Monday, March 16, 2009

And now, for a total pick-me-up post...

First off, a public service message to my single friends out there. Have you ever had a Catch.mom subscription, but let it lapse (or set up a user name and password, but didn't actually pay for membership, thinking, "I'm just going to lurk and check things out for a little while first")? During that period of non-payment, have you gotten messages from Catch.mom excitedly telling you that someone winked at you(!), and encouraging you to pony up for membership to find out who? In case you have wondered if perhaps Catch.mom is messing with you, if perhaps NO ONE has winked at you, and these mysterious emails are just a way of suckering you over to the signup screen, YOU WOULD BE CORRECT! Do not fall for this trap, my friends.

I am feeling more than a bit jaded and beaten down at the moment, so before my account could auto-renew recently, I clicked through the four pages of hoops they make you jump through ("Are you SURE you want to cancel? No, are you really, REALLY sure you want to cancel? Perhaps you didn't understand the question. Do you really, really, REALLY want to cancel? You must be joking, right? Because NO ONE could possibly EVER want to leave..."), and I stopped my membership. But because I didn't want Mr. Perfect-for-Me stumbling across my profile immediately thereafter and sending me an impossibly clever, well-crafted message that I would actually never see, I also hid my profile so that no one browsing through the listings would be able to view me. And yet, THREE TIMES since I did this, I have gotten messages from Catch.mom, assuring me that Mr. Right is out there, and he's winked at and is waiting for me. Obviously I am unconvinced. If Mr. Perfect-for-Me has the techno-skills to find and view my invisible-to-him profile and discern a way to wink at me, then he should have the skills to locate me in person and woo me in real life, possibly plying me with free drinks. Until that happens, I'm just going to assume Catch.mom takes me for a sucker, and frankly I won't have some silly web site do that to me.

All this is a roundabout lead-in to the question I have been dodging for a while now. I have been vague-blogging recently, and I do apologize for that, mentioning a stupid boy and a metaphorical stomach ache, but not elaborating beyond that at all. I've talked about only one prospect recently, and hence, the question could of course be distilled simply to, "Hey Stef. What ever happened to The Buddhist?"

What ever happened to The Buddhist indeed. Unfortunately, I can distill it to an equally simple answer. I have no fucking idea, to be frank. The Buddhist has, as far as I can tell, completely vanished on me.

I could tell you the long version or the short version of this story. The long version is fraught with idle details and personal commentary, so perhaps the short, "just the facts" version is the one you'd rather hear from me. The facts are thus. I had my doubts. I knew The Buddhist was in a not-so-great place personally and professionally right now. He lost his job the week we reconnected. His finances are a mess. But I honestly thought he had grown up a lot emotionally since we'd last met. I wanted to believe our paths crossed again for a reason. I wanted to believe maybe it was supposed to work this time. There were red flags just like there were eight years ago. But along with those red flags, there were compliments and glimmers of hope. He used the words "relationship" and "girlfriend" in near-direct allusion to me. He gave me the key-code to his house. He told me to remember what kind of cake I baked for his birthday, because he'd want the same cake again next year. We talked about how the last time we dated, he didn't break up with me when he started feeling freaked out about the status of us; he just grew more distant and flakey until it forced me to break up with him. We talked about that, and he looked me in the eyes and said, in all earnestness, "I promise I won't do that this time. I promise that if this isn't working for me, I will tell you it's not working for me. I promise I won't do that to you again." He told me that, and I followed it, of course, by asking, "So... is this working for you?" and he answered, "Absolutely." And a week later, he vanished with no explanation or warning. And I remain hurt and baffled by it.

Without going into too much detail, I can think of at least two semi-valid (in his mind) reasons he might have completely shut down and shut me out. Because I have an overactive imagination, I can think of at least 11 additional, near-ludicrous reasons he disappeared with no notice. But none of those reasons justify the complete and total vanishing act. None of those reasons keep me from wanting to punch him in the stomach should I ever see him again. I say this, and yet, I know this idiot has some hold on me. I am a smart girl, and yet, I still want to hear from him. I want an explanation. And somewhere, in some shameful, Jerry Springer Guest Candidate part of me that I wouldn't admit if I hadn't just finished off the rest of the sangria I made for a friend's brunch yesterday, I actually want to believe we still have a chance.

