Friday, October 27, 2006

Plexiglas

So last week, Ex David emailed three of my blogger friends. One of them tipped me off and forwarded the message:

Hello everyone!

This is Dolly's Ex-BF David, just dropping a line to say hello. I've been thinking about all three of you lately, and wondering how you all are. I know this may sound strange, since we don't know each other very well, but I miss hanging out with you guys. Staying current with you through your blogs (yes, I read them - those of you who still have one) is just not the same, entertaining as they all may be.

So, even though I'm not dating Dolly any longer, I'd still like to be friends with all of you. I know this may sound random and strange, especially since you're all friends with Dolly, but I really enjoyed meeting all three of you and would like to hang out with you all again. Or, at least stay in touch. I certainly understand if you feel weird about this prospect, but I thought I would at least put it out there.

I hope you're all doing well and having a great start to the week. And, hopefully, I'll be hearing back from you all soon. Until then, have a happy Monday!

Sincerely,
Ex David
xxx-xxx-xxxx


This is where I need point out that he met these people only a couple of times. Also, what I really have a problem with (other than the fact that he used an n- instead of m-dash in the above email) is that when Ex David and I were dating, he repeatedly complained that the longer hours of his new job made it difficult to keep in touch with friends. Sometimes I'd feel a little guilty, knowing I saw him three or four times a week while he had dozens of unanswered emails from friends sitting in his inbox. Now I feel foolish for ever having that guilt.

If a person is so pressed for time they can barely maintain their own friendships, why would they go out of their way to email three friends of an ex? I mean, I know I have cool friends, so part of me can't blame the guy for wanting to spend time with them, but I socialized plenty with Ex David's mother and sister and you don't see me calling them up and inviting them to tea. As a friend pointed out (whose verdict on the situation was, "so not okay"), the friends you have entering a relationship are the friends you keep when it ends. It's socially awkward to pursue friendships with an ex's pals. It would be one thing if Ex David spent time with these people on his own, but he met them through me and only saw them because of group gatherings I attended/organized. He wrote it "may sound random and strange"; no, it is random and strange. And a little bit inappropriate. I know the gesture didn't come from a bad place, but I'm not cool with it. There will be no shared custody of the friends, with the exception of Polly, who knew Ex David before I did.

Then there's Mr. Grey. After Saturday's outing, I've been doing somewhat of a fade again. I copied him on a group email the other day and he replied, telling me all about this "stunning" girl he met at a party last week (the night before we went out, actually, which could be another reason he didn't make a move). I would have been fine if he mentioned it briefly, but he went on and on about how great she was and attached her picture for me to look at. Maybe he felt like I was brushing him off and wanted to show how much he didn't care that I didn't come home with him on Saturday. Maybe he wanted to cement our status as friends-with-no-benefits (after all, I did try to set him up with my roommate). Once again, I'm fairly sure it wasn't coming from a place of wanting to hurt me, and I'm still glad nothing physical happened last weekend, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit it didn't sting a teeny tiny bit. I really didn't need to be sent a photo (and yes, she's pretty, but no, not stunning).

I think seeing Mr. Grey was my way of dipping a toe into the dating pool; I've realized I need to stay out of the water for a while yet. Actually, who am I kidding, there's barely and inch of water in the pool, anyway.

There are times when I'm single (especially after a break-up) where I start to think, I'll never meet anyone special again. Not in a woe-is-me kind of way, but more in a realistic way. I know how rarely I meet men who I have a mutual spark with, and how much more my idea for what I want in the long term gets honed and refined with each man I date (which means more waiting). I don't feel sorry for myself, I just know I'm going to have to tackle some unpleasant loneliness once in a while. What's worse is that right now I don't feel the least bit emotionally available, but I still feel twinges of that loneliness.

