I try to tell myself it's not the size ship, but sometimes it actually is the size of the ship.1
My expat beau was leaving on business the next morning, and struggling to tie up loose ends, before we were expected at the third of our charity circuit trifecta when he sent a panicky text. “So pissed. Left iPod at Max’s.” Max, his pseudo-employed friend, lives in a beautiful, albeit inconveniently located, Upper West side penthouse. Imagining his flight to Venezuela sans iPod even made me depressed. “Text me his number. I’ll get it.”
I don’t like interrupting my work for midday trips above Houston, but if I was correctly assessing the progression of our relationship, I was going to have to make some sacrifices for the sake of sweetness. I could tell he was surprised that I offered, “Really?! Are you sure? Thank you so much baby!” he text me back. I sighed, finished emailing my editor and headed out the door.
Over thirty-five minutes later, I emerged from the subway. On the nearly ten minute walk form the train to Max’s apartment (how do people live up here?) my mind swirled with looming deadlines. I wished I had brought my laptop on this journey – at least then it would’ve been more productive. Now, I had never actually met Max before, so when I knocked on the door I wasn’t expecting this LES-esque hipster dude staring back at me. “Hi, I’m Emma,” I said, and he welcomed me in. We had a short conversation on how I met my expat lover, and I got the sense he didn’t really get our relationship. Weird. He handed me the freshly charged iPod and walked me back to the subway while we chatted about music, nightlife and how much we valued our flexible schedules. I rather liked Max.
Walking back to the subway, I thought to myself, I wonder what music he has on here. I turned on the iPod, and his email account popped up. I didn’t know the iPod Touch had email. Several messages from mutual female friend of ours stared back at me. Even though I know I shouldn’t have, I opened the most recent one. The entire exchange was about me. Said friend wrote that it was nice to see him nearly in a relationship, that I was “breaking down [his] walls” and advised him to let things happen naturally. She asked what potential he thought “we” had, and then I read, “She’s awesome but not really girlfriend material.”
Gasp. Choke. Excuse moi? I could not believe my eyes. Me? Oh the irony… I take two hours out of my deadline driven day to fetch your iPod in west bumblefuck just to discover that you don’t think I’m girlfriend material. Me, who makes the bed, writes kind thank you cards, and remembers everyone in your office’s spouses names? Me, who rewrites your boring speeches inserting humor so your constituents don’t fall asleep? Me, who cooks you dinner? I don’t do laundry and can be a bit bossy. Yes, I write about relationships, which may be a deterrent, but my pros outweigh my cons by a landslide. An effing LANDSLIDE.
My mind started to race. I will not let this ruin my day. I will not let this ruin my work. He’s never had a real girlfriend. And he is not going to age well. If I we get married, he gets to become a U.S. citizen. What do I get? He has weird friends. And honestly, I try to tell myself it’s not the size of the ship, but sometimes it actually is the size of the ship. Plus, I have a higher IQ. I am smarter! I told myself to let it go. Act like a dude and compartmentalize my thoughts. Go on a run. Get it together.
That evening, I returned his iPod, accompanied him to the event (smiling and looking stunning, I might add) and helped him pack for his trip. I couldn’t very well tell him I looked in his email, especially before he had a major presentation. While sometimes selfish, I know there is a time and place. The next morning he left and that evening I called a wine and pow wow with my friends. “He’s not my husband,” I declared. They informed me they had known that all along. One friend pointed out that he never got our humor. Another maintained that while nice to look at, he didn’t bring much to the table in large groups. Our relationship, I noted, could never be the same.
And it wasn’t. When he returned, I took a deep breathe and ripped off the band-aid. Because while I make a living writing an ego-centric dating column, I do not want to date a man sans the freedom to fall in love. I want a committed relationship just as much as the next girl. (Plus, I always pictured myself a young mom; and I’m not getting any younger.) While I might lack in categories like fiscal management, golf and being quiet in movie theaters, when it comes to girlfriend material, I’m pretty much the best you can get.
Know something we don't? Email us
at [email protected]