“When I asked you point blank last summer what your dear husband thought of our weeks of texting, Staci, you said he knew you were texting me and was giving you a hard time about it…”
A WORK STILL VERY MUCH IN PROCESS. Read along if you’d like. Cleanup and editing are in progress. But is it fiction or is it Memorex? Hmmm… Well now, that’s the question, isn’t it?
A note to new & recent readers: I’ve ripped this up recently to add more details but haven’t smoothed it out or fixed grammar or storyline discontinuities. Once again, it’s a work in progress.
The Third Option of Facebitch
An illicit texting short story – or a short story of illicit texting
>Saturday, 9:00 am
>Doug, you will be interested in this. >Questions? Fire away.
>You a U2 fan?
—— Original message follows ——
Monday, 12:36 am
What gives Staci?
Never heard back from you
I saw this bit of wisdom on FaceBook the other day. Passing it along. Thought it might make sense to you:
“People make time for those they want to make time for. People text and reply to people they want to talk to. Never believe anyone who says they have been too busy. If they wanted to be around you, they would.”
So, have you still “been busy?”
When I asked you point blank last summer what your DH thought of our weeks of texting, you said he knew you were texting me and was giving you a hard time about it, but that you and I grew up together and you couldn’t imagine so many years without me in them. What was it exactly? Oh, yeah, “He knows that we grew up together and I cannot imagine many years without you in it.” Remember that? (The chat history remembers it, grammar and all.) Well I do. In fact, I was completely stunned by your response. It must have been a minute or two before the shock had worn off sufficiently and I was able to text back a rambling, half-coherent reply agreeing that it had indeed been a very long time that we had been apart and that your feelings were mutual since we had always been good friends. But your brief emotional confession caught me entirely off guard as I was quite unprepared for such unexpected sentimentality from you after so long. How many years has it been now that you have been married and I have been entirely out of your life (and vice versa I’ll admit)? I had completely expected you to text back something like, “He’s pissed and wants me to knock it off, so I probably shouldn’t chat any more.” Jesus, did you honestly understand the magnitude of what you had confided to me? Nevertheless, I took you at your word, Staci, and assumed you were being truthful in a fleeting moment of emotional candor. Yes, you might have been being “sappy” as you apologetically explained, but that didn’t matter to me so long as you were being honest. Then, from what I can only surmise from the extensiveness but odd timing of our numerous chats over the several following weeks, you must have continued to ignore your DH’s feelings since we kept our conversations rolling. Looking back, it seems to me that you would have had to have worked quite hard to have kept our texting hidden on your end when your DH wasn’t traveling on business every other week. Our conversations were a daily back and forth. Your phone must have pinged more than a couple of times a day with new message notifications. Mine sure did, and I looked forward to each sharp staccato ping that announced the arrival of a new text from you. Funny, but weeks later you told me that your DH no longer cared about you texting me, that he was “fine” with it – quite a change of heart to have occurred so fast in those few short weeks if I say so myself. But the fact that you told me and expected me to believe that he flip-flopped so quickly after giving you what you said was such a hard time about it, concerned me. It was a red flag. At that moment I started to question you, to question what you were really up to, wondering whether or not you had been telling me the truth and whether or not you were actually hiding your texting from your DH among other things.
Hell, I even went so far as to ask our old friend Kathy on a couple of different occasions if she knew of anything going on with you that may have been out of the ordinary just to make sure I hadn’t unwittingly stumbled into some domestic situation or was about to step on some potential land mine I wasn’t aware of. I even interrupted her vacation with a text or two just to make sure, to assuage my conscience that I wasn’t intruding into such a possible situation. But much to my relief, Kathy said she didn’t know of anything. She didn’t believe there were any problems and agreed to keep my delicate inquiries under wraps, and that if I were really concerned I should just ask you directly. So that was that. I couldn’t really have asked you point blank, now could I? I mean, you know, “Staci, how are you and your husband getting along? Any issues going on there that explains all your texting.” Oh yeah, that really would have gone over well now, wouldn’t it?
