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End of an Era
Sunday, 2005 April 10 - 9:25 pm
This is the story of Leigh. Only a couple of people know this story, but now it's time for me to tell the world.

On Friday, I noticed that a pair of my sunglasses were broken.



These are sunglasses I bought on a trip to Boston with my then-friend Leigh. Leigh and I casually dated for a few months back in 2002.

I met Leigh on-line. She had a cute and charming femininity about her; she was the kind of girl who liked to giggle, who typed all her e-mails in lower-case, and who liked things having to do with Hello Kitty. She could rattle off quotes from "The Simpsons", she could drink and curse like a sailor, and she had good taste in movies and food. I fell for her quickly. This was the picture from her profile:



On our first date in May of 2002, we went to Royal India for dinner. There was a little bit of awkwardness, but mostly we had a really fun time. I remember asking her, though, what she thought her worst traits were. (That question, at the time, was part of a package of questions designed to weed out people who weren't sufficiently self-aware.) Her response was, "Sometimes I can be cruel." That raised a red flag for me, but since everything else was going so well, I looked past it. We had several follow-up dates in rapid succession, and we started to get pretty close.

Thanks largely to the effects of alcohol, the relationship became intimate; but, we never got to the point where we were "committed". We e-mailed or talked every day, we shared lots of secrets, and we had plenty of laughs and good times. But we were still dating other people. We both kept our on-line profiles active. In retrospect, a lot of our conversations centered on ridiculing everyone else's on-line profiles.

When I finally started to indicate that I wanted to take the relationship to the next level, she backed away and gave me the "let's 'BEE' friends" speech. I think this is the point where our relationship started to go downhill a little, because we no longer had equal standing. I was the chaser, and she was the chased; that gave her all the power, and probably diminished my stature in her eyes.

We remained close, though. We spent a lot of time together. We took a weekend trip to Winston Salem for a wine festival. I guess I was still clinging to the hope that she would "come around" eventually, and that we would end up Together Forever. I know, I know, in hindsight it's easy to see how naïve that was. I mean, usually people stop making that mistake after being burned enough times. But when you're in love, it's easy to forget everything you've learned.

In August, we took a trip to Boston to spend some time with a few of her old friends. When we got there, I realized I had forgotten my sunglasses, so I bought a new pair:



The trip was both good and bad. We had some really fun times, like when we went to the FAO Schwartz store, and I took two of my all-time favorite pictures of her. (Note that we spent a fair amount of time in the Hello Kitty section.)




But there were a lot of times when I felt like an outsider among all her friends, and I felt a little bit neglected. And what's more, I increasingly started to suspect that Leigh was harboring some resentment toward me; perhaps she thought I was being too needy, or perhaps spending that much time together was difficult no matter how well we got along.

By the time we got back from the trip, it was clear she didn't want much to do with me. At first I thought we just needed some time apart... until she said some mean things about me that got back to me, because I had (unbeknownst to her) recently made friends with someone she knew. My confidant was reluctant to share some of the details about what Leigh had said, but (like an idiot) I said I really wanted to know the truth.

So it all became clear to me. Just as we had ridiculed other people as we browsed through their on-line profiles, she was now ridiculing me. It was just as she had warned me: she could be cruel. I was paying the price for ignoring the red flag.

So I wrote her an e-mail saying that it didn't seem like she was interested in being friends with me any more. Her terse response said: "i guess we learned a few things about each other on the trip. i'm sorry you feel that way."

I wrote her several emotional e-mails after that, with each one becoming more apologetic for being such a whiny and overly-sensitive wuss. She never responded.

The last I heard from my confidant, Leigh had gotten engaged to be married. I wrote her a congratulatory (and conciliatory) note. She did not respond.

So Friday I noticed that the sunglasses were broken, and I thought of her. But what surprised me was that I didn't get the same pangs of regret that I'd felt for two years. So I took the sunglasses breaking as a sign: a sign that I'm finally over her, and a sign that I'm ready to break with the past.

Leigh, if you ever see this, I hope you're not upset that I wrote about you. And I hope you see how much I cared for you, and I how much I still care for you. I choose to remember all the good times we had together.

But now I'm moving on.
Permalink  3 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: datinglife

Comments

Comment #1 from Javi (Guest)
2005 Apr 11 - 9:45 am : #
dude, great entry.
Comment #2 from Crouching Hamster (Guest)
2005 Apr 11 - 7:42 pm : #
Touching.
Comment #3 from Speaker (Guest)
2005 May 16 - 2:48 pm : #
agree with above.

Comments are closed for this post.
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