Kicking off Relationship Week (the remix) with a few true confessions stories. Feedback strongly encouraged! Enjoy...
Back in the day, I would spend hours on the phone. Catching up with friends, flirting with the fellas, being about business. In the last eighteen months, I have noticed a shift. More and more, I catch up with friends on Facebook or via email. These days I do a lot of flirting (okay, not THAT much) on Twitter or one of the three instant messaging programs loaded on the laptop. I'm not ashamed to say that if I don't recognize a phone number, I let it go to voicemail. Now I will call folks back and if you're saved into the Blackberry, you get answered on the second ring. As a matter of fact, chances are if you are someone of any sort of import – I've assigned you a ringtone on my cell and home phone. I like to know which calls to run for (or away from). It occurs to me that I actually don't recall what I did before caller ID.
So it was with no small trepidation a few weeks ago that I heard No Doubt's epic song, "Ex-Girlfriend" blaring from my BlackBerry. This is the song I've assigned to the ex-S/Os. I looked down to see which one and gave a sigh. Not a happy sigh, a weary sigh. It was the one we call Eugene. The so-called Feast in my from Feast to Famine story.
I answered the phone with the following sentiment, "This can't be good."
He was taken aback, "What do you mean? What kind of greeting is that?"
Sighing I moved on, "Hey, what's up?"
"Sitting out here chillin.'"
You see, back in the day- that was the hook. He tossed it out there; I nibbled by asking the follow-up question. I played along, "Out where, whatcha up to?"
"You know where I am." Again, back in the day… I did. I kept that boy's schedule like a secretary gunning for sainthood. I knew what time he flew, how much time it took him to get a rental car and usually I was sitting in the lobby of his hotel chatting up the concierge but the time he arrived. I had .pdf copies of his schedule filed chronologically on my desktop. In retrospect, that says something that I felt I had to keep that close a tab. But anyway…
Things had changed, "Gene, I have no clue."
"I'm in Dallas for work." And there's the bait.
"So what's your schedule like?" Fishing a little deeper.
"You should come out and have a drink with your boy."
Uh-huh. I should also douse myself with lighter fluid and strike a match the next time I want to BBQ. No. Thank. You. But I say, "Is your situation different?" In other words, have you fixed ANY of the f*ed up stuff that made our relationship completely unworkable in the past? I knew the answer before I asked the question.
"Uh no, but it's just a drink." Right, like Hurricane Katrina was just a little rain. I steers clear of disaster these days and don't need no burning bush to read these signs.
"I don't think that's a good idea, but you enjoy your time in Dallas." Now that was new. Time was, your girl would've have spun twice in the shower, whipped up the hair and makeup, thrown on tight jeans and pumps and been out the door in record time. As I sat there, I got a little angry. We had JUST had this discussion. I sent over a text, "Do you NOT recall what I said last time you came through?" Which was a "don't call me, I'll call you" "we're done, son" speech.
He texted back, "Of course, forgive me for wasting your time."
Zipped over my response, "You've kind of used up your credit at the forgiveness store. You take care."
I felt good about myself, stronger and wiser; and put it out of my mind. Two days later, the Gwen Stefani ringtone: Kinda always knew I'd end up your ex-girlfriend, whoa-oh! Who now? Jason. My ex whose latest fiancée broke up with him via Post-it note the night before their wedding. Ah jeez. Jason is an ex-Federal Drug Task Force with a GI Joe-complex and an irritating way of treating women like subordinate (and not so bright) members of his old squad. He liked women to be ornamental and lacking in opinion. He thought women belonged in the bedroom and the kitchen and should wear heels at all times. At last count, he has been engaged 5 times without making it to the altar.
He is 6'2", 210, caramel colored, quite fine, chock full of testosterone and confidence with an ego the size of Texas. He's that quintessential small town Texas boy that made good. Still wears Wranglers and Ropers (look it up, people) well enough to make you pause and look twice. We were briefly engaged way back when. So briefly I never told BougieFam and chalked it up to temporary hormonal overload of a girl who grew up sheltered. Moving on… every 18 months like clockwork Jason tracks me down. In a weak moment back in 2002, I made the mistake of seeing him. It took me 4 days and a Leverage-style con to get rid of him. Lesson learned. The thing was though – his mother and I kept in contact. She adored me (of course) and still laments at not being able to call me her daughter. She has been in poor health for a while so when he called, I was positive it was about her.
"How's Pauletta?" I answered my phone by getting straight to the point.
"She's okay, she misses you though."
On my end silence.
"I guess you heard what happened with me and Terry, huh?"
"Uh, yeah – your Mom sort of told me. Why'd she break it off?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know? Come on, you HAD to have done something for her to call off a Caribbean wedding the morning of… via post-it. Dude, remember who you're talking to!"
"There might have been a thing."
"A slightly inappropriate thing with a chick from the hotel. Nothing serious though."
"So you sabotaged it."
"No! Why would you say that?"
"You grabbed the ass of a hotel employee where your fiancée was staying. You wanted to get caught, you didn't want to get married."
"I didn't want to get married to her."
"I always only wanted to be married to you."
"And how'd that work out for you?"
"Still mean. Listen, you wanna hang out? I'm in town for a day or so."
What am I? The Dallas Hotel Hook-Up Chick all of a sudden? "Uh, no."
"Come on, it'll be fun. No strings. Just a couple of drinks, some laughs, a walk down memory lane." Like I don't know what that means?
Oh, so I'm the Dallas Hotel Hook-Up Chick that you have to get liquored up first. "If we're walking down memory lane, Jay… very few laughs."
"Oooh, still know how to cut a brother. Come on out, what are you afraid of? Afraid you'll like it?"
Deep, deep sigh. Ninja PLEASE. You couldn't punk me into doing what you wanted when I was twenty-five, it for REAL will not work now. And now, I know how to play too, "Ah baby, I'm afraid you'll get hooked again. And it took me a week to get rid of you last time."
"It was a good week though."
"For you. It was a good week for you. Listen, I gotta go."
"You still with that dude?" Okay, Eugene and Jason have never met face to face but do not care for each other on GP. Many a time I've convinced one not to seek out the other to declare war.
"That's something anyway. I always told you he was no good for you."
"He says the same thing about you."
"So you're free?"
Easier to lie, "No. New guy. Getting serious. As a matter of fact, I need to go ahead and get ready."
"So you're really not coming?"
"I'm really not coming."
"Well think about it and call me if you change your mind."
Don't hold your breath. But I say, "You take care."
So fellas, help me out. What's with the temperature taking calls? We used to call them "TapBack" because (obviously) someone was trying to come back and tap. I hear tell women are notorious for this as well. Not my scene. I don't get how anything good comes out of the TapBack beyond the temporary pleasure of the tap. My grandma Blanche had a saying, "When you start stirring up old sh!t, it just starts to stink again."
Another girlfriend of mine used to blame the TapBack on the full moon. She swore that every full moon brought out the crazies and the exes (sometimes one and the same). I used to get one of these calls per quarter. However, the older I get and the more of my exes that get married (whole other post, ya'll), the fewer of these I receive. Of course, the older I get the more exes I have. Okay... moving on.
Here what I wonder... is the TapBack an indicator that there's still something there or just that you were next up alphabetically in the BlackBerry contact list? And if you fall for (or go along with) the TapBack, are you re-igniting a relationship or scratching a temporary itch? What say you, BougieLand? Is there any merit in the TapBack? Does it ever lead to "reunited and it feels so good"? Any stories you'd care to share?