There will always be signs along the way that tell you that your feelings are in serious danger of being hurt, and there is always an out. You don’t ever have to be dumped. Well, in most cases.
You can try honesty: I’m just not that into you, good luck in future endeavors.
You can tell a lie: I have taken a job on the moon as a moon-cheese ambassador. I will be gone for a very long time.
You can hop on a bus, Gus. Just get yourself free.
But you don’t ever have to be dumped. And for three years, I wasn’t.
But once every three years, a guy will come along. He will convince you he is different, because in his defense he probably is.
He will impress your friends, even the hard to please ones. Partly because he is enigmatic and wonderful; partly because he is such an upgrade from the last guy they saw you with: the guy you had been in blurred territory with for over a year that shows up at your going away party and demands he takes you home.
He meets requirements on the lofty checklist of prerequisites you have for superficial happiness: a great physique, fantastically manicured sideburns, and a collection of hipster glasses, each pair a little sexier than the last.
And he has other requisite tangibles that your mind believes are a requirement of making a relationship work. He is a very talented writer who is destined for greatness. He loves sports, and helps you learn all of the numbers of hockey players through a series of quizzing (with kisses as rewards for right answers).
He is comfortably consistent. He calls every evening to say goodnight; he texts to say good morning. He baits you and teases you about your favorite basketball team; he looks at stats for your favorite hockey team.
In a sense, he is pieces of everything you have sought after for awhile… yet you are hesitant to dive into a relationship, though he assures he is eager to be with you. So, you meet him half way: you have instances of vulnerability. You hesitantly talk about the future. You make plans a month in advance, which is something you had never considered before.
The post about him is supposed to be different than the posts about everyone else. In fact, he admires your writing and asks when you will write about him. He hopes that you will write something about the happiness he brings you, instead of another story about men who have been a disappointment.
And two days earlier, it was a draft as such. It was a lament for a man who is wonderful, affectionate, and understands the importance of good take-out and falling asleep in his arms watching hockey games in bed.
But today, It’s the frustration for the blindsided feeling of being dumped during an intermission of a hockey game…and much like your relationship you thought there were two more periods.
And you were sorely mistaken.
So you leave, and as you pack your bag to go back home you rip up the note you planned to give him the following morning, telling him thank you for being him…and thank you for making an us. You tuck the pieces in your messenger bag as you try to escape without eye contact.
There is pride in stoicism and composure after being dumped. I lost my pride as soon as I was far enough away to know he was not following me, tearing running down my cheeks as I walked in front of the ice complex.
He promised he would take me skating.