Monday, October 23, 2006

Fleshbot and Her Loss

This week’s Sex Blog Roundup at Fleshbot acknowledges the greener grass we hear so much about with a look at blogs that tell tales of sex on the side.

Sometimes the grass is greener, sometimes it is a dried-out fire hazard.

Sorry for the bitter sounding non sequiter, I’m just remembering a note I recently received from May.

Remember May? She was the first woman I dated after the demise of my marriage, a college acquaintance who moved fast when she heard the news.

It was a good thing, for a while.

When she got a job offer in California, she gave me an ultimatum: either I commit to our future together, or we were finished.

I’m not generally one for ultimatums, and I certainly wasn’t ready for one before my divorce was final. I told May I couldn’t very well offer to spend our lives together on a deadline. When I declined to beg her stay with me, she left for the west coast furious and subsequently refused to speak with me.

I hated that things ended that way, but how else could it go? If her love was all or nothing—take me forever, now, or you are dead to me—then she was offering a brand of love that was without real meaning.

Since then, I’ve switched email accounts and changed my phone numbers, all in the course of moving on with my life. Anyone in touch with me got my updated contact information.

May hadn’t spoken to me in over a year. I had no reason to send her my new information.

I found her recent note by chance when, on a whim, I thought to clean out my old Friendster account. I never use it—does anyone still use Friendster now that MySpace is king?—but it was once useful. May and I had first reestablished contact via Friendster just after my marriage ended.

We had traded notes one fateful Sunday morning, about a month after my marriage ended. The next weekend, she drove to New York for a very heated reunion.

I had barely settled into my new apartment. I bought my first plant to impress her that my home was no bachelor’s dump.

This began a relationship that would absorb my every available weekend for the next year and a half. Our days apart began with instant messages and were punctuated with long phone calls.

She called me every night around midnight to say goodnight, leaving tearful messages if I didn’t answer. The messages were followed by more calls. If my answering machine picked up, she would hang up and call again. I might be out, she thought, but if I was home and fucking someone else, she was going to be sure I knew that she knew.

The next day, if I had been fucking someone else, I told her about it. I liked being honest. I neglected to mention that I figured out early in our relationship that I needed to unplug the phone on date nights.

These days, that’s all ancient history.

Not long after she moved, I chatted with her online. She used her webcam to give me a tour of her new apartment before reopening unhealed wounds. Why had I let her move? Why hadn’t I begged to stay with me? Why didn’t I love her?

I told her that I did love her as best I knew how, and we had been over this before. I was tired and not about to explain myself again. I said goodnight and signed out.

She answered no more emails from me. That was the end of it.

Until I received this note.

Dear Jefferson,
I know it's been some time now but I would like to speak to you about getting my things back. Jason Friedman has some time to collect them from you, so if you don't mind, would you please contact him as to a good time to do so? He's driving to California in the fall and has offered to bring it out to me.

Hope you are well.

Best wishes,
May M.

May had left some things at my apartment. I had left some things at her apartment. That’s what happens when you see someone for a long time and then end it abruptly.

I consider the loss of things to be a casualty of a failed relationship. When my marriage ended, I left behind fifteen years of things my ex and I had accumulated. I faced the world naked, without a corkscrew, alarm clock or towel to my name. I carried nothing that could be associated with our marriage, other than the three children we bore. The rest was just stuff, and I wanted none of it.

Although I still miss our copy of The New York Cookbook. I can’t seem to make Captain’s Chicken without it.

It galled me that May would establish contact in so casual a manner, as if she had just left the room and forgotten her umbrella.

I was sure she had read her note over many times before sending it to be sure it was so simple and beyond objection.

A mutual friend was driving from New York to California. How simple it would be for him to stop by my place, collect a few things, and drive them to her. No reasonable person could possibly object.

All this required was that I make an appointment with our friend. All he had to do was drive into the city, find parking, and spend some time with me. We would pack her things and he would go home, repack his car for the trip, and then drive her stuff across the country, unloading it every time he stayed at a motel. After a week or so of driving, he would pull into her neighborhood, find parking, and spend some time with her. He would unpack her things and then drive on to his other plans in California.

