Someone once told me the definition of insanity is to live the same routines and experiences repeatedly, expecting a different result each time. And I knew what the word meant when I broke up with the guy who followed Harry. But I kept putting myself in ridiculous situations because my learning curve was straighter than a yardstick. When Richard came along, I should’ve just let him ride my Jet Ski, then push him out of my life forever. But I didn’t because I thought he was different from the rest. Looking back, I don’t know if the difference was better.
It turned out that my plan to wrestle his attention away from the Jet Ski worked. Even though we still volleyed words back and forth about the watercraft for much of the night, as I should’ve expected, we slipped a few other subjects in as well, including topics that centered on our personal lives. We enjoyed the time together and decided that the moment we shared was something that needed more sharing. And though I knew I was taking a monster’s chance by even thinking about letting him into my life, I thought this time it would’ve been different—that maybe I wouldn’t have to cry again.
Something sick happens, though, when a woman convinces herself that the man she’s with is, in fact, the one who will never screw her around, or break her heart, or make her feel like the eternal fool. That sick thing is the psychological dysfunction of “falling into deep smit,” or “falling in love” as some people call it. Somehow I suckered myself into that gladiator’s arena when I turned off my judgment and looked at Richard through a dreamer’s eyes. I guess I expected he’d become the prince that guys past never were.
But somewhere along the line, I could no longer deceive myself. The curtain displaying my portrait of fantasy finally rose, revealing the putrid wasteland of reality stretching for miles behind it. Richard refused to love me the way I thought I loved him. He walked away every time I tried to get close to him. He tossed up his arms and called me hopeless whenever my tears fell. And he failed to realize that the only reason I cried was because he wouldn’t take a moment to cherish me. I mean, I was his girlfriend for crying out loud.
Of course, my therapist said the girlfriend thing was only my interpretation of myself.