Kicking off 2011 - Learning not to say "I told you so!"


Stands up and steps to the podium to address BougieLand. "Hi. My name is Michele and I'm a perennial tongue-biter."

"Hi Michele."

"I'm afflicted with drama-avoidance-for-the-sake-of-politeness syndrome and I must be stopped."

Bougie folks know sometimes it's best to bite back the one thing you want to say more than anything else in the world. Why? Because sometimes it's just not helpful, sometimes it's just mean and quite frankly not everything you think needs to be shared. But whew... it's really, really hard not to say (in tart tone), "But I TOLD YOU this was going was to happen and NOW look at yourself!" [Or in a less loquacious way - I told you so!]

New Year's Eve netted me a phone call from Dude Formerly Known As New (DFKN). [For Newbies, go back to BougieNation at a Glance, scroll down to Top Ten All Time and get your read on]  In my defense, I was typing away and did not double check the caller ID prior to hitting the speakerphone button and saying, "This is Michele." My bad. For real though. Technology FAIL on my part. Anyway...

In the months since DFKN and I went our separate ways, he reconciled with his Shady Ex-Wife (SEW). He left the company where they both worked and took a position with a large consulting company. She took a pay cut and transferred into a virtual position so she could live down here with DFKN. [Sidebar: All of this I knew from DFKN's mama who was determined to stay in touch. And yes, it sets my teeth on edge that SEW's crazy behind is sleeping on the 800 thread count sheets I picked out for his bed, staring at the summer sage walls I painted. Woo-sah. Letting go. Letting go. Moving on...]

D proceeded to say, "You will never guess what happened. You will absolutely not believe this."

I was rolling my eyes so hard to the left, I feared corneal damage. Of course I could guess, but what I said was, "What happened?"

Should I strategically pause while all of you who followed the DFKN saga take bets on what I'm typing next? No? Okay. He said, "I walked into my house. My sanctuary. The place I came to get away from all the trifling bullshit she pulled the last time and guess what?"

"Why don't you just tell me." But um, haven't we all seen this film? Isn't this the part in the movie when we scream at the hero - Don't go in there! Umm, hmm. 

"She and Vince were in my damn bed sweating up my damn sheets!"

Pray for me y'all because here's where I thought - not the ones I picked out! Not relevant, I know. "Oh D, I'm sorry that happened to you." [The Oscar for Best Performance by an Ex-Girlfriend who knew this shiggity was coming goes to... ME!]

"I just don't know how I ended up back here."

Now biting my tongue damn near in half. "Hmm."

"She and I were doing so well in counseling, working through our past issues. We had recommitted to each other, you know."

Now wondering if I should just hang up because do I really need to hear this?

He continued, "We had a little misunderstanding last week. She found the Christmas present I bought you."

Suddenly my interest in the conversation picked up. "What Christmas present? Why would you buy me a present?"

"Oh I bought it months ago before you dumped me without a backwards glance."

Well damn. What to tackle first? The fact that he kept the present? Or the revisionist history that he rolled out there? "Why didn't you just give it to her and play it off?"

"It was a charm bracelet with an 'M', a little pen, an amethyst heart and a purple pump on it."

"The David Yurman cable bracelet?"

"Yeah but I had to get some of the charms from other places and have them added."

I had to hit the mute button and have a stern talk with myself. This was not about me or the bracelet I lusted over. I would not ask where it was at this moment and if I could still have it. After all, it was customized just for me. No one else would appreciate it like I would. Focus, Michele. No, I did not ask any of those things. I said, "Oh."

"Anyway, she found it and asked me why I was hanging onto it."

"Why were you hanging onto it?"

Hesitant silence followed by, "It was custom, I couldn't return it."

Side-eye to the phone. "Uh. Huh."

"The point is that I still had it."

"Where?"

"In the nightstand."

"Ooooh."

"What difference does that make?"

Did I really need to explain that you only keep the important stuff in the nightstand? That's where you keep the "grab in case of fire" stuff, the "I might need it in the night" stuff. If you aren't thinking about it, you throw it in a closet or the junk drawer in the kitchen or your bottom desk drawer under last year's tax returns. Just sayin'. "Never mind. So you had words about the bracelet." My bracelet.

"She said I wasn't over you."

"Funny, I said the same thing to you about her. That conversation has got to be stale for you right about now." Ooops. A little zing snuck out before I could catch it.

He gifted me with the hurt silence.

"Sorry D, so what you're saying is you two had beef and a few days later you caught her with Vince."

"You know, you're not over your ex either!"

"Whoa, hey now. I'm playing the role of sympathetic shoulder to cry on here. Which is above and beyond the call of duty since you in essence chose her over me! But if we're going to start pointing fingers and whatnot..."

"I'm sorry. You're right. I'm just angry. I should have listened to you in the first place. I don't know why I called you. I mean really what can you really say besides that you saw this coming, you told me it would happen?"

The People's Choice Award for Best Ex-Girlfriend taking the high road goes to... ME! "I'm still sorry you're going through this. I really am."

"Thanks. I know you're dying to say something else. Go ahead."

"So you're done with the two of them now, right? You've seen all you need to see? No third, fourth, fifteenth chances?"

"Definitely. The only thing I can't figure out is why the two of them keep pulling me into the middle of their games. It's obvious to me now, like you said that they've been at whatever their thing is for years. Took way too long for me to stop being their pawn. Hey, can I ask you something real quick?"

Uh-oh. When someone asks if they can ask something, it's always a doozy. "Sure."

"If I'd listened to you a few months ago and gotten rid of them, would you have stayed? Would we have worked out?"

Like I said... a doozy. I answered honestly, "I don't know. Maybe."

"Do you want the bracelet?"

Drool formed on both sides of my mouth. Of course I wanted the bracelet! But I went all zen with it, "You were holding onto it for a reason. When you figure out what that reason is, we'll talk about it. Happy New Year, D."

"Same to you."

And the Golden Globe for Best Ex-Girlfriend Acting Like a Grown-Up when she really wanted to cut a fool goes to... ME!

Fellas, if you've bought a present for your significant other and then you break up... what do you do with the present? Ladies, do you take the bracelet? BougieLand, am I the only one who thinks Stevie Wonder could've seen this coming through a blizzard with a blindfold on? Thoughts, insights, comments? The floor is yours...