I had been lightly dating someone in a non-commital fashion, you know, keeping it easy, keeping it loose. He was cool, but he knew me and we had passed each other on a couple trips around the block before, so despite my yen for discretion, he knew exactly what kind of tricks I had up my sleeve. I also knew what tricks he had up his sleeve, and one of them included getting stupid drunk and crashing at his ex’s house, which he had done last Saturday. He told me about it, which is in some ways honorable, but he also crashed at his ex’s house, which isn’t respectable in the least bit.
I had met this news with my usual icy and cruel demeanor, making rational yet cutting remarks such as, “I’ve lost a lot of respect for you.” What I wanted to say is, “This is some hoe shit!” but it sounded a little slut shame-y in my mind, and it’s not that I’m against hoe shit, or that I don’t do hoe shit, but it was definitely some hoe shit, and I’m just not in the mood to be dealing with hoe shit that isn’t just me being a hoe. The reason I know that it was some hoe shit is because I consider myself to be a bit of a master of hoe shit, so when someone else does some hoe shit to me on my watch, I know exactly what it’s about: he needs my attention. And I didn’t give it to him last Saturday night, so he did some hoe shit.
As someone who does hoe shit, I know what happens after engaging in a bunch of hoe shit: you either lie to your partner and pretend it didn’t happen because you don’t want to deal with the repercussions, or you tell your partner just to fuck with your partner because if you have a partner why are you out doing hoe shit? As someone who generally just lies about doing hoe shit all the time, I appreciated that he told me he did some hoe shit. But I also know how I’m supposed to react: I’m supposed to get really angry, threaten to never talk to him again, and then let him talk me off the ledge by buying me things. We’re supposed to get into a blow out argument so we can air our grievances and say all the mean things we’ve been thinking in the heat of the moment so that when it’s all over we can take it back.
I’m not going to do that.
Instead, I calmly and coolly let him know that I don’t respect him and that my feelings are hurt. No crying. No histrionics. No big emotions. Just rational thought and total honesty.
This is, of course, met with whining and name calling, which is only natural, but I’ve studied manipulation for years on my own time – I know how to stay above the fray and get my own shit done, too.
He says, “You don’t have to be so mean!”
I say, “I’m just trying to be honest and communicate. I’m sorry if it comes off as mean, but my feelings are hurt.”
Really, I’m thinking, “You deserve so much worse than this, but I’m not in a petty mood today, so I’m just going to give you the opportunity to fix this situation and of course you feel awful, you did something stupid and you deserve to lose me. But I’m giving you another chance.”
He says, “You just don’t care about me!” when I don’t respond quickly enough and his insecurities start to poke through.
I say, “Ummmm…this is a lot to process right now.”
Really, I’m thinking, “So do I not care or am I mean? I guess it could be both, but, wow, this guy must have a really low opinion of me if he thinks that I’m that kind of person. What did he expect, really? For me to say, “No, everything is okay!” Like some kind of push over? Like some kind of doormat girlfriend? I don’t think so! If my partner gave me a free pass after some hoe shit, I would take him for all he’s got because I’d know that he’s weak. I’m not weak.”
Instead, I’m going to let him air his grievances at me, and slowly I’ll start to decide: do I just let this rot, or do I put in the time and effort to fix it. Is it worth fixing? Or is this just a loss over some hoe shit. Should I just go back to the fuck boy I dumped last week and pursue sexual lovelessness with him instead? Or do I realize that he’s insecure about the fact that I’m not paying enough attention to him, and maybe I should consider fixing that because I shouldn’t neglect my lovers. It makes things messy.
I sit there and stare at my phone, and then I realize that this is better talked about in person. It’s harder to be mean when you look someone in the eyes, which is good for me because I’m a huge fan of fatal one liners. So I text it in, shut it down, and wait for all of this to pass before I meet him in downtown tomorrow morning to drink coffee and feel bashful while admitting to the wrongs that we’ve done. Who knows what will happen then.