However, I also dated this same medical student…
When we was a midshipman at the Naval Academy.
When he was a helicopter pilot.
When he was a physics and mathematics graduate student.
When he was a computer programmer outsourced from India.
And when he was a bicycle mechanic.
Clearly he has a commitment problem. Of course, I could have gathered that much after the almost TEN YEARS that we have been dating on and off. In fact, it was pretty damn hard to ignore the fact that relationships and careers are like kryptonite to superman for this kid. However, he is very committed to the dog he stole from me, his car that looks like it has been used as a bomb shelter for fifteen years, and ironically… non-commitment. I’m not bitter or anything.
So I shouldn’t really find myself surprised when conversations like this happen:
Medical student: “Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that when a man co-sleeps with a baby that the man’s testosterone levels go down? It’s evolution man. Men have babies and totally lose their sex drive.”
Now, I know I am not in medical school or anything… but I don’t think it means quite that. So I respond with:
“Ummm… I don’t think it means quite that. I just think it means that men don’t want to have sex with babies.”
Which clearly is a relief for all of us out there that were concerned (I am extremely thankful… after I watched my dog cuddled in his lap uncomfortably close to his junk ten minutes earlier… because pedophelia and bestiality for some reason don’t seem all that far apart to me). And let’s be honest… I have tons of male friends who co-sleep with their kids and they still want to bang their wives on the regular.
I know he made this comment in jest (we tease each other like it is an olympic sport). I know he was just trying to make a joke and be funny… probably to show me that he isn’t terrified of having kids. Because I think after 10 years and two broken engagements (that’s right… I am pretty sure that I am the only insane person who has been engaged to the same person not once… but twice. Well… me and Elizabeth Taylor) you can no longer put a ring on it to show commitment. You want to put a baby in it (props to Nancy for that truth). And so we continue our dysfunctional friendship… but we had a rather dysfunctional beginning so I guess it is par for the course.
He was actually the last person in the world who I was supposed to love. Slightly worse than Romeo and Juliet but slightly better than Ike and Tina. We met when we were 19, the spring of my sophomore year of college, when he was dating my then-roommate. At that point, he was about as sexually attractive to me as a belgian waffle. I didn’t even think of him in terms of sexuality because he was dating my roommate who was also my best friend. Seeing him as a sexual being was a non-issue (because I am a good girl… most of the time). Then my roommate went to France the following semester for study abroad, and he and I chatted occasionally over Instant Messenger (I am dating myself a lot… but I really miss IM) about how much we missed my roommate/his girlfriend. Still, not sexual at all. He was still non-sexual when he and his roommate (we will call him pepperoni nipples… no explanation needed) came to stay with me for the weekend before Thanksgiving since our schools did a joint choral performance for Messiah (because pepperoni nipples can in fact sing). Keep in mind that after spending 10 hours with pepperoni nipples pretty much any man in a ten mile radius is non-sexual because you lose faith in the entire male population since he is such a ridiculous representation of the population. You know how there are some people who should be taken out back and hidden in a shed for life so that they don’t ruin the reputation of the general population? Kind of like Lindsay Lohan, Snooki or my current favorite Amanda Bynes. Pepperoni nipples also falls into this category. I was more sexually attracted to my goldfish after spending the weekend with those two.
Then, in a surprise twist, med student and my roommate broke up over Thanksgiving (like five days after their visit). And I was devastated for both of them (I had a lot more “feelings” then). And yet, he was still, a non-sexual being to me. A non-sexual sad puppy. Again, no one wants to bang that.
Then two months later, there was one phone call that changed it all. I didn’t quite get it at the time… but it made me feel fuzzy inside for some strange reason. You know, that warm feeling you get in your tummy from drinking champagne… right before your buzz hits? No? Is it just me?
It was Christmas break of my junior year and I was sitting at home taking down the extra-large Christmas Tree my mom had gotten that year (which college readers remember that story? I’m thinking there is an Xmas special blog coming up soon). And my cell phone rang… and it was Med Student calling. I was surprised for two reasons:
1. The only reason he even had my phone number was because he planned a Valentine’s Day surprise for my roommate the prior year and he needed my help… I was surprised he had saved my number in his phone.
2. We hadn’t spoken since the weekend of Thanksgiving when him and my roommate broke up (because I initially didn’t believe him when he told me over IM… I had to call to verify).
So we chatted. He mentioned he was driving back to Maryland from Kansas where he had spent Christmas with pepperoni nipple’s family and thought he would call to say hello. We caught up for like 15 minutes… in our stereotypical banter that we had become accustomed to in the brief time we had known each other. And then we said goodbye. I was surprised at how fun the conversation was, and that he chose to call little ‘ole me.
In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been flattered at all. Because if I were driving the 18 hours from Kansas to Maryland in a 1992 Eurovan with my showtune loving roommate in the back strumming a guitar and probably singing Fiona Apple (as med student was), I would have called everyone in my phone contacts list… from my mother to my gynecologist just to make conversation (See any good cervix’s lately Dr. Haverill?) I recently asked now med student if there were any “feelings” behind that phone call. He laughed hysterically and said while he didn’t specifically recall the conversation (he has the personal memory of a fruit fly… yet he can remember all the medical bullshit in the world.. and all that medical bullshit in Spanish too), that there were no feelings behind it specifically (I’ll make sure that Dr. Haverill’s number is in his contact list for his next road trip). Although he apparently always thought I was cute… from the moment he met me… sitting on the back of a chair, rather than the seat of the chair… as I stared at my computer. He told me that he remembered that for sure.
And we didn’t really date until that following May. In fact, I was dating someone else that March when I invited med student on a vacation to Costa Rica (I desperately needed a buffer) where he probably saved my life but also my sanity (the story of the trip with dad’s ex-girlfriend/third cousin will be covered in another blog one day… or maybe a book called… “How to survive 7 days in a straw hut with the anti-christ”). Med student and I got together later. Friendships got ugly (No matter how much I tried to hate him I still broke a major girl code… and true to the double standards between men and women… he got rounds of high-fives for banging roommates). And eventually things healed. And ten years later I still have a best friend in med student. Regardless of where we have gone, the good the bad and the ugly… he is the one person I know who will always show up for me. We have seen some pretty ugly days together… ones that we caused and ones that we didn’t. And yet, even after the heartbreak of it all, he is still the first person I think to call when something great happens, or when I need a friend.
Originally I wrote this blog to call him out. To see if he was actually reading my blog (as he isn’t on Facebook). But we chatted about my blog one day because I continue to be humbled by the over 800 reads it has gotten, and the fact that it has been read in Chile, Ireland, Sweden, Slovenia, Norway, Canada, the UK, and of course the United States (again… thank you). And he said he wouldn’t read it if I wanted my personal space.
I’m sorry what? You are going to respect my space? Do I smell maturity baking? At 29 med student is becoming an adult? Well that throws a wrench in world domination plans doesn’t it?
Is that love? Feel free to weigh in with your comments. Tell me what makes your relationships successful in the long run.
And this is just the beginning of the saga. Tune in next week to hear the story of Costa Rica survival. Thank you for bearing with me the last two weeks of non-posting while I worked through some organizational bullshit that took more time than I thought.