Thursday, February 21, 2008

Second chance sucker

After I elbowed J-Dogg in the stomach, we didn't speak for another week. When he showed up at my door again, I was almost too busy thinking about the fact that I'd eaten onion dip for lunch, hadn't washed my hair in two days and was wearing old sweats that featured chic bleach stains and holes, to notice that my neighbor-who-doesn't-talk-a-lot-but-makes-my-tummy-go-mushy was about to string together more sentences than he had in the past decade. It went a little bit like this:

"I know I f*cked up. I know I really f*cked up and I'm sorry. In fact, I've never been so sorry about something and I want to explain what happened. When we started getting together, I didn't expect to fall in love with you, and I certainly didn't expect you to fall in love with me. I've been keeping you at arms length, but I didn't realize I was doing it. My last relationship ended suddenly and she broke my heart. I know this isn't the great tragedy of the world, but when you wrote me that letter, I guess I was thinking, "she is going to dump me, I better get out now before she breaks my heart too." I realize I handled it wrong, but I was frustrated and I didn't know what else to do. Here's the thing: I miss you and I've missed you so much over the past couple of weeks that I could never take you for granted again. In order to show you that I'm serious, I need another chance."

I'm not sure at what point during his speech that my knees started to tremble, but they did. We went back-and-forth for awhile and I told him that I was scared that if I gave him another shot, in two months we would be right back where we were before. I told him that while I didn't handle things very well either (I may have forgotten to mention to you all, that my infamous letter was a little ill-timed, a tad dramatic and probably could have been handled in person), I meant what I'd said in my letter. His response was that he wasn't going to be stupid enough to make the same mistakes again.

I've had more dating experience than almost anyone I know, yet I'd never been in that situation before. I'd never had someone I care about, someone I WANTED to be with, standing in front of me, asking me for a second chance. Did I believe in second chances? Did I know deep down that it wasn't going to work? If that was the case, would it be worth going through the pain of breaking up with him AGAIN? Could he really be different? I'd always mentally rolled my eyes at books that described a confused and overwhelmed heroine as "reeling," but at that moment it was an appropriate word.

Luckily, our discussion had already made me a half hour late to meet some old friends for happy hour. I told him that I had to think about it and I left.

Before I'd even turned my car off our street, I was dialing my mom and relaying the enter scene. I heard myself tell her that I knew J-Dogg was sincere, that he wasn't smooth enough to come up with that stuff without being sincere. I told her that I thought when you really love someone you aren't supposed to be able to hurt them like that. Then I asked if this was one of those situations where its "Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me." My mom surprised me. She said that when people love each other, sometimes they hurt each other more than anyone else. She said that when two people really care, they have the most power and the most to lose. She told me that she hadn't seen me care about someone like this and that she thought a second chance was probably worth the risk.

I was floored.

Out of all my friends, my sister and my roommate, I definitely thought my mom would be the one to throw this idea in the trash before it had even been opened. SHE WAS THE ONE WHO MADE ME A FEMINIST IN THE FIRST PLACE. I suddenly felt like I'd been given permission to give J-Dogg another shot. Not because it was my mom, but because I was so worried that what I knew I wanted, would be the "wrong" thing to do.

It didn't happen right away, and I'm still not sure what I feel, but since that night, J-Dogg has expressed his remorse in various ways. Communication. Flowers. There have even been several of those small, but incredibly meaningful gestures, like volunteering to watch "Annie Hall." I guess we'll see...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you decided to post your Second Chance update! I think they are worth the risk but you knew that already :) DD.