Thursday, May 10, 2012

I've Got Mad Love: A Trucker/Construction Worker in the Middle

The last installment of I've Got Mad Love revealed me to be a scumbag: I was dating another guy!

Though I was looking forward to the mini golf date with Caleb, I received a call on the morning of the date that changed my plans.

You see, the summer before I met Caleb I was pursued by a guy named Chris. He and I had mutual friends, who introduced us after he pestered them for a few weeks. Our relationship was intense and looked promising; we even looked at engagement rings and I took him home for Thanksgiving.

But on that Thanksgiving trip, I realized that he and I were not a good match. I dumbly broke it off while we were still in California—I say dumbly because he was the one who drove, so he totally could have left me stranded!

We eventually got back together about a week later. Chris used the familiar tactics to get me to agree: I can't live without you, I still have some of your stuff and can I bring it to you, I'm drunk calling you with tears streaming down my face. We started dating again just in time for him to move in with his Missouri.

Chris was insistent that the move should not come between us; he wanted to long-distance date until he was ready to "send for me," a.k.a. have me move to Missouri so we could get married. I agreed to the long-distance dating, but only because I was not willing to put up a fight. I knew we wouldn't get married or live in Missouri together.

When I met Caleb, I felt completely comfortable setting up a date with him even though I was dating Chris. Because, you see, I wasn't actually dating Chris; I was not emotionally invested in him and he was leading a life so divergent from mine. I had gotten back together with him due to guilt.

But, the morning of my planned date with Caleb, Chris called me with some sobering news. His dad, whom he idolized had had a heart attack; Chris felt so confused and alone, and he asked for me to stay by the phone in case he needed support. Though I didn't feel anything for Chris romantically by this point, my heart overflowed with friendship and sympathy for him.

I called Caleb immediately, but he didn't answer his phone. His (hated) roommate Weston answered instead, and I lamely asked him to pass along the message that I wasn't able to make our date and that I'd call Caleb in a few days. I loyally stood by the phone for the rest of the day.

When he received the news from his roommate, Caleb was sad. He didn't hold much hope that I would actually call him to reschedule. And as I found out much later, that night he and his beloved roommate Shawn ended up taking a couple of other girls on the same date that Caleb had planned for us. Cheeky!

Later that night, I caught Caleb on the instant messenger and gave my apologies. I really was heartbroken that we couldn't hang out, because I liked him a lot. My roommates had given me a stern talking to about my uncouth actions and I felt terrible.

I then explained to Caleb that I was...attached. As truthfully as I could, I explained the situation I was in and that I would understand if that bothered him. I underlined the fact that I still wanted to hang out with Caleb, if that was something that interested him. He was gracious about the news and assured me that he would still like to see me.

I told myself that there was nothing wrong with hanging out with a friend, even if it was a guy. In fact, I remember telling Chris that I was going to "humor some guy by going mini golfing with him and it's totally no big deal." I was being extremely transparent with both guys involved, but definitely not with myself.

There was something different about this Caleb guy. I just didn't want to admit it yet.

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