But now, however, I’m not so sure I didn’t step directly into the middle of something of that very sort at a very inopportune time. It seems at least one large land mine must have gone off since your DH suddenly made his formerly unremarkable FB page (which you said he hardly ever visited because he wasn’t into FB, btw) into a complete pictorial shrine to you and family. Remember when I asked you about the sudden overnight transformation of his page? You quickly and conveniently explained it away by blaming your mother-in-law explaining that she had been nagging him for years to put up family pictures and now pictures of your recent trip. That didn’t quite fly with me, it was far too coincidental, so I made a note of it and let it go. But it was the singular appearance of the “Life Event: Married to Staci” message on his newly revamped public page, displayed prominently and alone, directly under his profile and background pics (which of course were both pictures of you, not of him) that finally lead me to believe something really was up. When I pointed this out to you, you completely denied there was anything to read into it. Maybe there wasn’t, but all the guys I know just don’t do that kind of stuff on FB, not overnight, certainly not shrines, and definitely not without a damn good reason.
Once I saw that I couldn’t help it, but I really started feeling sorry for your guy at that point. You must have really made it suck to be him. I can only imagine how upset he must have been to have needed to make such a statement, which, in retrospect, goes a long way towards explaining much of your later behavior.
But all that was months ago, and a lot has transpired since then. What I want to know, Staci, is just what in the hell is going on now? What am I supposed to think? You told me in no uncertain terms that you, “couldn’t imagine [so] many years without me in [them],” and that feeling is mutual. And yet now you don’t seem to want to communicate at all, or at least you will do so only begrudgingly and only after I have pinged you a couple of times. You won’t start a single new conversation thread with me of your own volition any more and only reply to the ones I kick off. Even then you seemed hard pressed to even reply to those. But what’s most mystifying is that comes even after you assured me only a few months ago that you didn’t want to lose contact again after all these years and that, no, I’m not bothering you and you’re not mad at me for any reason. You claimed that you’d be on FB and “likely” able to chat “more often in the summer,” but this sure doesn’t seem to be the case.
So what gives? Perhaps you are running under your DH’s radar? What’s the deal? In my shameless selfishness I took you at your word, Staci. I thought I could at least count on our long time friendship for your word still to be worth something between us.
But now I’m wondering, did you text me all that crap while you were in Chicago last summer just to fuck with me, to lead me on? Was it all just for fun, perhaps to see how far you could string me along? Or did you even write it at all? You said your DH was on his way back to the hotel and wouldn’t be too happy to come home to find you texting me. Remember that? So now I’m beginning to believe that you didn’t write it – hell, maybe even your dear DH wrote it on your phone or fed you lines for shits and grins – maybe it was some other face of Staci texting, one I never knew existed and certainly one I had never met – or would ever want to meet for that matter – I don’t know and I can’t ever know for certain as trust seems to have become an issue. But you certainly have no resemblance to the young woman I loved so much all those long years ago.
For now it sure seems evident that all you wrote was complete and total bullshit. And if you didn’t truly mean it, or if you two colluded on it, then that is certainly one of the meanest, cruelest jokes ever to put over on someone, especially considering we were indeed very tight “childhood” friends, as you once described us, while knowing full well that we had been so much more than just “friends” on many levels – passion included, and certainly not just during childhood.
The friendship we had I truly valued for years, all the way through university and then some – up until The Day. It was the one relationship I valued over all others, so much so that my closest frat brothers always teased me about you. Do you have any idea why they teased me about you and really only you? Well, other than they all liked you and thought you were beautiful, funny and intelligent, they all knew I was completely nuts over you. They knew that we had visited each other back and forth on various occasions over the years, that you had attended a few of my formals including the senior one, and that you rang my phone as much as I rang yours. A couple of them even knew we both had been busted when we headed up to your school to spend a long weekend together at the end of Thanksgiving break one year instead of me heading back down I-40 to my campus as I was supposed to (yeah, all of our parents were pretty pissed about that one, and you freaked when your mom called. I distinctly remember that conversation as I was beside you on your bed when she called, and then she said I had to call my parents. Of course that weekend became even more surreal when you admitted to me that you had slept with Bubba, which was not only a huge surprise but greatly disappointing, and then in consolation you tried to assure me that you were quite certain that “it didn’t go in” as you put it. Say what?! Why did I even stay at that point? Well, I had always loved you – there was that. I also wanted to give you every benefit of the doubt that you were trying to be honest with me over a very hard subject although your admission really tore at me then and for many years that followed. But you were also completely out of all of your clothes and lying nude next to me at that point – so absolutely physically beautiful you were! But nonetheless I was really in limbo about how to feel or what to do; I was so pissed, yet still so enamoured of you that I buried it the best I could for the moment and simply tried to overlook it as a one-time thing, although later I wasn’t so sure.) (Edit: re-write this since it’s hard to excuse and put in context and in timeline and I never really forgot). Maybe, probably, that was the real turning point in our relationship where we started drifting apart… I don’t know, but I was really pretty pissed at you for that and considered it an almost unforgivable personal betrayal for a long time. But you had been brave to have told me, and I had had a similar transgression or two of my own by then, so it would have been hard to assume the moral high-ground. It was just so hard to think of you ever lying with someone else, especially that oaf. Looking back on it, maybe that was why you told me, perhaps to let me know that I was no longer your only one. Whatever your reason, it hurt. A lot.
