It was just one of those weird nights. The kind that just happens out of nowhere when you don’t have any other plans and neither does a fun-loving girlfriend. Wiley and I decided on the Gin Mill. She isn’t terribly familiar with the Upper West Side and it’s one of the bars I frequent when trolling for straight men—that can happen sometimes, when your friend group is mostly made up of fabulous gay men—you can forget where to find the ones who like women.
After several (okay, many) vodka tonics that we paid for ourselves I decided it would be an excellent time to text Grey. Now I knew this wasn’t a decision I was going to be happy with in the morning, I was fully aware of this. Why would anyone want to text the man that broke their heart? I knew I shouldn’t.
But this is why I texted my ex.
Wiley has been seeing a very successful, very cute finance guy for so long…for a century it feels like. She’s beautiful, fun and smart and he was aloof and not committing. I’ve always known that if a man wants you, they want you. They pursue you. What you get is what you’re getting, after all. Well, not this time.
He’s her boyfriend.
I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t understand it. How is it that this guys, after so long treating my friend like dog sh** could suddenly be her boyfriend? And to add insult to injury, a really good boyfriend?
I was stunned. All of my previous knowledge of relationships suddenly seemed ridiculous and misinformed. Was I crazy? Had everything I’d ever known or been told suddenly become obsolete? I began to question all of my previous knowledge. I felt confused and conflicted. I was left wondering if I was the one who had been wrong all of this time. I was left wondering if I was doomed to be single and unhappy because of preconceived notions about men that might not actually be true.
I’m sitting in a bar surrounded by prematurely balding men who weren’t buying me drinks and weren’t coming home with me. I’d let Grey go and he was the one. This was the drunken conclusion. I’d had a perfect guy and let him go. So, I texted him.
I don’t remember what I said. I deleted the evidence (thank you, Drunk Gigi) but I knew I had done it. No amount of alcohol can erase that kind of shame. It had been done. Nothing could undo it. Did he respond? No, thank The Lord, but why did I do it? Why did I text a man who emotionally abused me for a year and a half? Was my confidence completely a sham?
I immediately texted my friend LT, desperate to try and figure out what I had done and the implications of my actions. She’s the one you go to when you’ve royally f**ked up, the one who will make sense of it all.
“Do you want to text him now?” Was her response. I was thrown for a loop. I paused. Did I want to text him now? Now that the vodka had left my brain?
“No.” I wrote. And for the first time I realized I actually meant it.
“It’s a right of passage. We all do it.”
So, in the lonely squalor of a poorly lit bar I texted my ex, and in the sober light of day I deleted his number from my phone.