What that is about I have no idea. When did I become an "I sure know how to pick 'em" kind of girl? Did I tell you that The Traffic Engineer contacted me yet again not so long ago? The Traffic Engineer, who is a perfectly nice man who unfortunately does nothing for me. A man who I had a completely filters-off dinner with two months ago, in which I sighed about my recent (at the time) "best date of '08" disappointment and he gingerly countered by asking if perhaps I'd considered the possibility that I might be too picky. I was not in top form on that non-date. I didn't care what he thought of me, because nice as he is, I thought little of him. And yet, a month and a half later, in comes another message from the man, asking if I'd perhaps like to see another movie together. Maybe The Traffic Engineer is a prideless loser. The more time passes, the more I think that's probably the case. Or maybe he's just a nice guy beaten down by dating just like I am. It's unfortunate I can't muster any interest in him whatsoever. No, instead I'm crying over some apparently fake Buddhist who should be concerned about karmic consequences and yet who's treated me with more disregard than any idiot since my 25 and clueless days. Perhaps you have some insight on that, because I really can't explain it myself.

Maybe I'm supposed to meet The Buddhist again in another eight years. Maybe the third time is a charm. Wouldn't that be an even better Lifetime movie? Or maybe, as is more likely, I need to admit that I was wrong about him, that all that wondering over the years was for nothing and he has never particularly been worth my time. It'd be easier if it really were just that simple, wouldn't it?

20 comments:

Mickey said...

Gosh I was waiting for your next post so I could leave a comment asking a random question that has nothing to do with your post and lead your readers off on an Aaron Burr-like tangent. In good fun, of course.

But now I just want to find the Buddhist and slap him a few times until he comes around.

lizgwiz said...

Oh, man. Of all possible ways for a relationship to end, the disappearing act is the WORST. You never get any closure. You can't help but wonder if he was hit by a bus, and is lying even now in a coma somewhere. AACCCKKK!

I feel for you, my friend.

badger reader said...

What is up with the random and unexplainable hold stupid boys have on us (otherwise mostly) sensible girls? Argh. I feel for you hun!
ps - you have a .com that slipped through with all the .mom references. :)

-R- said...

Ugh.

PS If you send me the Buddhist's address, I could send H over to look menacing.

courtney said...

Bleck. That blows, Stefanie. You deserve so much better than a disappearing act, especially after he freaking promised you he wouldn't do exactly that.

But. I don't think being depressed about it makes you not smart. It means you need closure, and that's perfectly understandable. You are still smart, and you shouldn't settle for any old traffic engineer that doesn't do anything for you, and you don't deserve to be left in the dark by ye olde Buddhist.

I want to fly to Minneapolis and kick this guy's ass myself.

nancypearlwannabe said...

The Buddhist can pretend to be zen all he wants but it's obvious he has serious issues. Issues that are not about you in any way, even though it feels like that right now.

You're too good for him.

NGS said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, Stefanie.

I've gotta echo NPW's sentiments here. He's got some problems and they have nothing to do with you.

If you need some downtime, we can always get together and eat some ice cream!! Outside. Because it's finally getting warmer. (I'm trying for a bright side here!)

TMC said...

I'd apologize on behalf of all Buddhists but we're an eclectic, uncategorizable bunch who squabble amongst ourselves.

I will say that if this fellow is only recently become a Buddhist (>5 years), his head is probably filled with attempts at grapsing the principle of nonattachment which is often misunderstood by newbies as "everything in the world is bad and I should avoid it at all costs." Unfortunately, that usually includes people. If he already had a history of committment issues, I'd say you're better off without him, IMO. I can assure you, however, that not all Buddhists are this loser-ish. :)

Shelly said...

That sucks. What a little weasel. There is definitely someone better out there for you.

Jess said...

This is so sad, and disrespectful, and immature, and rude. I can't believe he would do that. I can think of no reason other than his actual death that would justify this behavior AGAIN. You DO deserve better, and you will find better. And not in that engineer guy, either. If you're not into him, you're not into him, the end.

Alice said...

man oh man. what IS it about some guys that make us still have that embarassing little glimmer of hope, even when we know we shouldn't even WANT to date them?? SO FRUSTRATING.

just know, rationally, that he's a douche, and no one who treats you like that deserves to have you, and eventually the non-rational part of you will catch up. what a chump, seriously.

also: meh on engineer guy. if you don't feel it, you don't feel it, and just because the buddhist is a douchenugget doesn't mean you should settle on someone else equally unfit for you, just in different ways.

also also: a general frustrated RAAAGHRRRGHAWIUQYWIUSHDJSDS from another single girl because SERIOUSLY WTF MEN? SERIOUSLY. GAH.

3carnations said...

Disappearing act? Seriously? If you meet him again in another 8 years, run. You don't need to mark a 3rd decade of your life with this guy.

Has there been ANY contact with him? Is it possible he got a concussion and is in a hospital in San Diego with amnesia, holding a photo of you and muttering "Stefanie..."?

Monkey said...

A boy-break and spring-break at the same time..... a great deal of fun could be had.

hang in there, cute-stuff.

flurrious said...