Then of course there was the notorious incident later junior year when you called my room drunk, long-distance, and long past midnight during your own sorority formal where you had ditched your date (was it Bubba again – that jackass perhaps? Wasn’t me though, regardless) and left the party to use a phone to call me to check to see if I was home or out drinking or perhaps sleeping over with some other girl. In all honesty, I was at the library studying for an upcoming test as my roommate Bill tried his honest best to convince you. But you wouldn’t have any of it. Since I wasn’t home at that late hour, you were convinced that I must have been out sleeping with some other young woman. You then “informed” Bill that you didn’t care if I was sleeping around with other women or not, that it was fine with you. (Yeah, sure. Why did you call, again? And that was not what I wanted to hear from you, btw. I would have preferred you to have been completely pissed.) Bill finally gave up trying to convince you otherwise, you hung up and went back to your party still drunk I guess (where did you end up that night?), Bill went back to sleep, and I finally returned home and sacked out after everyone had been kicked out of the library at O-too-damn-early in the morning. But you never knew that your whole drunken conversation had been captured on the answering machine, did you? After the laughter died down, I caught some real crap over that call for quite a while. Let’s just say it was replayed a few times before I managed to yank the tape. I never mentioned it to you because I never wanted to embarrass you, but I have to admit, it was pretty damn funny although I still have no idea why you called and why you just had to talk to me during your formal – not that I minded at all of course. I guess it was one of those intoxicated occasions where it must have made sense or seemed like a good idea at the time. Looking back on it, however, I have always regretted that I wasn’t there to have answered the phone when you called, not just to have talked with you while you were drunk (which was always entertaining), but to have kept you from getting upset and perhaps quite bummed out over an entirely unfounded and made-up assumption. Those types of thoughts and fears are the worst, especially when you are drunk and hundreds of miles away. But, randomly sleeping around was never my modus operandi. Maybe it was your’s though. I’ve always been a relationship kind of guy and always prefered to make strong bonds which would last which is why I was really very bummed when I called you rather late one evening, post-university, after work to see what was going on as we used to do long ago, but you told me you couldn’t talk because you “had someone over.” That was a shock again I wasn’t prepared for and it really sucked, yeah really, really sucked because if it was like any relationship you and I had, then I knew where it would probably end up. You know I never really pursued any deep relationships during college because I always thought you and I… Well, I digress…
Staci, I valued our relationship so much in part because it had been such a natural fit right from the beginning. It was such a good fit that there was never anything forced about it at all. The fact that you had a wit and intelligence that I could totally appreciate, a super fun personality, a sense of humor that matched mine, a beautiful smile and eyes that sparkled, especially when you were up to something, a hilarious laugh that was so absolutely characteristically you, looked gorgeous in everything, especially classic Laura Ashley, and possessed an unmatched ability to cook artichokes, just added to it. I came to recognize that the deep value I had always placed on our relationship was so much more than just the sum of all of that; truly you had been a fundamental and significant part of me for all those years. You understood me and completed me, and the confidence that I gained not just from your attention and approval, but also from your trust in me, especially when you were at your most vulnerable, helped me find the confidence to be me, which made it so easy to be so at ease around you – which, unfortunately, I later made the mistake of taking for granted. I realized that the existence and ease of our relationship allowed me the confidence to be me and that’s what got me through our final years of school. And I may be mistaken, I don’t think so, but I believe it was pretty much the same for you, that we both relied on each other’s acceptance and support during those years and both gained a lot of mutual confidence from it – the pictures from those few years certainly show it.
And I loved you for all of it.
Quirks and all.
