Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Legend of the Lone Ranger

Humans are without a doubt creatures of habit. No matter how hard we try to break our patterns and predictability sometimes the results are just inevitable. The same applies for relationships. No matter how hard we try to move on or get past someone, sometimes were just drawn to individuals more so than others. Even if we got burned the first time, most of us are too sentimental and too optimistic to not want to give things another shot if the opportunity presents itself. I like to call this the “Mosquito Lamp Theory.”

Even though we have mosquitoes and such creepy crawlers in NYC, they're still not nearly as prevalent as they are south of the Mason Dixon line. They make spending time outdoors an absolute nightmare on those hot summer nights. I can't tell you how many Fourth of Julys I spent covered in insect repellent, and smelling like Deep Woods OFF. Not only was it greasy, to the point you spent most of the night covered in shreds of grass, but it was also highly flammable. Come to think of it, yeah, we weren't very bright back then were we? So we used to also have these great inventions called mosquito lamp. I'm not sure exactly how or why they work, but supposedly it has something to do with the varmint’s attraction to the light. It’s just so shiny, and bright that they can't help but go towards it. The problem for the bugs lies in the fact that once they touch the light they meet their untimely demise.

Personal friendships are no different. Once we reach a certain point in our lives, barring an extreme geographic relocation, we have probably already met the greater majority of the people we will call our friends. Sure there are exceptions to the rule and a random addition every now and then, but for the most part our social networks are pretty stable.

What about romantic relationships? Well, those are pretty predictable too. We encounter the same people over and over again even in our dating cycles. It’s really the same series of people making cameos throughout our lives in different capacities and roles. Even the ones we wish would just go away for our better well being, still manage to hang out on the outer rims of the circle. They enter orbit at various times, make their presence known, and then disappear again until the next time the planets align. It’s the circle of strife. That no matter how hard we try to avoid certain individuals, there are certain people that have inexplicable influences over our lives and draw us to them. Thus, the “Mosquito Lamp Theory.”

No matter how shitty the break up, or how messy the outcome, for some reason or another, with or without marital obligations, children, pets or baggage, we can't help but encounter these people.

There have been numerous times that I've dealt with this cycle, most of which I concluded didn't deserve a second glance. But there are those people you just can't help but fall for over and over again, no matter how poisonous they were the first go around. We forget their bites, their stings, and their ability to crush us to the very core because of certain electricity we can't deny that draws us back in.

Sure we can blame our past failures on bad timing, meddling third parties, or simply bad decisions, or you can go with the fact that sometimes people just don't know how to treat one another. But if you remember how badly it stings and what it felt like to get burned, are you willing to take the chance on something again just because you remember how awesome it once was? My friends talk about how jaded I am in terms of relationships and trusting men in general. It’s not to say I'm damaged goods it’s just that I've seen too many of them get burned by the opposite sex.

There have been numerous blogs written about a certain “ex” and I that just can't seem to avoid each other. Not only are our industries intertwined, but we generally have always had good chemistry with one another. Too bad were also complete commitmentphobes. Me-- the girl that leaves before dawn, like I'm one of those vampires from True Blood. And him-- well the quintessential Playboy. He's the kinda boy your mom loves to death, but only because you've spared her the stories of the heartbreak he’s caused. He.. is the cowboy. The guy that rides into town, wins over the townspeople, gets the girl, only to leave again and ride off into the sunset. He means no harm. It’s just his nature. He's untamable, except maybe by the one girl that gets him. That one girl.. is me.

So when John Wayne called me up the other night, quite unexpectedly, I was flabbergasted. It was one of those phone calls, where you try to string together a complete thought, and instead emerge with a bunch of random nonsense syllables. How on earth did this kid have this kind of power over me? Still, after all these years??
Turns out he’d called to tell me that he would be in town that weekend.

And had a relatively open schedule.

And he wanted to see me.

Preferably over dinner.

