When I was married, my husband had to go on business trips sometimes. He would call me every day or two – awkward phone calls where he would basically say hi and then just sit there on the line. One day I got tired of this and asked “why are you calling me?” he said because he wanted to talk to me. I snapped “Then talk.” I was sick of carrying these conversations entirely myself and sick of him never being able to actually tell me that he missed me and loved me. Like, dude, you called me. Say something. Christ.
The Pedant has taken to calling me every couple of days while he’s on the bus home from work. The first few times, I assumed that he must have an actual thing to tell me, since his phone calls are usually utilitarian in nature. But no, he just makes small talk that inevitably segues into dissertations on various topics – which cell phone company I should go with, precisely how he has to document and store mail too big for the mailboxes in the apartment complex he security-guards, how collection companies work. He doesn’t say he misses me or looks forward to seeing me; you could listen in on our conversations and have no idea at all that this is someone I’m fucking. And so it took me a while to realize that these phone calls are very likely his concession to my request for regular contact.
And y’know…it works.
Would I like it if he sexted me instead, or called me and said mushy things? Well, yeah. But that’s not who he is. And these calls totally do their job of letting me know he’s not pulling a fade. I find the calls oddly endearing: “OH HAI! I made you a speech about the minutiae of bureaucracy so you know I still like you KTHXBAI”
But they are also intensely awkward and often boring, so the next time I see his name pop up on my call display when I’m exhausted from a double shift, I don’t think I’ll pick up like I did last night. 😛 I need to be in a better mental state to be able to carry on a Pedant conversation.
When we dated the first time around, I made The Pedant aware that I wanted contact more frequently than he usually gave it to me…and nothing much happened. I think he made a cursory try once or twice and then gave up. This time he seems to be committing to it. I kinda feel like me breaking up with him drove the point home: I wasn’t fucking around when I said I needed regular check-ins.
So as much as the breakup sucked, I think it was necessary.