Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bombshell: The Return of Jessica Simpson

It is better to be envied than pitied. -- Herodotus

Repo and I were enjoying a nice evening the other night. We sat in matching white rocking chairs on his front porch, watching the sun go down and the occasional car drive by. We rocked and talked and sipped on drinks. We had one of those conversations where you really feel you are getting to know the other person. We talked about our families and our goals and our lives. We were out there for at least two hours. It was really nice.

Then he dropped a bombshell on me.

"Hey, I have to tell you something," he said.

Oh boy. Rarely does something good come after this statement. "Um, okay," I replied uneasily.

"You know my ex? The girl I dated before you?" he asked.

Oh yeah, I remember hearing about her. The main thing I knew about her? Supposedly she looks like Jessica Simpson. And she was kinda psycho. I guess she has some issues: depression, anorexia, bulimia, constant drama, high-maintenance, suicidal tendencies, constant know the type. But no matter how much he emphasized that she has a lot of problems, all I could focus on was she looks like Jessica Simpson. And I don't. I'm not normally a jealous person, but when you hear that your man's ex is a dead-ringer for a mega-hot celebrity, it's kinda hard to just blow that off. For me, at least. Even if she is crazy. I could feel myself turning green.

"Yeah, I remember you telling me about her." Every couple has that Ex Talk sooner or later. We had not talked about her since February, to his credit.

"Okay, I never told you this because I didn't want you to freak out. I wanted you to get to know me first. But I wanted you to know that I was engaged to her. In fact, if she and I were still together, we would be married right now," he said, nervously gauging my reaction.

"Whoa," I said slowly, trying to absorb this statement.

"Are you freaking out?" he asked.

No. I wasn't. Just trying to comprehend it. "No, I'm not. I promise. I'm not mad or anything. I'm glad you told me. I appreciate your honesty. It means you feel comfortable enough telling me that. I am not going to think differently of you because of something in your past. I'm just having a hard time understanding it . Even though she was crazy, she was still so hot that you wanted to marry her?" I asked.

"No, in fact that is what made me break it off. She had too many problems. She pressured me into it and I knew I couldn't go through with it," he explained. "I always felt more like a father figure to her anyway. She really needed someone to take care of her. I just feel sorry for her since she's so messed up. We both agreed it would have been a bad idea. She gave back the ring and we called it off. She and I can talk now, and it's cool. She came the other day to get some of her stuff, so I thought I'd tell you about it."

It turns out that she had been storing some of her stuff in his storage unit, so she came by to get it and leave behind some of his stuff. They didn't see each other face to face. But they did talk on the phone to arrange the stuff exchange. I realized how great of a boyfriend I have. He didn't have to tell me about any of this. Yet he chose to do so. Because he didn't want me being left in the dark or hearing it from someone else. And it was probably hard for him. (I always tease him that he'd better be careful and not talk about relationship stuff or his weiner will fall off.) He had absolutely no idea how I would react. He thought I would be upset. I wasn't. I was just...becoming obsessed with one thought. I replayed it in my head over and over.

Of course, all you ladies know exactly what I'm still thinking at this point: So despite the fact that she's crazy, she's still getting marriage proposals because she looks like Jessica Simpson. And I'm not. What's wrong with me?

See, this really wouldn't be bothering me at all if it weren't for the fact that the last three guys I've dated were all engaged before dating me. I told this to Repo. He seemed relieved that my main issues had nothing to do with him in particular. But he wasn't getting what my problem was. "Quite simply," I told him, "I'm some sort of Rebound Girl. I'm the Anti-Fiancee. I'm the back-up singer. I'm a distraction when someone is recovering from a major relationship breakup. I'm cool enough to hang out with and date for a while, but never cool enough to get a ring. And you guys all swear that I'm soooo much better than your exes, but if that's true, then where are my proposals? I guess it's because I don't look like Jessica Simpson."