I found myself looking for any opportunity or excuse to be around you and later found myself just as much wanting to look out for you and protect you (which I did on several occassions btw). I loved you for so many reasons which were all unique to you (and I always will, I suppose, in many ways and in memories). I guess I never fully expressed all of this to you, or even half-expressed it, in so many words back at the opportune time, really because we never had an opportune time during college or during the rush of graduate school and work afterwards to discuss it. That was my most regrettable mistake – one among several, including perhaps my big mistake of blowing your trust in me freshman year with that completely inadvisable trip to the school just up the road from yours to visit “The Bitch” as you still call her. Of course all of this is water under the bridge at this point and obviously you must have been Ok with it back then since I’m not the one married to you now. And that other girl, you know, “The Bitch” that I made the mistake of visiting for a football weekend? She was really a nice girl, very talented, very intelligent and funny with a sharp dry wit, but even though I spent some time with her during school and college, well, I asked you to both our high school proms and several college events as well including our senior off-campus weekend bash, not her. That should have told you something. I can still see, clear as day, the crestfallen, shocked, and utterly disappointedly sad, hurt and confused look on your face when you caught sight of The Bitch and me walking hand-in-hand to what would have been breakfast on the Sunday morning of football weekend. But you had driven up unannounced to see me at her school that morning which was still kind of surprising even though I had called you the night before. The Bitch (I really shouldn’t call her that) was an incessant hand-holder type, and I had already rejected several of her previous attempts at it btw. That you saw it then was a case of “bad timing.” The shocked and confused look on your face killed me as I quickly dropped her hand hoping you hadn’t seen it but realizing immediately I had fucked up and had most likely instantly and seriously injured our relationship in a pointless and unimaginable way. I immediately regretted it and have always wanted to fully apologize for having done that to you. The breakfast you and I then had later that morning at IHOP was the most uncharacteristically quiet and awkward meal we had ever shared. I still remember it to this day, where we sat in the back by the window, our trying to engage in small talk and stilted conversation. I hated having done that to you. (edit: rewrite this – that bkfst really did suck, Staci was really hurt, and I really knew I had blown it. Of course I had blown it w/ the bitch as well, but so what, Staci was always the one. Is that a record? Pissing off two friends in one weekend? It must be. God I hated that!)
I always thought (hoped? Assumed?), however, that in time, our story arcs would eventually find a way to cross once again and twist back together regardless of what may have transpired in the interim. We had been such an absolutely great natural match from the beginning and all our friends saw it and supported it. That had always been my expectation, at least up until the day you called me out of the blue to tell me some guy I’d never heard of, much less even knew you had been dating, had asked you to marry him. <Screech-Crash-Glass-breaking> Wait, what? That was supposed to have been my question! Immediately the world I thought I knew crashed all around me in the few exceptionally long seconds it took you to blurt it out. But do you remember that I actually had to ask you what your answer to his proposal was, “What did you tell him?” I asked while wanting to disbelieve every bit of what you had just said. You didn’t just come out and tell me you were engaged right off. Why was that? I had to wait several more excruciatingly long seconds for your answer hoping against hope you hadn’t accepted his proposal, but then you crushed me again. “I said yes,” you said. Of course you had or why would you have called? And my world completely crashed around me for a second time; that was two total collapses of the whole universe within a total elapsed eternity of forty-five seconds. The Big Crunch times two. Completely devastated and still in shock, I didn’t protest or raise any objection though I sure as hell should have and would have if I had had even the slightest expectation of the subject of your call ahead of time, especially if I thought it would have done any good. Instead I wished you all the best having realized within a split second of your announcement that obviously you must have been in a significant relationship for some time, one that I had not been aware of, with someone that I had no idea about, and one which I had no right to question as we hadn’t been together in any significant way for several years while you were a couple of states away in graduate school and I was working. But nonetheless, you had shattered my dreams for the future, a future which I had always intended to share with the one person who I thought would always be my closest friend.
You know, it turned out that you were quite right the prediction you made on that very last day of summer break at the absolute last moment we were together saying our goodbyes before heading off in different directions to our respective colleges. We were sitting in my car in front of your parent’s house, you on my lap gently crying, me hugging you, and through your soft sobs and tears you kept quietly repeating, “It will never be the same.” I was crying with you on the inside, but was too tough and too stoic to let on of course. I didn’t want to agree with you and just gave you even bigger hugs before I absolutely had to let go and leave. I hated leaving you then and certainly could never have entertained the thought it would be forever. In fact, as I drove off I distinctly recall saying to myself in all complete seriousness that, “one day I’m going to marry that girl.” But not more than eight years later it turned out you were entirely correct in your prediction, and I was completely wrong. And that sucked. It sucked more than you or I could possibly have imagined.
