Dear Asshole Ex,
You didn’t beat around the bush (pun intended) when you propositioned me:
“I’m stuck in the UK on a business trip and am having a pretty lonely valentine’s night. Finding myself fantasizing about you … Rekindle an old spark on the side? Our dirty little secret?”
For someone who fancies himself a writer, I am amazed at the lack of creativity in your pick-up technique. You must be taking tips from Paul Janka.
For someone who used to wine and dine with the best of them, I am disappointed you didn’t at least offer to buy me a hot meal first. Where’s the effort?
For someone who is an up-and-coming CEO who is used to getting his way, I’m amused by your inability to lock down a companion on this particular day of the year. It is my greatest pleasure to turn you down, without the faintest hint of guilt or empathy.
The old me would have hesitated to say no. The me that was hungry for attention and afraid of hurting a relationship with anyone who could potentially make me feel wanted, sexy, beautiful. Anyone who could make me feel necessary; because as a woman who was abused as a child, raped as an adult, and subsequently taught by society that I am nothing if I’m not pleasing a man, sex means I am needed. The old me was so warped that she may have replied coyly before suggesting a tryst when you got back in town. The old me would have done it, and her heart would have ached for a long time after, because there is no greater betrayal than that of oneself.
But things have changed for me: in my head, in my heart. I think it started the day that I tossed you aside in the first place. That was when I realized you were toying with my emotions. On reflection, I should have seen it sooner. You dangled the threat of your possible deportation in front of me for weeks – I suspect just to see the panic on my face confirming that I needed you. And when at last you revealed to me that you had been “kidding” and the threat of deportation wasn’t a concern, I was stunned. I went home and thought about it, then dumped your sorry ass for manipulating me (on Christmas Eve, for added punch). I realized that I was worthy of more than head games and that you were simply not worth my time.
I don’t imagine that you will learn your lesson any time soon. It’s clear that you assert yourself enough that people rarely stand up to you or point out your shortcomings. You get off on proving to people that you are much bigger than your stature would suggest and you take people apart just to see how they tick.
The old me might have felt sorry for you. The connection I have found with others is something I imagine you will never know. You will probably never allow yourself to be totally open and at the mercy of someone you love, which is a bittersweet gift that I wouldn’t sell for any amount. You will have a string of half-intentioned relationships lacking any semblance of passion. You will achieve much in business because of your lack of commitment to anything else; but, in the end, your work will consume you and you will be left with no one to share in the glory.
The old me is gone and the new me laughed uproariously at your joke of a proposition. Instead of pitying your botched efforts at romance, I got myself a Valentine’s present: I sipped at a big glass of merlot and watched a movie with someone who means far more to me than you can ever hope to mean to anyone. And at the end of the night, when I had settled in to bed and the wine and last-minute purchase chocolates had gone to my head, I masturbated furiously to the thought of men who are nothing like you.
This day of the year is only what you make it. Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day, friends.