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Sunday, April 07, 2013

A series

The last two weeks have been fairly activity heavy and, finally back from my mini-holiday, I don't feel like bullet-point listing my way through it all. So, basically, this is my attempt -- over the span of a few posts -- to tie together a couple of reoccurring themes that I noticed. It's probably going to be a bit consider this your advanced warning.

I recently went on my first post-breakup date. It's just one of those things that kind of happened. I knew (and know) that I'm not to the point where I want to start dating people, but it was also a convenient way to dip my toe in the pool (and then be astounded when I don't drown). It probably helped that it wasn't a complete stranger (minor acquaintance of mine and good friend of a friend). It probably didn't help so much that our common friend more or less pulled one of those, "He just got out of a relationship and you just got out of a relationship, so you're bound to have lots of things to talk about!" I was pretty sure that it would actually be a bad combination, but at least I'd get that first one out of the way.

Side note to friends: For future reference, please don't set me up in this manner. Not that I'm anti-setup, but setting up two friends because you know they both just got out of a relationship is like setting up two friends because you know they're both black or gay or the only black gay people that you know...and not necessarily because they have anything else in common.

Anyway, as you may have already guessed, nothing interesting happened. Okay, other than I found an awesome new place where I can put delicious food into my mouth. My immediate thoughts after the date revolved around how the conversation failed to engage me on so many different levels and I rested the blame for that squarely on his shoulders (because obvs I'm an awesome person to talk to with interesting things to say, right?). Even though, I'd spoken to him on a handful of other occasions (albeit usually at parties and usually drunk), I felt like there was zero chemistry between us.

Having given it some thought, however, I definitely contributed my share of the awkwardness. Regardless of the topic, we somehow managed to bring it back around to our exes. I don't really know who was "more guilty" of this (I feel like it was me). I think it mostly doesn't matter because it's just generally  *super bad* date form, particularly for a first date. The only things that are worse (at least in my mind) are:

  • Wardrobe malfunctions
  • Discovering that you are actually long-lost siblings / twins separated at birth / basically any type of first degree relative (this increases in awkwardness if you've been dating this person for awhile or if you've already slept with them)
  • Having issues with your bodily functions resulting in the unexpected expulsion of bodily fluids
  • Murder / rape/ kidnapping / just general violent crime

All of those things are much, much worse than mentioning your ex a thousand times in one evening. So at least gives me a little bit of perspective. However, I can't even say that I didn't realize that I was doing it. After awhile, my brain was screaming, "Nononononono...just don't finish this sentence!!" And, of course, I would finish my sentence and then just cringe internally.

The final straw was probably when we were talking about our respective Easter plans.

Him: So, what are you doing for Easter?
Me: I'm planning on getting out of town for awhile. Going to Dresden.
Him: Cool, I've never been there, but I heard it's beautiful. Are you visiting friends?
Me: No, well, kinda. Well, I'm visiting my ex's mom and gonna stay with her... *trailing off*

*awkward silence*

The funny thing is that this has been the typical reaction (meaning *not* while on a date) when I've told people about my plans to go to Dresden. It was a mixture of confusion, concern, and a smidge of pity that I could almost actually see swirling around in their heads. Then, I'd start explaining and justifying my decision, only to feel like I was only digging myself further into some kind of hole of judgment.

Not exactly my favorite feeling in the world, especially since visiting C.Dub just felt like a really obvious / self-evident thing for me to do. A natural continuation of the foundation that we've built up over the last five years. I understand why/how some could find this odd, given the "normal" breakup conventions. However, I guess I didn't expect to have to justify it to some people (some of whom supposedly know me quite well). Disheartening...but only very, very slightly. be continued...

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