Do you remember calling me only a couple of weeks later after your devastating engagement call to ask if I had been out with Julie one evening? You told me, in a rather hesitant but accusatory manner I might add, that Kathy had called you to report that she had “spotted me” walking down a street in the bar district with Jules the evening before. I found that a bit strange. Why should you have cared? You had made your decision, at least I thought that was the rather clear message of your prior call. So why should it have mattered to you in the least who I was out with? Did it still matter to you? Really? Apparently it bothered you enough to rate a phone call. But all I said was “yes,” and you didn’t say much else and we left it at that. That was the last real conversation we had until many years later when a business trip took me out your way and you invited me over for dinner with your family.
I never understood what motivated that call and still don’t to this day. But even though it was really none of your business at the time, I will tell you that Jules and I were still only friends at that point – nothing serious was going on. She was even seeing other guys then. Jules and I had been friends for almost as long as you and I so we had that going for us, but we were not nearly so close yet but we’re working on it. Like you and me, Jules an I also had lots of mutual friends who all saw that there was a natural match between us as well. We had been on dates several times before but hadn’t become a serious item yet. Not even at the time Jules noticed you glancing back over your shoulder at the two of us at when we all attended Matt’s wedding. We happened to be sitting several rows behind you and your future DH when Jules nudged me to look where you were just in time to see you flip back around. Jules was my wedding date for that afternoon, but I had agreed to zip back to town with her after it was over because she had a date with someone else that evening. So I drove precisely the speed limit all the way back to be as late as possible returning. But your engagement announcement certainly focused my mind on where Jules and I were going, and it definitely helped motivate me to move that process along.
You know, what’s funny is that even now, all these years later, I still take shit over you from certain people who knew us both well at the time and who continue to wonder just what the hell happened, a retrospective question I mostly got over asking myself a long, long time ago. “She settled,” is the most repeated speculative explanation I hear. “Love the one you’re with,” comes in a close second. “Yeah, great,” became my stock response to all of it. But now our recent texting has dredged all of these questions back up like it was yesterday and makes me want to ask you what in the hell actually happened to drive us so far apart all those years ago?
SNARKINESS EDIT HERE – time to cut the final third of this story….and rework it.
Replace with basically “You were always the one, but I guess life got in the way. I got past you, but never got over you.” (very true – it’s very very / extremely hard to be rejected for life by your best friend, regardless. Especially when a reason is not apparent!)
DON’T READ PAST THE FENCE
(Hint: This is the first fence!)
This area be the IDEA SCRATCHPAD:
So, Understanding beats mean SNARKINESS every time, so got to figure out what to do here….
Also: Prefab Sprout – “When Love Breaks Down” tape — given to me by Staci in college at last visit. significance??? If so, not me. Her. Put Romeo Void on the backside. Add significance
Also: Bubba and me show up at the same time at Staci’s work during summer break. What in the hell was up with that?! Yeah, that really pissed me off. Don’t act so surprised.
also, what the hell was the deal with me showing up in Cambridge while you were there that summer that caused you such an issue?? My being there was out of context? Really??! You didn’t want to see me or didn’t want to hang out for a few days?! Not what I expected from you, and that really pissed me off.
So here’s the fence….
Do you remember your so thoughtful response when I put it to you during our meetup at the park last summer? How had we not ended up together as I always thought we would, I asked you? “Bad timing,” you slowly replied. That was it. You had no other explanation although there was obviously much more to it that you weren’t saying. Bad timing. Yeah, well no shit, it certainly was bad something, timing or whatever, and that answer was undoubtedly the queen of all the trite, ridiculous non-answers I’d ever heard. You couldn’t even give me a straight-up answer. So I’m not sure what to believe from you any more.
