The Cushioning

July 26, 2017

Fingers crossed for a crazy ex.

What in the actual fuck is wrong with me?

I entered the bargaining phase of grief.

I laid awake last night and realized what I was doing, knew I couldn’t let it go until I knew something, anything and I was selfishly proactive.

Maybe I do have an iota of self-preservation after all. A really tiny iota, but an iota nonetheless.

So, ya.

I posted an article last week about the ‘newest trend in dating’. It’s called cushioning.

It was met with a rousing chorus of ‘no, that’s not new, people have been doing that for a millennia’.

I am in an arguing mood, so I am going to argue semantics.

Once upon a time I was queen of the monkey bars as far as dating goes. Not letting go of one relationship until I had a firm grip on the next. Not classy by any stretch, but I think cushioning is worse.

Actually, I fucking know it is.

In contrast, cushioning is having one or several human pillows to land on should one let go of their current relationship.

Tomato, potato. But still.

It’s disgusting to use people this way. No actual commitment or effort, totally selfish.

It’s the easiest thing in the world now. Someone likes a few of your pics on Instagram, a few harmless messages back and forth and suddenly it’s full blown flirting and you haven’t disclosed your relationship status.

Just in case.

Here’s an idea. Just keep that hoe phase going until you are sure you have it out of your system.

A lot less human collateral damage is created when people tell the truth.

We all need to be telling more of the truth.

Or, you could do what my ex did, make a profile on Tinder, meet me, date me, demand exclusivity and all the while living with the supposed ex-girlfriend.

I have somehow graduated from being the side-piece/coleslaw in this scenario and turned into a queen-sized mattress that he’d land on whenever he felt like it or they’d fight.



I am so much better than that.

The actual girlfriend in the scenario messaged me two days ago.

Yesterday I stated I was not going to engage with this woman. And then the anger wore off, the sads hit hard and bargaining reared its ugly head.

He responded oddly to my queries. Accusing me of talking to her in the time called ‘before’.

No honey, I dumped you for being a bad boyfriend, because you are a bad boyfriend. I figured that out on my own and promptly forgot it when you came back. My bad.

Soooooooooo, whatchoo on about now?

I did not know this woman.

I didn’t even know of this woman until she messaged me on Instagram.

I hate hate hate when I do girly shit. But I caved.

I unblocked her and said “I need answers, can we speak as adults.”

I watched Panda bond with the girlfriend of her vacation dick guy that asked her to go to Thailand with him. And I watched it fall apart when he knocked that girl up a few months later. At least Panda got answers and closure. And just maybe, being a dad will help DaveDave keep it in his pants. Unlikely, but maybe.

Speaking of dads and Thailand, I never reached out to the Muay Thai Fighter, nor his fiancé when I found out he was engaged the entire time we were together because we both made it clear it was a temporary, summer fling. To say something to her would cause harm, without doing any good. Condoms were worn, no promises were made. If properly motivated I can justify anything so just let me have this one.

I spoke with a few of the Poet’s harem of pretty girl writers, but that got painful for me, as I realized how much I gave him and how little I got by comparison.

Every time my ex-husbands mistress approached me as an ‘adult’ she just had a mouthful of wasps and lies, carefully calculated word wedges. It was stupid on my part to look to her for comfort, or anything really. Nothing she said ever changed the fact that ya, he was cheating. And not just cheating but having a full blown emotionally committed relationship on the side.

That’s the kicker.

And now I am dealing and reeling in the truth that I was that girl to someone else.

As the giant in Twin Peaks would say…

It’s happening again.

I dated and waited faithfully for a full calendar year for a man who lived with his girlfriend.

And here is where the bargaining came in…

How in god’s name did he ever let me in the house?

She managed to explain that. A few well-timed fights wherein she moved out for a week or two. So he’d make me dinner instead of trying to patch things up with her. Seems legit right?

The texting me all day every day while he was working during the week and the predictable Friday night fights wherein I wouldn’t hear from him again til Monday morning.

Sadly, for both of us. Neither one of us is the crazy ex. She’s the current, with rights to be there and I was an unknowing interloper. Once again, I am Sarah, daddy’s dirty little secret, nice to meet you. Fuck, enough already.

I won’t say we bonded. But we were kind to each other. Answering each other’s questions as thoroughly and gently as possible.

And now I know.

Apparently there is something about my personality that attracts men with gaping black holes for egos, that suck in all of the light, indiscriminately and without remorse.

It’s not the first time.

(Giant, Jesus, Muay Thai, and now Lumberjack, ya that guy.)

Let it be the last.

Take me to some galaxy far, far away from the event horizon before I get sucked in again.

My arms are tired from holding onto nothing.

I don’t want to be a cushion or coleslaw.

I know there is a huge chance she is going to vilify me if she decides to get back with him, and honestly? I am fine with that.

I know, had he come to me as an adult and explained the situation I woulda said ‘boy, bye’. And I know how she feels.

If making me the bad guy or anything I said to her today helps her sleep at night, I am fine with it.

I’ve hit that drama-free point in my life.

Not everything happens for a reason, but everything can be learned from.

I’m still learning.

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