There almost always comes a time when relationships — boyfriends, lovers or something more casual — come to an end. I think only the people who meet “the one” on the first try are lucky enough to be spared of this moment. But for me, it’s not the ending that sucks the most — it’s the race to move on that’s worse. And if you aren’t the one who finds someone new first, you’re bound to hold a little bit of resentment toward your ex and the one who replaces you. While I can’t say my reasons for holding such hostile feelings are rational or reasonable, I contend that in the event of a breakup, it is only fair that some ground rules still exist. And should one choose to cross those lines, he should prepare for the wrath of woman. In my case, it all came down to me, him and a pair of sweatpants.
Right before I left Atlanta for good, I decided to spend some quality time with my former lover. I had finally gotten to a place where we were friends without benefits and could just do things that friends do. We’ve known each other for so long now that I value his opinions and know that I can be totally myself around him. On top of that, I no longer felt attracted to him like before when all I’d want to do is rip his clothes off. He tried several times to shack up, but I didn’t respond to his advances anymore. It took only 7 years to get to this place in my life, but after being in the same city for the last 2 years and spending 1 1/2 without any intimacy, I knew I had grown up and moved on. (And it may have also helped — and hurt — that I spent most of my time in Atlanta being infatuated with another guy.)
But in the last of my days down south, all my roommates had moved out and I was all alone in a very big house. I really wanted the company of my most recent fling, but he was vacationing in Florida so I resorted to my now-plutonic friend. We had a sleepover the first night that I was alone and we just watched a movie. All things were great until we went upstairs to bed. Now, we’ve had many sleepovers in these past 2 years, but only the few in the beginning ended in sex. This time, I realized it had been a very long while and I was always a fan of the saying, “go out with a bang,” so that’s exactly what I did. It was great (as I remembered it being) but none of my feelings returned and I saw it as finally passing the ultimate test. It was like step 12 of the 12-step program. We just went to bed after and parted ways after breakfast in the morning.
We would do this twice more before I left the city and he even helped me move out of my house; for which I will be always grateful because I could barely pick up any boxes. Yet it was the first time I felt like I was leaving him and completely OK with it. We still talked after my departure, but as his August birthday approached, I could see that there was a new leading lady in his life and that it was perhaps my time to let go completely.
I didn’t bring up the new girl to sound jealous because I swear wasn’t. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little annoyed that I moved to a new city and had no new prospects, and he stayed still and already had someone new. It just didn’t seem fair. After they had some public birthday activities together, I jokingly asked him if she was his new girlfriend. He (as always) said no, but he was known for saying that and then splurging on a birthday gift or going on vacation with them so I didn’t exactly believe it. I may have been under the influence when I started this conversation so it might not have gone as smoothly as I had hoped, but in the morning we laughed it off and that was that.
Well, that was until I saw a freshly posted picture of their most recent southern adventure together. I gathered that after a day of rafting down a river, he, new girl and friends decided to camp somewhere. I am not one for outdoor activities, but there is something nice about gathering around a camp fire at night. As I looked fondly at the photo, I noticed a pair of sweatpants that looked incredibly familiar. In fact, I zoomed into the picture and noticed that they were MY sweatpants in the photo even though I was not in it. And then when I looked really hard, I realized that my former lover was not wearing MY sweatpants, but his new girl was – she was wearing MY sweatpants that I unwillingly gave to my former lover as a parting gift/ because he wore them home after one of our sleepovers.
…Is he serious?
SHE’S WEARING MY FUCKING SWEATPANTS.
Maybe it’s totally irrational to be annoyed about this. But I actually really liked those sweatpants and only left them because he made such a big deal about keeping them; kept saying how he liked them and was glad I let him keep them. Maybe it’s not even about the sweatpants, but how dare he take a gift that I GAVE HIM and lend it to ANOTHER GIRL who has probably kept them for herself because she feels like they’re his pants that she is sporting and for some reason, girls really enjoy wearing the clothes that belong to their significant other. I think it’s like some sort of label that “I’m taken” or something of that nature. I don’t know; I don’t really get it, but girls do it. And there she was, casually sitting in MY SWEATPANTS.
In reality, she probably just needed a pair of pants to wear (which in that case I don’t understand why she didn’t come prepared with them herself), but the least he could have done is give her a different pair or not posted a picture of it or known better than to have done either thing because I am woman and we notice these things. And then I just got mad. I felt like it was a blatant act of disrespect and I wanted to do nothing more than to curse him out, send him my mailing address and say, “I WANT MY GRAY SWEATPANTS BACK! (Voice escalating) I WANT MY GRAY SWEATPANTS BACK!!!”
After a temporary lapse of character and a mini-freak-out session in my room, I decided against saying anything. I figured if I said something directly to him, he would take it as I’m jealous of her. But in all honesty, I don’t care about her; I care about how much he doesn’t care. And maybe I shouldn’t care that he doesn’t care either, but seriously, who does that?! I wouldn’t give another man a T-shirt of his if he had given me one but I guess that’s one of the many differences between assholes and women. And then I thought, even if he gave me the sweatpants back, I wouldn’t even want to wear them anymore because they’d be tainted with betrayal and another woman’s lady parts.
Nobody likes an indian giver so I won’t be asking for those sweatpants back. But if he knew me as well as I thought he did, he would have thought twice about giving MY sweatpants to ANOTHER GIRL. He, new girl, and MY sweatpants can go on their merry way and I will continue to look for the man who wouldn’t regift my sweatpants. Or maybe find the man who would at least buy me a new pair.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.