Some people keep their ex-lovers and boyfriends in a stable. When she’s bored, she’ll take one of the ponies out for a trot and some heavy petting. She’s not quite ready to invite him to a “I’m not dating him, so now you can” party where people bring companionable members of the opposite seex to meet other ill-suited lovers. She knows she doesn’t want him, but she doesn’t want anyone else to have him either. I’ve been that girl; I think we all have.
It’s hard to leave a history and watch other people date yours. Some people are great at it; it seems more of their best friends are exes than not. When I first meet a man who tells me his best friend is an ex of his, I hold my breath a little before I react. The “count to ten” carries me past irrational, and I’m left to exhale and smile. It didn’t work out for a reason I chant as I gulp espresso and cream. Hopefully the reason wasn’t timing. Then, I pick the limo-scene polish off my new manicure.
I have too many names of men I don’t like stored in my cell phone’s address book. It’s not my virtual stable, if that’s what you’re thinking. It begins when I give him my number when things are casual, when it’s too early to tell likes from dislikes, you know, before I know if he prefers monkeys to reptiles, or wine bars to sports bars. It begins with polite. Then we go on a date, or a non-date, and it’s milquetoast. For fun, he listens to musak and reads Chaucer. “Relaxing” would be a stretch, but if he replies “Chaucer” to a question with “fun” in it, he’s vying for an everlasting vanguard position in my cell phone. I know I’ll never want to see him again with any hint of a romantic undertone, but I’ll keep his number in my phone. It’s not for a rainy day, I can assure you; it’s for screening purposes only.
If I really like a guy, he’ll never make it into my cell phone. Maybe he’ll be in there at the start, when he first phones me and caller ID kicks in, prompting me to save it. Sometimes I will, but that’s mostly to help screen his calls. But if I really like him, I’ll delete it. It prohibits me from calling too often, and it saves me from myself.
Me, myself, and I happen to be drunk dialers in the worst way. Worst way meaning, it extends beyond drunk dialing and becomes drunk emailing coupled with the dialing, like layering a scented lotion beneath your perfume. I’m really not permitted near a web site when I’m drunk. I need a parental lock on my communication equipment that only prohibits me from communicating with the opposite seex. A digital chastity belt! But then what kind of fun would life be? I mean, that’s the crazy girl in me. I am a little bit crazy; I think the good ones always are. Sometimes, you don’t want proof; you want passion. So, instead of putting metal around my lovely wares, I’m going to take preventative measures, like keeping the numbers of the guy that matters out of the cell phone to avoid “morning after disasters.” It’s like empty cupboards and a refrigerator stocked with vegetables. Then it doesn’t take will power or afterthoughts. It takes vision… and lately, I’ve got one. It’s not about playing it safe, about fat passing for thin; it’s about a modicum of safety in a very passionate life.
update: out of sight, out of mind, but too good to toss, invokes the folder rule in email situations. So when your drunk ass signs in to check your inbox, his name won’t be up in your face, taunting you to be dirty.