It's always more upsetting when someone who isn't good enough for you does the rejecting, partly because it hurts to be rejected and partly because those are the guys who should be bowing down to us at all times. It just seems like he's not very grown-up yet, and you, my friend, are very much the adult. If he had any sense, he'd be camped on your doorstep begging you to be his bride, but evidently all the pot put his reasoning abilities on the fritz. Be sad for a while, but then be happy. He freed you up so you can meet your lobster!

Stefanie said...

Mickey--Sorry about that. (Both for starting that tangent on your blog and for getting all serious so you felt it would be inappropriate to do the same over here. You'll get me back eventually, perhaps.)

Liz--Thanks to the maddening wonder of Facebook, I know he's not in a coma. Aacckkk indeed. Hrmph.

Badger Reader--Remedied. Thanks.

R--Sounds like H could get in line. Actually, H should START the line. I'm pretty sure he is, in fact, more menacing-looking than Courtney. (No offense, Courtney.)

Courtney--I know. That is the part that sucks the most, the part I just can't shake or make sense of. He PROMISED ME he wouldn't do the same thing he did last time, and instead, he did something WORSE! :-( I don't get it.

NPW and NGS--That's the same thing my friends I've talked to about this have said (that he's dealing with some shit, and it has nothing to do with me). Unfortunately, that doesn't make me feel any better about it. It still fully sucks.

TMC--I very much hope I didn't bad-mouth all Buddhists by calling him The Buddhist. Reference points stick is all. I don't know how much the principle of nonattachment plays into this, but I'm glad to know that principle is not really supposed to apply to people.

Shelly--It does suck. And I hope so.

Jess--Once again, you sound even more outraged than I am. (OK, not really. I'm pretty hurt and pissed myself.) But thanks for having my back, in any case.

Alice--Thank you for that. You know what's even worse than feeling shitty about something like this? Being mad at myself because I feel like I should be smart enough NOT to feel shitty about it. Thank you for confirming I am not alone.

3Cs--I have sent him a few messages and tried his phone once. No response from either venue. And actually, amnesia was one of those 11 near-ludicrous theories. I would like to think if he actually had suffered massive head trauma, though, one of his friends would have clued me in.

Monkey--Who said anything about spring break? I'm pretty sure only you teacher types get those. That last line made me smile, though, so thank you for that.

Flurrious--I'm not sure if I should tell you that your comment made me cry. How is it you are always so spot-on? Is there a Flurrious School of Wisdom I can attend?

Whiskeymarie said...

I agree- this is really, really immature of him. I know it doesn't feel like it yet, but you are way better off without him if this is how he handles his internal struggles.
Boy needs to grow up a bit, methinks.

togethertheycome said...

The worst. What a dirt bag. You do deserve better and you will get it!!

Simone said...

Stef - only now catching up with your blog. Sorry things turned out that way. Hope you had some fun last night! I SHOULD have gotten you a can opener at the least but I am unfortunately not ever on facebook...luckily others are more attentive than I!

stef said...

re: the buddhist - i have a guy in my life like him; the kind who makes all of these declarations and platitudes and then completely destroys any trust or respect that i had for him in one fell swoop, by completely and suddenly disappearing from my life. at first, i was really hurt and angry. now, over 3 months later, i've come to the conclusion that if he really is that flaky and can't even commit to communicating with me, then any relationship i'd have with him would probably be more difficult than it would be worth. i'm still sad that he chose to act like such an ass, but i'm trying to spend as little time as possible thinking about him. (where's that "brain wipe" when you need it?)

re: the traffic engineer - personally, i think you should see him again. i know quite a few women (two of them being my sisters) who were initally not at ALL attracted to the men they are now with, nor felt any chemistry with them; it was only after getting to know them that they realized how much of a "catch" they had on their hands. this engineer wants to spend time with YOU. it sounds like he's worth spending time with, unlike the buddhist, who apparently DOESN'T want to spend time with you. the jerk.

besides, if things don't work out on a romantic level, it's possible that you may end up with a great new friend. just a thought...

Sauntering Soul said...

Stefanie, I'm way behind on blog reading so I apologize for my belated comment. I am SO sorry this happened. I had a guy disappear on me back in college which was almost 20 years ago and from time to time I still think about it and have yet to figure it out. Men simply make no sense sometimes.

I tend to think that every failed relationship is meant to teach us something - whether it is something about ourselves or something about relationships - and we have to go through these rough times to prepare us for the RIGHT relationship someday. I've had to learn some tough stuff over the years, but it has definitely made me appreciate Hot Brazilian so much more than I would have if I had not experienced bad relationships. Sometimes learning those lessons gets really old though.