What I am sure of at this point is that I feel I was completely taken advantage of by you last summer, completely used in a transient moment of need, then cast aside when I was no longer useful and probably causing a problem for you at home. In a word, I’m pissed, thoroughly – not only at you, but also at myself for not having truly gotten over you even after all of these years. To you it was “all good” to be texting with me during a period in which it seems you needed some attention (yes, I completely get the attention thing) especially when your DH wasn’t around, and I let you run with it because I enjoyed it too. (Perhaps you weren’t getting any attention when he was around either, which would explain a lot!) Hell, you even apologized for “dumping on me” about G’s problems (damn, she’s a hot number!), completely blindsiding me with it, which I told you was Ok even though I was missing almost the entire backstory and didn’t really know who she was (I’m a good listener, remember?). But then you also told me that you were “missing something” when I pressed you further the next day about what you had texted. I told you I didn’t believe that it was as “all good” as you suggested. You said it was, why wouldn’t it be? I asked you if you had read what you had written the day before. You admitted “‘all good’ was kind of trite, rude even.” I agreed in part that it was trite, but disagreed that it was overtly rude. Then I pushed you on it further. That’s when you said you were “missing something.” I asked what it was that you were missing and you said you didn’t know exactly, that you’d have to “think about it” – another admission that all was not as it seemed. I can only assume it was some sort of relationship issue, but I have no real idea. Honestly, though, after all the years which have passed you sounded just like fucking U2, that somehow you still hadn’t found what you were looking for. If you hadn’t found it after all these years, what in hell exactly had you been doing? What a load of crap it was that you were “missing anything” for that matter, although I’m starting to have my own theories about what you were actually missing and what you may have needing. And when I suggested I too was missing whatever it was that you were missing, which in my case was simply a clue about what in hell was actually going on, you immediately dropped it like a hot rock and changed the subject. Yeah, something was going on.
So now it has come to this and it appears you no longer desire any attention from me in the least. Maybe you did actually find what you were looking for, whatever it was (don’t tell fucking U2) though I have my doubts. Maybe you burned out texting or it has become boring or you don’t want to carry on a conversation with an ex (I guess that’s really all I am now). But it seems you must have gotten your DH whipped back into shape and are getting the attention you deserve, or perhaps he whipped you back into shape with a significant bit of guilt – who knows? Regardless, all I know is that when I ask you why you’re not keeping up your end of our conversation all I get is, “I’ve been busy.” Seriously? Of all the tired and trite excuses out there you pick the one that even God-forsaken fucking FB tells you to look out for? Come on, Staci. I was told this would happen, and I should have listened to my wiser, better half (who, I have to say, has been rather amused by the whole affair (Dare I use that word, “affair?” A texting affair? It’s very Ashley-Madison’esque, considering! Tres chic!) but who’s also still somewhat miffed about the picture of you and me posted and then tagged on FB by Kathy for all of our friends to see after the three of us had gotten together for dinner. I will say it did receive a heck of a lot of ‘likes’ and a bunch of comments, although most of the likes were from our mutual friends while all of the comments were exclusively from our former classmates who knew our backstory. But ironically there was also a ‘like’ from your own MIL for God’s sake! Of course I couldn’t help but notice that your DH didn’t comment, not even a thumbs-up. No surprise there certainly. What amazed me most though, was that it finally took Mary to post a larger photo of you and your DH to knock ours off the top of your FB page weeks later. What a message that must have sent to all your friends and your DH. At first it concerned me just thinking about what all those people who didn’t know me must have been thinking when they read the comments left by our old friends and classmates. But now it no longer does. I shake my head and laugh just thinking about it. Yeah, I took some shrapnel in the ass from Jules over that pic (I was told it was inappropriate to have it on my own FB page – well of course it was!), but hell, Jules knew our story as well, and I considered the light peppering of shrapnel in the backside to be more than worth it. The larger question which keeps coming back to mind, however, is how did your DH take to you leaving that pic up for so long (or at all, for that matter) with all the comments, considering it was so incredibly visible to everyone? You could have easily hidden it or untagged yourself. Did it serve some ulterior purpose of yours? You certainly didn’t have any problem leaving it up or giving it “like” yourself (in fact, we agreed to do it mutually) and then commenting that it was fun and that the next get together shouldn’t be so long into the future (ha!). Was that your ridicule of your DH for some reason? Some punishment for leaving you alone? For going off and playing for weeks during that summer while you stayed home and handled the kids? Was that it? I can only wonder what he must have done to deserve it. In retrospect, maybe I should be completely thankful that I wasn’t the one who ended up with you after all. As you well know, sometimes you should get over it and be glad things ended up the way they did…