Yes, I was having an emotional melt-down. A huge What's wrong with me? moment. I never have these moments. I usually feel secure in my relationships. But to hear this news that Crazy Jessica Simpson can manage to get a proposal and a diamond ring from him and I can't even get Repo to say "I love you" or to stop drinking all my Diet Cokes was a big blow to my self-esteem. Not only was she hotter than me, but she was smart enough to get a ring despite the fact that she's crazy.

"No, you are cool!" he exclaimed. "My friends love you, my family loves you. You have no issues at all. There is very little drama with you. You are a really nice change, I promise. You have no idea how much better our relationship is than what I had with her. We had so many problems all the time. I'm so glad I didn't do it. And you don't have to worry about anything. There is absolutely no chance that we will ever ever get back together. That is one thing I can assure you of."

I felt better after he said that. And I believe him. I do feel secure with him and after this conversation I feel very happy being with him. I have calmed down tremendously since this conversation took place. Especially after he told me some details about her crazy behavior. (I guess after they broke up she died her hair jet black and bought a motorcycle.)

But I'm still hung up on this pattern I have in my dating life. What does it mean? What does that say about me that the crazy/ugly/bitchy/cheating exes can all finagle rings out of men and I can't get them to put the toilet seat down? I know they didn't end up getting married, but at least they must have reached the "I love you, will you marry me?" point. Where's my big romantic moment? All three guys have sworn up and down that I'm soooo much better than their ex. But if I'm so great, where's my ring?


Gypsy said...

Girl, I feel ya. My ex-boyfriend married the next girl he dated after me, after one of the reasons we broke up was because he didn't want to be in a relationship anymore. How does that work? You break up with me, immediately get in another relationship, and then marry her? Goodbye self-esteem.

After swearing off marriage for many, many years, I've now been with the same guy for almost 9 years. Now I DO want to get married, and wrangling this one has been a long time coming. (I kid! I'm not wrangling him. Mostly.) Is it pitiful that some of my self-worth is dependent on a sparkly bit of jewelry? Yes, yes it is.

As for the whole Jessica Simpson look-alike thing? That ain't right.

Isheeta said...

honey, all i could say is... and i stick by my guns here.... men are idiots! they see a pretty face, and any iota of intelligence garnered over the years goes out of the window! it has nothing to do with you, it has nothing to do with the girl... sometimes men just dont think! but theyre not alll bad.. because LATER they do realize what a mistake it would be (as your ex did), which means:

1) there is still hope
2) you got a smart dude who wants YOU now

take it in :)

Virginia Belle said...

gypsy--oh, you poor thing! that would have wrecked my self-esteem for sure! that must have been awful. but thanks for letting me know not to give up. i can't believe you've stayed as long as you have without The Ring. i don't know if i would be strong enough to do that. after about 3 years, I think i'd have to tell him to fish or cut bait!

isheeta-- yeah, that is a comforting thought. and i am enjoying it. but how can i compete with THAT???

The Dummy said...

Well, you did just start going out... don't you think the ring thing is a little too early? And why does the ring matter? Is it to show you're better than his exes? You know I'm one of your biggest fans, VB, but set the ego aside and just be the cool gal that you've always been, and the rest will fall into place.

jennster said...

maybe she WAS jessica simpson... with all the fatherly talk. ew. i hate JS and her dad. they should get married. freaks. LMFAO

okay, onto your post. i totally hear you- i would totally focus on the she looks like jessica simpson part too.. that's what makes us females crazy. lol it's nice that he told you, but in all honesty vb- he SHOULD have told you. i mean, at some point. especially if he's your bf. you can't just leave something like that out. it's good he told you. it's also good that he said everything he did say to reassure you of your awesomeness. that rocks.

Stuck said...

