Learning the Hard Way

When I was a carefree gal about town, I was… mistreated by gentlemen. Emotionally. Which is not to say that I wasn’t also callous when it came to dating, but I can’t even count (or care to recall) the number of times I held an internal debate about whether I should leave one last voicemail after radio silence had stretched into multiple days.

Only once did I actually self-destruct, though.

After a lovely time together, I Facebook messaged my latest find. A reply! I messaged again. Nothing. For days. This was when I was probably at my messiest and my most foolish, just around the time when I was starting to realize that not all of the promises would, in fact, be kept. Knowing that is one thing, but learning that is quite another. Anyway, this particular adventure came to a screeching halt one night when I skipped a screening, got loaded on bourbon and Xanax, lost my wallet, and came home to say “Enough is enough.”

I messaged him to say, “Huh. Guess I misjudged that one.” And deleted my Facebook account.

The next morning, hungover and chagrined, I reinstated my Facebook account. There was a brief flurry of “What the fuck” emails disguised as something else, and then nothing.

Periodically over the last several years, like a bad penny, he crops up. Today was one of those days. And as I stared at his email for a few hours, wondering what kind of reply I should send, the thought occurred to me. Why reply at all? A different life, you know?

Because saying you only learn lessons the hard way is very different from actually realizing that you only learn lessons the hard way.

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