Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Thing #3: I accepted my first ex-girlfriend as a friend

I never said I could only do ONE New Thing a day, and thank god, because I just topped the Nyquil thing, which really was a pathetic first New Thing. ("Thing" is such a bland, generic, boring word. And it's part of the name of my year. But this isn't necessarily My Year of New Adventures, because I don't think that something like eating escargot for the first time, if I do that, could really be qualified as an "adventure." It's a thing. Or a moment, I guess, but My Year of New Moments sounds pretentious. I'm gonna stick with My Year of New Things. It's actually growing on me as I type this entry.)

So. After I finished typing my last entry, the Nyquil one, I went to my MySpace page. The only reason I even joined MySpace in the first place was so that I could spy on people from my past, I don't really like the site, and I can't put too much energy into it because I already put enough energy in my Friendster page, and I don't care how many people say that "Myspace is the new Friendster," I still think that MySpace is Friendster's ugly cousin. All of that being said, I'm still on the damn website, and I went to check my page to see if I had any new messages (because, unlike Friendster, it doesn't send you an email when you have a new message so you actually have to go to your homepage to check--another reason I don't like MySpace even though I'm on it). And I see that I have "a new friend request." I click on it, and then discover:

It's my first ex-girlfriend, Shirley.

Now, this is significant because I only have two ex-girlfriends in my entire ex-girlfriend canon, so this is 50 percent of my ex-girlfriends here. With one of my ex-girlfriends, things ended well and we have remained somewhat in touch, and with the other one, things ended badly. Shirley is the one who ended badly.

I was a fifteen-year-old, drama-loving, sports-fearing Mama's boy. I didn't actually say the word "gay" with my mouth for another six years or so, but I definitely knew that the word was in my vocabulary, and I desperately wanted a girlfriend to prove to myself and the whole world that I wouldn't ever have to use it. I mean, use the word "gay." With my mouth. To add to the pressure, all of the kids I had grown up with in my neighborhood, all of my best friends, they all had girlfriends by now, and I knew that if I didn't get one soon, then someone was gonna notice. And then Shirley came along, and she came on strong. She was INTO ME, in caps. And, then, suddenly, I had a girlfriend, and the world was right.

We made out every day for the next year. Everywhere you turned. There we were. Making out.

And even though I wasn't into girls, per se, I was still fifteen, and making out was fun. And going to formal dances was fun. And telling each other we loved each other was fun. And naming her boobs, that was fun, too. (Before I get to the part where I break up with her on our anniversary over the phone, I want to say, in my defense, that I named her left breast Jodie and her right one Michelle, after Jodie Foster and Michelle Pfeiffer, and, I'm sorry, but if you name your girlfriend's boobs after Jodie Foster and Michelle Pfeiffer and she doesn't realize that you're gay, then she's kind of at fault too, because come on.)

Anyway, after a year of making out, she started to talk about things like "getting married" and "the rest of our lives," and I knew I had to get out. But I'm a chicken-shit when it comes to "confronting things," so I waited until after we'd had a tearful "I'll-love-you-forever" good-bye when I went to my Dad's house for the summer, and then, safely ensconsed at Dad's, I called her up, on our anniversary, and before she could get out the words "happy annivers--," I told her it was over. Kaput. Done.

She cried, and it was a terrible conversation, but I was out, and so so happy.

We went to school together for two more years and we never said another word to each other, even though we were in many of the same classes. We even ran against each other for Thespian Club President my junior year (her senior year). She won, but to this day, I still think that the election was rigged. She just didn't have the exit poll numbers. But I'm not bitter.

Anyway, after she graduated, we never saw each other again, and then, a few months ago, I joined MySpace so that I could spy on people from my past, and so, of course, I typed in her name to see if she was on the site. And, of course, she was. But I didn't ask her to be my friend because, um, we've been, like, mortal enemies ever since I dumped her so royally over the phone without giving her a reason. The least I could have said was, "hello, I named your boobs Jodie and Michelle, I'm gay." But I didn't, because that would have been too much of a confrontation.

So, then, today, when I saw her request to add me as "a friend" on MySpace, I said yes. I accepted. She was a good kisser, and there's no reason we shouldn't be friends. We've never actually been friends before. When we met, we immediately became "boyfriend and girlfriend." And then when we broke up, we immediately became "enemies." We never had a friend stage.

So today, on the first day of My Year of New Things, I will accept Shirley, and Jodie, and Michelle, as friends of mine. I've always wondered if they kept all of the love letters I wrote them. Because wouldn't that be a hoot to read, all of these years later? Maybe I'll ask her. That would certainly be a new thing to do! But I'll save it for another day because I've got 364 more of these days to do and I've gotta save some New Things up for tomorrow at least.

7 comments:

Alexander said...

Haha, I found your name on the Jill Soloway post and I read all your posts. I love you. I want to marry you! Well, when its legal, anyways...

communicatrix said...

Oh my god...Erik Patterson is finally blogging. I'm in fucking bloggy heaven...

Erik said...

Alexander--usually I at least get a drink or two before I get the marriage proposal! I'm very flattered. Check back in with me when it's legal.

and Colleen--you're honestly one of the few blogs that I check every day, hopin' for a new post, so it's blogs like yours that made me even wanna do this at all in the first place. I finally decided to stop living by the old "always a lurker, never a blogger" maxim, and jump in the pool. Hope I can stay wet long enough to keep people entertained. (I don't even know what that last sentence meant. I was trying to continue the "jump in the pool" metaphor, but, oy, okay, I'm stopping this comment.) By the way, Colleen, I didn't finish "Getting Things Done." Were you successful in it? Did you make it through the entire three day process?

Gina said...

Wows! This really is a shocking new development! Seeing as I was there for all the drama and know all too well about the whole shirley situation, i must say, this is huge for you. HUGE! Good for you! And can i also say, I'm honered to be your last ex girlfriend. Way to go out with a bang;) Mwah!!!

Michael Blowhard said...

What's gay about naming a boob after Michelle Pfeiffer? I mean, the gayness of naming a boob "Jodie" I get. But Michelle?

Or is just naming boobs generally a gay thing?

I used to think I had a little gaydar, but mabye no longer ...

Erik said...

Well, Michael, I realize that there's nothing inherently gay about Michelle Pfeiffer, as a person, or an actress, she's a lovely, very straight woman who isn't named Madonna or Cher, so there isn't anything typically gay about her, but still (and maybe I'm just weird) I think that naming a boob after Michelle Pfeiffer is extremely gay. I mean, I don't think naming boobs, in and of itself, is a particularly gay thing, but naming one after Michelle Pfeiffer is. But don't start questioning your gaydar just yet, because I'm weird. I mean, maybe naming boobs is just, in general, a really weird thing. Forget about gay men naming boobs, do straight men name boobs? Do women name boobs? Do lesbians? Are boobs a normally named thing? I don't have a name for my penis, but I feel like naming your penis isn't that uncommon a thing. Or is it? Now that I think about it, naming ANY body part seems pretty strange to me. Maybe I should name my penis. That would be weird, yes, but it would also be a New Thing that I've never done. I dunno. I feel like I've digressed. I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore.

joe chandler said...

erik