Oh God, the Surgeon called me last night for the zillionth time and like a moron, I took the call. Why, why, why? Two. Hours. He did about 80%-90% of the talking, or shouting, or bargaining, or whatever it was. Actually, I know what it was, because I wasn’t drinking, so my memory is unmercifully clear. Wait, why did I like drinking so much…? Oh, yeah…
At least I had the maturity and clarity of mind to stand up for myself and interrupt his tirade whenever he told me that I was “wrong.” Sorry buddy, you do not get to dictate to me whether my dissatisfaction in the relationship is “wrong.” He also kept defending himself from things I never accused him of or that had even occurred to me (rather telling). “I know I’m right! I know I’m right!” he kept saying. Right about what? That you were the perfect boyfriend? What are you talking about? I never said you were “wrong” about anything. Why are you talking crazily? (note: I was just thinking this. I didn’t say anything). Then he said that he bought me flowers on Monday (what?). Then he said that I had hurt his feelings (you should have heard the metaphors he was using, gentle reader; they were more graphic than “hurt his feelings.”) and that it was my obligation to “make it better.” Then he said that he could not trust me anymore. Then he said that I had to go on a trip with him next month to (Tropical Vacation Paradise).
Then he said he loved me and got off the phone.
This is a highly intelligent, highly accomplished man I am describing, gentle reader. I’ve read some of his work. Hell, I’ve edited it. The little hamster upstairs is running in its wheel quite well. He lacks intellectual curiosity and I know for a fact that I’m better-read than he is, but I think he could probably beat me on IQ score. Probably. I would also, incidentally, recommend his professional talents to anyone. If President Obama needed surgery, I would say: get thee to the Surgeon. If my Mom needed surgery, I’d send her to him.
Unbelievable. Can I pick em, or can I pick em?
For what it’s worth, he didn’t act like this most of the time we were together. Swear to God. It’s just the breakup making him crazy.
No mentally sound man who reads this will ever want anything to do with me.
I will probably remove this post, but I won’t do it because I want to deny what happened or how it portrays me. I’ll do it because I told myself that I would keep the breakup private. I don’t want to be trashy and complaining. So why am I writing this now…?
Who else can I tell…? I am a lonesome girl. It’s my fault that I am. Most folks find me likable. At my last job, I expressed my concern to a colleague that I was worried someone else strongly disliked me. My colleague looked at me, surprised, and said: “I have never heard anyone say anything bad about you, Margo.”
Speaking of fault, there is something the Surgeon told me about myself that is absolutely accurate, zutreffend : I do not, clearly and unequivocally, express what I need and expect from people in my personal relationships.
My students get syllabi and bullet-point instructions and pages of editorializing on their essays; the masochists I control are dictated to and observed so closely that I sometimes become anxious (and thrilled) with the intensity of my focus. I thrive under clear instruction from professors, employers, and Tops. And it goes without saying that I know what I need in bed. Structure, baby, I like structure. Thank you, Mom (I am not being sarcastic).
But boyfriends…? Even close friends…?
I seldom ask for a goddamned thing. I assess them on what they offer or deny me of their own volition, of course, but I just don’t ask them for things. Emotional support. A sounding board for my complaints. Favors. Time. Accessibility. Attention. Etc etc.
The last healthy, loving guy I dated who was really into me once called me (TWICE CALLED ME!) on the phone on his way to Trader Joe’s to ask me if there was anything I’d like him to purchase for me, since I’d be staying over at his place (“Do you want a particular cereal or fruit or anything?”) . I was astonished, as if he’d asked me if I wanted him to bring me back a rock from planet Mars. We’d only been dating for three weeks, too. He was Jeff, the Machinist. You can look him up on the label menu of this blog if you want to read further examples of my moonbat craziness.
I left Jeff. The good guy before Jeff was Steven, the vet. I did not feel as connected with Steven as I was with Jeff, and Steven was freshly divorced and still in a lot of pain, but he was absolutely a decent fellow and there were many things I admired about his character. I was there with him through a cancer scare and the death of a relative. He dumped me because, basically, he wasn’t there with me for anything. He couldn’t give me a reason, really, for why he ended our relationship. He said that I was funny and beautiful and smart (One time he told me–laying with his head on my lap, and we were talking about his divorce–and he looked at me and said, “You are such a kind person, Margo.” I will never forget that compliment). But the energy only ran one way–I gave, and I did not take. I guess he didn’t feel like I was fully there. I confused him. Maybe my lack of need made him feel personally unneeded.
Everyone wants to feel needed, but for men, I think, this is crucial. Men crave to feel needed by women. I understand this, and so I have tricks for it: I ask the man to open the stubborn jar, or lift the heavy thing, or something like that. At the gym, I ask a stranger, “Excuse me, would you please remove this 40 lb. weight plate from this press for me?” Even if I could do it (with difficulty) myself, I ask them to do it. They are so strong that they can do it all so easily–pop that jar lid right off! It’s like watching a special effect! I am fascinated by their strength, compared to my own. Even small dudes, guys my size (well, almost, I’m tall but pretty lean) are stronger than I am. Which is fine (except for the fact that it means I am weak little prey for whomsoever comes along, And it’s not ‘fine,’ it’s a fact of life). I think it’s Hawt.
Where was I going with this? I was distracted by the mental images of men effortlessly opening jars and moving furniture.
Oh, yes. I am in breakup anguish and I took the day off from work because I cannot conceive of searching for redundancies in anyone’s shitty SPSS dataset or being the avatar of their random whackadoodle (no blame! no blame!) needs at the Superstudio. I am going to see my analyst, whose fee I cannot realistically afford right now, because I need to be told where my thinking is dangerous and wrong.
And I need to know my needs, and why I am so reluctant to share them (but I already know why–logic dictates–I refrain because I assume, without even asking, that my needs will be unfulfilled and rejected. This assumption is what requires examination).
I need to keep away from the Surgeon.
P.S. I know that men need more than to feel needed for opening jars and lifting heavy things. I was being facetious, mostly. I know you are complex homo sapiens with emotional needs. Please don’t be mad at me; I intended no insult.
P.P.S. Sorry for this self-absorbed drama-rama. Fuck me, if I had something better to say, I would.
P.P.P.S I’ve recently re-read many of my previous posts; if I was hired as an editor I would revise the shit out of most of them. Most of them need to be tightened up. I would also remove practically all of the profanity. For whatever it’s worth, I seldom curse in professional environments–public speaking, or when talking with an employer. I am a polite person. The blog posts you read here are raw first drafts.