oh baby you, you got what I need

This is my first weekend alone, with The Suitor gone for a camp reunion weekend in Boston.  It’s Friday night, St. Patrick’s Day, and he returns Monday night.  Ten minutes before leaving he tells me his friend Adam (with whom he’d planned to stay the entire time) is up in Vermont one of the weekend nights and suggested my suitor stay with their mutual friend Annika. The Suitor has had sex with Annika.  We have a rule of not speaking with our exes, especially those with whom we’ve slept.  Annika has a boyfriend now.  This means nothing to me.

“You had sex with her, didn’t you?”
“Oh, come on.”
“Well didn’t you?”
“Yes, yes I did,” he says in a non-confrontational tone that surprises me.
“So don’t we have an agreement?”
“Tell me what you want me to do.”

We have an agreement.  We no longer speak with or see our exes.  Period.  We certainly don’t stay at their houses.

“Do whatever you think is right.”  I mean this.
“What does that mean?”
“It means do whatever you’d want me to do.  Do what you think is right.”
“Do you mean that?”
“Yes.”  And I did.

Of course he’s not staying with her, but he will spend time with her because she is a mutual friend, and it’s silly for him not to spend time with a group of his friends just because she will be there.  I am actually okay with this.  I’m still breathing, alive, and quite fine, actually.  Though I’m less so when I recall the last time they were alone together. He was at a bar with her and had to get one of his friends to pull her off of him.  She asked him to mercy-fuck her.  She felt lonesome and sorry for herself.  She used the word “please.”  I know all of this because it was from a time when we were first dating, a time when you share it all before thinking the better of it.  He was at his vacation home, where she stayed as a guest.  They were drunk.  He texts me something, "ha ha ha, my friends had to pull her off me."  Not those words, but the stupid sentiment was there.  I’ve done it too.  You share these things, in part, because you want to remind the other person that you’re desirable to others.  This basically means you’re insecure.  But fine.  You also share it because you really don’t care and think it’s mildly interesting.  But mostly we do this when we have no idea where things will lead, and most importantly, what kind of neurosis we’re up against.  Oh, how very little he knew. If neurosis were rain, I’d be Meghalaya.

We share the things we shouldn’t at the onset, like which of our current friends used to be ex-lovers.  Big mistake.  Huge.  "Oh, yeah, we once fucked until we broke the bed."  Hee. Hee.  No.  Don’t do that.  The seed is planted and grows with the relationship, so each time that friend’s name is subsequently mentioned, quiet, seemingly innocent, questions follow.  “Oh really?  You two are hanging out again?”  Suspicion sets in, despite the whole, “but we’re just friends now.”  Biz Markie is ruining relationships, decades later. 

It feels strange being here without him, knowing he won’t be coming home.  It feels a bit like middle school.  A Friday night when I wasn’t in the mood to be out with friends.  Facial masks.  Magazines.  FED UP nail polish.  Cuticle cream.  Girl movies on TV, commercials and all.  And he’s out with a woman he used to be intimate with.  And quite honestly, I don’t even care.  But I think I might if she were pretty or successful.  Horrible to say or think, but I will anyway.  I’m insecure.  We know.  I could write an entire television series about it. 

I rented the first season of Felicity, and after watching the pilot I realized any show has to succeed with that Scent of a Woman music.  It made me realize Straight Up & Dirty will work as a series, as long as it captures how neurotic I am.  We love the neurotic; we relate to it.  Or we know someone who does.  That Felicity chick was scary psycho stalker there for a while.  I have no doubt, though, that I must have seemed like that at that age.  I think we forget that time in our lives, how unsure we were, when we didn’t realize, even, how insane we were.  Now, at least when I’m being insane, I know it.  Until years from now when I look back at this age, shaking my head, wondering how I could have thought the way I did. 



  1. I hope that day arrives soon for you, or maybe it already has. I, personally, have never been able to handle the jealous girlfriend. I just happen to be friends with exes, but the relationship is in the past. I could more easily sleep with someone brand new probably than an ex because and ex involves more.

  2. He wanted to stay with his ex? Tell him that Joey says he's insane. I purposely avoid getting friendly with girls I find attractive just to pre-empt any possibilities, and I'm about as safe as any guy. No matter what, there is just no reason to go there. None. Why set up any possibility of failure? Even if the odds are only 1% that he fails, there is absolutely no reason for it.


  3. I wasn't ever allowed to be a psycho when I was in junior high and halfway through high school because my parents were extremely strict and I was not able to call boys or go out with them–and I listened and obeyed. (imagine!) Now I think about all the psycho things I have done as a single–and sometimes dating–nearly thirty year old and I cringe. I cringe when I send him fresh baked cookies, I cringe when I call him for the 41st time that day, I cringe when the security guards at his office building drag me kicking and screaming to the street, I cringe when his doorman calmly dials the local police station for the second time that day…..

