Trying to be friends with an ex is a special kind of hell…

I think one of the craziest things about the breakup with Grant is that in a matter of three days he went from being someone I confided everything in, to someone I wasn’t even facebook friends with. During the breakup Grant had said he wanted to stay friends, which seemed absurd considering while he was speaking I was imagining my own episode of Dateline;
“And why on the same day that Grant disappeared had Becca bought a shovel? She claims it was a coincidence, she had simply decided to take up gardening. But it was well known that Becca hated the outdoors unless it involved a patio and vodka. Her alibi was falling apart…”
I couldn’t imagine phoning him to chat about work and pretend like I was ok with everything that had happened. So I said no to being friends… well, technically I said a lot of profanities that added up to “no”.

Right after the breakup with Grant, I was trying to rationalize everything (because breakups always make perfect sense). I needed to figure out what I could have done wrong, so I phoned the one person I knew would tell me. I phoned Parker. I know it seems weird to go to your old-ex and ask how to get your new-ex back, and it was. It was super weird.

My life is not a romantic comedy. If it were, this story would end with Parker and his British accent riding in on a white horse, and us riding off into the sun together. It would be perfect, except I’m terrified of horses and I’m really pale, so the sun is my sworn enemy.
Parker was great to talk about the breakup with because he wasn’t nice about it. He gave me the kick in the ass I needed (not literally, just to be clear, no violence occurred). He reminded me that I’m more Rihanna than June Cleaver, and what Grant considered my weaknesses are actually my strengths. Most importantly, he told me to stop feeling sorry for myself… then he drove off in his white car into the night, alone.

My relationship and friendship with Grant is done, much like this bottle of Prosecco I just drank… But I hope he’s doing well (just not as well as I am) and I hope he’s happy (just not as happy as I am) and I hope he finds someone really nice one day (that’s a lie, I hope she’s insane and writes about him on the internet…).

 

I was always told that living well is the best revenge, but I really hate ‘healthy living’ blogs, so I’ll stick with my crazy…

One of the biggest fights Grant and I had was about me spending a weekend with my best friends instead of going to his friend’s Christmas party (and I didn’t even tell him we ended up dancing on a stage with a band that night). I loved Grant, and I tried to compromise about that weekend, but my best friends had to come first then.
My friend Camilla is my “life partner”, when you date a lot of different people you want someone who is a constant in your life. Not going to lie, some men I’ve dated have thought I shared too many personal details with Camilla.

We are fiercely protective of each other, especially when it comes to men. About 3 weeks after the breakup with Brent, Camilla and I were in her car on the way to her apartment at about 10pm, when I saw something on the floor and reached down to pick up what turned out to be a tomato. I showed it to Camilla, she said it must have fallen out of her grocery bag earlier… then without hesitation she hit her left turn signal. I knew immediately where she wanted to go and what she wanted to do. (If you plan to screw around on a girl, it is highly advisable that you have secure parking for your car, there’re a lot of crazy girls out there.)

I told Camilla that I didn’t actually want to tomato Brent’s car, but she was a woman on a mission. We listened to easy rock (Phil Collins in particular) to pump ourselves up, and ended up driving past the entrance to Brent’s building about 4 times before I remembered which one was his.
As we pulled into his parking lot only large enough for one car to drive down at a time, I pointed out Brent’s car – it was parked right by the back entrance to the building. I now had my hat and sunglasses on, which definitely didn’t look suspicious at all…
Without a second thought, Camilla had gotten out of the car and was strutting towards Brent’s car, tomato in hand. As she approached a motion sensor light turned on revealing Camilla in all her badass glory. She froze then quickly turned and looked at me, then back at the car, then back at me, and finally back at the car. She decided to run up to the car, lift up Brent’s windshield wiper and proceed to delicately place the tomato under it. Camilla then bolted back to her car, hopped behind the wheel and we reversed out of the parking lot at top speed. I am quite positive a raccoon probably got the tomato off the windshield about 10 minutes later, but I’m sure the raccoon delivered the message to Brent not to screw around, they are reliable creatures.

We are very protective of each other, but our revenge plots need a touch more planning. I asked Camilla what she would do if she ever runs into Grant. She said she would kick him in the balls, and as he falls to his knees point at him and say, “you know.”
Then she laughed and said, “Not really, I’ll probably just give him an angry stare.”

If you don’t laugh at my joke, I will repeat it at least 4 more times just to make sure you heard it correctly.

Obviously I’m hilarious, I’m also a bit delusional though so I might only be moderately funny, either way I crack myself up. One of the things that attracted me to Grant was that he had a good sense of humour and never took anything too seriously. He could match me pretty well for jokes, and it’s important to note that I’m very sarcastic (if you hadn’t noticed). I only mean about 70% of what I say, which is great when people understand that. Grant understood and would laugh, but towards the end he took all of my jokes seriously, which was frightening since I said and did some pretty crazy things.

