works for a website that's been having server problems while rebranding itself through the takeover of several smaller websites. The Wonderful World of Web.)
So that's me. I'm alive. Still kicking.
Damning the Man.
~Monday, April 02, 2007
After this past week, I have finally come to the realization that it is absolutely phenomenal that my company produces a product that actually works.
I wouldn't normally expect that from a bunch of high-strung, drama-seeking, hairless chimpanzees.