Best Thing I Never Had
“Oh babe, I bet it sucks to be you right now…”
Yes, girl. From the moment I saw Bey in her white bridal lingerie, getting ready to march down the aisle with her fictional “best thing I ever had” in the video for her song titled “Best Thing I Never Had”, I knew these will be my famous last words to this guy. I knew the day would come that I could forward this sentiment along to a certain somebody. A fellow who I almost loved.
My moment had finally arrived when the email came. I had recently made public on social media my impending nuptials to the legitimate, no bullshit, love-of-my-life. I spent about a week and a half informing, in-person, my family, friends, those close to me. Followed by the social media blast.
The social media announcement prompted an onslaught of “wish us wells” from waaaay back and from my family and closest friends. The love was overwhelming. The POWER of social media! Then the email came from this guy. 60 photos of our trip to Belize 7 years ago along with a “congratulations” and “you have come a long way”.
This guy. He was the unavailable-est of the unavailable. He was not only recently divorced (wait, or was he just separated?), but recently broken up with post-divorce girlfriend #1. Ladies and gents, are we counting the red flags here? Anyway, I didn’t care. I was broken and so badly just wanted affection. Married or separated or divorced, he provided me that affection. Sometimes. He hung out with me, drank with me, drove me home from the bar and slept with me. Sometimes.
When I needed more than that, he gave me just enough. Trip to Belize, for example. Trip to Belize where, one morning after a drunken night of exploring and sex in the yoga pagoda, he left me to wake alone in the outdoor pagoda, cold, naked and covered head to toe in mosquito bites. Or that time when we went out to dinner to talk about the reality of “us”; the “what are we doing” talk when he rhetorically asked if I thought I could really be an adequate step-mother to his children. When he hurt me time and time again. With countless thoughtless actions, he let me know how little he valued me. When he cheated on me.
“Thank God you blew it, thank God I dodged a bullet…”
Okay, okay, I know. This is all sounding so victim-y. I did have a part. As this guy stated in his weird congratulatory e-mail to me, I have come a long way. For those readers who have not made the journey yet, here’s my part:
I accepted ALL of it. Until the cheating, when I finally cut ties completely. That shit is gross.
It’s not that simple though. If it were, I could simply say to all the lost souls out there: “just stop accepting it”, and poof(!) all your problems are solved, the world is a harmonious place full of lovers in love. But any of us who have lived through one less-than-perfect love affair, or perhaps have been raised by humans who don’t really know how to do it perfect either, it is so much more complex. It’s that thing about value. What am I really worth? Am I really worth love in all the ways I want it?
Now, here is where I am going to start losing you guys. The most common defense we have in times like this, in relationships like this is, “I deserve better”. We say that shit all the time. We tell our moms, sisters, aunts, girl friends, co-workers, anybody who will listen.
However. When it’s just us. When we are all alone with our defenses down, do we really believe it? I am going to say no. Not likely. If you say yes, odds are you are lying to yourself. If you are staying in a relationship where you are accepting treatment that is not in alignment with your values and ideals, and you proclaim from the mountaintop you deserve better, you are likely bullshitting yourself. You do not think you deserve better. Sorry not sorry.
During this time, with this guy, my answer was no. All the while I was yelling from the rooftops that I deserved better. No, I WANTED better. But I did not believe I deserved or was worthy of a partner who could do better.
If I do not think I am really worth it, am I really going to select a partner who is available to give me love, in all the ways that I want it? No. Not at all. I selected this guy. Because this guy could meet me where I was.
Now this makes the fix a little more complex. Shoot.
And – I had to ask myself: do I even want to fix it? Could this “sometimes” be enough? For me, after various iterations of this guy, it was too painful to withstand another. There was a small piece of something inside me, likely planted long ago by my mother, or my aunt, or a teacher, or Dido that forced me to look at the question: ‘’am I worthy of love in full expression?”. I really wanted to be. I really thought I might be. I had some work to do.
The solution was found along the journey to self-love and was not quick and it was not easy and it was not self-directed. The detailing is for another blog; however, the outcome is straight-up evidence. I am engaged to be married to a wonderful (read : sexy, loving, compassionate, witty, cute face and a booty so fat uh uuuhhh...) man who loves me in all the ways I want to be loved and DESERVE to be loved. And this is just the beginning. Beyoncé knows what I mean.
“Thank God I found the good in good-bye”
So- what do I do now? I can just reply to this guy’s email “thx”. The t-h-x version of thanks can be so fantastically shitty. It's a strong and passive-aggressive "Fuck You". I have entertained a myriad of response fantasies that range from petty to full-on righteous. I mean, this is my chance! This is my what goes around comes around moment with this guy!
What did I end up doing? Nothing. Nothing at all. What goes around really does come around. I have nothing to say to this guy that would add value to my experience or to his. If I were Beyoncé, I would write a song, get glammed, film a video; because that’s my job. She’s good at her job and she has given my self-righteous fantasies an outlet through so many critical moments in my life. Today, mostly thanks to pop music, I don’t have to throw grenades at relationships that have long since remained dormant. I have come a long way.
“Oh and I will always be the best thing you never had…”