Yes, I’ve been quiet lately. I’d like to say that I was over the whole Matt Lauder thing in a hurry, but it just wasn’t that easy, and I continue to struggle with feelings of anger and betrayal. I still have dating profiles online, but it’s rare that I reply to a message these days.
Honestly? I’ve just stopped giving a shit.
I’ve been keeping myself busy and making some new friends at yoga and CrossFit, and for the time being, that’s what works for me. I just don’t feel like dating (or putting my trust in anyone) right now, which made the re-appearance of Mr. Ego a bit of a complication.
This is Mr. Ego’s M.O.:
- Look up Redhead on Facebook
- Send Redhead a private message. Mention that it's been a while (blame her), and ask her to meet up for drinks.
- After drinks, suggest taking a cab back to her place.
- Have sex.
- Eat breakfast, hang out and watch movies the next day.
- Text Redhead for another day or two. One week max.
- Hunt for and find a girlfriend. Change Facebook status to "in a relationship".
- Approximately six months to a year later, after being dumped by said girlfriend, see step 1.
So, you can imagine my surprise (ha) when, a couple months ago, I received the following message on Facebook:
Hey whats up stranger?
Havent heard from you in ages! whats new and exciting aside from parachuting? Any new online dating adventures? Any fun plans this weekend?
I am no fool; “Any fun plans this weekend?” = I’m single again, so do you want to hook up?
Stef and I were enjoying empanadas and sangria at our favourite Mexican restaurant a few days later, when I received a text:
Mr. Ego: Hey, whatcha doing?
Redhead: Dinner with a friend. What are you doing?
Mr. Ego: Going for a few drinks with my buddy. Maybe we should join parties later?
While we were considering the idea of meeting up with Mr. Ego and his friend, Mr. Ego called me, and let me know that his friend had cancelled on him. He cracked jokes about meeting up with Stef and I for a "ménage à trois", but we weren't in the mood to go out, so Mr. Ego and I made plans for drinks on the following Tuesday evening.
It had been about a year since I’d seen Mr. Ego, and the first thing I noticed was that he was starting to show his age (not that I know exactly how old he is, because he’s playing this stupid game where he won’t tell me, but I believe he has crossed the 40 mark.)
After finding seats on the patio at the pub, he squeezed my arm and told me I looked good. We talked about work, friends, and what we’d been up to over the past twelve months.
Mr. Ego pulled out a pack of cigarettes, and waved it at me.
“Nah, I’m good. I quit,” I said.
“Yeah. It’s been a long time now.”
“Not even when you drink?” he asked, confused.
“Nope. I decided it makes me feel too shitty. Not worth it.”
He looked displeased with this information, and proceeded to smoke alone. It wasn’t long before the waitress came over and informed us that we were actually in the non-smoking section, and needed to move to the rooftop patio, so we gathered up our things and headed up the stairs.
Mr. Ego pulled out another cigarette, and said, “Come on, Redhead, have one with me!”
I shook my head.
“It’s just one smoke!” he reasoned.
“No. Really. I’m not interested,” I replied, growing annoyed with his pressure.
A different waitress came over, and asked if he needed a new ashtray. “We might if she would smoke with me, but she refuses!” he laughed.
I rolled my eyes, and suddenly wished I were at home in my pyjamas, watching television with my cat curled up against me.
“So, how’s the dating scene? Haven’t found anyone to settle down with?” he asked.
“Nope. Same old same old,” I replied. “How about you? Ready to get married and have kids, old man?”
He laughed. “Kids are not on my bucket list, but I’m not completely against it. If it happens, it happens, I guess. Do you want kids?”
“Yeah, I do, but I’m not in any rush. I have no ticking clock.”
He raised an eyebrow at me and said, “You do realize that you’re running out of time, right? You’re what, thirty-two?”
“Thirty-three. And a half.”
“In that case, you have about five years, max. Three prime.”
I shrugged and took a swig of my beer, suddenly feeling kind of shitty about myself.
“I’m willing to donate the sperm, but I won’t support the child!” he said, and laughed hysterically.
I rolled my eyes at him and changed the subject, because WHO SAYS THAT TO A WOMAN?!
“What are you doing on Saturday? We should hang out,” he suggested.
“Can’t. My brother is in town.”
“Are you choosing your brother over me?”
“Yes,” I replied, matter-of-factly, and he laughed.
A couple beers later, we decided to call it a night, and headed down the street to the subway station. I was relieved that he didn’t push to come back to my place, and instead wrapped me in a big hug and said, “I hope I see you again soon, Redhead.”
During my streetcar ride home, I considered my feelings—or lack thereof—for Mr. Ego. I had no butterflies, no excitement, no feeling of urgency to see him again. If anything, I was irritated at his incessant teasing, his inappropriate comments, and pressure to have a cigarette.
The next day, my phone buzzed. Text message.
Mr. Ego: Hey, it was nice seeing you yesterday. How was work today?
Redhead: It was good to see you too. Work sucked, as always.
Mr. Ego: So, what’s up for this Saturday?
Redhead: Like I said, my brother is visiting. We’re going to the Jays game.
Mr. Ego: Aww that’s too bad :(
After a rough couple of days at work, he sent me another message.
Mr. Ego: See, you’re being a stranger already.
Redhead: Rough week.
Mr. Ego: Want to go for a drink and talk?
Redhead: Can’t. Working late. Next week?
Mr. Ego: I’m on vacation, and then you’re on vacation. Seems like ur too busy to date. Ok well, then I guess I’ll check back in with you in the middle of July.
I decided to cut the crap and ask him the question that had been bothering me since he contacted me again.
Redhead: Why the sudden urge to date? You didn’t seem interested before.
Mr. Ego: Because we have fun together and have sorta similar personalities? I was interested before, but u need to make more of an effort. I’m not a chaser.
Redhead: Neither am I, so I guess that’s a problem.
Mr. Ego: Yeah maybe.
Redhead: I guess we can hang out more and see how it goes?
Mr. Ego: Deal. July!!
Mr. Ego left for his vacation, and a few days later I sent him a text to wish him a happy birthday, to which he didn’t respond.
Upon my return from Muskoka a couple weeks later, I still had not heard from Mr. Ego. I was still trying to work out my feelings for him; I had always considered our relationship very cut and dry. He was a fuck buddy, but only at his convenience, and was unwilling to be just my friend if he was in a relationship with someone else. Contrary to his accusations, HE was always the one to disappear on me, and I would find out via Facebook that he was seeing someone else. On the other hand, he and I always had a good time together, and I’d always felt extremely comfortable and very much myself with him. Maybe I had overlooked him as someone I could be serious with? I was very conflicted.
I decided that I needed to hang out with him to help me figure it out, so I finally sent him a text.
Redhead: Hey, you don’t get to give me shit about disappearing when you do it too!
Hours later, I finally received a response.
Mr. Ego: So, what’s up, Redhead? How’s it going?
Redhead: Meh, work. What’s new with you?
Days later, I finally received a text back from him.
Mr. Ego: Sorry, I’ve been helping my buddy move. Not much new just enjoying summer.
Irritated, I didn’t bother to answer. I wasn’t feeling any effort from him, I really don’t know what it is he wants from me, and I despise games....so, fuck it. I'm sure I'll hear from him again in six to twelve months.