Two separate VB issues to comment on:

First, you complain that she looks like Jessica Simpson and has emotional baggage. Then you complain that you don't look like Jessica Simpson. Then you give an example of being emotionally whacky. For example, obsessing over the fact that you are not as hot as Jessica Simpson is emotionally whacky behavior. My advice to you is not to obsess over things like this, because if you do, you end up not looking like Jessica Simpson AND having emotional baggage! And that's just unacceptable. ;)

The second thing is about your Rebound girl syndrome. I have the opposite effect. I make women get married. Every ex, with the exception of one, was engaged within a year of the break-up with me. (I suspect the one exception might be a closet lesbian these days.) My theory is that I show them how great a man can be, and they realize they'll never attain this level of perfection again, so they settle for the next guy who comes along...

Now to comment on the other comments...

In defense of men everywhere, I'm offended that women think we're so dumb that we want to marry every hot girl who walks our way. We just want to SLEEP WITH them. All men know that marriage is the end of sex, so why the hell would we want to marry a hot girl? That would be some crazy self-imposed torture. (VB, stop reading this right now.) Repo was probably stringing the hottie along because the sex was too good to pass up. I know several guys who are guilty of this. So who's the idiot in this situation? The guy, who is getting what he wants? Or the girl, who thinks she's getting something she isn't?

Stephanie A. said...

I agree with Jenn that yes, he should have told you and yes, it's awesome that he did. Maybe he felt that in order to "move forward" he had to tell you. It sounds like there could be a greater level of committment in your future. Stay positive!

Gypsy said...

VB: In this 9 year relationship, most of those years we were both very anti-marriage. I've only been pro-marriage for like 3 years, and it's only been in the last year or so that the timing has seemed right. So, it's not as bad as it sounds. ;)

Virginia Belle said...

DD- oh, you are taking this way out of context. i didn't mean to imply that i want a ring from Repo. good grief! we are SO FAR from even thinking about that. i agree, we just started dating. i am not one of those girls who wants to get married yesterday.

*VB fans herself to prevent an oncoming fainting spell*

i guess i can see how you can read it that way....but no, that's not what i meant. i just meant that as a metaphor, so to speak. not literally. and i'm not out to prove that i'm better than exes or something. it just doesn't make sense to me. imagine if mo were engaged to her ex, who looked like Brad Pitt and had a huge penis and yet treated her like s--t. it wouldn't make sense to you either. especially if this was the 3rd girlfriend in a row who had said the same thing. i'm just scratching my head is all. i feel like these guys are dating me because i'm not psycho....but also not as good looking.....or something.

jennster-- i know!!! what if??? but i agree--he was a good boyfriend for telling me that. i really do appreciate him so much more now. i definitely feel closer to him. and i really did feel better w/the reassurance. whew!

stuckey, as usual, you are right. i am freaking out about being less attractive and that's making me just as psycho. but only here, not with Repo. this is my safe venting spot. but can you blame me for freaking out? i don't know, maybe this is something that only women can relate to???

and i'm sorry to hear that you make women get married! that sucks! that would probably bug me just as much. if it makes you feel any better, i think i was the last WOMAN an ex dated. last i heard, he came out of the closet right after we broke up. what does that say about me??

and you know what? i'm tired of people saying that "marriage is the end of sex" because i have now read umpteen times that married men have more sex than any other group of men. i'll see if i can find it and send you a link to the article i read somewhere....

and what you said didn't bother me. (that part i wasn't supposed to read.) i bet he was stringing her along or kept her around as arm candy or whatever. he's only human. i have done the same thing before...

stephanie-- thanks for the moral support! i hope so. i definitely feel i'm in a fairly healthy relationship, so that's good.

sassafras said...

Gosh, I can understand why you're frustrated. I would be too. And I can totally relate with being jealous even though you know you shouldn't be. But we are human. And female. I think you're reacting normally. Better to be sane I say =)

Anonymous said...

Don't feel badly about being the Ant-Fiancee. I have the opposite role-I am "The One Before The One." Last summer, four guys I used to date got married to the girl they started dating after me.

Of these three guys you've dated who were previously engaged, how many did YOU want to marry? I think it's always better to focus on what you want for yourself and taking things just because others are willing to give them. Never get engaged just because someone asks.

