But baby, don’t get it twisted
You was just another nigga on the hit list
Tryna fix your inner issues with a bad bitch
Didn’t they tell you that I was a savage
Fuck your white horse and a carriage
Bet you never could imagine
Never told you could have it
You needed me
Oooh, you needed me
Feel a little more, and give a little less
Know you hate to confess
But baby who, you needed me
I’ve read some of those really nice letters other bloggers have written and posted on the internet. A lot of them are sort of a “New User’s Guide” to loving my old lover. They are often times friendly and overly pleasant. As I read through most of these posts, I get the feeling the writer is penning a note to a fellow book club, or Sunday school, or yoga class member. The words are sweet, kind, and thoughtful.
I have a feeling this letter will not read exactly like the ones mentioned above.
You will probably not find it friendly, or pleasant, or sweet, or kind.
However, I have thought long and hard about this message. I hope you do too.
To my ex-boyfriend’s new fiancée,
I think of you often.
It’s silly because I don’t know you, or your story, or how you ended up here.
But I still think of you.
Sometimes, my mind cannot help but wander to the negative: “What kind of girl would jump into a relationship with a man just weeks after his 10-year relationship went on ‘break’? What kind of girl would want to come to a wedding where his ex is the maid of honor? What kind of girl moves into a home he ‘made’ with another girlfriend?”
My wheels spin.
I’m not that type of woman.
I’m not the type of woman who “blames” the other woman. Because I’ve been there. I’ve been her. I’ve made stupid decisions for a man.
I’ve made stupid decisions for that man.
So then, I think of him.
“What lies has he told her to make her do the things she is doing? How much has he manipulated, and coerced, and tricked her into thinking this is what’s best? There is no way to know what he has told her…”
Again. I have been there.
I have been there for 10 long years. I have loved him. And I have done really terrible things for him – really terrible things just to prove my love for him.
He probably hasn’t mentioned those things, has he? He told me once that you “know everything.” I have a feeling you don’t. He’s never told anyone “everything” before. Not even me. That’s why I have a special file on my external hard drive.
The name of that file is: Proof.
I know it sounds crazy. But consider what happens to your mind over the course of 10 years. Consider what happens to your mind after a decade’s worth of lies, and half-truths, and cheating, and inappropriate messages to other women, and ultimatums, and broken promises. Consider what happens to your mind when you’re riddled with depression and anxiety. Consider what happens to your mind when you’ve given your all to a person who gave you nothing in return.
You haven’t done that yet, have you?
Given him your all. Your everything. Your whole being. You still have your own friends, and your own hobbies, and watch your own television shows, and visit your own family, right?
You’re probably thinking back over the last year, racking your brain, “When was the last time I did something I wanted to do? When was the last time I spent the weekend at someplace other than the racetrack, or at a rental house, or on the farm, or riding horses?” You probably can’t remember a time. Can you?
So you most certainly can’t remember a time.
Because that’s what he’s looking for – someone who will completely submit to him. He’s looking for someone who will be within arms reach for the rest of his days. He wants a “yes, babe” woman. A little lady.
Then again, maybe you enjoy all of those things.
Please say you enjoy all of those things.
For the sake of his happiness and yours, I pray you enjoy all of those things. I pray you enjoy drag racing, and feeding cattle, and leaky pipes, and runaway horses, and goats shitting on your front stoop, and football, and zombies, and Twilight, and shitty cars, and weird food, and half-finished projects, and vegetable gardens, and tree-less yards, and buying in bulk.
I also pray that he’s good to you.
I didn’t spend 10 years with that man for nothing.
I didn’t put in all of that work for nothing.
He had better be respectful. He had better be honest. He had better be grateful, and thankful, and selfless, and sweet, and generous, and thoughtful, and caring. He had better be a good listener. He had better be faithful. And he had better be on fucking time.
They say you can’t change a person.
For your sake, I hope I was able to.
I always told him, “Tyler, the things I want you to change aren’t hard! And if I were to leave you tomorrow, any woman would want a man who possessed these qualities!” He never seemed to get it when we were together. But for your sake, I pray that I was able to change him.
I pray you are good to him too.
I pray you are everything I couldn’t be.
I pray you are soft, and understanding, and affectionate. I pray you are far less opinionated and foul-mouthed. I pray you are a small town, country girl. I pray you aren’t too stubborn, or hard-headed, or independent. I pray you don’t “know it all.” I pray you aren’t sarcastic. I pray you don’t sneak through his phone when he’s acting funny. I pray you aren’t smart enough to string together all the inconsistencies in his stories.
I pray you are a good fit.
Because we’re a tough crowd…
I can remember the day I was brought into this group.