I know I sound all down and broody, but I am trying so hard to pull myself out of this. My cold is actually getting better and I should be fine for all the Halloween parties this weekend (three in two days!), which I am now genuinely excited about. Roommate Rachel and I have had lots of fun getting take out and watching DVDs at home nearly every night this week (her company and compassion have helped immeasurably). I bought myself a new iPod and having portable music again has perked me up considerably.

Even so...

A frustrating thing about this depression is that no matter how much effort I put into cheering myself up and connecting with people, there is still this gap, this distance that I can't cross. It's like I have some kind of fence or fog around me. The first boy I ever loved with called it Plexiglas. You can see out and others can see in, but there's an impenetrable layer blocking you from the rest of the world. He said I was one of the few with whom that layer didn't exist. This was over a decade ago, but I don't think I really and truly understood what he meant about the Plexiglas until now.

22 comments:

Mary said...

Hi, Dolly. I just wanted to say that I hope things get better for you soon. I've been reading all this time and am glad you're taking something from each experience and discovering what/who you want in your life. I really do believe that our choices build upon all of our past choices, for good or ill. All of the exes lead up to someone who really suits you in every way--someone you couldn't have appreciated as much had you not experienced people who maybe don't fit with you as well.

Anyway, yes. Onward and upward, as they say, and you're right--there is no sharing of an ex's friends unless you knew them already. And even then, sometimes, it can be awkward.

Take care and I look forward to reading the book! - Mary

Anonymous said...

First, there was the bag of corners issue. And now there's an n-dash in a wildly inappropriate email?

Be glad this one is behind you. Be very glad.


Silver

Dolly said...

Mary,
Onward, yes. The upward part might take a while.

Silver,
Once again, you crack me up.

D said...

Oh... I'm with the SO NOT OKAY person on this one. That is not cool at all!

Every day is a little easier.

George said...

I have never read your blog before stumbling across it today. It's interesting and I have bookmarked it for more reading later on.

Good luck in getting back on the ladder and climbing higher.

clarissa said...

huh. i usually try so hard to integrate my partner and my friends that i'm not sure how i would deal with this situation. i've kept in touch with a few friends of exes of mine, though i am usually also on somewhat friendly terms with the ex (one or two cases notwithstanding) though i also made an effort to become friends with them (like say, the man who plays the cello who used to live with my canadian ex) on our own merits, and sometimes hung out with them without said ex (before they were an ex)

is it possible he is hoping that by maintaining friendships with them it will make it easier to remain friends with you? because if he's not friends with you and not friends with your friends, there is no organic way in which you guys will be friends, at least for a while. plus it sounds like you guys had an ok breakup so maybe he just wanted to point out he liked your friends regardless of your dating status?

it seems well intended but way too soon. it seems more goofy that he sent it as a chain letter though..while i'd be psyched to hear from someone that they wanted to by my friend, being party of a cc list kind of lessens that warm&fuzzy

Dolly said...

D,
In some ways it's easier, I guess.

George,
Thanks for reading. I'll try to pull out of my funk and share more fun stories.

Clarissa,
I agree that it's well-intentioned, but I don't want us to be friends right now and I still say he has no business contacting my friends, especially when he has trouble keeping in touch with his own! It's just too soon, too weird, and I'm not down with it. I also get possessive of my friends and sometimes feel odd when they all become friends with each other. Some friendships should be segregegated, to say nothing of bringing exes into the fold.

Anonymous said...

Uh, call me a cynic, but my first thought is that the guy wants to hook up with your friends, or your friends' friends. In the best possible light, perhaps the intention is to have things go so well with one of them that it clears his name? Otherwise he's just a dog, like the rest of us.

StrangerInTheseParts said...

You know that letter is written in a style that sounds like business casual. Like someone writing their cousin's wife's friend who they met once 2 years ago and want to get a job from now. Bizarre.

Mr Grey and the photo attachment - a random and tasteless move at best. Unless he's fishing for a threeway. In which case it's still tasteless, but at least there's a reason.