    Just kidding. But I do cringe when I remember those "little things" that I revealed WAY too soon that–in the end–lead to rocky waters and then the end.

  4. Wow. I couldn't agree less. I am friends with quite a few of my exes and I would never date a guy who was too insecure to deal with my past. I also would NEVER tell a guy I was dating that he couldn't see his exes. Never.

    The thing is, people do what they want to do – even when their significant other asks them not to. That's human nature. So why set a relationship up for a violation of trust by making rules that are unreasonable and often difficult to abide by?

    Doesn't mean he slept with her – just means that chances are there are things that were done and said that he knew you'd get mad about and chose to keep to himself. Thus rendering any "agreement" meaningless.

    At the end of the day it is character that will define our actions – not promises.

  5. great advice. have learned through the years and am trying to follow it! must admit, it can be fun sometimes. though, it really is hard to know where things end up with someone.

  6. Totally relating to this! But I am relating to the suitor’s side. I’m the one who’s pretty much an ‘open book’ about my past—and yes—I sometimes say too much. (TMI is my downfall…)

    Anyway, I used to do this out of insecurity. I would tell my partner if I slept with someone or not that was within the crowd we were hanging out. She is so open-minded, that it drives me crazy sometimes. She doesn’t care—she says she’s secure with our relationship and doesn’t feel it’s a threat. Why isn’t she jealous? (That automatically goes on in my head…) Does she still love me? Is she jealous that I’m still talking to my ex? Why isn’t she jealous? In reality—thank God she isn’t jealous. I get scared with that whole concept when I get ‘no response’.

    So my suggestion to you would be, ‘no response’. Let him decide. Once you give him ‘no response’, he won’t find it challenging to ‘flirt’ or ‘dabble into other areas’ anymore.

    It’s like when we were twenty years old. One year away from the big drinking age. It was so much fun going into those bars that were ‘forbidden’. Now that we’re older and every bar accepts us pretty much—it’s not as much fun now, right?

    It’s much more fun to enter the forbidden. So say nothing, do nothing, let him go with his own mind, his own consciousness, and I bet you a billion dollars that I wish I had—that he’ll remain faithful. The more jealous you get, the more they want to test the waters.

  7. Wow, that hit home. I was just out of town on business for a week, and one of those nights the boy ended up hanging out with one of his exes…I almost lost my mind. Sad, but true. My insecurities overpowered his honesty and his feelings for me. Yet I cannot stop myself from getting upset when this happens. Hopefully one day I'll be able to let it go…

  8. What's most salient about this post is the idea to not share all those things that you do at the onset of a relationship in an attempt to seem like you don't care, are so desirable, or getting caught up in the whole "getting to know eachother" thing. That is so true–when infatuated, so much comes out of our mouths that we wish we hadn't said or heard later, and we start to become worried (even though we never were in the first place) that we aren't enough.

  9. Unbelievable. That we both used Fed Up nail polish. That my Fed Up's my almost FedEx. And I'm still searching for FU polish. Call me crazy and tell me who isn't.

  10. Hey great post. Really. I can relate to it. Iam getting married next month.. just wanted some advice. My fiance' was in touch with this girl who's deeply interested in him. He had told me about her but never told me he's still in touch till I found her mail.I know he's told her he's not interested at all. But I confronted him that why hadn't he told me that she still writes to him and why hadn't he told her he's getting married? He did that. But why didn't he do it before myhaving to say it?? And when i told him to talk and clear up this issue with me, he says iam unneccessarily creating an issue. What do you say?

  11. I remember telling a guy about sleeping in a male friend's bed the previous night. It was totally innocent and nothing happened. Needless to say he didn't like it. I got the reaction I wanted. He was jealous and jealousy meant that he wanted me. Or so I thought. He dumped me via voicemail two weeks later. So much for honesty.

  12. Long time reader, but this is my first comment.
    I agree to mystery girl: "But at the end of the day it`s character that will define our actions -not promises". You can promise everything to everybody, but character and the love for someone decide, which promise you`re keeping – or not.

  13. I love Felicity and actually own the first season on DVD. I feel like I can relate to that character. I mean, I don't see myself as a stalker of any particular person but more of dreams and goals I hope to accomplish in life. I think that's why I chose the university that I did. It represented something other than what the state schools proudly show. However, I don't know if my decision has been the best, since I have had tremendous doubt from day one.

  14. "At the end of the day it is character that will define our actions – not promises." I love this, mystery girl! And also Simone's addition of love to the mix.

  15. you really instituted a no seeing exes rule. wow. that is? the most pathetic thing i've ever heard. you're going to destroy your marriage.

