Friday, November 19, 2010

Why sorry is as sorry does

Or, In Which I Over Analyze Text Messages and Get Rid of the Guy for Good

Four whole days after my meltdown, I was beginning to conclude that I would never hear from him again. That ultimately, he knew what was up, knew there was no coming back from it, and that he would just fade off into obscurity. I was perfectly content with this. The more days that went by without a word, the more sure I was that we were both on the same page. And then on Thursday, I got a text. 

Did ur phone break?

Did my phone break? The last time I saw him he took my money and I left his house in tears. Not only did he not apologize, he didn't even check to see that I made it home okay. Not a word for four whole days, and now his opening move was passive aggression. Awesome.

Did yours? I replied.

Haha, no, he said. What are you doing today?

Oh my god, he just didn't get it, did he? For some reason he thought things were still hunky dory, and we could just go on like normal. I quickly disabused him of this notion.

Look, I'm pretty much over this whole thing, I replied. You're not what I'm looking for. And I'm not what you're looking for either. I hope you find it.

Silence. Then,

Boo, he replied.

That was it. Boo. Boo? So much for resolution, so much for closure. That was it, it looked like, that was all I would get. A little boy pouting. I thought that was the end of it, and then about a half an hour later, he sent another text.

Do you want to hang out tonight?

Do I want to--what? Really? No, actually. I don't. And that's exactly what I told him.

Then, finally, he sent this:

Well, hey. I was sorry about being an asshole the other night. I wasn't myself. Cheers, Rachel.

Hmm. Interesting that it took me saying I never wanted to see him again to elicit something even resembling an apology from him. And what was that, anyway; "I was sorry?" Is he not anymore? What's wrong with a simple "I'm sorry," present tense? And why did it take so long for him to say it? I was also curious as to who he thought he was being, if not himself, but I was long past the point of arguing minutiae. Any response on my part, I knew, would only encourage him. It seemed as good a stopping place as any, and so that's where I left it. It's done.

And so now we return to our regularly scheduled programming, in which I continue to not have to cook for anyone, clean for anyone, or defend my Netflix viewing choices to anyone but myself. I have to say, it feels pretty good. And for the moment, at least, I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. Well, hey. I was sorry about being an asshole the other night. I wasn't myself. Cheers, Rachel

    I didn't even catch the past tense because what really stood out for me here was that he was (!) apologizing (?!) ... and then HE got to say "Cheers" as in goodbye? Screw that! You said goodbye first. Neener neener neener!

  2. This guy is a total loser. He has no job, is cheap with money and affection (who whines about leftovers or accepts money as reimbursement for dates?)

    It's good that you are ignoring him, since he doesn't deserve your time or interest.

  3. i think you eating a portion of his pad thai led to a series of events that ultimately concluded in you "dodging a bullet." no wonder he is single and spends all his time at home doing nothing.

  4. this guy's name Rob? Because I had this EXACT relationship about 5 years ago. Like, scarily so. And I live in Atlanta.


    I've met a guy or two like this, the last one ended up with a restraining order against him and I hadn't even met him! Continuted to decline invites to hang out then received abusive comments and finally him sending me a death threat.. enter police. He behaved the EXACT way you've described this guy Rob.

    Run away and stay away from his guy Rachel. Change your number if you have too.

    Be alone for all the right reasons and not for all the wrong ones.

    Proud of you! xo

  6. He is a Jerk. While I think that a great relationship can evolve from dating an imperfect guy, his behavior is beyond the pale. Getting treated with respect is non negotiable in my book, and I’m glad you seem to feel the same.


  7. Just read this in Carolyn Hax's advice column chat today and thought of you (the answer more so than the question):

    Toronto: Hi Carolyn! I've just started seeing someone new and I think this one has potential. Most excellent! I'm coming off a bit of a dry spell (and don't have much previous experience), and I was wondering if you had any general dating advice. Just stuff to keep in mind or things that should have my attention. Many thanks! These chats and your column have helped me tremendously over the years...

    Carolyn Hax: Any time you find yourself editing what you say or working to maintain an image that you think will please him, cut it out. That's the No. 1 suggestion I have to avoid what I see as the No. 1 mistake people make, which is to force a relationship with someone who isn't quite right for them. Congrats, good luck, and thanks for the kind words.

    ANYWAY, maybe take heed of some of the warnings above. He might not back off that easily if he's already proven to be so tone-deaf. Be careful, Rachel, and good riddance!

  8. Anyone who would criticize those movies is not worth your time.

    Hang in there girl! xoxo

  9. I think from here on out we should all call him Rob. That should just be his name to protect his identity...If you ever need to mention him again. Hopefully you don't.

  10. No matter how delightful he might have been at his most sparkly and charming, you have definitely saved yourself what would have been a very unrewarding and ultimately brain-numbingly, soul-crushingly frustating mess of a relationship. Just imagining one month of that wtf-fest makes me want a nap.

  11. To those who expressed concern, please don't worry. The guy is an unemployed pot smoker; persistence isn't really his "thing." As far as I'm concerned, he's gone for good.

  12. The guy is an unemployed pot smoker; persistence isn't really his "thing."

    Haha--let's hope he doesn't start doing meth--might give him the energy to get up off the couch and stalk!

    Good for you for not letting him sneak back.

  13. he "was" sorry.

    As Inspector Climate would say "who is this clown?"

  14. Men are so damn clueless and hard headed...I swear! What an idiot, I'm so glad to gave him the boot.

  15. OMG!

    Well if you didn't date assholes like him what would you blog about, right? I get that.

    But I am soooooo glad you told him off first. And didn't call him or contact him first to see if he would apologize. Who CARES if he was sorry. Not you. That was the line.

    You deserve to be with a man who will walk over burning coals for just one of your smiles. You deserve to be with a man who feels like A MAN by making his woman happy, no matter how much money he has or doesn't have. A man who considers himself lucky to HAVE a woman to buy dinner for. A man who goes and buys condoms for himself bc he is thrilled to have a REASON to buy condoms.

    Just the fact you have to replace his leftover pad thai if you wanted to eat it??? OMG!

    You deserve soooo much better. I don't care who you are, we ALL deserve so much better.

  16. Just for the record, no one should ever have to defend Molly Ringwald and Audrey Hepburn.

  17. Oh my god, he just didn't get it, did he?

    Yeah, he got weeks of free sex and money without having to work, while being as assholish as he wanted. Totally clueless. Right.