A Bonus Predicament from November 2, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Thank you so much for answering my letter last week. Actually, when you wrote the “Friends to Lovers” column the week after I sent it, I sort of figured that it applied to me, so that you’d already responded, and I realized I should consider taking the advice in that column. There hasn’t been any closure to the story yet, but I just wanted to answer the very insightful points you brought up:
>1. “We ended up pretty much revealing our feelings
> for each other.” Pretty much? Was this revelation,
> on her part, a sober, solid, lucid statement of
> fact/lust? Or, perhaps, did you make the first
> confession, and then go on to inflate her
> Chianti-enhanced, engagement-jittery being-nice
What I meant is, we kissed that night. Trust me, I always recheck audio tracks — as you noticed, I read texts very closely (I used to think this tendency was beneficial), and it was definitely her who made the first confession. I was more surprised than anybody that the subject ever came up. (OK, perhaps there was a small Chianti element, but I know I was completely avoiding the topic, for fear of jeopardizing our friendship.)
> The voice of caution, however, would like to note
> that BG does not hear from you anywhere near the
> level of love-or-die urgency she did from G. It’s not
> even at the level of publish or perish.
No, it’s love or die all right. It is also certainly at the level of publish or perish, as in *if she’s not there I don’t know if I’ll be able to survive school anymore.* I was just trying to tone down the emotion so that I could right a reasonably clear and concise message. You should have seen me dejected and pouting for about two months after she left for the summer. (My friends all thought I was like that character in Swingers, except I never broke out of it.) The Guy at the End of the Bar is right about this one. But I haven’t had a chance recently to take anyone’s advice. Here’s a brief update, showing that things are, if anything, even more unclear now than when I wrote you (at least to me):
The other weekend was gorgeous, and I called her to see if she wanted to do something. Unfortunately, her fiance was in town (big faux pas on my part). Somehow, we ended up going out for the afternoon; he didn’t come along. It was very hard to understand how this happened (and I wasn’t about to ask). A few days later, she called me and we talked and tentatively set something up for this weekend — assuming I got out from under all the work I had — but she stood me up, meaning she never called to follow up. (She wasn’t there when I finally gave up and tried to call her.) I still don’t know what happened. (And I was rather upset.) She’s never stood me up before, so I’m a little scared that for some reason our friendship is Over and I’m the last to find out, but the more rational part of me says that that would be an over-hasty conclusion, and that it’s really just another set of very confusing signals I’m getting.
Update within an update: I called her last night, she seemed happy to hear from me, and she said that this past weekend a relative of her fiance had been in town, which seems to be why Saturday didn’t work out. That and the fact that she was sending out job applications, which was a discomforting reminder that this is, ultimately, a transient lifestyle.
So, I’m still confused about all this, but I have gotten some good pointers on what to do about it. Thanks for your help, and I hope to let you know how it turns out.
Also, I’ve declared a unilateral moratorium on baked goods.
— (Former) Scone Boy
Okay, I’m glad to hear that you’ve stepped away fom the pastry flour, but I’m not glad to hear that you sidestepped your true angst in the interest of being “clear and concise.” breakupgirl.net is where you DON’T have to rein it in, you guys. If Duderino had consciously/disingenuously toned it down, I’d never have gotten his number. See, I rarely need to read between y’all’s lines. And I don’t really like to take that liberty. I generally trust that you will say what you need to say and tell me what I need to know. I try to follow this brilliant adage from Suzette Hayden Elgin, Ph.D., “If your partner says ‘The toaster talked to me,’ the correct response is, ‘What did it say?'” So you guys: don’t dis-serve yourselves. Tell me the whole big messy confessional; doesn’t have to be long, just has to be true. That way I’ll give you whole advice. Okay?
So. While Breakup Girl’s reading may not have been close enough, some of yours is indeed too close. At this point you are driving yourself nuts analyzing the phone silence and vocal tones of someone who — yes, kissed you — but who is also: engaged. Yes, she may be confused, and yes, she may very well have feelings for you. AND, if there’s any time those pesky non-monogamous feelings are going to grope their way to the top, it’s when she’s fixing to walk her way down that way-monogamous aisle. If you are not willing to make your plea on bended knee, Guy at the End of the Bar style, you have got to back off. DO IT FOR YOU. And if that is as hard as I imagine it will be, it’s officially okay to whip up some gingerbread, or at least some toaster pop-tarts. FOR YOU.