Saturday, September 10, 2005

MY FIRST: Breakup



I know the series is called "My First" but my first 2 break-ups were not of particular note. They were pretty much on my terms and I had no ill-will towards anyone and vice versa. Break-up number three, however, stung like a kiddy pool filled with jelly fish.

Topher was a volunteer in the ER where I worked. He had aspirations of giving up his well-established career in insurance and going to medical school. He was different than the other guys in the ER. Unlike the cocky paramedics and the cockier medical residents, Topher was humbled by what he saw. He would hold the hand and sooth the nursing home residents while I drew blood. He would change the sheets on the beds without being asked. He even started bringing in bagels for the staff on days he would volunteer. Everyone liked Topher and he quickly became a bright spot in my long, weekend shifts. After about a month, I noticed that I started dressing different on days he would be there. The t-shirts I wore were always a little more flattering when he was scheduled. My hair would be done and I would apply my favorite lip gloss in anticipation. Soon we were calling each other all the time. He had my home and cell phone, I had his cell number. We never saw each other outside the ER and I never questioned it assuming it was a mutual decision to build on our friendship slowly. There was nothing more than mild flirting and I was actually a bit confused on what we were. On the day he received his acceptance letter to medical school Topher came to the ER to show all of us. It was a particularly horrendous night as far as patient volume and we barely had time to acknowledge him. I gave him a quick congrats hug and left the ER to go to the linen closet to get more sheets. As I walked down the hall I couldn't help but feel a little sad as I knew our days together were definitely numbered. The sadness was compounded by the fact that Topher probably considered me as a buddy and I felt silly that I built it up to much more in my head. After a few minutes, the door of the supply closet opened and there was Topher. The fact that it was a very movie scenario (linen closet, how cliche) did dawn on me and I insantly knew things were different. He asked me out to lunch the next day and I was euphoric. Lunch was at my favorite Middle Eastern restaurant and Topher proceeded to tell me how much I meant to him. How my support made him believe in himself. How he felt that we have a chance to be so much more to each other but we had to be patient. It started to drizzle as we walked back to the car and he put his arm around me as we huddled under the umbrella. When we got back to the car he leaned in and kissed me. A sweet, warm, tender, kiss that made me believe everything was going to be OK. When he dropped me off, my mom was unloading groceries from the car and he got out and proceeded to help her. When he left, mom commented what a nice, handsome boy he was. I laugh now because I realize that it only took 10 minutes to win my mom over with his sweet-talk and warm smile.

I will cut to the chase and say that I eventually found out that I was the other woman. The girlfriend of 4+ years owned a house with him. Bought a car with him. Had a cat named Snuggle-Kitty (gag!) with him. I was devastated when I found out. You gotta choose, I said, is it me or her? He said he loved me but it was complicated. I remember telling him that one day he would be sitting in a rocking chair when he's 85 years old and he'll know letting me go was the biggest mistake of his life. (Yes, I know...I watch WAY too many movies). I vowed never to see him again and proceeded to fall into a depression. I couldn't eat or sleep and everything around me reminded me of him. Melissa Etheridge kept me company as she sang what I felt (Cos I'm the only one who'll walk across a fire for you). Two weeks later he started medical school and stopped trying to get in touch with me. As much as I said that's what I wanted, my heart was still broken. A month later he came to the ER and cornered me in a room and said I was the one for him. I now know it's you I want, he cooed. I was a fool to believe him but I did. The next few months were filled with excuses about why he couldn't move out, why he couldn't leave her quite yet, why we still never had a date at night. Who knows. Maybe she was prone to hysterical outbursts and borderline suicidal as he said. It's so hard to pick and choose what I want to believe based on anything he told me. I eventually pulled back and he eventually stopped trying to win me over. The sting of the initial break-up was replaced by the realization that I was so much better off without him. Eventually I worked at the hospital where he went to school and we would see each other in the hall and stop for small talk. He took me out to lunch once after I met D and was thoroughly annoyed how much I gushed about him. He tried to kiss me in an exam room and I shot him the dirtiest look I think I've ever given anyone. He stopped all attempts at communication after that.

Topher is married. He moved back to Illinois after doing his residency in New York and is a pediatrician in some little town I've never heard of. I found out that I was actually one of many "other" women and am amazed that he had any time to spend with "her". Although he had a penchant for Indian women he was an equal opportunity cheat. I thank the stars that it didn't work out.

23 Comments:

Blogger Grafxgurl says...

...sigh...so HOW does one know when the guy is the ONE?...do we wait for a sign to show a bad trait?...

HOW does one stop the heart from getting hurt again and again...

HOW do i get all my questions answered...sigh...

Sat Sep 10, 01:01:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Mint Chutney says...

Grrl- I believe more in "meant to be" rather than "the one".

If I had an equation that would show how to find either of the above, I'd be a very rich woman.

Sat Sep 10, 01:23:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Sunrayz says...

I remember tt hurt like hell when I broke up with my ex too but as cliched as it may sound, I was able to see myself in next relationship with much more clarity than I had done earlier...but gosh...it hurt sooooo badly....

