Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don't Hate Me for Leaving

This morning I woke up to find a text that read "It was awesome laying next to you last night. Couldn't sleep. Don't hate me for leaving. xoxox."

The first emotion that I felt was disappointment. Not for the fact that I'd hooked up with a complete stranger, but because he didn't have the decency to leave a hand-written note before he'd slipped out. Instead, he sent a text at 4:30AM. Homeboy didn't even notice the dry erase board I keep by my door for the exact purpose of collecting trick autographs and witty goodbye messages. Some notes on the board say things like "John was here 1/19/2011" or "You're bed is so comfy -JEREMY XOXO." Standard dumb phrases that you joke about the next morning as they guy's collecting his clothes.

The dry erase board was my solution to the pile of ripped-out notebook pages that I'd collected over the years from various boyfriends. These were serious, heartfelt rambling about how much I was loved and how special I was. Some were just torn quarter-pages that said ":-*" or "Love you baby." Then after we'd break up, I take the notes along with other items in my break-up box and torch them. The paper notes I'd keep from the boys I'd seriously date would linger and call to me from inside my bedside cabinet until I'd set them afire. But the words on my dry erase board can disappear forever with a forceful swipe of my hand. Poof.

But for now I like my small collection. I was never emotionally attached to any of these people, so it doesn't bother me that their words are on display. The idea of the looseleaf love note is as romantic as it gets for me. But it's a temporary souvenir. It only serves a purpose in the context of the current relationship. After that, it becomes a relic of failure. Use my pink mini dry erase pen to tell me something dumb and unforgettable and please leave.

Meanwhile: I was still upset of the lazy text message when lunch was delivered this afternoon. I never expected to see him again, but I as least deserved the validation of a written excuse for leaving in the night. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe the hand written note in the morning to be the perfect currency for sleeping with someone random.

I didn't hear from him until later this evening. I asked him where'd he'd been all day and then joking wondered why he'd been out of touch. And surprising he gave an honest answer. He told me that before he'd gotten into bed with me he'd noticed a crumpled, green wrapper on the floor where the bedskirt meets the carpet. Apparently freshly torn condom wrappers don't scream modesty.  He said he was "put off" and decided this wasn't the place for him to be. So he left after I feel asleep.

Embarrassed to the point of a bright red face, I drew the conversation to a close and hung up. "Well, that was fun while it lasted," I told myself. The wrapper itself was taken out of context. I'll just say that it wasn't for the obvious reason. Stop judging me.

My only silver lining with the thanksgiving that he hadn't noticed the pink, blue, and green notes from other men that littered my dry erase board as he fumbled out the doorway.

While I'm pretty sure it's possible to explain a used condom wrapper, I'm certain there's no talking your way out of your questionable behavior when a guy has taken the time to hand-write a note on your wall that says, "Thanks for the ride...and also the lift home in the morning."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ex, Oh. Ex, Oh.

Yesterday, two of my coworkers and I headed to Baton Rouge after leaving the office. Two of us were speaking on a panel for the some student design thing at LSU and I decided to tag along at the last minute. Honestly, I just wanted P.F. Chang's and the opportunity to possibly scope out some of the LSU design 'moes. But supporting my co-workers was priority #1, followed by Singapore Street Noodles.

But before leaving, I had to hurry up and get out of a date. I called The Dean from my desk and told him that something had come up and I had to cancel dinner plans. I was honest with him except for saying that I "just found out that I had to go." First off, I'd known about this panel for about a month now. Second, I had zero obligations to attendance. He said that he understood and then asked if I'd like to be his date to some charity event on Saturday. I politely declined, said good-bye, and hung up.

Dean and I had dated for about 7 months in 2008. He was in graduate school at Texas A&M and I was a sophomore in undergrad. Long-distance relationships aren't really my thing, plus I have a very bad habit of wanted to have my cake and eating four other ones at the same time. During our 7 months of "dating," I was less than well behaved. Long story short, Dean moved back to Louisiana after graduation and I decided that living in the same city as my boyfriend wasn't going to work. Like seriously. How did he expect me to bring guys home with if he was always on my couch?

Over the next several months after our break-up, everything started to come out in the wash. Dean had done a little research and found out that I wasn't the innocent 19-year-old angel that he though he'd been dating. Let's just say he was...disappointed. I've forgotten to mention that I was Dean's first boyfriend...and first kiss...and first everything. He was 6 years older than I was, and a super-late bloomer. So for Dean, this news was not only unwelcome; it was devastating.

Years passed and The Dean and I never spoke. He wouldn't even look at me when I walked arm-in-arm with my best friends into Jules. But I didn't blame him. How could I? When friends or new boyfriends would try to get the scoop on our break-up or question my reasons for sleeping around on my boyfriend, I would always blame the dumbest shit. "What did you expect me to do? He lived in Texas!" or "I was 19. I needed to make those mistakes." The truth was that I did it because I wanted to. I had a problem and wanted to explore it. And the worst part: I didn't care about the consequences. But being the bigger person that he is, Dean eventually forgave me and we were able to at least say hello when occasionally running into one another. 

And then I woke up in his bed Sunday morning. 

I don't really understand/care how this happened, so I just accepted it and rolled over to face the wall and hog the covers. After waking up and splitting a 20-piece order of McNuggets, I kissed him on the forehead and strutted out the door. We made plans via text to hang out again Wednesday evening. 

Until the opportunity to eat Chinese food and meet skinny, granola art students came along. 

So Dean gave me yet another chance. Maybe this weekend we'll go to dinner and I'll tell him about my evening in Baton Rouge. And maybe I'll leave some parts out. Like the part where we drove past Campus Crossing and I regaled Blake and Amanda with a story about the time I  drunk-tricked with a guy in that exact building after jumping the fence and landing ass-first in a puddle of mud.

