Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Concerted Efforts

When I stumbled back onto this blog tonight, I read my last post, which I wrote shortly after MG and I went to DC for a friend's birthday party. At the party, I mentioned running into the brother of a guy I briefly dated a few years ago. I always wanted to blog about him, but never did because he read my blog. But I haven't talked to him in a year or more so I figure it's safe to assume he no longer reads my blog.

Have you ever known someone who thought you were waaay into them, but you really weren't? It's the most annoying thing because you want to correct the misunderstanding but can't without sounding like an ass. "Uh, dude, you're not that awesome." That was the situation with this guy.

I broke up with The X a week or two before I met Captain Confidence (a friend named him that a couple years ago...you'll see why). And we'd been dating off and on for three years. It was the most serious relationship I'd ever had at that point and the only time I'd been in love. No way was I over it. I just happened to be in a different city for my rebound.

Captain Confidence was just that - confident. And confidence is sexy, man. He was confident but not at all in a dick way. It was actually more awkward, he took himself very seriously, and suffice it to say, it was cute and it worked. He looked at me like I was a Christmas tree all lit up, exactly what a girl needs to get over a break-up.

He was fun, never asked me anything about myself so it was easy to keep things light. We had so much flippin' fun, lots of laughs and one great date (GREAT!) that ended with a walk through downtown DC to the Capitol building. We dated for 3 weeks, I think it was, 4 maybe? Not long. Ha. About half a second compared to the mucho-serious relationship I had just ended.

The other thing going on with me that summer was that I knew my grandfather had only a few months left to live. I knew I was going to spend a lot of time with him at the end and that things were about to get tougher than anything I'd ever dealt with. So I basked in that fun, I soaked it up because I knew every moment was like the ticking of a timebomb, every second was a tick-tock closer to something really hard and awful.

I've heard some pretty hilarious things from guys in my life. A guy broke up with me when I was 15 because he said he wanted "to date the whole world." Some too-cool-for-school guy at a party in New York once told me my "soul is real." Whatever that means, it's not a good pickup line, and it didn't work.

When I left DC that summer, I knew things weren't going anywhere with Captain Confidence because, of course, I knew all along they weren't - that's exactly the beauty of light and fun. But I really liked him as a person and hoped we'd be good friends. Anyway, as we were saying goodbye the morning I left, he told me, "I'll make a concerted effort to email you." It was on this quote board my guy friends have in Atlanta that same night...where it stayed until this past November because they had a party and I erased it. Guess they liked that one. (It is pretty funny!)

Needless to say, we kept in contact, you know, through concerted efforts and all. It was actualy great to have him to talk to sometimes because I knew he didn't know me well at all, and for some reason, when I was mourning my grandfather, that was comforting. It felt like an escape. Like a good conversation with a stranger at a bar. He didn't know me so he didn't know how bad I was hurting or how it impacted and changed me, which allowed me to forget all of that for a brief time. We just shared some small talk every now and then.

But, like these things often do, it all blew up in my face. I was going up to DC for Halloween and invited him out with my friends. He was wishy-washy, and then just stopped responding so I got annoyed and sent him a terse email...which opened the floodgates. Evidently, all the time I thought we were friends, he thought I was super into him and was just tolerating my advances. It's not like I was blowing up the guy's phone with texts and calls - I'm scared of commitment, my crazy is on the other end of that spectrum.

But apparently, all it took to give him this impression was to email once a week or once every other week. What else could that mean but that I wanted him baaad? He said he couldn't meet me out because he was dating a new girl and couldn't make out with me which is what I, of course, wanted. And he couldn't introduce her to me because I would be wearing a "sexy" costume...also I guess that meant I wanted him?

That email earned him the Captain Confidence nickname because I forwarded it to one of my friends. I know it sounds snarky to forward an email, but I was sincerely confused and wanted to understand what I did wrong. Instead of getting advice, I got laughter and lots of, "It's not you - it's him!" She thought it was hilarious and showed it to her husband, who said he sounded like the most confident person in the world, i.e. Captain Confidence.

Again, I couldn't say, "Dude, you're not that awesome," so I just told him the truth - I thought we were friends, I want to be friends, I don't have feelings for you. But it's pretty hard to convince someone you're not into them when they think you are. And things were awkward after that. If I email him, will he think it's because I find him irresistible? If I don't email him, will he think it's because I find him irresistible? If I tell him I'm dating someone, will he think I invented a fictional boyfriend to make him jealous? It all just got too ridiculous, and like I said, it's not like he knew me well anyway so I just stopped making a concerted effort to email.

The thing is, he really was a great guy. Kind and smart, all good things. We never built that friendship, but I did get a few good stories and a great new line to use. "I'll make a concerted effort to email you." I did say he looked like McFee from NCIS! Doesn't it sound like something he would say? McGee?

But besides giving me a few laughs, he served an important purpose at a very difficult time in my life. He helped me get over The X and gave a tiny escape from the hell of mourning. Sometimes people come into our world at certain times for certain purposes. And sometimes they leave our world because that purpose is complete. All we can expect from anyone during the brief moment they're in our lives is a concerted effort, right?


CarrieAnn said...

I get sooooo excited when you post a new blog!!! I love the "Christmas tree all lit up" line. And there is something so liberating about forwarding an email like that to girlfriends. I did the same thing with an email from the guy last week! How's the new BF?

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