I heard from a lot of longtime readers/first-time callers last night after I blogged about running into an Ex this weekend -- an Ex that many of them liked, as it turns out (I don't really recall them being unduly invested in him at the time, but maybe they were). I get called on this kinda thing occasionally -- everybody's entitled to their own impressions and recollections; this is just my version -- but this was an unusually passionate response.
The general gist was that I had glossed over this guy's many virtues and minimized the general impression he made. So, for the record, he was, and probably is, a nice guy. It is true he was more romantic and thoughtful than average, and yes (for those who asked), I do remember writing about the time he left a bunch of us standing on the sidewalk across the street from our favorite theatre so he could run inside a coffee place and snag their last baby Coke in a glass bottle for me -- which he had admittedly spotted from a good distance. So while I might seem like someone who is hard on people, I do give credit where credit's due, and it is usually the littlest things that make the biggest impressions on me. He was plenty cute; he was a great cook who paid attention to my favorite things; and my desk was rarely bare of flowers, candy, wine, or books and CDs he thought I might like. Lest I seem like a slacker, let me point out that I did the Christmas shopping for his children that year.
His fans (who might be in the middle of forming a Facebook group for all I know) further pointed out that they would fully expect him to run from any room he found me in, and that I had that coming after the way things ended. Maybe. My point was that our paths had crossed a few times since over the years and I don't ever recall anything unpleasant. As for the way things ended, again, I genuinely don't recall any bad blood there.
It is true it all got wrapped up over a small thing (his failure to take me to an office Christmas party). He'd just claimed to be "busy" for the evening, so he lied. It was a lie of omission, but it was a lie. I had to find out about the party from someone else the next day who'd wondered where I was. And once I got angry at this level of disrespect (no info, no invite, nothing), he then opted to let me "cool off." Never, in the history of anger, have I cooled off, over time. The longer I have to stew, the angier I get.
Of course I hate office Christmas parties fully as much as the next person and I didn't want to go with this one -- the evasion and sidestep was just a symptom of some tendencies he was developing and I didn't have any interest in sticking around to see how they played out. The one thing I'm adamant about is the fact that you teach people how to treat you -- and he treated me disrespectfully.
The first time it happened, he got the benefit of the doubt, and I just filed it under being a good sport. Everybody gets one mulligan, but any more than that and I wouldn't have been a good sport, I'd have been a chump. As my emergency backup straight indignantly asked at the time, "does he think he's gonna do better? you like your sex; you get good swag; you're a cheap date; and you can cook."
Who knows? Maybe he ran off on Friday night cause he didn't know if I'd "cooled off" yet.
And maybe I have. Maybe I haven't.