The Dean wouldn't like that story very much. He knows that I had a boyfriend at the time...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Less Fun Than Nut Cancer

So I had the pleasure of running into McBougie and his new boyfriend last Sunday.

Allow me to list the stand-out details of our run-in:
1. My face turning bright red
2. The new boyfriend avoiding eye contact
3. Me staring at the new boyfriend's feet and hairline
4. The conversation about my recently totaled car
5. My fixation on everyone's (including my own) weight
6. Thoughts about the inevitable status update that I'd be posting within minutes
7. The lady behind the counter conducting dual conversations with the both of us
8. Someone farting
and finally...
9. The hello and goodbye handshaking

On the drive home, I posted that shit on Facebook as fast as I could. The status read, "You know what's more fun than running into one of your exes and his new boyfriend in the auto department at Walmart? Nut cancer." Funny, right? Well he didn't think so.

Homeboy called me last night, [hammered]. He asked why I'd been ignoring his texts, then he asked why I stood him up for lunch over two weeks ago...and then he said that several of his friends had called and told him about the status. I facepalmed myself so hard that my nose almost started hemorrhaging.

If our Walmart run-in wasn't torture enough, this conversation was sending me over the edge. It was like being beaten over the head with a stapler. I was in the middle of explaining how I felt he'd crossed a line by texting/calling me when the call was dropped. I rolled my eyes, grunted, and then walked back inside.

Nothing since.

The whole incident was awkward and confusing, and I'd rather sit through an entire Katy Perry concert than relive it. But it's going to happen again. Lafayette isn't a big city. There aren't very many other places to hide. Next time I'll just have to smile a little sweeter and be a little bit more natural when I talk about my little brother's recent ejection from a lacrosse game. And maybe remember to do a little housecleaning with my list of Facebook friends in the mean time. Traitors.

Also, can we all agree that Walmart's "auto department" is the least sexual place on Earth? Ugh, just punch me in the crotch. Toothless ladies in moo-moos aside, I'm super grateful that our encounter happened here and not City Bar or Jules. That would've been a booze-soaked trainwreck.

But we can always hope for next time...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

McBougie Eats Bathroom Candy

McBougie and I had been dating for about four months before I found candy wrappers in the bathroom trashcan.

I was running a shower and undressing while the water warmed when I looked down into the wastecan next to the toilet. Atop used tissue and cardboard toilerpaper rolls was a small pile of gold candy wrappers. I'm not certain what particular type of candy the wrappers belonged to, but I do remember that they were miniature somethings.

I kept the shower running as I pulled a towel around my waist and stormed into the living room. was standing in the kitchen of his three-bedroom condo when I entered half naked and disoriented. I waited for him to look up and then stammered, "Were you eating fuckng candy on the toilet?!"

I'm not really sure what the outcome of this ridiculous confrontation was, but it was whack enough for me and my friends to still reference this incident at least once a week. I can rarely spend any extended time in the bathroom without Joey texting me to ask if I'm eating candy on the toilet.

McBougie was less than a year younger, two grade levels behind, and half a foot taller than me. Everything he did either annoyed me or made me feel like I had to compete with him. Our relationship was a constant struggle that exhausted both of us beyond the point of recovery. And until two weeks ago, our saga that began in the summer of 2008 was still  kicking my ass. I walked away from McBougie a long time ago, but our baggage still sits at the foot of my bed.  Only recently have I begun to live in a world where I don't have to take a second look around the parking lot for his car before entering a restaurant. But I still take one look over my shoulder anyway.

That's the thing about being one half of a pair of star cross'd lovers; the odds will always be stacked against you. Your only hope is to try your best to fully understand that person. Let the little things slide every now and then and don't go looking for a reason to be in control.

And if you ever find a Reese's wrapper or a Doritios bag in the trash can next to the toilet, just let it go.

...Unless you happen to find a hot pocket sleeve in there. If that ever happens, you have my full permission to tell all of your friends and update your Facebook status to say something like "Just found evidence to suggest that Corey is eating hot pockets on the toilet. Please text him and reprimand him for this behavior."

New Material

There are five people that have irreversibly impacted my sense of intimacy. Though they are not the only ones to make this impact, they have the exclusivity of being called my "exes". The first ex is Muffin. Then Ferriday and The Dean. Next comes McBougie. And finally, there's Wit's End.

If were to see this group of four guys and a girl standing next to one another, you'd swear that you were looking at the cast of Bravo's newest  reality series, "Different Pokes: When Gay Cultures Collide." That's how different these people are. There is not one single attribute that binds any two members of this group...besides the fact that at some point, they've each dated me.

As far as exes go, they aren't so bad. Although I don't keep in regular contact with any of them, and three of the five have me blocked on Facebook, I'm still very grateful to have a brief history with each one.

As relics of my past, my ex-boyfriends (and girlfriend) still serve an important purpose in my everyday life. They didn't just teach me about boundaries, self-respect, and all that other crap that you figure out in the wake of the break-up. They provide me with some of the most hysterical and heartbreaking stories imaginable. I try my best to make lemonade with every lemon that drops onto my crotch.

In addition to the five platinum-level members of my fan club, there are several gold-level members, a handful of silvers, and an army of bronzers. What can I say? I'm a stud with a knack for learning things the hard way.

My history in both short and long-term relationships governs most of my identity. I'm conflicted about how this makes me feel; the fact that others can so easily influence me. But I'm confident enough to understand that influence and inspiration have got to come from outside as well as within. I'm just more of an outdoorsy type I guess.

My failed (and continuing) relationships have made me wiser. But more importantly, they've given me excellent material to work with. And if I hadn't lived it, I'm certain that I wouldn't believe a word of it.

But I hope you'll at least keep an open mind.