June 25, 2007

Do they teach you that in high school?

Posted in *cringe*, Grief, Past, The Just a Little Sad at 8:14 am by Dagny Taggart

What do they do, take you all aside in high school and show you how?

No, I wasn’t punched in the face.  More like my emotional solar plexus, but why quibble over semantics?  This wasn’t exactly recent, either, and everyone’s got his or her own set of memories by now.   

Some time ago, I received an email from my Man of Death (the person you should never, ever get back together with.  The person for whom there should be multiple keys to be turned, and launch codes to be entered, before you are allowed to even entertain thoughts of being in a romantic relationship with each other again).  This email confessed to feelings of such depth and intensity – mirroring those experienced during the relationship – it almost served as a justification for everything that had happened.  For the myriad ways in which we had hurt each other, inadvertently and not.  Because that level of caring had been there, once.  Big caring = big hurt if/when it doesn’t work out, and that’s how it should be in my book.

Six days later, I saw nearly the same words, written to another woman, by the same man, posted in a public forum.  I know her.  She’s definitely deserving of that kind of epistle, no question.  Had it been written at another time, I like to think I would have been fine.  But this felt like a betrayal of sorts.  It was a week later.  One week.  Six days, actually.  I looked at the calendar to make sure.  And he hadn’t even tried to hide it.  Not even a scintilla* of effort on that front.  It was all there – lexicon, syntax, a/s/l.

So, do they teach you how to do that in high school?  Is there a script, like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books, that gets used like a flow chart to create the perfect missive for a given desired effect?  A list of keywords guaranteed to tug at heartstrings, to manipulate¤ people in to doing and being what’s convenient for you?

At the end of the day, whether it was “all a facade!” (thanks, DF) doesn’t really matter.  It’s what we choose to believe, what works for us, that becomes our side of the story in the long run. 

I think that’s kind of what trust is all about – getting to a place where you choose to believe the best of someone, every time.  That you do your damndest to believe that someway, somehow, it was possible for someone to feel that deeply about two different people in the same one-week period.  You make that choice, and in so doing, you extend trust.  And if you can’t make it work in your head, no matter how hard you try, it’s time to walk away.

*This woman might just be my girl crush.  At the very least, she definitely has a way with words.

¤Not that there’s anything wrong with manipulation, right?



  1. Jesus Dagny, I’m sorry to read this. That just kinda sucks out loud. Keep your chin up, girl. It’s got to get better from here, right? Right? Hello?

  2. INPY: Ah, no worries – it was the lack of concern that hurt more than anything, really. And things have gotten a lot better since then! Thanks 😀

  3. vvk said,

    “Ultimately, all things are known because you want to believe you know.” – Frank Herbert

    “You are one in a million … so there are over 6000 other people just like you.” -Brian Ensink

    I’m not sure where either quote fits in… but they both came to mind.

    It’s a shame what we do to each other… the pain we cause, and the pain we accept.

  4. carrie m said,

    Two awesome comments: sucks out loud and the one in a million…I’m going to have to save those for rainy days…anyway.

    You can’t see me, but I’m shaking my head over here. We always want people to be who we want them to be…it’s a shame it can’t work like that. But thankfully you have the strength (yes, strength, dammit) to walk away when you have to.

  5. vvk: Wow – those are both really great quotes. And you’re right – it is a shame, on some level. On another, though, it’s kind of impressive that we’re so determined to connect with one another that most people, at least in my experience, still want to try to let others in, and take the risk. 🙂

    carrie m: it does take strength, because… what if it’s not the fault of the person, but your inability to believe in them? Sometimes, you just have to accept that you’ll never know, and that the answer is probably somewhere in between. Ah well.

  6. Lisa said,

    I’m sorry about that. But perhaps it’s good in a way, because you have it to look back on if you’re ever feeling weak.

  7. vvk said,

    “On another, though, it’s kind of impressive that we’re so determined to connect with one another that most people, at least in my experience, still want to try to let others in, and take the risk.”

    That my friend is called spin… But you’re right. It’s not just impressive, it’s down right amazing. It’s also heartening.

  8. I kinda had the same thing going on myself. Women always end up getting married immediately after going out with me.

  9. freckledk said,

    I’m late – sorry!

    That. Is. Unbelievable. What audacity! But, at least he made it easy on you, and proved himself to be full of bologna. You don’t have to waste a moment questioning whether or not his words, and the feelings behind them, were sincere.

    Seriously, though. What a douche.

  10. The Lolipop of Mediocrity said,


  11. joebec said,

    hunny, that’s WHY he’s the MAN OF DEATH!! i have one too, his name is Brian.

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