When I was younger, younger being two years ago, my dad came to me with a genuine concern. “Why are your relationships so short? At your age that’s not a good sign.” I’m not positive what the standard relationship length for a 21 year old is, but I’m assuming averaging three months is not a good sign. In my defense, I do manage to attract an interesting crowd and here are three short stories of some experiences with my exes. Sit back and relax with a glass of rosé or vodka, whatever gets you through the day. I say rosé in this case because I’m still not sure what my demographic is.
*The nicknames given to the individuals are nicknames my father gave them while we dated
Snapchat: The Millennial Way to Say “Fuck You”
We all know what Snapchat is. It’s an app with a ghost as its trademark where people can send images or messages that disappear after viewing. The concept and smiling ghost seems comforting enough, but no one fully details how the app is a cesspool of unwanted nudes, an actual depiction of being ghosted, and broken romance, or at least in my case, the latter.
During my junior year of college, I met this guy who I later became infatuated with. Was he exceptionally attractive and charming? Well, no. But he was one of the most intelligent people I had ever met and I was immediately drawn to his intelligence. After half of year of shamelessly showing interest on my end we finally became a thing. He was the type of guy to read my snaps… and not respond for hours at a time. The adrenaline of rejection, so thrilling. Let’s call this one Petco.
Remember, that part about Petco being intelligent. I like would to clarify, intelligent in school. Our conversations were polar, as they were engaging or downright miserable with opposing views.
An example of some daily interactions.
Me: “I think I gained a couple pounds.”
Petco: “Yeah, I noticed that too.”
Me: “Where did you notice it? Is it that obvious?”
Keep in mind I was stressing over TWO pounds I had gained.
Petco: “It’s not that obvious. I know someone who works in a hospital and they said the best way to lose weight is to eat less.”
Me: “I don’t think that’s it.”
Petco: “Just eat less and you’ll lose weight.”
Given that I am 5’6’’ and at the time 112 pounds, I found this terrible advice.
Our discussions would range from how I don’t study enough, or how my white button downs looked terrible on me. Other times Petco would be incredibly sweet with bringing me flowers and tutoring me in math. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions. No matter how low I felt or how much I cried, I was desperate for his approval of me. We were never healthy, and there was a lot of drama I may one day feel the effort to detail. However, the ending was what struck a nerve.
** As a side note, I wasn’t necessarily bothered by Petco critiquing my fashion choices, but when he complained to his family about my white button down; I had a problem.
Around late October, after having another daily fight, I was out with friends carving a pumpkin. Afterwards, I called Petco to see if he was interested in getting dinner. Half an hour later, he picked me up in his car. We drove in silence.
Me: “Are you still mad at me? Do you want to talk about it or are we not going to talk at all?”
Me: “So we are going to eat dinner in silence then.”
Petco: “You’re right”
And as he said those words, Petco swung his car around to go back home. I desperately tried to get him to talk or say anything, but my attempts were futile. Dead silence. And I snapped.
Me: “STOP BEING A FUCKING CHILD AND PULL OVER AND TALK TO ME! IF YOU’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE AN ASSHOLE I’D RATHER FUCKING WALK HOME! WHY WOULD YOU EVEN AGREE TO GET DINNER? PULL OVER!
And he pulled over. Following the long walk back to my apartment, we didn’t talk that night and the following day on my drive home I sent a Snapchat.
Me: “I’m headed home to see my parents if you don’t mind seeing the cat.”
And the response?
Petco: “I think we should be friends!”
And the message was gone as quickly as it came. After a year of friendship, and months of pursuit on my end, I was done.
There’s a Monster in the Closet
Now, one of my longer relationships, longer being nine months, I dated someone who was different from my usual. I opt for brunettes on the taller side with glasses. No idea why visual impairment is a part of my attraction towards someone. Anyways, this time around I went for the opposite. Stocky and blonde, thus nicknamed the Hobbit. The Hobbit had many quirks, one being his fear of the supernatural. On several accounts the Hobbit voiced his fear of long dark haired women and at the time I had long dark hair. This did not bode well for me.