There was the everyday sarcasm, like when he asked me why I always chose to wear black and I responded, “well it’s because it matches my soul.”  Or how I put a nutcracker holding a knife in the kitchen for him to find in the morning when he got up to make breakfast (it was meant to be helpful).

There were also the more elaborate jokes that he didn’t laugh at, like when I went into the bedroom the night before he was going on a trip. He had just gone to bed about five minutes earlier and all the lights were out, I crept in and began to whisper to him;
Me – “Grant… are you awake? Grant…”
Grant – “What is it?”
Me – “I was just wondering… since you’re going away, I thought maybe you’d like a lock of my hair?”
Grant – “What? Why?”
Me – “Well to remember me, obviously.”
Grant – “No.”
Me – “Oh… ok. Well can I have a lock of your hair then?”
Grant – “What? No!”
Me – “Ok, it’s ok. You just go to sleep, I’ll just cut a small piece from the back, you won’t even know.”
Grant – “No! Stop, it’s enough.”
Me – “Ok, Goodnight babe… I’ll be right back. I’m definitely not going to get the scissors.”

But the funniest thing of all happened during the breakup, Grant suddenly laughed at my jokes again. It was rounding the second hour of the breakup and it was clear at this point the relationship was over. We were sitting in the living room in silence when I made a sarcastic remark and he genuinely laughed. I was caught off guard because I hadn’t heard him laugh at something I’d said in weeks.
I asked him, “Oh, you think I’m funny again?”  and he replied, “I’ve always thought you were funny.”  I asked him to tell me the last time he had laughed at one of my jokes. He couldn’t do it.

In hindsight it was simply another sign I was ignoring that something was wrong. But the upside is that now I have the opportunity to charm other men with my sarcastic and often borderline-crazy humour, and hopefully they’ll laugh… or call the police, either way it will make a good post.

“That’s not what the psychic said!!” – Turns out, not a valid argument

Rumours – I love and hate them at the same time. There’s something that makes you feel undeniably like a teenager when someone has really good gossip for you. Sometimes I’m grateful people gossip because it can save you from awkward situations, like the one in my work meeting the other day.
As I sat down in the boardroom one of the women looked across the table and said “So are you ready for the gala this weekend?”  I knew what was coming next, it was so obvious, but I simply said “Yes.”
She quickly followed up with, “Do I finally get to meet your man?!” A co-worker beside her was visibly uncomfortable. I smiled politely and said “He actually won’t be able to attend, he already has plans in hell.”  Not really, people at work already think I’m a touch unstable, I just said that we broke up. We proceeded with the meeting which included the topics of Valentine’s Day and what couples like to do. I didn’t have many constructive ideas to contribute.

I’m guilty of precipitating rumours with my writing it’s what I’ve always done though (I’m kind of like the Taylor Swift of the blog world, except for the famous, rich, blond and dating celebrities part). The day after the breakup I wanted answers so badly I went to a psychic and had her do a tarot card reading. I didn’t like what she told me, although it’s what I had been theorizing, but how could I phone Grant up and start yelling at him for something the universe said. I walk a fine line, but I have limits to my crazy.

One thing I didn’t expect is that Grant would be telling people what happened during our Chernobyl of a breakup. I sat down for dinner with my friend who recounted the events of that fateful day to me. When I asked how he knew, he said that a girl I didn’t know told him, she had run into a girl at a bar who knows Grant, and heard about it from her. Apparently the girl just wanted to know if I was ok, which is thoughtful for a stranger. If I were actually Taylor Swift I would send her a gift basket of some sort, but I’m not, and I’ve just added vodka and shoes back into my budget, so money’s a bit tight.

I’ve had to work hard to not listen to the rumours and the theories people have for me. I feel like if I start to believe them I will turn into Carrie from Homeland and transform my living room wall into a giant investigation board.
There’re two sides to every story, I have mine and Grant has his. Somewhere in the middle is the truth. I will of course always prefer my version, unless Grant describes himself using the same profanities I do, then maybe I would like his version too.

I’m trying to avoid music that reminds me of my Ex, so I mostly listen to Hasidic Jewish songs and the occasional banjo anthem now.

As I move on from the disaster that I affectionately refer to as ‘my last relationship’ (which I know seems harsh, but you wouldn’t call the Titanic a ‘lovely cruise’ just because the beginning was good.) I do so with all the grace of a baby deer learning to walk. I’ve had a few ups and downs with sporadic crying followed by a solid hour of female empowerment music, but I’ve mostly evened out now.
The only trick is to avoid things that remind me of him, which is much more difficult than I imagined. I am one of those people that forever attaches meaning and significances to useless things. When I dated that guy Brent 2 years ago we had a joke about pineapples, I just sent him a picture of a crystal pineapple a few days ago because it reminded me of him. Two years later and pineapples still remind me of a man who never came close to meaning what Grant did to me.