  16. Several exes are still my best friends and I think that's healthy. We both had exes at our wedding. Life is too short to make rules that you can't speak to people you once — and still do — care for. Such rules don't make for less cheating, they probably inspire it.

  17. I'm friends with some of my ex-es … I think if someone wanted me not to speak with them, that would be a dealbreaker right there.

  18. you're right to have that rule. and you're also okay to understand the mutual friend thing. and you're okay to be insecure. i've been married for three years and am still, sometimes… often… insecure.

    make a series. we'd watch.


  19. EXCELLENT Biz Markie reference! I laughed out loud!

    Our neuroses are what make us so unique and funny and charming and interesting. They are also what can drive someone away when we engage in them excessively, which it sounds like you do not do at all. Sounds like you have your psyche well under control: Your beau will be seeing the woman who said "please" in her drunken state (love this … in vicariously going along with your insecurity, I take great pleasure in how non-threatening this makes her to you!), and you are putting on a facial mask and watching some Lifetime for Women movie, probably starring Judith Light.

    You rock.

  20. OH Felicity… I remember watching that show when I was in high school marveling at how college students behave and what it was going to be like for me.. and Ben! Sigh, I'd follow him anywhere – Yeah well years later my mother gave my the first season of Felicity on DVD. I watched the first 2 episodes again and immediately gave the entire season away. Felicity totally freaked me out! I couldn't believe I had idolized her and her behaviour to some extent… Scary, scary…

    But I did see Scott Speedman at the corner of Broadway and Prince a month ago. He was all stubbled and disheveled in that hot way. He was wearing a backpack and listening to a discman. Stalker what?

  21. Good post, but I'd like to point out the following:

    Men don't cheat or stray or leave or anything else with another woman just because the woman is pretty or successful.

    Men choose women because of how that woman makes HIM feel. Period.

    A woman THINKS that men choose particular women because of how they look or what they do – but it mostly boils down to what that woman does to him to make him FEEL desired, understood, smart, admired, appreciated, etc.

    And if you are serious about thinking you don't care because in YOUR opinion she's not pretty or successful, I would hope you'd give that just a little more thought.

  22. Shouldn't you each be more secure in your relationship that if one of you saw an ex it wouldn't really matter?

    And if you aren't secure enough in your relationship to be able to do that… good luck… you'll need it.

  23. It really surprises me that you have a rule about speaking to exes. For all of your neurotic ramblings here (and I do not mean that in a bad way), I don't see you as someone who is insecure in your relationship. I speak to all of my exes (aside from the one who peaced out–lierally–3 months ago after 2.5 yrs together, and even that was his choice, not mine). But if you and Phil are both OK with it and it works for you, who am I to argue or judge?

    "I could write an entire television series about it." I had to smile when I read this line.

  24. I sleep at an old friend's place sometimes. He has a crazy walk in closet. Is that funny? I sleep in his closet when he has guests in the living room. I actually prefer it to the couch.

  25. Ooh. Anyone named "annika" I'd worry about. BTW, I'm here with my nephew who is visiting from Vermont. We're working on your theme song.

  26. Amazing fortitude for even being ok with the hanging out. I have a jealous streak that runs green like the Hulk.

  27. I can't relate, but I can appreciate the sentiment of this post, and you should know that it's a good one. And thanks so much for getting Biz Markie in my head.

  28. Speaking with exes is one thing–sleeping overnight, no matter how innocent the circumstances, is another thing entirely. Opportunity, alcohol and no chance of getting caught in the act? Tell me the ex girlfriend wouldn't make make a play as they're doing their "remember when's". Phil's getting married–this is her last shot. She's hit on him before! Even if I had no rule, I'd sure as hell have a rule about this little arrangement.

  29. They had an agreement. I don't think that means either of them is insecure in the relationship. That is the agreement that they decided works for them.

  30. Stephanie, just wanted to tell you how happy you sound in the latest posts. Very.

    Probably unlike most others that comment, I am envious of your move to Austin! Wi-fi by the pool and sailing sounds like heaven to me. Have a fantastic time.

  31. Hmmm, something has been interesting me a little only because I get randomly intrigued by different things. In this case, it happens to be the subject line to this post. It reminds me of a song lyric from Mario called "Just a Friend". However, the way you write it adds a second "You". So every time I think of this post, I hear the song in my head, but then the lyrics in my head don't match the words on the screen. Very catchy, though. So is the title an intentional misquote or a play on the song or did you just pluck it out of the air?