Glad to see you've got energy for long meandering posts. Chin up!

Anonymous said...

Pleasure to be of service to you, ma'am.


Silver

clarissa said...

how do your friends feel about it? if everyone is weirded out, then maybe it is weirder than not. i mean, for me it's hard to have any basis of comparison because i really want people to be friends with my partner outside of me, though i'm sure if mr.e and i broke up and he was still about i'd be pretty miffed at times, especially if i was intentionally not seeing him


what are you going to be for halloween this year?

Dolly said...

Anonymous 1:00,
That's the first thing I thought of, considering two of the three friends he emailed are female and both attractive, intelligent and cool. Whatever his reasons, I'm not comfortable with it.

Stranger,
Meandering? Meandering??? Segmented, perhaps, but I did try to keep a general "people suck" theme throughout...

Anonymous said...

Given that he is aware that you blog, and that your friends in question blog, it does strike me as a colossal mistake in judgment to solicit them. I mean, how can he not realize that his every move will be scrutinized out in the public?! The peril(s) of dating bloggers... If this instance of poor judgment is an isolated one, then that means he is desperate. I can see his thought process: It's so much easier to cling to people you sort of know than to meet new people. Not excusable, but understandable.

Anonymous 1:00

StrangerInTheseParts said...

Easy there, Dolly...

Meandering in the best sense of the term - - covering a lot of ground without undue intensity. Great writing can certainly meander.

Dolly said...

Anonymous,
Who knows, maybe Ex David wrote the email because he missed my posts about him. I don't know and I don't really want to know.

Stranger,
I was only teasing. I can certainly meander with the best of them.

Stretch said...

I have been through this one. An ex of mine ended up on an evite list for some of my friends, so now I get to see her at many of the parties I attend. I think she even dated one of the guys she met through me. I was the one who broke off the relationship, so I haven't made a big deal out of it. But I'm with you; my preference would be for us to just keep the same respective groups of friends we had before.

At the end of the day, though, if your friends and ex-David want to hang out together, you can't really stop them.

Anonymous said...

David's an actor. He wants people to write about him. Positively or negatively. If he can get four bloggers talking about him simultaneously, it'll be almost like having a career.

Mr. Gray might be angling for a threesome, but I'd bet he's just mean. Or a narcissist. Probably both. But no way did he not realize the cruelty of sending you a picture. Any primate would know how that would be received.

I'm so glad I don't live in NYC any more. What a hellhole.

Sorry for your pain.

CallaLily said...

That's really weird what Ex David did. It doesn't make me think that he's trying to hook up necessarily, but he maybe found it really fun and exciting to hang out with your beautiful and cool girlfriends and feels that to be a loss. Are his friends mostly guys? I would think he'd have a lot of female friends as an actor. I remember times that I've broken up with a boyfriend and felt sad at losing a posse of great guy friends at the same time. I never went so far as to mass email them though. That seems kind of sad.

Sex & Moxie said...

I have to chime in about the actors wanting peopel to write about them. I totally agree with that. Actors take both positive and negative attention as...you guessed it...good attention. But what he did still feels borderline creepy to me.

Dolly said...

Stretch,
You're right, I can't stop my friends if they want to hang out with Ex David, but that's something I probably won't have to worry about. We have one friend in common and that has posed no problems so far.

Anonymous 2:52,
Ha, great comment. NYC can certainly be a special little hell dimension, but it has its charms, too. I can't imagine living anywhere else at this point (tried, but I came back).

Callalily,
The point isn't even how many women he knows, it's more that he can't keep up with his current friendships, so why go out of your way to develop new ones with your ex's friends. It's just tacky.

Moxie,
Ex David was never the typical self-obsessed actor, or I we wouldn't have lasted as long as we did. If the gesture was to get attention, well, it worked!

CoatMan said...

Poor thing. I hope that you feel better soon. You seem like a strong sort of character, so no doubt you will in due course.

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