Validation of the Heart
by Jane Moneypenny
The bar is dark and people are jumping around, singing and dancing drunkenly. Mr. Former Harmless Crush leans in closely, his hand at the base of my neck and pulls me closer. He leans in, his mouth coming towards me and whispers in my ear:
“What do you think?”
I stared at him blankly. He pulled me close and asked me again.
Oh, the girlfriend. He wants an opinion on the girlfriend that I finally met tonight for the first time after 5 months. I’m the last friend to meet her and any opinions I have are based on friends’ stories and passing comments.
His face is screwed up in concern as he waits for an answer.
“I don’t really know her enough to judge that. But she’s really nice! I like her,” I yelled over the music and gave a 45 degree thumbs up.
He nods happily and grins, satisfied with my answer and drunkenly goes back to dancing. It’s the first night I’ve seen them interact and to my surprise, jealously barely registers in my chest. When they entered the bar holding hands, I smiled and introduced myself quickly. We did the obligatory hand shake and as we sat down at the table, she turned to me.
“So I finally get to meet you. I’ve heard a lot about you from everyone.”
I laugh and tell her it’s probably not good things. After knowing the guys for 10 years, anything goes.
“No, no. They talk about you all the time and how well you take care of them.”
Apparently, my reputation precedes me because the night before, her drunken ditzy roommate told me the same thing. As we filter out the bar and stand in the streets in the cool air, he drunkenly happily hugs me a few times as we part ways.
“Why are you hugging me like you’re never going to see me again?”
“Because I just wanted to hug you again.”
Later on, as we eat leftover dessert and recap the night, Mr. Former Harmless Crush’s best friend seems surprised.
“That means your opinion really matters to him. Take it as a compliment. It doesn’t happen often.”
And that’s what my life feels like lately. These tiny random validations of my presence in people’s lives. I hate that I need these small confirmations, but for whatever reason, they validate the chemistry or friendship I swore existed but kept getting mixed signals on.
Mr. (Former) Adventure
A few weeks ago, I attempted to contact Mr. Adventure to find my missing water shoe left in this trunk from my last STL hurrah. No answer through facebook, e-mail or phone. No real surprise. His best friend W (I seem to consistently become friends with 2 guy-best friends) then dropped the bomb that Mr. Adventures’s girlfriend finds me a threat. It doesn’t come as a complete shock, but apparently no matter how hard I’ve tried to not be that girl in his life (or any of my guy friends’ lives), she still didn’t want me in his life and has swiftly cut him off from me. Of course, there’s no proof she’s outright demanded no contact, but it’s pretty obvious he’s heeding an unspoken threat from her.
I get it. I really do. I just didn’t expect complete avoidance.
“She knows how he (and all of us) enjoyed having you around and the stuff we crammed into that weekend,” says W.
As weird as it, confirmation that I mean something to him made me feel better. Made me confidant that my decision-making, gut feeling wasn’t wrong all those times we interacted so fluently.
And then the one that really sealed the deal of feeling validation. As I mentioned in a previous blog, he went and got himself a girlfriend after a year of saying he didn’t want a serious girlfriend (for the record, I never asked for more than just casual dating). 9 months later, he popped up again out of nowhere with a single word text message during a football game (our football rivalry was a big part of our chemistry). After staring at it in shock, I quickly deleted it and felt proud. But he was not to be stopped. He popped up 2 more times, the second time going as far as to send me an actual message through Facebook, friendly greetings and all, as if nothing had happened and he didn’t ignore my attempt to be friends after we ended things.
I find out soon after from the mutual friend that introduced us that his new girlfriend is hated among all. She’s everything he’s never wanted. She wants him to move out of his much-loved bachelor pad that he owns, get married, have kids and stop hanging out with his friends. And you know what? As superficial as it is, I feel this strange sense of “ha!.”
Does that make sense?