(This post previously appeared at the always wonderful Sex and the Sisters.)
I’m tired of these phone calls about the inconsistent men in our lives. I know she is tired of it as well.
We are sturdy girls but we are still fragile. We hurt and bruise, but you can’t see it because like most sturdy women we know how to take an emotional punch. We lean into it so it will be lessened. Or we used to be like that. Now we are tired and fed up and overwhelmed, drowning in our romantic relationships without a hope of rescue.
We don’t even divulge the details of how the failed relationship started. But I know if we are talking about this man driving my friend to inhale a brick of cookie dough between breaths, sobs and a wicked mantra of that no-good bum bastard motherfucker it had to be an intimate relationship. It had to have cracked her chest open and exposed her heart to the elements and to him.
But nothing lasts. The bloom and blush of first love turns into unanswered calls, unreturned texts, the cold brush off, and cool receptions when we meet again. What we wanted and what we thought we were going to have–a nice guy who likes me, the eventual change in status, the capacity to be seen as desirable by one we have deemed desirable–has evaporated into the ether.
It sucks at that moment. And as my friend said in the phone just once I would like to call you with good news, not with how this man just went away poof into thin air after all the gushing and excitement. Just once I’d like to say it worked out. Just once.
Because we get tired of getting set up only to fall. Because we are humiliated because a cute grifter stole precious moments and a piece of our hearts. Because after all the excitement and enthusiasm we feel that we found one person who thinks we are worthy, and he decides to pull back push away chunk the dueces and fade to black.
I know the feeling. I have been that girl, and I’ve learned my lesson.
I am tired of the emotional trauma of having to retell the failure. You live it all over again with each time we say something and each time we repeat the stories. Repetition only makes the cuts deeper and reopens the pain we thought we had stuffed away. I can’t do this again. And I won’t ask my friends to repeat these stories. In your twenties and teens, it was the standard modus operandi of girlfriends chatter. In your thirties, friends shouldn’t ask friends to listen to their heartbreak over and over again, and friends shouldn’t require that.