1: most corrupt, bad, evil, or ill;
2a: most unfavorable, difficult, unpleasant, or painful;
b: most unsuitable, faulty, unattractive, or ill-conceived.
See also: every situation in which I’m forced to interact with my ex.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a big girl. I can handle a conversation with someone who I don’t particularly like. You know, if it’s a short conversation and I don’t have to pretend to agree with them about something.
But what I absolutely cannot abide is having a conversation with someone whose guts I hate, a hatred that they’ve earned after years of putting me through emotional turmoil, while they pretend that suddenly everything between us is lighthearted and fun and buddy-buddy.
You must be wondering what kind of obnoxious asshole would go out of their way to try shooting the breeze with someone who has an obvious visceral revulsion towards them.
Well, let’s call him Trevor.
Trevor and I had been dancing this dance since the days when there were still new Harry Potter movies being released.
Finally, I said to myself, “Enough is enough. I’m just going to have an honest chat with him and clear the air. That’s a good idea, isn’t it?”
1: a wrong judgment;
2: a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge, or inattention.
See also: believing that I could have a productive conversation with my ex.
This is about when things went from being the worst to being The Fucking Worst.
I sent a polite e-mail, totally neutral in tone, asking if he was willing to talk things out so it wouldn’t have to be so painfully awkward every time we ended up in the same place. And somehow, the resulting phone call ended up being the most horrific conversation I’ve ever had.
Are you wondering how we got from a polite e-mail to an acrimonious phone call?
IT’S BECAUSE IN RESPONSE TO ME ASKING TO TALK THINGS OUT BY E-MAIL, TREVOR CALLED ME. Yes, you read that correctly. He called me. On the phone. With his voice.
I could write an entire blog post solely about what has to be wrong with a person for that to be their reaction to an e-mail. But we don’t really have the time just now to get into the inner machinations of a diseased mind.
Here are some highlights of our completely unnecessary telephone debacle:
- Trevor revealing that he can’t stand to be around me either, and has been being “fake nice” to me every time he’s come over to talk to me.
- Trevor accusing me of plotting against him over the years, in various instances that did not actually happen.
- Trevor accusing me of trying to get something sinister out of this phone call. (Yes, the phone call that he instigated.)
- Trevor claiming that he was lying about his feelings X number of years ago and never actually wanted to date me.
- Trevor taking back the thing he had just said regarding his feelings when I questioned why he would lie about that.
- Trevor trying to give me career advice. Three times.
And how did I react to this? I’ll answer with a question of my own.
Do you consider ignoring as many insulting remarks as you possibly can, while maintaining that you just want to get on the same page about how to act in public, to be reacting well? Because if so, I reacted well.
We finally came to an agreement on one solitary point, at my insistence. “Since neither of us actually wants to talk to the other one,” I suggested, “How about we don’t?”
“Fine,” he said. “I’ll stay away from you, and I hope you’ll stay away from me.” And then he hung up.
First, I felt awful. Then I started to think about something.
This whole time, I thought I was the problem because I couldn’t shrug off being around my ex. But if it gets under his skin just as much, and yet he kept seeking me out for no good reason…
…isn’t the problem him?
And that’s when I realized that I didn’t feel bad about it anymore. Why would I? I can’t do anything about a problem that someone else is causing.
So maybe, just maybe, our conversation was something that needed to happen. Because while Trevor is indeed the worst, and while trying to get along with him was indeed a mistake, I came out of it feeling differently than I ever had before.
1: capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture;
2: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
See also: only ugly crying on the phone with my ex for twenty minutes and then blocking his number.
And I learned so many things about myself from this experience that the next thing I did was to write this post. As they say, all’s well that ends well.
And to Trevor, if you’re reading this— I’m sure I’ll see you in Hell. Don’t make small-talk with me there, either.