Last night I was talking to Daniel and I told him I was going to have dinner with my ex Dave.
“You know, Daniel, if I find out he has a new girlfriend. I’m going to shoot myself. That or you’ll find me hanging from a tree tomorrow morning. It would kill me.”
“So are you even going to ask him?”
“Of course. Are you kidding me? I have to know. I just have to know, even if it kills me.”
I haven’t seen Dave in many, many months…maybe it’s been more than half a year. When he called to tell me he was running ten minutes late, his name didn’t even register on my cell phone. I had deleted it to stop myself from calling in the middle of the night.
And as we sat there, enjoying dinner and wine, catching up, I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to ask; I didn’t want to know. While he described his Yosemite trip and who he went with, I almost stopped him. I didn’t want to hear the names. I didn’t want to hear that he could possibly be dating someone else.
“Dave, are you coming to my birthday party?”
“When is it again?”
I could tell he was trying to buy himself some time.
“I sent you the invite. It’s the 21st.”
“Yeah, uhhh, I don’t know. Uhhh, I think that would be really weird.”
“Why would it be weird? Everyone you know will be there. They’ll be asking where you are. It’ll be weird if you don’t come! My parents, my favorite aunt…Therese might be there. Daniel, Deonte, Jen, Joy, Vicky, Erika, Schmidty.”
He shrugged, noting that he would think about it.
I haven’t thought about Dave in a long time. Out of sight, out of mind. But after hanging out tonight, I realized I made a mistake. If I could go back two years, even one year, I would tell myself to stick it out. That I had a great guy who was committed to me, who I was attracted to, who remembered all the tidbits I told him, who cooked brunch and dinner, who made time for me, made plans with me, always thought about my interests before his own.
I shouldn’t have listened to everyone who told me he was wrong for me, that I deserved better, that I shouldn’t settle. Most of all, I shouldn’t have listened to MYSELF. To all those silly voices in my head that said there was someone else out there in the world who would love me more, who was more interesting, who was a total catch.
I spent a shitload of money to have some high-end matchmaker introduce me to great men when I had a great guy by my side all along. A good guy. Someone who was kind, trustworthy, honest, genuine. I am so stupid. All I have now is regret. I used to get irritated at his annoyances that I now find endearing. What I would give to sit on his couch, watch late night TV (I hate TV), pet his cat (I hate cats), just to cuddle up and be by his side.
I was so wrong.