Hey, y’all, heads up: This is a long post. You’re not required to read it. (Yes, I’m talking to you Anonymous Cereal Hater. You’re not going to like this post. You are welcome to save yourself some time by not reading it. I can just comment for you: "Cereal sucks and she can’t write blah blah blah, Signed, ACH.")
I recently wrote here about the family of my ex, Poster Boy. All it amounts to is a little ditty about how I love and miss them, and they miss me, too. In comments, I was accused of having a heart. (And yes, maybe, Internet, I’ll admit that I do, in fact, have a heart — just don’t tell anyone, OK?)
I sent a link to a member of Poster Boy’s family, a woman who has become a friend. I think her reply was, “Awwwwwww.”
Days later, late on a Friday night, I noticed I’d missed a call from Poster Boy. I called him back pronto, since, although we’d remained friendly enough that I’d actually had him and his girlfriend to my house for a big, fan-fucking-tastic end-of-the-summer bash about a month prior, (after I extended the invite, he called me to thank me, then Miss Poster Boy emailed me, thanked me for the invite, and asked what she could bring. I thought we were all being Oh-So Mature until he got a little too drunk at the party, and, in a mock-friendly gesture, slapped me on the back hard enough to leave a welt) he didn’t usually call me at midnight. I was worried.
“Well, I actually wanted to talk to you about what you wrote about me and my family on the internet,” he said. I could tell he was drunk. I refused, on account of the drunkenness and told him we’d talk later.
But when I got home, I listened to the message. It was a condescending reprimand about how I needed to move on and stop writing about him on the Internet, (I guess writing my mother, or writing in my journal, or writing a zine would have been cool, but not the Internet) about how I’m a grown adult and I need to start acting like one. I think there was something in there about how the internet isn’t everything. (We know better than that, though, don’t we?) I texted him a message reading, basically: “Eat shit and die.”
He called me. Stupidly, I answered, and he ranted and talked down to me. When I reminded him that he was not allowed to talk like that to me, he actually responded, “I can talk to you any fucking way I want.” Naturally, I hung up on him.
But I was confused. He’d never before minded when I wrote about him on DIW. I think he liked the notoriety. He even commented on some posts — even after we broke up. He e-mailed me about one once and told me it had touched him. And there are choice Poster Boy stories — horrifying, jaw-dropping stories — that I’ve never written about on this site. Believe it or not, I do have boundaries.
I noticed the next day that a comment had been left on the post at about the same time we talked, an anonymous comment reading “get a fucking life and move on.”
I was done. I sent an email and told him that if he didn’t want me to write about him, he could’ve just ASKED. I wouldn’t even need a “please.” But I’d taken my last drunken phone call—something I should have done years earlier. I told him to lose my number.
Then a twist came. Poster Boy replied to my e-mail. He apologized. Twice. He told me he knew he shouldn’t have spoken to me like that and shouldn’t have called drunk. Then he closed by saying that he hadn’t commented on the post, hadn’t even read it, and: “Just so you know it makes things awkward for me that my family and you still are in contact with each other.”
Clarity. It was young Miss Poster Boy who’d read the post, gotten pissed, left the shitty comment. In all likelihood, it was she he was showing off for when he called and insulted me. Of course.
And it’s no wonder. Not everyone understands this about blogging and dating: When you’re in a relationship, a really good one, sometimes the new relationship doesn’t make it on your dating blog. I guess some people don’t like being written about on shit-talky dating blogs. That’s actually OK with me because the funny thing that happened yesterday with the sensitive, sexy man I’m now running around with? It feels precious and private.
However, the love I feel for people who were a second family to me for half of a decade? That feels like something other people might identify with. Lots of emotionally mature folks get that sort of thing.
And Miss Poster Boy? Poor thing. I sort of feel bad that she’s so insecure. That she doesn’t get, and clearly doesn’t have, that type of connection, forged over time. I really wish her luck with Poster Boy. And I know she’s going to need it.
But, here’s the thing: She won. Poster Boy and I are done. We don’t talk. I think that’s what she really wanted. Thanks to her hissy fit, I’ve decided it’s time to retire Poster Boy.