Ex-Boyfriend Greatest Hits: The Manipulative A-hole

(This is Part 3 in a series I've been writing, summing up my past relationships ala High Fidelity. If you're just catching up, you may want to read about All My Highschool Boyfriends and Party Guy. Not that they're crucial to the plot or anything, but they ARE funnier.)

I've actually been procrastinating writing this post. Not because it's so painful to re-live or anything, but just because I can't figure out how to make it funny. I've gotten over it, but that doesn't mean I've figured out how to laugh about it.

Also, this douchewaffle doesn't really deserve the screentime. I considered skipping him altogether, but it was a 3 year relationship and it was rather...defining.

I've already referenced this guy once here, and I dubbed him Pilot Boy. There are lots of other things I could call him, but we'll stick with that. I started dating Pilot Boy shortly after I came back from college, after a 3-year hiatus from relationships altogether. Like Party Guy, Pilot Boy was popular. He was tall, dark, and handsome, and in addition to beginning his career as a pilot, he was a bartender at THE nightclub that everyone went to on Saturday nights.

C'mon, cool guys that can get you free booze? That's pretty much where it's at when you're 23.

Anyway, I should have dumped him way earlier, like when he informed me himself that he was arrogant - as though that were a good personality trait. I should have dumped him after 6 months of dating, when he showed up to my birthday celebration 12 HOURS LATE. But he was just that good. I don't consider myself a stupid person, or a weak-willed person, or a person with particularly low self-esteem. But Pilot Boy made me all of those things. For three years.

Giving you a blow-by-blow seems rather pointless, and needlessly lengthy. I starved myself, because he called me chubby (which I most certainly was not). I drifted away from my friends, because they insisted on telling me the truth about his cheating and lies. In the face of a reliable eyewitness account that he had been holding another girls hand all afternoon at a public festival, he told me: "Well, they're lying. I was there with her, but the only time I held her hand was when she tripped and fell and I helped her up." And I bought it. I bought it all.

When I finally - finally! - woke up, I tried to break it off several times. He always convinced me that I was being ridiculous, that I was wrong. That what I was feeling was incorrect, somehow. All I had to do to get it right was to try harder. Didn't I want to get it right?

Eventually I got tired of trying to get it right. I didn't give a flying fuck HOW useless of a human being I was, I just didn't want to be in this stupid relationship anymore. And when I tried to break it off yet again, and he went on his same verbal tirade about what was wrong with me, I felt all the frustration and anger and resentment build up in my chest, and I pushed it out through my fist. Into his jaw.

Okay, so I sucker punched him. It wasn't my classiest move, but it got the message across. There were further meetings and discussions and pointless accusations, but really it all ended with that flat thwock of skin and bone.

I realize it sounds like I'm bitter, and it's true that I wouldn't cross the street to piss on him if he were on fire. But I've moved past it, and I learned from it. I wouldn't trade that experience for the world, because it helped to define several major tenets by which I now live my life:

You can't change someone, no matter how badly you want to. You have to pick your battles. Emotions aren't right or wrong, they're valid no matter what they are. And you can't let, or expect, someone else to define you. I lost sight of that, but I never will again.

I also learned that I truly have the best friends anyone could ask for. Many years later (and after a few drinks) FoN confessed to me that a couple of times, in a valiant effort to PROVE to me that Pilot Boy was cheating on me, she and Valentina went on late-night stakeouts. They borrowed an unrecognizeable car, donned their dark clothes and packed a thermos of coffee, and stalked him.

Now THAT makes it totally worthwhile.

Ex-Boyfriend Greatest Hits: The Party Guy

If you missed the All My Highschool Boyfriends post, I'm recapping my dating history now that I'm set to get married (sometime in 2016, when I get around to planning a wedding), a la High Fidelity. This was FoN's idea, and I suggest you steal it, because I don't want to be the only person standing here looking like a ho, okay?

Shortly before I graduated high school, I started dating the Party Guy.

Party Guy was fun. Party Guy had parties. Party Guy was, well, a party unto himself. Party Guy was popular.

Party Guy did entertaining things like entice large groups of people to wear ridiculous costumes in public for no good reason. He bought dry ice to put in drinks just for the novelty, had the biggest stereo system on the block, and had a beach volleyball court in his backyard. Party Guy made me mix tapes and called me the "perfect person". He helped me paint my first car plaid.

Party Guy was also 7 years older than me and already owned his own Party House. I'm sure my parents were horrified, but they held their tongues. At least until I declared my intentions to move in with him. Then they felt the need to lodge a protest, to beg me to promise them that I wasn't going to blow off an education and catch The Pregnant, or anything.

I scoffed. DUH. I wasn't planning to do that at ALL, I was in it for the party. So I packed up my teenage stuff and moved into Party House.