It was the day before my sixteenth birthday. Jeb called. He asked if I wanted to go out on the lake. It was random but I agreed. I can remember standing on the dock at the Rietzel’s house. We never made it on the water. A summer storm came through and ruined our afternoon plans. Anyhow, one thing led to another, and we ended up at the Antal’s for some night swimming.
I consider that the night I “officially” met Tyler.
He tells a different story.
Mainly, because the boys had plotted together to set me up with him.
That didn’t happen, obviously.
Well, I’d like to think it was because Jeb fell madly in love with me. And maybe he did. But the real reason?
At least, I think that was her name. Sometimes I get them mixed up. After all this time, names start to blur together. Regardless, Tyler had a girlfriend.
He always has a girlfriend.
And side chicks.
He always has a side chick.
So, that’s when it started. June 9, 2004. Twelve years ago. A long. fucking. time ago.
I would have never imagined 12 years ago, standing on a dock by the lake, that my life would eventually become these people. But it did. And here we are.
For years, I was the matriarch of this rag-tag group of friends. I was “Mother Goose.” I planned dinners, and vacations, and parties, and outings, and birthdays, and holidays. I started traditions. Traditions you’ve probably been a part of since my move. I met many a girlfriend. And I was in weddings too.
We were a family. And I loved us. Our late nights, our “fellowship,” our meals together, our memories, our good, bad, and ugly. I loved every bit of it. I was a proud Momma.
Today, these people are just as much my friends as they are his. Actually, if we’re being honest, some of them are probably more loyal to me than they are to him. Regardless of loyalties though, I love each one. I love them so much that I considered them in my decision to move. “It would be easier on everyone. No one will have to choose. I’ll just bow out.” And I’ve since been thanked for making everyone’s lives so much less – awkward.
The same could not be said for him. Or you, for that matter. But then again, they aren’t your friends, right? Not your business. Not your problem.
Well, they are now.
I know it probably wasn’t the wedding gift you were anticipating. A group of drunken assholes – probs not on your registry. You were most likely thinking something a little less, Miller Lite, and a little more, Pottery Barn, huh? Well, joke’s on you, ’cause if you thought that present sucked then you’re really gonna hate this next one…
I will always be around.
I will never go away.
I will forever be a force in your life. You will walk into the homes of some of his very best friends and see my face hanging on their walls. Rarely will a story be told that I wasn’t there for, or around for, or didn’t hear first. There is no Facebook blocker strong enough to eradicate me from your reality. And no matter how far I decide to move away, the miles between us will never seem too great.
As if that isn’t bad enough, I am a huge presence. I have a larger than life personality. I can fill a room. I love being the center of attention. I’m loud, and silly, and funny. I am a guy’s girl in heels and lipstick. I’m not afraid to say exactly what is on my mind. I am not ashamed of my stories, or my feelings, or making people feel uncomfortable. And, I have a website – so that fucking sucks.
Hello. I’m your ex-girlfriend.
Think of it like this: Have you ever flown West at dusk?
If you look out the plane window you can watch the sunset for hours. Behind you, the world is dark. But the horizon? The horizon glows incessantly. You truly feel as though you are chasing the sun. “Will it ever end?” It’s captivating, and beautiful, and maddening, and kind of scary.
Christian, you might be his world now… but I am the sun.
Everything you do and say will be compared to me. The way you act, the way you react, your attitude, your thoughts, opinions, the way you dress, your hair, what you eat, your good, your bad, your – everything – will be compared to me. You are here because I opted out. You are here because I never opted back in. You are here because I dedicated 10 long, hard, happy, sad, lonely, suffocating, blissfully terrible years to him. Your relationship is a direct result of mine.
But, if it makes you feel any better, the same could be said about him and my life.
As much as I hate to admit it, he is my sun.
He is everything I want, and don’t want, all at the same time. All of my new boyfriends are compared to him: “Does he lie? Yes – Move it along, buddy. Is he into drag racing? Nope – I’ll have two, thanks. Can he fix, build, or create anything? Nope – Get tha fuck outta here. Would I be able to wear all of the shoes in my closet and him still be taller? Yes – Where do I sign the marriage license.” He will always be there lurking in the back of my mind.
Eventually, things will change.
A long time from now. Maybe after kids? That’s if he can make up his mind on whether or not he even wants to have children. Or maybe things will change after you’ve been through everything we went through together. Or maybe it won’t. But here’s the thing, you’ve just got to keep telling yourself, “This is what I said ‘yes’ to.”
Shit. I’m not helping, am I?
Huh. Well, here’s to hopin’ someone gets you some really badass pots for the big day.