Sat Sep 10, 02:46:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Heh Heh says...

@grrl & mint
Frankly speaking, i don't even believe there is anything such as a "ONE" or even THE "right" person. Might sound like a cynical thing to say.. but there are so many reasons why one could possibly want to be with someone. And very often, the "ONE" or "the right person" are judgements made in hindsight once things have worked out.
Relationships are like electric fuses. If things are wrong, they blow up, but save you from a life full of unhappiness.

Sat Sep 10, 03:33:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Red Inked says...

So Dr. Kovac is a common name in ER...
Man I do watch that show too much!

Sat Sep 10, 04:04:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Artful Badger says...

Nicely written. I have found it surprising how people are percieved between sexes. A guy would have figured out his act in about 30 seconds. Conversely, guys totally fall for the guiles of girls whom most girls know to be a very very bad (no bad words). But, guys, they have no idea.

Sat Sep 10, 07:16:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Stuti says...

Equal Opportunity cheat, must remember to use that somewhere. :)

Snuggle Kitty was most certainly the low point.

Nicely written, and of course a first time comment from a mostly silent reader of your Blog!

Sun Sep 11, 12:20:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Bonatellis says...

i really like the phrase "equal opportunity cheat" ...

Sun Sep 11, 01:33:00 AM CDT  
Blogger The Baxter says...

thank you!!! love the site.
bax

Sun Sep 11, 01:49:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Vishnupriya says...

why are the biggest cads just so dishy??

Sun Sep 11, 03:38:00 AM CDT  
Blogger the cowlick says...

So when they say "if he's too good to be true, he probably is".. they aren't kidding.

Sun Sep 11, 06:16:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Pink says...

Mint he really is a big fool to have let you go and hurt you but see you deserved better. and 'equal opportunity cheat'.. hehehehe!

Sun Sep 11, 09:29:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Penny Lane says...

Awww... it happens to the best of us! And I just don't get the name Topher (whether thats his real name or not)... even that Eric dude from that 70s show is Topher... what the hell kind of name is that?

Sun Sep 11, 10:06:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Stormy Zephyr says...

Sometimes, we meet someone special. But we have to let go, because our paths were supposed to cross and not merge.

Sun Sep 11, 10:32:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Rat says...

Did the woman he marry was the one he was living with at that time ? I really pity her !!

More firsts, more firsts.

Sun Sep 11, 11:37:00 PM CDT  
Blogger D says...

don't thank the stars. you see, the stars always knew that it wasn't meant to work out.

Sun Sep 11, 11:50:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Sujatha says...

Why don't we have hindsight when we are in the middle of something? Why does hindsight always come later?:))

Grafxgurl, whether someone is "the one" is a state of mind, IMHO. I don't think there is an objective answer to that question. If there were, that person would not be as exciting (but parents would probably love him). He'd be some number cruncher somewhere with a safe job (no offense meant to number crunchers or safe jobs anywhere).:))

Sun Sep 11, 11:51:00 PM CDT  
Blogger AB says...

Topher...was he Jewish. Somehow it reminds me of the word Kosher. Anyways the when you are 85 part just reminded me so much of Salaam Namaste (I watched just yesterday).

It's weird that most women (all of them I know including yours truly) are somehow attracted to bastards. Why why why?

Mon Sep 12, 01:56:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Jane Sunshine says...

The problem with jerks is that we only know that they are one after the relationship is over. That's the problem.

Mon Sep 12, 02:20:00 AM CDT  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) says...

came here thru grafxgurl. Loved what I read...you are good. sorry 'bout the casanova, but you really are much better off without him.

Mon Sep 12, 09:21:00 AM CDT  
Blogger GettingThere says...

I admire your courage and your sensibility. Not every girl has the courage to go through the heartache even when it is clear that they are being cheated and that the relationship is hurting them more than they can imagine. And you showed great sensibility in breaking cleanly with him. His loss, IMHO!

Mon Sep 12, 01:50:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Sonal says...

I had a similar break-up once. Only here he was living in with this girl right in front of me and I cannot believe how naive I could have been to actually believe that they were cousins(as told by him!)....its despicable.. eventually that poor female caught him flirting with me and came over to my house and told me their story....It was just so damned infuriating...only I was more angry at myself for chosing to ignore something so obvious and getting hurt for no reason!

You are good. Can I blogroll you?

Tue Sep 13, 12:52:00 PM CDT  
Blogger desi diva says...

Great post & blog. Like yourself, I've been there with this one. When you realize the one you gave your heart to, took that heart and put it in the blender..its so hard to move on or to look at men with the same naive eyes again. But on the good side, you are wiser now and will be more aware with your 20/20 hindsight, when the next guy comes prancing along. I think Mr Topher was just a Gargamel in disguise (and Snuggle Kitty was his Azreal)..so be happy he's gone. He's just making room for your next bf..the Brad Pitt look-a-like (hey, a girl can dream!)

Tue Sep 13, 08:49:00 PM CDT  

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