LIBRA HOROSCOPE (from astrology.com): You’ve got too much stuff going on right now, and it’s time to drop a few activities if you can. You can return to them in the near future, when your energy levels return to normal (more or less).
We agreed to meet at Las Margaritas. Good to have The Talk in public. I walked there, deciding I needed the cool air and the time to figure out what to say to end a relationship that really didn’t have anything going for it other than a strong physical attraction and great sex. When I was twenty, that would have been a perfect combination. Considering all the clumsy geeks I encountered back then, Gabriel would have been the grand prize. But once I hit thirty, the standards for dating rose. Some people—namely, my mother—might say the standards should be lowered, given the smaller dating pool comprised of damaged goods. Yet somewhere in that decade of time I realized I could live independently and a man could make life worse as much as he could make life better.
I don’t know if it’s fair to say Gabriel makes my life any worse. And the sex makes my life better. What a relief to end the drought—and to do so with a bang! That’s what makes the decision to end things all the tougher. There is nothing wrong with Gabriel. He is not a total ass like Derrick. He’s not frustratingly non-communicative like Jeremy Welles. And he certainly isn’t a conservative, money-means-life dweeb like Harvey. A month had been a good run. If all I wanted was a fuck buddy, Gabriel could stick around. But fuck buddies were for Marella. She loved the simplicity, the specific focus. But I still had (faint) hope for a long-term relationship. While there didn’t seem to be a prime candidate waiting in the wings, prolonging things with Gabriel just wasn’t helping the cause.
So how to end it? How not to sound like a cliché? How to be honest without being hurtful? I could have walked all the way to Chilliwack and still not have any answers.
Of course, the place was packed when I arrived. Gabriel was already in the bar area. That was a plus. He was not the habitually late type like Harvey. Stop thinking of plusses. Not the time! “I ordered you a margarita,” he said after a quick kiss. Right on cue, the drinks arrived. I preferred no salt, but not the time to quibble.
We spent ten minutes catching up on our week’s events. He talked too long about iPads. It was only three or four sentences, but one would have sufficed. And then, after a gap in conversation when we both scanned the restaurant to see if any tables were opening up, he said, “Laura, you’re a nice person, but I just don’t see a future between us.”
It would have been so easy to say, “Me neither.” Unfortunately, I was too stunned. Oh, my god. Gabriel was breaking up with me! Oh, my god. Why was I suddenly feeling sick to my stomach? This was what I wanted and he was relieving me of having to lead The Talk. Why wasn’t I grateful? Why did I feel so rejected?
I even cried.
We never got a table. It was all over by the time a hostess came to seat us. Why sit through an awkward dinner with the shallow, heartless bastard who was dumping me? I used the hostess’ intrusion as my cue to flee. A dramatic exit. Ick. Worse, Gabriel spotted me walking down 4th, rolled down his passenger window and begged me to get in to finish the talk or at least to get a ride home. I waved him off and ran for cover into the convenience store. The poor attendant tentatively surveyed me before asking, “You okay, ma’am? Have you been hurt?”
Oh, god, it showed. I was hurt! Never saw it coming.
GREAT GAME LAST NITE. HENRIK ROCKED! TOO BAD MARTY WAS SO EFFIN’ DISTRACTING.
HE BUZZED ME FIVE MIN INTO THE 1ST PERIOD. SHOULD’VE NEVER LET HIM UP. HIS EYES WERE ALL RED. I FIGURED MAYBE HE’D GONE BACK TO DOING POT. WISH THAT’S ALL IT WAS. HE’D BEEN CRYING. CRYING!
ALL THE TIMES HE MADE FUN OF ME FOR BEING SUCH A WUSS AFTER CLARA DUMPED ME & HERE HE WAS DISTRAUGHT B/C STELLA DUMPED HIM AFTER LESS THAN 24 HRS.
“SHE’S GETTING MARRIED NEXT WEEK,” HE WHINED. “I COULD’VE MARRIED HER.”
MARTY TALKIN’ MARRIAGE? DAMMIT, I HAD TO PUT THE CANUCKS ON MUTE. “PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER, MAN. YOU ONLY MET HER LAST NITE.”
“YEAH. SHE COULD’VE BEEN THE ONE.”
“MARRIAGE? ARE YOU FUCKIN’ NUTS.”
HE STARED BLANKLY AT THE TV SCREEN. “THE SEX WAS THAT GOOD. WHO CARES ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE? I’DA MARRIED HER.”
I HAD TO BOGART MY BEER & START ANOTHER. OBVIOUSLY, I WAS THINKING TOO CLEARLY. “IT WOULDN’T HAVE LASTED.”
“COURSE NOT. A FEW WEEKS MAYBE. THEN WE’DA HAD IT ANNULLED. LIKE CELEBS DO ALL THE TIME. BRITNEY SPEARS, CHER. I HEARD LIZ TAYLOR’S GETTING HITCHED AGAIN.”
DAMMIT, THE FLAMES SCORED. STILL A COMFORTABLE 3-1 ’NUCKS, BUT LUONGO SHOULD HAVE STOPPED THAT ONE. MARTY WAS TOO LOVESTRICKEN TO FOCUS ON THE GAME. WISH I COULD’VE CALLED HIM A CAB & GOT BACK TO HOCKEY NITE IN CANADA, BUT I HAD TO TALK HIM THRU. “WHAT THE HELL YOU BRINGING UP LIZ TAYLOR FOR, MAN? ARE YOU HIGH?”
“LIZ TAYLOR’S HOT. AT LEAST UP UNTIL ABOUT 5 YRS AGO.”
“SERIOUSLY, MAN?! LIZ TAYLOR ONLY STOPPED BEING HOT 5 YRS AGO?!”
HE DIDN’T HEAR ME. HE GRABBED A PILLOW FROM THE SOFA & HUGGED IT. PRACTICALLY MAULED IT. TIME FOR A DRY CLEANING TRIP. HE ROCKED AS HE CONT’D TO GRIP THE PILLOW. “THE HONEYMOON WOULDA BEEN AMAZING!”
DIDN’T KNOW IF HE WAS STILL TALKIN’ LIZ TAYLOR OR IF HE WAS BACK TO STELLA. DIDN’T ASK. IT WAS SITUATIONS LIKE THIS THAT HIGHLIGHTED THE REASONS GUYS DON’T SHARE.