Tuesday, September 3, 2013

the two in one BLOW OFF (AKA how I cheated on my rebound with my ex)

In retrospect, I'm sure I was the last to realize that I wasn't over my ex yet. I was also the last to realize that I wasn't likely to get over my ex anytime soon. We both lived in the same area and had the same close friends, meaning we saw each other on a regular basis. The only way I could foresee getting over my ex at any point ever was to win at the game of finding a new Sig-Other first, a game he might or might not have been aware we were playing.

Enter Jude. I call him that because if you looked at him in dim to no light without your glasses and your prescription was as bad as mine, he almost bore a faint resemblance to Jude Law. He also acted, sang, cooked, danced, and maintained a glowing presence on the Dean's List. I hated him with every fiber of my being.

I'd started dating Jude at the beginning of January, just after my graduate program had started up again. My ex, whom I shall call Napoleon for his love of history as well as his stature, was arriving back in town for his own studies at the end of the month. Due to some convoluted timing involving karaoke, beer, and the universe smiling upon some while flipping off others, Napoleon, Jude, Jude's and my mutual friend, and I would all be spending the night in my friend's house, all asleep on the second-and-a-half floor. But no worries about hanky-panky; bedrooms would be strictly divided according to gender, with the two girls sharing one room as chaperones for each other or something like that.

Karaoke and beer made a lousy combination, even though I, having driven, only partook of the former. But the boys helped themselves to plenty of both and proceeded to spend all night in a passive-aggressive cockfight. At one point, Jude took me out for a waltz to an off-key rendition of Billy Joel, only to have Napoleon headbutt his way in to finish what had become more of an off-beat stumble.

Later that night, Napoleon, who had the worst beers-imbibed-to-body-size ratio, regurgitated most of his stomach contents. I could hear Jude talking to my friend down the hall, probably some Dean's List worthy spiel on the aesthetic appeal of Monet over Degas. Napoleon looked me mournfully in the eyes and assured me: "This is nothing new for me. You should go join your boyfriend." I listened down the hall to Jude's three-dollar vocabulary.  I looked at Napoleon as another retch, far from the first I'd seen in our collective time together, contorted his body. The choice was clear. "Poor baby. Let me get you some water."

Naturally, Napolean and I made out, although gentleman that he was, he insisted on brushing his teeth first. Then the clothes fell off. Covers escaped the confines of the bed. I managed to slip into the room I'd been sharing with my friend, the room I should have been in all night, before Jude came to say goodbye and head back to his Dean's List thesis or whatever he needed to work on. "I'll walk you out," I offered.

I remained silent for the two flights of stairs down to the garage.  I took a deep breath and channeled the writer in me, who was ever overflowing with creativity and consistently ready with a pithy turn of the tongue. "So...uh..." He stopped to face me, his eyebrows raised in amusement. "Eh...Napoleon and I kinda...slept together last night." His eyebrows remained raised. "In both the, uh, literal and figurative senses. While you were down the hall." He now raised both of his eyebrows and fixed his mouth in a smirk.

"Well. I suppose things happen when two people are drunk."
"Actually, I was sober."

Neither one of us had a good follow-up for that one, so after a few seconds he turned toward the door. "It was probably for the best, anyway. I don't think we were a good match." He opened the door, stepped out, and closed it sharply behind him. I waited. Sure enough, he was back five seconds later. "That wasn't the door to the garage." I shook my head emphatically.

It turned out there was a good reason Napoleon and I broke up the first time, although I wouldn't have known that from the dewy-eyed infatuation we fell back into. And even though I can say, after the second and final break-up, that I am finally over Napoleon once and for all, there's still a part of me that will always be grateful to Jude for being the weak leg in a one-night love triangle.  In the end, it was all probably for the best, anyway. As far as break-up and reunion stories go, this one has it all: a blow-off, an "I want you back," and another blow-off later on. It's three for the price of one, which probably doesn't say anything good about my character!

To read more from our guest-poster, click here to check out her blog: Not Taken, Not Available.  


  1. I think there's a few important lessons from this story. #1 we will always be more desirable to our exes if we move on and find someone else to date. #2 sometimes you need to get back together with an ex to really truly get over them. #3 pick a rebound that you hate. It's so much safer.

  2. Wow for a complex situation, that ended up being pretty simple. I respect it!

  3. She said, ‘I’m so afraid.’ And I said, ‘why?,’ and she said, ‘Because I’m so profoundly happy. Happiness like this is frightening.’ I asked her why and she said, ‘They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you.’