From the beginning I knew Grant was different than the other guys I dated, so I started keeping silly things from dates. I’m not saying I’m a hoarder, but I’m not not a hoarder. I’m not Grey Gardens level yet, but you know, another 30 years, some scarves and a lot of cats and I can probably get there.
I’ve had to collect the things I was saving and put them all in one place so that I can stop seeing them around. For Christmas Grant gave me a custom made version of my favourite book that has been hollowed out so you’re able to store things in it. My favourite book is The Great Gatsby – if you haven’t read it, it’s a wonderful love story that ends in abandonment and murder.

Things I’m packing up that remind me of Grant
1. The book he lent me after on our first date
2. The picture of the egg I accidentally smashed on his counter after proclaiming I make “the best eggs”
3. A tab from a beer can on our first date and napkin ring from a restaurant on our first trip together
4. A ticket stub from a hockey game and our winning raffle ticket from a charity event we attended
5. A t-shirt I wore the first time we made pizza together and he made fun of me endlessly for that says “Mikey’s Friends” across it
There is one thing I took during the breakup that won’t fit in the book and I can’t stand to look at. I took the pizza oven I bought him, with my exact words being “I’m taking the pizza oven, and I want you to know I’m never going to use it, I’m taking it out of spite because you don’t deserve to have crispy crusts.”

There are also a few things I left at his place that will remind him of me until he gets rid of them too.
1. My poncho and sombrero that I wear while preparing Mexican food (apologies for any cultural insensitivity)
2. My ice cream (which I hope he cried into while eating)
3. The pizza slicer (because I totally forgot and would have taken it out of spite too)
4. Strands of my hair (because I shed more than a cat)

I’m no relationship expert, but I figure to have a successful second go with an ex you’re suppose to stop dating the rebound…

The thing about playing games is that sometimes the other team has a plan you don’t know about. So when you get cocky and think you’re the one dictating how things will happen and who will win, that’s when you get blindsided. That’s what happened with me and Brent, I was confident that I was in control and then bam – suddenly I was the one wondering what happened.
Breaking up is a tricky thing and I do not know what went on between Brent and his ex. But, I will say that there is nothing worse than breaking up with someone and thinking you’ll be the one that comes out on top… and then you’re not. Suddenly they’ve rebounded, they’re happy and they’re not pining for you like you thought they would… that can suddenly make you want them back, sometimes for no other reason than to prove to yourself that they still want you.

Although I felt uneasy about where things were going between Brent and me, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. We were still seeing each other on a regular basis and when we were together everything was great… until he got sloppy.
We went for lunch on a Sunday and then went back to his place to hang out. When I walked in I noticed the giant keyboard that was sitting on his dining room table. I honestly didn’t think twice about it, it’s the reality of him being in a band with his ex. But then I noticed the freshly burned candles on the table where the keyboard was. I never questioned him about the candles because I wasn’t sure if I was jumping to conclusions.
Two weeks later it’s a Friday night and we agreed to meet at his place to hangout but I ended up being delayed. He phoned me to say that he was super tired and could we rain-check. I said sure, and that’s when he told me that he was leaving for 4 days to go camping with his “band”. Well the thing is, the other people in his band have Monday-Friday jobs, except for the keyboardist, she works 4 days on, 4 days off. Now I was angry because I was sure he thought I must be an idiot. Four days go by and just like he promised he texted me when he got back to make plans;

Him – How are you?
Me – Great. How was camping?
Him – Glad to hear it. We didn’t camp we actually rented a cabin on the beach, mostly just drank. Are you sticking around this weekend? We should hang out.
Me – That sounds fun, did the whole band go?

Even though he had wanted to get together he never responded back to me. But it was a day later when I got my actual answer of what was really going on – being on tv you think he would try to be more careful…
I had his show on, passively listening when I heard his co-host say; “It’s always hard to travel with someone. Brent, you just got back from a weekend trip with your significant other. How was that?”
He changed the topic mighty fast. I went back and listened 4 more times to make sure I heard correctly, then I texted him;

Me – I didn’t know you were just on a trip with your significant other. I actually wasn’t aware that you had a significant other.
Him – ummm what?
Me – I heard your co-host say this morning on air that you just got back from a trip with your significant other.
Him – Hahaha no, we were talking about a road trip from hell that I took with an ex.

That’s the last time I heard from him – he was denying that he was seeing someone else and I was too over it to care anymore. A quick look on the keyboardist’s facebook page (btw its 2013, probably should figure out how privacy settings work) showed me that they were very much together. And oh, it had just been her birthday – I think my favorite post on her page was her friend saying that she “hopes Brent spoils her rotten”. Right… so turns out that he hadn’t just recently started fooling around with her again. They were fully back in a relationship and somehow I ended up the “other woman”. I was never upset that he was back with her, I was upset he didn’t even have the decency to own up to it. I was upset he didn’t give me the choice of whether I wanted to continue seeing him while he was in a relationship with someone else (NO).
I don’t have anything I care to say to him, maybe just thanks for the blog material and I hope your girlfriend isn’t a reader…