It took me over three months to tell my mother I was dating him.
It took me less than three hours to tell her he’d dumped me.
“Is there another woman?” She asked after I told her the vague, not exactly conclusive reasons Harry gave for breaking up with me, “In situations like this there usually is.”
I actually rolled my eyes, reverting back to attitudes I thought I’d long since left in the past. God, Mother! I wanted to pronounce like a teenage girl, Like you know anything about dating? You haven’t been single in half a century! Since before the Summer of Love! Don’t tell me being married to Dad for 40+ years has given you insight on the relationships of 20-somethings in 2013! Puh-lease.
Because I’m 27 and not 17, I managed to keep these thoughts to myself.
Instead I said, “No.” I paused. “I don’t think so,” I paused again, “He is really close with his assistant. Who’s a girl. They’re friends from college. He actually got her the job.”
“Hmmm,” Came her response over the phone. A single sound dripping with scores of subtext. Why is it that mothers are able to convey subtext better that anyone else? Is it because they’re the only person we’ve known our entire existence, from the moment our heart started beating? My mother’s ‘hmmm’ spoke loud and clear: Definitely sounds like I’m right, that there is another woman…
“He assured me all summer that they’re just friends, that’s all they’ll ever be. She actually dated his best friend, Zach [remember Zach?], for years. In fact, she broke up with him right before the summer. She’s still getting over it. Harry says he thinks of her as a sister. I know he just broke my heart, but I still trust him. He wouldn’t do that. He’s not an asshole.”
I’m 27, not 17, and still I can be so, so naive. Is naive the right word? Maybe I mean stupid.
There’s a fine, fine line between stupid and naive.
Two clichés I would previously have scoffed at, I now put stock in:
Mother knows best.
All men are assholes.
Now, from henceforth my ex-boyfriend shall be referred to by both his first and last pseudonyms: Harry Butt (haha). It’s more formal that way. His assistant shall be known as Harry’s Ass (hehe).
Oh, it’s juvenile, but (if you know his ass like I do) it’s also perfect. More importantly, it makes both my 17 and 27 year-old selves giggle. In a situation such as this, a girl needs all the giggles she can get.