Turns out? Actually living in a Party House makes it much less of a party. Party Guy hosted Thursday Night Live each week, where people would regularly stay until 5 and 6 am. You know, about two hours before I had to be at WORK, now that I was living in the real world. People played beach volleyball all weekend and never left. Party Guy also had to keep a roomate around to supplement his lifestyle and his choices were...eccentric, ranging from a Greenpeace worker (and, generally, all of her friends) to a born-again Christian who had recently been dumped by her boyfriend after he'd discovered she had faked her pregnancy.

So, after about a year of living in Party House, the party was over for me. I told Party Guy that I was going to move out, and since I was doing that anyway, it was probably best that we break up.

Apparently, performing 24-7 as Party Guy leads to a lack of emotional growth, because Party Guy suddenly became a lot less fun. He drunk-dialed me regularly, and showed up outside my parents house at 3am wailing my name (my father very kindly drove him home and explained the facts of life to him, probably not as kindly). He called me and implied that he was committing suicide. Because I'm not totally soulless, I drove to his house in a panic and found him passed out, an empty bottle of pills in his hand.

The EMT guy told me, after I dialled 911 and brought the whole reponse team out, that Party Guy hadn't actually taken anything. He was just drunk.

I solved the Party Guy situation the only way I knew how - by moving away to college. Where I stayed single. The whole damn time.

But hey - I learned how to Party.

Ex-Boyfriend Greatest Hits: A series in, um, let's say 5 parts

So, not having a lot of blogging mojo lately, I turned to my usual muse: FoN.

"I need a blog subject," I whined. Last time I did this, she suggested the masterpiece (snort) that was Are You Dissin' My Man. This time, she did me one better:

"Why don't you do an old boyfriend review, ala High Fidelity? You're getting married now, so you can reflect."

Well that's just...fucking brilliant! And highly embarrassing. Really, her talents are wasted working for the government. She oughta be in show business, pitching ideas for reality tv.

So I'm going to list them in chronological order and kick off this little project with All The Guys I Dated in High School. FoN suggested amalgamating them all into one, globular Highschool Boyfriend, but while I didn't date any of them for long, and they do tend to blend together sometimes, they all played their specific role. There was:

FIRST BOYFRIEND WHO WAS ALSO EVERYBODY ELSE'S FIRST BOYFRIEND. You know the type - targets girls who are new to the scene and just blanket bombs them all with affection until one takes the bait. And then, when they figure out he's kind of an idiot (usually about 3 weeks), moves on quickly to the next one and professes his undying love on her doorstep. My First Boyfriend was also my best friend's First Boyfriend, and the First Boyfriend of another girl in our circle of friends. After First Boyfriend, there was:

FIRST OLDER BOYFRIEND WHO WASN'T THAT GOOD LOOKING OR INTERESTING EITHER BUT HEY, HE WAS OLDER. Like, 5 years older and able to drink legally. I often wonder how badly my mom had to bite her tongue about this. It took me a lot longer to figure out First Older Boyfriend was also an idiot, because hey! He was older. And had a car and parents who were rarely home. He spent a lot of the time his parents weren't home inviting me over and pressuring me to sleep with him. No, thanks. I'm saving myself for:

REALLY HOT CRUSH WHO FEIGNS INTEREST BUT ONLY WHEN HIS SLUTTY GIRLFRIEND IS UNAVAILABLE, REPEATEDLY BREAKING MY HEART. He had warm brown eyes, long brown hair and looked smokin' in tight jeans and hightop sneakers. Do we need more details? No. I would have given it up for him, but couldn't acquire an appropriate venue (satin sheets covered in rose petals) before his on-again, off-again slut girlfriend came to her senses and stole him back. Crushed, I swore off hot bad boys and set my sights on:

THE NICE NEW GUY AT SCHOOL. Actually, it didn't hurt that he was hot, too. He was 6 feet tall and had hair like CC from Poison. Swoon. But he really was a nice guy. A nice, intelligent, funny, caring guy. So, naturally, I kicked him to the curb. Because this was high school, duh. And I was perplexed by a boyfriend who didn't try to stick his hand down my pants at every awkward opportunity.

(Later, when Nice Guy went into Theatre in university, we all nodded knowingly. Of course! Nobody straight was that nice. But now he's married to a lovely woman, and he became a cop. Whoops. That'll teach us for being stereotyping assholes.)

Somewhere around this point I decided that virginity was an overrated commodity, and to hell with satin sheets and fucking rose petals. So I ended up with:

THE "FIRST" GUY, WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE KNOWWHATIMEAN. I dated him for about 3 weeks. At the first available opportunity - the back room at a loud house party - I let him get me naked. I think I saw him twice after that. One of those times was like 3 weeks later, when, after not calling me for 2 of those weeks, he came to my house to tell me I was a slut because he'd heard I was making out with some other guy at the drive-in. Which, y'know, was true. But in my defense, two weeks is a LONG time in the high school dating world. I'd assumed he was dead.

With that pesky hymen out of the way, it paved the road for all kinds of dating opportunities.

So of course I stayed single until just before graduation. THAT guy will be the next in this series. When I get around to it.