It was early March when I began getting the “ghost” treatment from Mr. February. I’m the kind of girl that really likes closure, so his refusal to actually “dump” me or give me any clue about what went wrong was driving me insane. But I’m not a crazy girl that is going to keep calling and emailing and texting a guy when it it obvious he doesn’t want to talk to me. When I sent him that last email, I told him I wouldn’t be contacting him again and I meant it. But…you know all girls are a little crazy, right? Sometimes, we just can’t help ourselves.
One day, I noticed Mr. February was logged in on Facebook. I’m obviously a masochist because I really wanted to send him a chat message- just to see if he’d respond. Now, if he didn’t, I’d just be setting myself up to be rejected/ignored by him on yet another medium of communication. But if he did respond, then maybe I’d get that closure I was craving and I was so very tempted to try one more time. I called Miss November, because I knew she’d be the voice of reason to talk me out of it. She didn’t answer the phone. You can guess what happened next. I’m not proud.
Miss July: Are you going to just ignore me forever, or what?
(long pause) Mr. February: I’m not ignoring you. I’ve been out of town. My dad has had some health problems.
Well, crap. This is still not a reasonable excuse for his immature behavior toward me, but now laying into him at a time like this would make me insensitive, right? GRRR.
Miss July: (internal scream) I’m really sorry to hear that. I wish you would have told me. (Thinks to self: Text messages only take about 15 seconds, jerk!)
Mr. February: I know. I suck. I’ve just been so stressed. I may have to move in with him. I’ve had a lot to think about.
Miss July: You are right. You do suck. You should have let me know. I’m sorry you are having a hard time. If you need anything, you know where to find me. (In retrospect, I can’t believe I wrote that. I told you I’m not proud of this. I should have been all, “Have a nice life…and OH by the way, GROW UP.”)
Mr. February: It just seems like the bad stuff doesn’t wanna end. I’m trying to keep trusting that everything happens for a reason but this isn’t exactly where I expected to be in life at this point. (Miss July plays the world’s tiniest violin for him. I mean, he’s the only one in the world with problems, right?) I promise I’ll do a better job of keeping you posted. I’m pretty sure I’m going back tomorrow afternoon but I’ll try to call or e-mail ya sometime this weekend. Thanks for not hating me…
Miss July: Of course I don’t hate you. (SIGH.) Hang in there. (It’s really hard to turn off the internal social worker sometimes.)
So, you see how smooth he was there? By being all woe is me, he pretty much knew I wouldn’t try to kick him while he was down. He was the one that behaved like a fourteen year-old, since he couldn’t find the nerve to tell me he didn’t want to go out anymore (actually, I had completely proper breakups at 14 myself, so my teenage boyfriends all behaved better than him), yet he left feeling absolved of any guilt he may have felt about treating me poorly. I, however, left that conversation feeling kind of dumbstruck, and I still didn’t know for sure what went wrong (but thanks to Facebook, my suspicion he had met someone else was looking pretty accurate). Oh, and why in the world would he still say he would call me? UGH. Obviously, he had no intention of doing that, and probably only responded to me in the first place because he thought it might get me to leave him alone (so I’d quit reminding him of his bad behavior, and he could stop feeling bad about it). Mr. February used to say to me, “You’re always so positive.” You know what? He was right about that. I am now positive that “closure” is overrated.
It reminded me of that episode of Friends (that show was awesome and it really holds up!) where Rachel drunk dials Ross from a date to announce to his voice mail that she’s over him. You know the one…she ends the call by saying with a flourish, “And that, my friend, is what they call closure.” The next day, recovering from a hangover, she remembers what she did and tries to keep Ross from hearing the message, but she’s too late. After hearing the message, Ross says: “You’re…over me? When were you…under me?” Instead of closing the door on any feelings that were between them, her attempt at “closure” created another set of problems entirely.
Here’s the thing about “closure.” Rejection feels bad. Learning to just walk away with your dignity intact, even without any answers, is not easy. As frustrating as it can be when someone refuses to make a clean break, or give you some honest feedback about what went wrong in your relationship, the fact remains…there is still a break-up. Really, that should be all I need to know, right? If the question is, Does he still want to go out with me? and the answer is obviously, No, then what is it exactly that I’m trying to seek clarification about? Ultimately, the reasons don’t matter. It would be nice to know moving on to the next one if there is something I could do differently, but I suspect with a little time and self-reflection, I can figure that out on my own. I think I was trying to learn the wrong lesson here. (Wouldn’t it be nice if I’d had this epiphany just a little bit sooner?)
Next time I think I need closure, someone please remind me of this incident-and the immortal words of Rachel Green.