Here’s the whole blowup with The Pedant, in cohesive narrative form and proper chronological order and everything.
First off, let me set the stage by pointing out that I’ve been bothered by The Pedant’s vague plan-making and infrequent contact for ages now. I’ve brought up both issues with him before and he handled both conversations well, offering to try harder in future. And in both cases he did try, for a while. But then things backslid to square one. All of which said to me that being a vague and uncommunicative person is such a fundamental part of his personality that he can’t change it; at least not without ridiculous amounts of work. So I just tried to deal with it, since I wasn’t yet ready to give up on him entirely and also not ready to prompt him about these things every few weeks like a kindergarten teacher chastising a particularly slow child.
And anyway, the frequency of our visits had climbed up to about once a week near the end there, and at least part of the time, he was the one to suggest our next get-together. He’d always be like “Want me to come over next week?” and I’d have to say “Yes, I do, which day were you thinking of?” because of his chronic fucking vagueness, but it meant a lot to me that he was at least asking for time with me. If his uncommunicative ways left me anxious or paranoid in his absence, well, I’d talk myself down and then he’d be over again in a few days anyway, recharging my emotional batteries with all his snuggling and sweetness and domestic help.
Then, of course, he got this job. This fucking job.
The Pedant is not good at transparency. I just don’t think he has the knack of identifying his thoughts and then narrating them out loud. I think what he was thinking around this time was probably something like “This job is so tiring that for the time being I need to spend my days off alone, decompressing. I can’t even think about hanging out with you or anyone else for at least a few weeks. Let’s just put that whole idea on hold until, say, [month/day] and revisit it then, okay?” But he did not say this to me. Instead of telling me outright that he needed his off-time to himself for a while, he just kept dodging my requests for facetime. Or at least this is what I think may have been happening inside his head. I’ll never really know.
I did figure he’d probably need some time to settle in and everything, so I waited a couple of weeks before asking him when I could see him again. He said he’d let me know soon…and then didn’t follow up. And I asked again a few days later and got the same response. I started feeling antsy, wondering whether he was just blowing me off, or what. Did he think my requests for together-time were a naggy pain in the ass, or was he genuinely just forgetting to follow up with me?
A few days later still, I tried a different approach: I texted him to say which days I had off that week and asked if his days off coincided at all. The Pedant replied that he wouldn’t have a day off until the next week at the earliest.
To which my knee-jerk response (though I didn’t type it) was basically “Annnnnd?!?” …I mean, he knows I want to see him. He knows I’m trying to work out what day that can happen. Why would he not either tell me when his next day off was, or – if he didn’t know yet – tell me that? This is what I mean about vagueness and lack of transparency.
I didn’t say any of this, though, because he’s always been vague like that and I feel like the archetypal Clingy Psycho Gal when I’m constantly having to barrage him with follow-up questions (“Okay, so do you know when you’ll be available? Well, when will you know? And you’ll tell me as soon as you know? Should I remind you? Can you let me know before [date] so I can plan my schedule accordingly?” etc.). I just let it pass and hoped he would follow up of his own accord.
A few days later, I sent him a steamy email telling him I was feeling super crazy hot for him at that moment. He responded with “Pity I’m both unavailable for most of this week and suffering from a yeast infection. Sounds like it’d have been a good week to come over.” I get that he probably isn’t in the mood for sex if he has a yeast infection. But I have to say, I’m kind of stuck on the part where he says he’s unavailable for most of that week. Most. Not all. Why wouldn’t he just say the yeast infection part and leave it at that? Or tell me he was unavailable, period? It feels like he’s almost taunting me, here. Like he’s acknowledging that I’m dying to see him, and agreeing that yup, he sure would give me an awesome time if he were over, and letting it slip that he actually has a little bit of time free……..that he won’t give to me. Arrrrrgh.
He also reiterated that his schedule is all up in the air right now, and mentioned that he’d worked four twelve-hour shifts in a row the previous week and had spent his two days off catching up on sleep. Which I guess was his way of acknowledging that yes, he has had time off lately, and he realizes I probably would’ve wanted him to spend it with me but there’s a good reason why he didn’t.
Please note that he did not at any point mention that all of his shifts are twelve hours long. I thought those four days were an anomaly and that his usual workday was the typical eight hours.
Anyway, The Pedant had told me that it was pointless to ask about his availability because his schedule was all up the air…he basically said I had no choice but to wait around for him to initiate.
So I hung in there for another two weeks or so, sending him a thin stream of chatty/sexy/random messages in the meantime in order to prompt a response so I’d still feel somewhat connected to him. To his credit, he did respond to everything I sent him, although a person looking at only his side of the messages would probably have no idea that we were dating. He’s not one to write mushy things.
Without any hint of mushiness from The Pedant, it was hard for me to feel like we were even still dating. I felt lonely and unloved and most of my friends kept saying “If he wanted to make time for you, he would” and shaking their heads at me in pity when I tried to make excuses for him. Even to my own ears, my excuses for The Pedant sounded like something some abused high schooler would say about her boyfriend in a particularly cheesy After School Special (“No, you don’t understand, it only looks like he’s continually stringing me along…”). I began to wonder whether I’d been brainwashed, somehow. Did I have The Pedant completely wrong? Was he, in fact, just totally fucking with me and not emotionally invested at all?
My antsiness became unbearable and, once again, I wrote to The Pedant in a bid to get some time with him. The short version of that is that I proposed he come over during a certain stretch of time I have off, and he wrote back within literally two minutes to tell me he was working all three days. I immediately asked if he knew when we could hang out, and…silence. He didn’t end up responding until the next afternoon. And so I spent all night plus the morning after wondering whether he’d genuinely been away from the computer when I wrote that second message, or if he might – just maybe – have seen it and purposely dismissed it because he abruptly isn’t into me anymore.
After a night of soul-searching I came to the conclusion that whether The Pedant has good reasons for his behaviour or not, I wasn’t happy and could not continue the way we were going. I wrote him a comprehensive breakup email and literally had my mouse pointer hovering over the send button when I suddenly got a new message in my inbox.
Stay tuned for part 2.