YOU’RE AN ALCOHOLIC.
There I said it. I probably should have told you that 10 years ago when I broke up with you but I didn’t. I’m sure by now someone has told you this. Or some other girl you’ve dated has tried to stage an intervention. Or you’ve figured it out on your own (I hope).
It feels a bit weird writing you a letter because I often wonder if you’d even remember me, like if we happened to run into each other on the street…or in the liquor store. If you need a bit of a refresher, here it is: I met you the summer of 2000 at a cheesy bar in my hometown. I was home for the summer, after my first school year in Toronto and was on the rebound from a bad relationship. I was out with my friend that night, soaking my troubles in whatever neon colored-tropical flavored-vodka infused bitch pop I was drinking that week. When I saw you, my first thought was that you were precisely the kind of guy I NEVER date. You looked like the stereotypical West Coast surfer dude (a look that seems to overpopulate my hometown): Yellowy bleach blond spiky hair, deep tan, Hawaiian shirt, pucca shell necklace. You also had these piercing ice blue eyes. When you looked at me with those eyes, I forgave the Hawaiian shirt. You were hot, in a “could be mistaken for a member of a late 90’s boy band” kind of way. I’ve always abhorred boy bands. So, the idea of dating you seemed kinky and exotic like dating the enemy. You also drove a truck, sold car parts for a living and enjoyed Bryan Adams. We had absolutely nothing in common. You were 25. I was 19. I decided that you would make the perfect summer fling.
A few nights later we went out on our first date. After a movie and some margaritas, we ended up back at your apartment. Once inside your place, you dimmed the lights, lit candles all over the apartment and spread a blanket on the floor of your living room. Sitting on the blanket together, you poured us two glasses of wine. After a few sips of wine we were making out on the blanket. When we started peeling off each others clothes, you paused, looked at me & my ivory colored skin and dark curly hair and said “Wow, I’ve never seen a girl without a suntan. You’re beautiful. Like a painting from the Renaissance. Like the Venus de Milo“. Then you said the words that every girl wants to hear “You deserve to be worshiped” (How do you say no to that?!). And that’s exactly what you did: you started at my feet, massaging them, sucking on each of my toes, kissing my ankles, allowing your tongue to travel up my calf…no body part was neglected that night as you worked your way back up to my lips to kiss me (much, much later). We never slept together that night but, I remember my back arching in pleasure as I came. hard. many times. on your living room floor. It was totally hot. It was exactly what my body needed. In the morning, I crept home with shaky legs on a multiple orgasm high.
Everything went downhill from there.
That many orgasms in one night can turn you into a bit of a dum-dum. I had a serious case of sexually transmitted stupidity. This explains dates #2-#5.
Date #2. A few days later I went back to your apartment. Everything looked different in the light of day, without the distraction of the margaritas, the candles, THE WINE, or your head between my legs. How did I not notice that your curtains were made of fabric printed with a Marijuana Leaf motif? Or the giant Marijuana Leaf FLAG on the living room wall? Or the creepy terrarium with the Lizard inside? Or the Star Wars paraphernalia? And how did I not notice the giant BONG on your coffee table? Or the other half dozen bongs all over the living room? Was this really the apartment of the guy I had shared Chardonnay and a candle-light pic-nic with just a few nights before?! When you caught me staring at the bong, you asked “Wanna take a hit off of my Old Lady?” (huh?). I politely declined. Despite growing up on the West Coast weed has never been my thing. You replied “Suit yourself! Don’t mind if I do!”. Then you dove face down into the bong. I sat on the couch, drinking the beer you had handed me (after mentioning you’d already had 6) and watched you orally pleasure your “Old Lady”. I would have preferred if you had been orally pleasuring me. But, like I said before I was 19 and a bit of a dum-dum. At this moment I was really turned off by you but then I thought of the orgasms (orgasms? bong? orgasms? bong?) and said to myself the thing that all 19 year-olds making bad dating choices say “I’m just going to see where this goes“. I dove down and took a hit off of the “Old Lady” and hoped for the best.