One night I woke up to him screaming in fear. I quickly jumped up and asked what was wrong. In a state of bewilderment, the Hobbit was looking at me with terror. He had a dream about me. Or what he thought was me. In his dream I was asleep next to him, however as I turned around, he didn’t see my face. He saw the face of some sort of monster. It took me a while to assure him I was in fact just Terra and not a monster.
On another separate occasion the Hobbit shook me awake.
Hobbit: “I’m scared there’s something in the closet.”
I peered over at the shut closet doors, the mirrors hanging reflected back my look of annoyance.
Me: “There’s nothing in there… do you want me to check for you?”
Setting aside my urge to laugh in his face, I got up and opened the closet to reveal my clothes. Nothing. I opened up the other side to the exact same thing. Nothing. This was not enough for him. After I crawled back into bed the Hobbit got up to reaffirm I wasn’t lying to him because he didn’t trust me. A 20 year old did not trust me that there were no monsters in the closet. The kids I babysat weren’t even this ridiculous. I attempted to calm him down by rationalizing that there are no ghosts or monsters only to be shut down because the conversation was “not helping and making him more scared”.
Now, the Hobbit wasn’t the only one in his friend circle who was easily spooked. A couple months into our relationship, we decided to check out a house under construction in his neighborhood. The house was mainly just a wooden frame with two floors. While he ventured the first floor, I decided to walk up the stairs to the second floor landing. Suddenly, a bright light filled the house. I glanced out the window to see a car shining its front lights at the house. At that point we decided to leave out the side window to avoid detection.
Several minutes later, the Hobbit and I were talking in his room when one of his roommate’s barged in.
“WERE YOU IN THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR, TERRA?!”
Turns out, the roommate and his girlfriend had returned from their date and sat chatting in her car. The night previous they had watched The Grudge and were discussing how much the movie frightened them. The car’s lights were shining on the abandoned construction site and both caught a glimpse of an Asian girl with long dark hair. The girlfriend screamed in horror. She thought she saw The Grudge.
I have since cut my hair short and developed a complex. My brown hair and slightly Caucasian face wasn’t enough to differentiate me from The Grudge.
“That cat loves you, Terra”
Occasionally people try and hide their emotions through the use of analogies or metaphors. Unfortunately when you aren’t that bright the metaphor is less of a blanketed statement and instead an awkward confession. In the summer following my junior year I met up with an ex my dad liked to refer to as PC Principal. Yes, I just made a South Park reference.
PC Principal and I were still friends since our relationship only lasted 3 weeks, feelings were just not mutual. So late one evening PC Principal was at a bar with some friends and invited me along. The incentive was free drinks since his friend’s girlfriend was the bartender. At that time our relationship had ended 6 months prior and I had figured there wasn’t much emotional attachment on either end. I dragged along my friend, Melissa, which looking back I have no idea why either of us went to a bar. With her allergy to alcohol and my ability to become incredibly nauseous after one drink, we were the worst duo to meet up with at any bar scene.
There was a long line outside the bar and after waiting in line for 10 minutes I was in a sour mood. It also didn’t help that the bouncer was reluctant to let me in because I wasn’t smiling. Once inside, I noted PC Principal was already several long islands in. Conversation was light and the topic of my cat came up. This is when shit got awkward.
Grabbing me by my shoulders, PC Principal tried to focus on my face. Unsure, I glanced at Melissa who was extremely uncomfortable as PC Principal’s friend nervously chuckled.
“That cat loves you Terra.” He shook my shoulders for the emphasis on love.
“Melissa…” I tried to turn my attention away only to be shaken again.
“That cat loves you Terra,” he repeated. “You can throw him away or kick him out of your house, but he will always come back.” After several more reiterations of this, I was officially done.
“Do you mean you love me?”
Still grabbing me by the shoulders, PC Principal was struggling to form a coherent sentence.
“No, I’m talking about the cat. Because that cat loves you, Terra. He always will no matter what you do.”
“Yes, I picked up on that…”
A good 10 minutes of this and I soon departed. Melissa silent at my side. PC Principal and I didn’t interact much since. Maybe he was just adamant I know that my cat really loves me. Or maybe that was his confession 6 months after a 3 week relationship.
At the end of the day, I’m still on somewhat good terms with these guys. Sadly, these stories are just the tip of the iceberg of what I’ve had to deal with when it comes to exes.