Act III – the Hard Part

(I did not “meet” him until much later, but me and Xander Harris are Simpatico! Xander: I’m just gonna go home, lie down, and listen to country music. The music of pain.) Not that Idlewild South has insufficiently pain evoking music, but I am saving one blisteringly painful song from Idlewild South for another part of this story and, sometimes I feel like I still need more rawness and have to go to the band’s first album. I have a fantastic story about the origin of this song. Piton Allman Brothers Blues Museum. Cue the Music and Go! Whipping Post

What does all this mean? I am not sure I yet have a comprehensive answer to that question. Here are a few things I have figured out or started to figure out since beginning this particular process of reflection. The pattern of behavior evinced in this relationship repeated many times in my life. One easy one for me to pick up on that I even recognized in the moment was my relationship with Angie (who really should have gotten a cooler code-name, but i was sleepy and confused when i first wrote about her) and to a lesser extent, my relationship with Sparkly McButterpants (more on those in the “near” future). A harder lesson that I sincerely hope I am done learning is that there was a point at which I was no longer involved in a relationship with these women but with the fantasy versions of them that lived in my head. Romance is nice, so is fantasy and imagination. But following the threads of imagination to the extent that you become the only one left in the “relationship” is a bit too far.

I have started to recognize that while I did have repeats on the butter-side-down end of this dynamic, it also affected how I behaved in relationships when I was the one dreamt of and pursued. I disappeared on many girls. The few times that I either did not or was unable to fade away, I told lies. I believed that I was doing the right thing in telling odd lies to justify my exit from a relationship. Now I am not so sure. It seems to me that getting dumped sucks, period. A break-up talk is not a rational exercise. Your words are not going to be heard and absorbed in a thoughtful manner no matter what you have to say, so why not lead with the truth and hopefully the person will be able to examine that later instead of coming to a rational point and recognizing, “I still have no idea what happened there?!”

But then again, there really are very few reasons that people break up. For me, in almost every case, it was a simple equation – you loved me more than I loved you, you wanted more from me than I was willing to give, and despite the feelings you have or think you have about me and us, I can see that it is better for each of us to shut this down and allow us to not get trapped in a thing that isn’t working and enable us to move on to other opportunities.

As time passed after the Kim scenario, the more I thought about it, and the more I was put into the “Kim” role in relationships, I started to recognize that it is not an easy thing to do. That previous paragraph sounds great and while I hope I will never need it, maybe I am now mature enough and hopefully someone I might date would be mature enough to handle a conversation like that. But that is an impossible sell as a teenager or even a lovelorn 20 something.

I believe in truth and telling the truth, but I do think there are times when there is a distinct difference between truth and full disclosure. You want to be honest with people, but you don’t need to be hurtful with the truth. “We want different things. We are not headed in the same direction. I don’t love you anymore.” These are all hard enough to say and deal with, there is no need to throw in “I hate your Mom.”

Given these past few paragraphs, I am still a bit on the fence about truth versus lies/avoidance in these scenarios. When I look back at my big three lost loves, Kim, Angie and Sparkly McButterpants, the answers are obvious. They either did not love me, or did not have the same level or intensity of feeling to such an extent that they got to the “this is never gonna happen/work out” point and bailed. Hopefully I won’t need to know or use that answer anymore.

In the meantime, as that question slow cooks on the back burner, I will try to focus on the things I have learned and continue to work on becoming more of who I want to be, avoiding the extremes of the fantasies and trying to stay connected to the real. Learn to become more focused and brutal in analyzing my needs, wants, and desires in order to better communicate those to others. Learn to listen more to the needs, wants, and desires of the actual real human woman in the relationship rather than communing with the fantasy version in my head.

That is it for now folks. There are at least two more segments of this tale – Angie and Sparkly McButterpants. I have had most of the Angie portion written since the end of November, but writing that led me to recognize that I could not start the reveal of this story with the last main leading lady. I had to go back to the beginning. In addition to wanting to learn more about myself through the writing process, entertain and hopefully spark you readers to some of your own reflective thoughts, I wanted this to be entertaining enough that Sparkly Mcbutterpants might follow Kim’s generous lead and allow me to reveal her true identity!! We don’t talk frequently, but we are still in touch…

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