It was so simple. Who could reasonably object?

I objected.

If you dump me and you’ve left stuff at my place, I probably have stuff at your place. We should make nice and be sure to return things.

But there is a statute of limitations on such civilities.

If you dump me and refuse to speak to me, then you torched some bridges. That’s stupid to do with me, as I am all about being friends even if we can’t be lovers. It takes a rare talent for poor behavior to beat that instinct out of me.

Ask me for your junk a year later, and I have bad news: that junk is no longer my responsibility. I don’t operate a storage facility, and our mutual friends are not obliged to act as messengers.

Unfortunately for May, her shit is now my shit, just some junk in the back of my drawers. She’s got my crap, I’ve got hers. That’s how it played out because that’s how she played it.

I closed out my Friendster account without responding to May.


brat said...

"I closed out my Friendster account without responding to May."

good going - i think you did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

So it would be gauche of me to ask my ex for the blanket I got us even though we haven't spoken since March? (Of mutual decision though...)

srchngformystry said...

i never liked that month anyway. it isnt that merry.

Hannah said...

I'd have done the same.

Anonymous said...

To further the argument in favor of keeping the spoils of war, you look great in girl jeans.

Zora said...

Kids these days.... Friendster beats Myspace all to hell.

Lil_Bit said...

Aw man, I didn't make the cut.

I intensely disliked May.

Viggy la Q said...

You're right, J, that's not love that's possession. And where possession exists, possession loves possessions; the fallback bargaining tool from which to attempt to bring a triumphantly non-triumphant 'win' for the possesor.

I say get May's things and make a big old bonfire. Pyromania is worthy in these circumstances....

I'd suggest roasting your chestnuts on said fire, but fear that would only endanger your ability to participate in all of the things we need you to do to keep us happy. And we wouldn't want that, dear.

Chrissy said...

You did the right thing. As I was reading, I was going, oh no, is he really going to give your things back? If she really wanted them, she should've got them a long time ago.

Bianca said...

Good for you! If she wanted her stuff that badly she would have gotten it before she moved across the country.

Asian Big Girl said...


You realize, of course, that I have a battered copy of afore mentioned New York Cookbook?

Ohhhhh. Literary device.

I get it. *nodding sagely*

Then what I am I supposed to do with the box of old church group cookbooks I was going to split with you I just got off ebay?

By the way, I checked with my lawyer.

The statute of limitations on such things is until you meet the next cute asian (big) girl that knocks your sox off. Hence, both of you are *more* than covered.

And I *do* believe in both cases, I could make a strong argument that such cute asian was moi.


baby221 said...

I'm pretty sure we intentionally (if subconciously) left material shit with each other so we'd have excuses pre-made to see each other again post-traumatic-break-up.

And don't get me wrong, it was a pretty traumatic break-up.

But it's been nice having these little excuses to get to know one another again, you know? "Oh, hey, yeah, just wanted to know if you still had that CD -- okay, do you mind if I pick it up? -- okay, great, I'll see you then" inevitably turns into hours of conversation. Picking up the pieces, literally.

Still, I think you did what was right for your situation -- and I applaud you for it, because I'm pretty sure I would've written "You're not getting your shit back unless you send me money for shipping" back.

Ninny said...

I feel sorry for her, but I wouldn't want to be her friend either.

NaughtyNikki said...

It really is a bit much to send you that message so long later.

Cat said...

I would have done the same thing. If she wanted her things back she should have asked for them a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

All's fair and all that. Too long.

badinfluencegirl said...

dear amy was it?

i'm sorry i don't know who you are or what things you're talking about, i've just opened this friendster account last week. i'm looking for love you see.

hey did you want to get together so you can stroke my hot...


Anonymous said...

I have a psychic friend (tarot cards, police investigations) who advised me to get rid of my ex's belongings once we broke up - because they would continue to exert a negative influence, or something like that.

Dump her stuff.

Crankster said...

It sounds like a cheesy passive/agressive opening--I don't miss you, I just miss my stuff. Ugh.