Here is an amusing story for my frequent readership. Trust me, once I've spun this story around, you'll have a good laugh. You'll have to forgive me, though - out of respect for the participants, I stripped all names from this true story.
Oh, by the way, my crew got dips on this story, so if you're reading this, they already know. Too bad :-D.
Okay, on with the content. Yesterday, one of my exes staked a truly singular claim on my autonomy.
Do not comment about us in public
She (respectfully, to speak with the truth) requested that I never again discuss, comment or talk in any way, in public, about what ever might have been of us (a long time ago).
Being the tolerant individual that I am, I first started my reply saying that I intended to honor that request. After all, I might behave a bit rude with women from time to time, but honoring time-tested loyalty requires special attention.
You should have seen the scene. You know body language talks louder than words. You could have seen me half-sit on a chair and stretch my feet on a second chair, hands resting lazily on my lap, wry smile firmly planted on my face, while she was all jitters with her hands, leaning forward and backward. That is, fully right in front of everyone else where we were talking.
Second in order was my (inevitable) question. "What prompted this request? Did I ever say something that bothered you, or perhaps compromised your respect, honor or good standing among your friends?" was the literal text. I won't get in any details regarding the answer - suffice it to say she provided me with one example, which really took place but couldn't possibly have offended anyone's sensitivities, even if misinterpreted in some fashion.
Of course, at this point, I already suspected what I was minutes away of coaxing from her.
And answer my question she did. Knowing that the example she provided was of absolutely no concern for any normal person's good standing, honor or reputation, I proceeded to ask further questions. Three (very cunning, may I praise myself) questions and (poorly thought) answers later, I had the piece of information I could so very well feel slipping out of her.
It was actually my boyfriend's idea
This "reprimand" I was "getting" was actually his new boyfriend's idea, not hers. That might have been a bit apparent, seeing as she was unconvincing when asked by me to justify his "reprimand". Suspecting something isn't proof, though. Thus, my three questions. And the three answers, with the final one being the gold winner: "Yes, he did get very angry".
And here endeth the first part of this story, more appropriately titled "how to rip the truth out in four questions or less". And so, we begin with the second part of our story, aptly named "where is this anger coming from, really?":
Boyfriend gets angry
- Rudd-O makes uncompromising, respectful comment about event from back in the days she was seeing Rudd-O
- New boyfriend gets very angry
- This ex comes to Rudd-O, pleading "no more comments"
I smelled rotten fish at 2 miles distance.
I honestly expected she would talk to his boyfriend, tell him something along the lines of "okay, okay, what he said was absolutely non-threatening in any way towards our relationship", reassure him that everything was okay, and go forward. That's what I would do if one of my exes made a comment about the times we were together, in front of my girlfriend, and my girlfriend went ballistic. Assuming, of course, that everything was, indeed, alright.
Not everything is peachy in their world
Instead, she didn't. She didn't reassure his boyfriend. She actually came to me, asking me not to remind her of anything at all regarding our "past" (not that big a past if you ask me). And she does that, not because she has her own motives, but paying lip service to a "suggestion" from by his boyfriend.
Let's turn the tables around, one more time. I ask, from the comfort of my pulpit: What's with this dude? He's getting angry at me because my ex-girlfriend (which now is his girlfriend) was with me? Do anecdotes about both of us make him angry? What's so threatening about that? Does that warrant getting angry at me?
Or, more likely, does it sound like jealousy? It does to me. Cuz he's got the girl (great for him, by the way!). And he's not getting any bad will out of me, since I'm not interested in her, and I'm far too educated to stab another guy in the back, for a woman. Thus, I find no other explanation. Would you, dear reader, suggest other reasons that might be escaping me?
An aside: Is jealousy that bad?
Let me put it this way: a confident man who has a girlfriend never, ever feels jealous. Wanna know why?
Jealousy is, nearly by definition, the irrational fear of losing someone, at the hands of a contender. It's a feeling. It's irrational. It gets triggered by any thought of losing someone. One moment you're thinking about your girlfriend. The next moment you're imagining her in the arms of another man (please note that you don't usually experiment these mental images in a fully conscious fashion - they just appear out of the blue). Pictures of her leaving you, loneliness and misery usually go in the mix. Thanks to that, you get this horrible feeling of jealousy.
That's how jealousy works.
I have a friend who calls jealousy the "short dick syndrome". It might or might not be true that people with "insufficiently long" penises experience feelings of insecurity, and thus, jealousy, more frequently. But whenever someone feels like "not enough" in any sense, jealousy will surreptitiously enter the mix, sooner or later. It's a one-to-one relationship.
But there are good news. Namely, that confident individuals do not experience jealousy. That's because confident individuals simply do not picture their significant others cheating or leaving them. The idea of their significant other leaving them for another person simply does not register in their brains. Not a chance!. Rather, they think about kissing, having sex or spending time with their significant other. They never register thoughts of inadequacy related to their significant others. Rather, they unquestionably feel themselves as more than adequate (if not perfect or awesomely cool) for their partners.
Part of the reason for this is that significant others don't usually leave confident individuals. Another big part has to do with their confidence: confident people do not dwell in misery after they've been dumped (very rarely), but go out there and find a new companion ASAP, while keeping an optimistic outlook. Think about that - it's a self-fulfilling prophecy combined with a positive reinforcement effect
- Confident individuals don't get dumped. Thus, their confidence increases.
- Confident individuals get partners more easily because of their confidence. Thus, their confidence increases.
Of course, as with nearly any other feeling, nothing is black and white. Confidence (and jealousy) comes in degrees. I've seen friends completely detached from their girlfriends, never worrying about their whereabouts. I've also seen friends punch people just because they talked to their girlfriends.
To this day, I've heard at least 5 women say that a bit of jealousy is normal, even desirable. I used to reply to this with the above "formula for jealousy". Now I just save myself 30 seconds, and turn away. Any woman who'd be with an individual with shaky confidence rather than a man with unshakable confidence is simply no good. Remember: she'd rather be with an insecure individual. If you're a man, and you share this "jealousy is normal" idea, do some soul searching.
Okay, I'm getting off-track here... let's get back to the subject
Well, getting back on the subject. The truth of the matter is, a guy (hypothetically speaking, my girlfriend's ex) could come and tell me he had sex with my girlfriend 500 times, in all kinds of places, and I couldn't care less. From my values and beliefs system, that kind of comment is absolutely non-threatening, because all the right questions already have right answers (for example, "Who's having sex with her right now? That would be me, of course!"). The only thing that might trigger an adverse reaction in me is seeing that person willfully hurt my girlfriend's reputation. As in "truly hurt my girlfriend's reputation", not as in "That hurt me, so I'll pretend that comment hurt my girlfriend and punch him in the face"
I have to ask: why do some people have difficulties in coming to terms with their significant others' pasts as true and existant?
Oh, I know. Jealousy. See above.
Wrapping it up
To wrap it up: of course, I called her bluff, and told her this request was the most ridiculous thing I've been asked to do in years. Nevertheless, I proceeded to repeat that I stood firmly by my initial promise of complying with her wishes. After all, it costs me nothing to simply don't say anything. It's not like I'm being robbed of an essential right, like the right to walk or talk... er, okay, I am voluntarily relinquishing my right to discuss certain (completely "off-the-shelf", so to speak) subjects. Friends don't need to ask why when a favor is requested of them, right?