But coming back to now, you have a decision to make. If you have any shred of decency left, you need to step up and say to me, to my face, that you didn’t mean what you wrote last summer, that you were plastered, plowed, drunk off your ass or something (although even drunks usually tell the truth) and that you were completely lying even though it took you five minutes and several hesitant restarts to write those couple of sentences in reply to my simple question of what your “dear hubby” thought of all our texting, otherwise you have some explaining to do and need to own up to what you wrote. There’s not really any inbetween. I wonder, did you also tell your DH about our pre-existing plans to get together for dinner when you came to town? I bet you didn’t, so what explanation did you give him when the picture of us together popped up on FB unexpectedly afterwards? What about our meetup to “catch up” in the park by the river last summer, just you and me, an hour before we met Kathy for dinner? Did you tell him about that? Do you ever plan to? Hell, we didn’t even tell Kathy about it. But if you really feel too put out to chat so much as once in a while with an old friend because you no longer feel the need for the attention, and if you are so inclined and have the actual guts to do it, you can tell me that our friendship is over right now. It may as well be since it’s rather apparent you have no intention of being in contact any longer; you’ve shut me out but have not explained why. Really, you should defriend me on FB, and that will be it – you won’t hear from me again if that’s truly what you want. That would completely suck, and I would be pissed that you had been using me, but at least you’d be being honest with me in that you really don’t want to stay in contact even though only months ago you claimed you did. It would be better for both of us if I no longer had to guess where my former best friend stands, or perhaps just a former friend for that matter. It would be as much real as it would be symbolic of the actual breakup we never had. Then you could reinstall messenger, turn all the notifications back on, turn on alerts, whatever, and not have to worry about an inopportune text message showing up to cause problems when your significant other or kids were around. And you know what, I never did buy that crap about Messenger not working on your phone. You simply removed it to keep from receiving texts and having them easily accessible to anyone who could unlock your phone. But you lied about it. So why hesitate? You really don’t value this friendship at all it seems, and I have plenty of other FB friends to make up for losing you. The loss of one single FB “friend” wouldn’t make anything more than a barely noticeable single digit difference in my public friend count, you would be just statistical noise at that point and you wouldn’t be missed for one minute from my FB universe by anyone. </really pissed>
Except by me.
The option I’d much prefer though, and the one I’d hope you would choose, is for you to simply explain to me why you wrote what you did (assuming you wrote it) last summer, if you were being honest and what was happening at the time you wrote it, what kind of trouble you landed in because of our ongoing texting if any, and where things are now. I just want you to level with me because I have no idea of what actually happened on your end and I’d like to be able to make some sense out what changed between last summer and now. I’m entitled to at least that much, Staci. Have you simply burned out chatting, have I become boring, did you make a deal with your DH which precludes you from any more chats with me? I’d prefer to give you the benefit of the doubt and not be pissed off at you forever, not that you should care I guess, but I need to know what has gone on. I’m adaptable, Staci, especially if it would keep you as a friend, but I deserve an explanation from you at this point of what’s going on and where things stand, that is if you really intend to remain true friends.
Then there’s the third option, that of ignoring all of this, which is of course the easiest response to choose, but it really is the poorest option, both morally and personally, and it’s probably an all around worse option for everyone involved. Don’t choose this option; I have carried the memories of our good times for too long to think it could come to this. But if you do, the essentially the do-nothing default one, it would be more appropriate for me to bring your DH up to speed on all the details of the entire situation that he’s entitled to but not already aware of and then let him advise you on what you should do rather than let issues simmer all the way around. I know you said that your DH “really is a good guy,” and I’m sure that he is, although you quickly followed that with a cryptic acknowledgement that you’re often “missing an empathy gene” for him, whatever the hell that means (I never figured that one out and neither did Kathy when I asked her for her interpretation), but it sure sounds ominous – so much so that I believe you two already have a few issues to work out in counseling. But you know, I’d bet that both of you should be able to sort this situation out much better and faster than you and I could, so I’d certainly be willing to break the ice for you and fill Doug in on all of the past year’s events if he wants to know. You’ll just have to let me know how it eventually turns out. And then, just possibly, the whole thing might even find its way onto the Internet as a texting short story. You just never know.
Your options, your call.
P.S.: Did you see the one about Loyalty and Needs? As one’s needs change, so does one’s Loyalty. Interesting, don’t you think?
Well, wasn’t that cathartic, now…. And as we all know, it’s the thought that counts.