  32. Reading this post and the one referenced by Amanda B: (and of course I know that these are just blog entries, don't define Stephanie, blah blah blah ad nauseum):
    I think there's a time for giving full reign to your emotion and a time for recognizing that your instincts (ie jealousy) are irrational and borderline insulting to your significant other. Here, and in that earlier post, you recognize that the insecurity and anxiety you experience are completely irrational, because intellectually you KNOW that your Sig-O won't cheat on you with an ex, nor you him. It's good to be honest with the person you're sharing your life with, but perhaps there's a limit. Maybe these particular illogical insecurities need to be held in check for the sake of your relationship and happiness.

    Being ruled by your emotions must be exhausting.

  33. Stephanie, I am just like you. I am jealous of exes and have never managed to stay friends with my own until this last year, and even then it's touch and go. When I found out an ex of my current boyfriend had "come over suddenly" and that a few days later he had "taken her home" after a group dinner, I flipped. Now we agree we can talk, IM, etc. with exes but only be in their presence in groups. Some fears you can combat with healthy talk, some are just who you are and if you can work around them, like you and the Suitor are, then do.

  34. Is there something wrong with us, non-jealous types? I really don't get jealous. I encourage my spouse to go out. I want alone time. And I don't get the tiniest bit jealous when he goes out with other women (platonic relationships), even when they are attractive. Sometimes I wonder if this means I am not passionately in love, or if I'm just really secure.

  35. This seems like the kind of rule kids in high school or college make. Adult relationships should have one rule and one rule only: don't do anything to lose the other person's trust. If you see every moment in your life as an opportunity for drama, then all you will have is drama.

  36. Its how they (F) make you (M) feel.

    If you spend all of your time harrassing him over petty shit like exes and his free time he will be sniffing out other panties.

    If you spend your time trying to expand his mind from a sexual perspective you'll be too preoccupied to even ponder him snooping around.

    I think its ironic that what women fear most in their partner is usually what they give to him least.

    On the twilight of your time in NYC I now understand why Austin…. its plenty far from his exes…

  37. i've made it a personal promise of myself to not tell my bf who i've slept with out of my guy friends. we have been together for 3 years now, and we just don't tell each other that. of course, you can't help knowing who exes are, esp if you live in the same place. i had a similar experience where my bf's ex basically invited him out (and they were still friends at the time) and then told him she would prove that she was still into him (in the sexual sense). i was furious, and scared – it being the beginning of the relationship. thankfully i'm secure enough now to know shes not a threat – but i still dread the day we run into her out.

    WHY every time i click on this box does it take me to your printroom box. i almost gave up typing this 3 times, and thats why its so disjointed. ahh!

  38. One thing that I don't see mentioned in here that might bear some analysis, is that there are two types of ex's. If this was someone from a long-dead relationship, and they had been platonic for ten years, it would be no biggie.

    But this is completely different. They no longer remain friends. And this is not meeting for dinner, or hanging out with a group of friends that includes her. This is staying in the same apartment. Over a week-end renowned for its drunkeness. And she is still physically attracted to him. And for what reason? To save the cost of a hotel room? There is absolutely no reason to tempt fate under these circumstances.

  39. I had to learn in my last relationship to be OK with the ex's, as I had a lover who was close to all of them…was very hard, but now he's my ex and we're good friends and I'm thankful for that.

    P.S. if you need a redhead to play you, I'm right here, ready for my audition!
    ~the other redhead

  40. Someone once told me that 'jealousy' is a weakness. I respond, "so is infidelity".

    The truth is, you cannot control other people's actions. In these situations, sometimes it is not at all about 'Love', but like Lynn says, "it is character that defines our actions."

    My boyfriend just recently went on a trip to L.A to close out a storage unit. L.A is also the home of the ex-girlfriend who he lived with. Due to the relationship ending, she became very vindictive and started to act out at our relationship. This made me dislike her very very much to where I asked him to stop all contact, even if she was threatening crazy suicide. Now upon returning from his trip, I asked him if he had seen or spoken to her while he was there. He responses, "no", waits two seconds, "no". (OKAY, HE JUST TOTALLY GAVE HIMSELF AWAY). PO'd as I was, three days later while having dinner, he confides that "coincidentally", through their mutual friends, she tracked him down and they had a "friendly" and "short" chat. (FUCKING LIAR! I KNEW IT!)I had three seconds to decide whether to 'react' or 'respond'. Usually to react meaning kicking and sceaming, and crying. But I decided to try something different. I responded. I took the last swig of my martini, propped myself up, and explained my dissapointment. Before I could say anything else, he tells me that their meeting was what he thought he did not need or want. Having talked to each other without any animosity had put a closure that they both needed and had justified all the actions and unanswered questions. In the end it just defined our relationship even more. After all that and deep down still wishing she would get run over by a truck, I think without them ever happening, there would be no better, stronger, more defined, 'us'.

    Thank you psycho bitch.

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