Date #3. I barely remember this date. What I do remember is that it involved another cheesy bar in my hometown, lots of Red Bull and an OBSCENE amount of Tequila. One moment we’re jumping around to Basement Jaxx, the next I’m outside in a parking lot watching you puke behind a parked car. At the time I thought “This is gross!” but the joke was on me. As soon as I got home, I was more sick than I have ever been in my life. ALL NIGHT. Scary sick. TMI: I threw up and threw up until I was just throwing up stomach acid and blood. I started to cry. My Mom completely freaked out (rightfully so) and got on the phone to the doctor’s office. She was convinced that I had an ulcer and a ‘very low alcohol tolerance’. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her daughter had a bit of a substance abuse problem of her own.
To say I was slightly “troubled” at 19 would be putting it mildly. A lot of bad stuff had happened during my first semester of college. Traumatic stuff. Rather than really face what I was going through, I figured the best thing to do was to have as much fun as possible ALL THE TIME. I was all about “self-medicating”. When I would drink, I wouldn’t just have a few. I would drink to the point of oblivion where everything I felt didn’t matter anymore. Comfortably numb was my preferred state of being. I tried to explain this to you a few times but then realized that I couldn’t. I didn’t trust you enough to tell you about the things that had happened and why I was drinking in the first place. I couldn’t even admit these things to my best friends.
When I told you about throwing up blood you said,
“That happens to me all the time”
As messed up as I was, I knew that being around you wasn’t good for me. But, instead of walking away at that point (hey, remember those orgasms?!) I told myself two other lies that 19-year old dum-dums making bad decisions tell themselves:
“Just because HE’S drinking, doesn’t mean I have to. Besides, maybe I can help him“
Which brings us to date #4. I decided that I would plan a “sober” date for us (after date #3 I couldn’t even look at a bottle of liquor without feeling nauseous). I was house sitting for my Dad and decided to have all of my girlfriends over for dinner…and invite YOU to meet EVERYONE! You showed up bleary eyed, stumbling, WASTED, with a six pack. You proceeded to sit down in front of my Dad’s TV and drink six more beers. When my girlfriends went home, I suggested that maybe you should lie down for a bit and “sleep it off”. I went to go get something from the bathroom, when I came back into the room you had taken off all of your clothes and you were standing in the middle of the room STARK NAKED.
me: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
At which point, you ran out of the room and puked in my Dad’s toilet.
As far as Summer Flings go, I was kind of hoping mine would be more along the lines of “Dirty Dancing” or “Blue Lagoon” (naked teens on a deserted island!). Instead, my summer romance had turned into “Leaving Las Vegas”.
When the amount of puke in a relationship outnumbers the amount of orgasms, that’s when you know its OVER….which totally doesn’t explain why there was a date#5.
For date #5, you asked me to the movies. Barring you managing to smuggle in a flask in the pocket of your Hawaiian shirt, I figured the movies were probably “safe”. When we arrived to the theater and you suggested we “Grab a Drink before the show”I knew it was now or never. I HAD to break-up with you. So, while we sat at the bar across the street from the movie theater, you nursing a Pint and me a tiny cup of coffee, I told you it was over. I wish I had told you the truth, that your drinking really bothered me. That I thought you needed help. But, I didn’t. I barely knew you. I don’t think I could have saved you. Not, when I needed saving myself. Instead I came up with some other bullshit reason for why I was breaking up with you: “Its not you…It’s me”
The fact of the matter was, it totally was you.
We never spoke after that night. A few months later, my best friend and I were driving through town. I looked out my window and saw you in the car next to us. Your head was hanging out of the passenger seat window. The only time I have ever leaned out of a car window like that is when I’ve had so much to drink that I am about to spill my guts. It was 2pm in the afternoon. I knew at that moment I had made the right decision.
You were a nice guy. A good-looking guy. A really good toe-sucker. We both needed help. I hope you’ve found that help. I hope you’re happy and in a good place now.
What would you say to an ex if you could say anything?