John and I have been here before. I have had dinner as both a date, and as a Wingman. And the second one nearly broke my heart. Then, there was last May’s walk in the rain. And that was the last I had seen of him. So why now? After all this time? Had the boy finally come to his senses and seen what was in front of him? Or was he still out gallivanting with his random conquests and reaching new western frontiers as cowboys tend to do? I marinated on his invitation for the rest of the night and barely slept a peep. Part of me still hated him for stringing me along all these years, all while singing my praises to everyone, including his own family. The other part of me couldn't help but see some small flame still flickering between us.

Now the only question remained.. Did I dare go towards the light??

After playing out the different potential scenarios in my head, I decided to take John up on his offer. My typical date night attire was jeans and a t shirt, but this particular night I had had events to attend and was still done up to the nines. Sure, I could’ve slipped into my blues and some cowboy boots, but part of me wanted him to see me like this. Too many nights in a ball cap and jeans were what had landed me in the “friend zone” in the first place I decided. It was time for John to realize what he’d left behind.

That night I ventured out to our meeting place: a quiet spot, for the two of us to not be seen or harassed in public, because well.. he gets harassed by creepy old dudes far more than I do. There, in the candlelight of the softly lit restaurant, I quietly sipped my wine. And waited and waited. And waited. An hour later, and no sign of the cowboy.. I finally had had enough. I paid my check, and went home.

The next morning, my phone erupted with texts from John, explaining that something had come up at the last minute, and that he was truly sorry for standing me up the previous night. And that, he “would love to see me that night.”

Dare I respond?

I sat on those texts the rest of the day, and debated with myself.

What to do? What to do?

If I continued to allow him to do this to me, there was no chance he would ever respect me. Here was a man I had grown to see as one of my closer friends, as someone who got me. But in reality, maybe he only "got" him, and I was the only one that got “us.” Still, I agreed to his terms and told him I would meet him that night. As dusk turned to darkness, I sat on my couch and watched the Yankees game. 10 pm rolled around and still no word from the cowboy. He had done it again.

That’ll do Jenn.. That’ll do.

I had had enough. It had been since my senior year prom that I had been stood up. But even as an adult, I still don't think rejection hurt any less.

Since that incident, John and I have exchanged a few texts but I have really just allowed things to lie. I don't need an explanation or an excuse, though I'm sure he’d find one. No, instead, I just ignore it, and let the chips fall where they may. While some of you may disagree with my course of action, I still stand by my decision. Besides, it was only a matter of time before he would mosey through town again. Only next time, I wouldn't give him a hero’s welcome. I still care about the kid, but I’ll be damned if I'm just going to sit around and pine over something I can't have. Rather than sit around and let the same relationships orbit around me, perhaps it was time for this cowgirl to discover her own new horizons, to find new uncharted territories. That's not to say I’d have to write John out of my story all together. But I definitely knew it was time to close his chapter. And by all means, learn from his story’s example.

And the moral is..

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Because you'll never know whose heart they'll break.

3 comments:

anthony0358 said...

I am so sorry to hear about that
How could a guy do that do you
That is so awful
You deserve so much better

jason said...

this guy is bat sh*t crazy! how could he let a girl like you get away? he should be kicking himself everyday for the rest of his life. you are very guys dream girl.

cosmo7 said...

Hi Jenn I’m not really sure if you read the comments people post on your blog but I just wanted to say thank you! I stumbled across your blog about the “Legend of the Lone Ranger” and couldn’t help but feel that those were the words I could have written about the last five years of my life, give or take. Obviously switch the role between me and a girl that has been my John Wayne so to speak.
To sum up, I spent the last five years giving this girl everything I had to offer and in turn got very little back. But there was a chemistry there that was un-explainable, something I couldn’t turn my back on no matter how much I felt I was being used. In short she wound up getting married this past June and left me in the wake of this roller coaster ride. I went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and everywhere in between. Now I’m 30 years old and have no direction when it comes to the relationship aspect of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I am very fortunate to have what I have. A great job being a high school teacher and coach, and wonderful family with a ton of nieces and nephews that mean the world to me! But there is always that “hole” in my life that I wish one day will be filled with a wonderful person at the core of it.
Basically the reason why I decided to write this is to say thank you! I pray that your words will give me the strength to move forward and continue to leave my heart open for someone to find. I wish you the best of luck and hope you find what makes you happy! God bless and have a happy new year!
-Dave