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January 3, 2000   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

Remember me? Enuff Already. I have a new boy, and he is super. No flashes of melodramatic thunder and lightning, just an easy slide into a smile. And boy, does he make me smile. So that's great, right? But wait, I have not yet revealed that my boy's secret identity is none other than: CAPTAIN SEX-EM'-UP!

Yes, I am dating a bartender/actor, and I guess that pretty much spells out his sexual history. I am but a mild mannered serial monogamist, so we are coming at this whole thing from different angles, and its driving us both bonkers. He is having a lot of trouble dealing with the emotions involved -- feels very confused and vulnerable - and is freaking out pretty regularly. I guess he's not used to combining dating with an emotional investment, which equals a loss of control in his mind. I am having trouble with his past. It's not that I can't deal with the fact that he has "dated"(slept with) a lot of people, I mean its not a jealousy thing at all. First of all, I am intimidated by his vast experience, but whatever - I'm dealing with that and time will fix it. More importantly, I know that he had a lot of short, shallow relationships which he rocketted out of without looking back...and I just keep thinking of that damn story about that stupid scorpion and frog. (You know, where the scorpion asks the frog for a ride across the pond and the frog is like "Psshhh! As if! Why would I give your skinny scorpion ass a ride, when I know you'll sting me." And the scorpion is all, "Aw baby, you know I could never hurt a fine frog like you! Anyway, if I did sting you, we would both drown! I'm not that foolish, girl." So the frog gives the scorpion a ride and half way across the freakin' scorpion stings the frog! And as they drown, the frog says "Why'd you do it? Why'd you sting me when you said you wouldn't? When I was only trying to help you?" And the scorpion says, "I can't help it. It's in my nature.")

So, I am being very guarded with the Cap'n, fearing for the safety of my loyal heart -- which makes him freak out even more, fearing for the safety of his unguarded heart.

Oh, and then there's this other factor...I'm, uh, kinda homeless now. I had to move out of my apartment and into the farthest reaches of Brooklyn, all by myself. After two terrifying nights in an apartment with all of the security of a girl-scout tent, with crackheads screaming outside my window, I have decided to get the hell out of there, too. Now not only am I stressin' about having to bully the evil broker into giving back some money, but I also have to live couch to couch for a few weeks...which makes his little bed in Queens look very inviting. Which inevitably steps the intensity of the relationship up even more. So I'm trying not to lean on him too much, but I have to at least a little bit.

So, basically my problem/question is this: as we pull each other in all these different directions, how do we keep sane and not totally self destruct? Whacha think?

-- Enuff Already (a.k.a. the Frog)

Dear Enuff Already,

Hey, you know -- as I've said a lot today -- better unfamiliar territory than same-old same-old patterns. Better to stir things up than to settle too far down. How do you keep sane in the thick and fizz of it? Well, look. If "it" is in Cap'n Scorpion's nature, Froggie, then -- if he flails/bails -- it's not your bad. (And if he doesn't, it doesn't mean that you Did The Relationship Right.) So do your best to remember that both of you are neither archetype nor Aesop; rather, you are humans shaking up that heady cocktail called New Thing. Just -- as they say -- try to listen, bend, paddle together, not freak out that you're freaking out. And to enjoy that other new drink: Easy Slide into a Smile.

Breakup Girl



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