Last year, Bre had the great idea of using the month of March to write about women who changed her life. I, (being adept at stealing excellent ideas) quickly decided to follow her lead and used the month to reflect on those ladies who changed me, in good and bad. It was an interesting experiment- one that I still think of now. As I wrote of each woman or girl, I found myself digging deeper- learning more about myself than expected. Truly a great experience coming from someone who often writes about new flip flops and favourite lip glosses.
I decided to try it out again this year- this time focusing on the men, in honor of Father’s Day and all who hold the Y chromosome dear to their often hairy chests heart. I won’t write in order of ‘importance’ (how would that even be done anyway?), and not all of these are pretty, but I can honestly say that each one has changed me in some way. And despite the (sometimes) nervousness sadness that comes with writing without hiding behind lines of jokes or George Clooney references (which really are the bread and butter of this blog), I think it’s important to write what you know, what you remember even if it makes you cringe.
And so I begin with Jake.
There’s one song that sums up what I feel when I think of him. It’s not a pretty love ballad, or a sexy rumble of words- it’s this:
I’ve been a bad, bad girl/ I’ve been careless with a delicate man/And it’s a sad, sad world/When a girl would break a boy just because she can. – “Criminal” by Fiona Apple
That’s “bad, bad girl”? Yeah, that’s me. That “delicate man”? That’s Jake. I met him at a time when I was both equally love hungry and man wary. A friend first, who fit the bill of being both funny and kind, he had the distinct ability of making me feel important, intelligent and sexy. So, I did what all young and foolish girls do- I promptly scorned him.
Don’t get me wrong. Jake had a list of qualities that made the idea of a him and I, not workable. I didn’t feel a physical connection, he complained often about his family and I often found myself cringing when he listed off his favourite hobbies. We had very little in common and what we did have in common (a mutual love for me), wasn’t enough for a relationship. But instead of being wise and gentle- I was naive and cold. Brushing him off with comments like “you don’t really like me, you just think you do” (if anyone can tell me what the hell that means, I would appreciate it), or ” you’ll meet someone better”. Neither of which helped. In fact, such comments just fueled the fire.
Eventually the fire burned out- partly due to my cold rebuttals and partly because a man can only take so much girl drama before they would rather cut ties than hang around hoping you throw them a bone. And then, (of course) I did what all crazed girls have done before me- I lured him back in. I missed being friends with him, I missed the jokes, the laughter, the conversations about converse sneakers, world peace and bands I’d never heard of. We made jokes, we laughed and we fell into the same pattern- he loved me, I loved him not. We got close, I comforted him with ‘maybes‘ and ‘one day’s…’ I false-hoped him into happiness. Then, when he got too close, I pushed him away by ignoring his calls, not responding to emails and again, we argued. He claimed I was using him. I claimed I just needed time.
I lied. Partly. I just needed time to confront myself with the idea that I was the person who would so willingly toy with someone else to boost my own ego. To make me feel what I wasn’t sure I was.
Important. Intelligent. Sexy.
I wasn’t able to make myself feel that, so I looked for it in someone else. And that’s always a dangerous game- a game where there will be casualties who hold broken hearts and wonder why the hell you keep screwing them around.
Today we are friends. Distant friends. Not the intimate ‘talk everyday’ kind that we used to be- the kind that fueled my ego and broke his heart. And it’s for the best. For both of us.
You see? I told you it wasn’t pretty. I just didn’t tell you that it was me who was ugly.