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Post #29: When you have to break up with a random guy you never dated

(aka: the one about Owen's fragile ego)

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April 10, 2019 0 comments

Like many breakups, this one begins with a good night out.

Owen’s been inviting me out for the last few weeks, mostly out to dance, and recently, to a pool party where people “dare to be topless.” When I turn him down, he guilt trips me: “I don’t invite just anyone to my good friend’s parties.”

So, despite his shady invitations, I still feel badly for saying no. Tonight, he texts to invite me to a house party.  I’m already out with my buddy.

It’s Thursday, 11pm.  Apparently, none of us have real jobs. 

I let Owen know we’ll only be out for another hour — it is a school night, and my buddy has kids.  I know the DJ at the local club, so it’s a quick social gathering.

When we arrive, Owen is already at the bar, hair gelled back, a fresh t-shirt on.  I order a $2 soda, which he insists I put on his tab.  It’s only an hour, and I’m not drinking alcohol. I thank him for the soda.

Next to Owen are two of his high school friends.  They are a young, attractive, couple from the Viet hood: the guy wears full-sleeves of tattoos under his white t-shirt; the girl wears long, long lash extensions and tight jeans.  They speak to each other in Vietnamese.

“What do you like about Owen?” I ask them.  The guy sits back like he hasn’t even heard my question.  Maybe he’s too cool to answer.  Finally, he leans forward and says, “He’s loyal.”

“Are you two together?” the girl asks, obviously knowing the answer is “no,” and obviously trying to be suggestive.

“NO,” I say far too quickly, waving my hands in the air in a giant “X.”

“Elisa….” Owen starts.  “Elisa is like a Professor.  I am a PhD.  Or she’s like a Master subject.”  He adds, less cryptically, “She’s writing about me.” 

It turns out all four of them, my buddy included, attended the same elementary school in different years.  They’re all from the blue collar neighborhood where stores are “Manila Market,” “Pho Café,” or a taqueria. Most recently, my buddy saved a girl from getting jumped in front of a 7-11 in this neighborhood.  I’m touched that Owen is introducing me to his friends so quickly, and glad my friend is here, too.  

 The next hour passes quickly and quietly.  We play a drinking game until Owen and the couple excuse themselves to go smoke.  My buddy and I shoot the shit.  

The girl, Cathy, returns with a new drink for herself.  She asks if I want it.  I thank her and say I have to go.  My friend has to go, too.  We leave. 

It was a good night. Or so I think…

Until the text apocalypse happens.  

I get a text message from Owen, saying: “My friend bought you a drink and the least you could have done was stay. You left too fast.”

I immediately call him to apologize. He doesn’t answer, so I leave a message: “I didn’t know the drink was for me! I thought it was for herself! Please let her know I’ll buy the drinks next time and let her know I say sorry and thank you.”

This is not good enough.

This sparks a back and forth where Owen details the following arguments:

~ his friend bought me a drink so I should have stayed

~ I should have come alone

~ I should have heard his friend when she explained the drink was for me (the music was loud)

~ I disrespected him.

As we escalate, he begins to launch texts intended to make me feel something for my disrespectful decision of leaving when I said I would:

Notice my confusion at this point. However, I am trying desperately to be nice and end the conversation.
Attempt #2 to end the conversation. Because WTF is going on?? Is this bad drunk texting??

At this point, I go to sleep. I’ve told him 3x I’m ending the conversation.

It’ll be better to talk to him later, when he has the chance to cool down.

Quite frankly, I have no clue what’s going on. Other than he’s experiencing the implosion of entitlement and ego that happens when you realize you only expect a woman should be interested in you, just because you feel that way towards her.

Instead of basing your expectations on…. say…. her actual, expressed level of interest in you.

I wake up 5 hours later to the text apocalypse:

And when I wake up to the monologue of text messages, which nicely span the following issues:

~ male expectation that I owe him romance as a woman even though I never agreed to that role (“you disappointed me and devalued me in front of my two friends”… why, because I didn’t act like his date?)

~ attempts to manipulate me into feeling badly (“devaluing” him? “embarrassing” him? Or, do I owe him because he “paid for my (two dollar) drink”?)

~ using dumbass, screamingly-insecure, pickup artist strategies by putting me down to elevate himself (“I can get younger women”)

~ valuing me only as someone who will give him attention, not as a friend

So yeah, if by “mad,” we mean, “I’m disgusted,” then I’m mad.

I ignore his texts for the day. I send screenshots to two close friends. One is an ex-boyfriend who says, “Yes, I valued you as a love interest, but I also equally value you as a friend. What’s his problem?” The other photoshops my face over Jennifer Lopez’ as she kisses Drake, and tells me to send it back with the caption, “I got a man.”

Owen calls me twice over the next two days. He texts me: “Can we just forget the whole thing?

Finally, I decide this needs to die a decisive, swift death. I reply:

And that, my friends, ends the saga of my very first non-romantic, non-friend break-up.

Remember, dear ones: If you’ve been absolutely honest and clear in your intentions, you don’t owe anyone anything beyond that. You are not responsible for tending to a random guy’s fragile ego and emotions.

Even if they ditch their friends for you, put your $2 soda on their tab, and send you a million texts.

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Each post is a great fucking adventure

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