Sometimes, I need to remind myself that the trivial ordeals I face are just that: trivial. They’ll be gone another day. It’s times like this that I ask myself: “In 10 years’ time, will you even care?” and mostly, the answer is no.
Some things are worth caring about 10 years down the line. There are a couple of jobs I’ve left that still smart as to why I left them. There are a couple of relationships that still sting to think of, although mostly I laugh about them.
I think my most damaging was with a guy called Martyn, a.k.a The Weasel.
Martyn and I met in Chicago Rock only a few months after Andy – October, I think. Chicago Rock was the bar where I met Andy (opening night!) and I was a little nostalgic about it. I had dallied with online dating and was kind of seeing a guy whose name now escapes me. He was a perfectly serviceable kind of guy and we’d been out a couple of times. He kept a suit of chain mail in the kitchen and was into historical re-enactments. That’s about as much as I remember – bar another detail that will emerge later.
I got chatting to Martyn – he’d come over to talk to me, having seen me with Lynsey and Abi. He said something cheesy like he just had to talk to me. I laughed. We chatted. He was out following his grandfather’s funeral. He’d been in the Army and had been out for 2 months. He was beautiful. He had beautiful lips and I was still sad. I thought I could maybe share in this boy’s sadness too. We chatted and had a very wonderful kiss, the kind of kiss that you have when you’re 28 and you don’t do when you’re way past that. He gave me his number and I took it. I sent him a text on departing and Lyns and Abi and I went our own way.
I didn’t text him that weekend – far too busy, but that was like a red rag to a bull. He sent me a text on Sunday, asked if he could come for tea on Monday, and that was that. I glibly said yes, and then I had a full-on monster living in my life for 18 months. I was so entranced by this beautiful beast that I cancelled my date with the chainmail guy, who’d freaked me out when we were watching The Others in the cinema by staring at me and not the screen. Really, I should have gone with this guy, shouldn’t I??!
To be fair, the first few months were wonderful. Here was a guy whose sister had died when he was 17, who understood how death felt to the outsider, who was grieving himself. Here was a guy who had a set of skills, a good job, a lovely family and who would do marvellously romantic things, like the time he phoned me when I was working, said ‘Is your school such-and-such?’ – ‘Yes,’ said I – and there he was, at the gate, asking the kids where to find the beautiful Miss Lee to give her 12 red roses for no better reason than it was a Tuesday. He started talking about arranging trips to see his best friend in Osnabruck, Germany, taking me with him.
One weekend, he was supposed to come round on the Friday. He didn’t. I called and called, thinking something terrible had happened. He didn’t ring back. Nor Saturday. I’d given up and written it off by Sunday, and then, 6:00 Monday morning, he turned up. I didn’t know where the hell he’d been, and he didn’t tell me either. He apologised and we made up. He promised not to do it again. And he didn’t. Until the next Friday. Same thing. It became a joke, and by Christmas, I was sick of it. I started seeing someone else – a cute SAS guy called Paul – and Martyn was so far out of my mind.
In fact, he’d spun me some bullshit about being at work, only I saw him in the card section in Asda. I phoned him there and then, he answered, I asked where he was and he said Morrison’s. Compulsive liar.
But, by Valentine’s Day, he was back in my life. I got not one but two cards, left around the house. He bought me gifts and flowers. I’d almost forgiven him. We were doing fine. I stopped asking him by at the weekends, got used to this unpredictable and bizarre romantic and got used to him turning up whenever he damn well pleased. Then I found a receipt for a restaurant, including a kids’ meal, which was a little bizarre, along with times for planes from Amsterdam and Thailand on a weekend when he’d gone missing. At the time, I thought ‘WTF??!” but Thailand and Holland equal two things, sex and drugs. So, it was one or the other.
I decided not to see him again, took all his stuff back, had a huff and cut him out of my life. He came round about 6 months later to apologise. Then, in about December, he came round again to make up. I didn’t believe a word of it. He disappeared half way through the conversation to ‘get something’ and then emailed me 3 years later via facebook to say sorry. I put it down to some kind of 12 step programme – it was bizarre from start to finish.
Whilst I can be objective about it, it really knocked me for six at the time – I was totally smitten by him. I remember being so upset about it all, so bemused. And now, I just think ‘Meh!’
I wanted closure so much, and to know what had happened and what went on. Now I can’t even be bothered to get upset about his bemusing behaviour. At the time it all felt so important. Now it feels so…. meh.
I just need to remember “This too shall pass” and remind myself that life and all its trappings are nothing more than temporary and transient.