Somehow, towards the end of the relationship he convinced me that we needed to have our own apartments after moving in and living together for 2 years. His reasoning was that he never had his own place since he moved to NYC and he really wanted to have that experience. Being the understanding and forever accommodating girlfriend that I was (fool!), I acquiesced. Part of me totally understood that desire. Having your own place in NYC is pretty awesome! But part of me felt like this was taking a huge step backwards in the relationship. In retrospect I see that he was "too nice" to break up with me because he didn't want to hurt my feelings (the sensitive man's selfish cowardly excuse to not own up to his own feelings), so he opted for "let's move out to our own place but stay together."
|My favorite noodle shop in Chinatown on Eldridge Street|
I found a small studio apartment on Essex Street and he found a slightly larger but old, old, old! one bedroom apartment nearby on Eldridge Street. That place was a real fixer upper located above Sheng Wang, a basement dumpling noodle shop which ironically has become one of my favorite places now. Naturally I put on a brave face but it made me really sad every time when he would go to his house and I to mine. No matter how I rationalized it just felt sad and I felt utterly rejected. It almost felt like he was making me feel bad so I would leave first (probably true). If I could go back in time I would go back to the younger me, bitch slap myself, and the convo would go like this:
Future Me (Me Now): "You fool, you better start listening to your feelings and stop accommodating for things that are not you!"
Past Me: "Watchoo talkin about, Future Me? This is REALLY how I feel."
Future Me: "Oh really? You LIKE snowboarding? You LIKE falling on your ass all day long on the ice and up and down that freezing gondala?"
Past Me: "..."
Future Me: "You don't have any feelings of abandonment from the time he was off mountain biking in Canada and left you here during the big summer blackout?"
Past Me: "...he did call..."
Future Me: "And you honestly like wearing this raver clothes you are wearing?"
So yea Future Me rules. This is what people mean when they say "I know myself". This realization came slow and late to me but the final turning point hit me hard like a stink bomb during another time when he was away again (either for visa issues or recreational outdoors stuff). Naturally I was the lucky one entrusted with getting his mail and checking in on his apartment. These visits were pretty pathetic and involved me smelling his clothes, looking through his cupboard to see what he has been eating, lying down on the bed pretending I lived there, or looking out the window in silence to punish myself. Then one day the landlord called and said there was a leak in his bathroom that was leaking down to the floor below. He wanted me to go to the apartment and check for faucets that were accidentally left on. I went after work confidently climbing up the stairs feeling so capable! I was here. I am the one to solve his problem for him to make his life easier while he was having fun in another place! He's going to love me so much!
I went in the apartment and headed straight to the bathroom. I stood by the bathroom door and as I reached to my left to flip on the light switch, I felt a dampness on my shoes. I looked down just as the light snapped on and to my horror I was standing in sewage water. The entire bathroom floor was covered with brown water. The bathtub had about a foot of water with mysterious lumps and sinewy stringy things that I dared not think too long about. The sink too. The toilet overflowed with indescribable scatological horror - and that was when I drew my Alamo.
I turned right back around and walked out of that depressing Chinatown apartment. I will pick up Chewie's poop but I will not cleaning up after no man's. I broke it off with him shortly after he returned from his trip. That was the first time my heart felt broken (but I got over it - trust me, you'll get over it too if you WANT to). If I had stayed in that relationship I don't know what kind of person I would have changed myself into just to be with him. One day its trying out snowboarding, the next day is wearing something you don't really like, and then before you know it, you are cleaning up poop being half the woman you used to be. Let that be a lesson to you young girls out there whose Future You haven't bitch slapped you yet. Happy Valentine's Day!