DetoxSmurf said...

You are not a rebound girl!

As for me, I'm marrying the first sweet southern belle i meet. :)

Follow the Frog said...

I like your blog! Thanks for including a link to mine. I'll add you the next time I go in again and brave the scary template place.

happy blogging!

Virginia Belle said...

sassafras-- thank you so much! you are so sweet. your comments always make me feel better. you are like the chicken noodle soup blogger. :)

anonymous--gah, FOUR??? i'd be catatonic by the end of the summer. it would be like Summer of Suicidal Tendencies. wow. that would suck. ok, yours is worse than mine. i feel better now, thanks to your story. maybe i am sick....i shouldn't feel better because of your bad luck. and you bring up a good point. how many did I want to marry? one and possibly two. (the jury is still out on Repo.) but it's only been 4 months. so far, so good. mostly. it takes time. and i would never get engaged just to get engaged. but it would be nice to at least have an offer! you know??

detoxsmurf--really? you think so? i have no idea how you would know...but i'll still take it as a compliment. good luck trying to woo southern belles, coming from NY like you do. if you need any help passing yourself off as a southern gentleman, let me know. ;)

ml--aw, shucks. i like you too. add me whenever. no hurry.

Becky said...

its coming honey. its coming

Buffy said...

I'll tell you whats fun.

Finding out from someone else that your man's ex is a 5'10 model from Holland who looks like Catherine Zeta Jones....after he tells you shes 'not all that' and you let him have casual drinks with her.

I ramble.

But I make sense in my head.

CharlestonGuy said...

VB - what's with your obsession over looks? I notice you tend to want to date super hot guys - but you seem to take offense or feel insecure when guys date super hot girls. It seems that you feel uncomfortable being measured up against your own standards. I'll let you think about that...

In the meantime - I think you underestimate yourself. His ex "resembles" Jessica Simpson. So f*ckin6 what? That doesn't mean she is AS HOT AS Jessica - nor does that mean you aren't super sexy yourself. He's with you now - obviously you have some assets of your own that he is interested in ot else he wouldn't date you.

This is really win-win if you think about it. He is either 1) not supeficial - in which case what are you worrying about? or 2) He is superficial and you are his girlfriend therefore proving you are a hotty since you obviously meet his standards - in which case what are you worrying about? Take it as a compliment!

I too have had a girl marry the guy she dated right after me. I never took it to mean there was something wrong with me - I only took it to mean there was something wrong with US as a couple. I did take some childish satisfaction when I found out they got divorced because he could not hold a job long enough for them to start the family she wanted. Meanwhile I'm making the big bucks and treating my current girlfriend like the queen that she is. That bitch missed out! Ha!

Feel better!

CharlestonGuy said...

Ok - I know I just wrote a book but I have to add that I agree with Stuck's post 110%. Every word of it - epecially the part about men not wanting to get married. Why women assume men want the same things they do I will never understand.

Virginia Belle said...

becky--aw, thanks! so sweet. makes me feel better. cool points for you. :)

buffy--wow. ok, that, too is worse. that would make me crazy. maybe i'm being a big baby about this because other people's stories are worse. at least Repo doesn't want to hang out with Jessica Simpson. whew!

charleston guy--ok, again i say that this is obviously something that only women can understand. do you know how much women are judged by their looks in our society?? you have no idea. and i don't have any idea where you get this notion that i have to date hot guys. not only have i never said this, i've never gone by that policy or have even been able to attract hot guys. i couldn't date like that if i wanted to. you have only laid eyes on one guy i've ever dated. i date guys i'm attracted to. sure, The Cop was hot. but he's probably the hottest guy i've ever dated. and i was the one who asked him out. Repo is not nearly as hot as him. Or The Big Ex. but i like him so much more. This makes him attractive to me. and yes, i realize this is probably his same line of thinking when it comes to me. i just wish i was "as hot as" and "less crazy than" Jessica Simpson. i want it all, CG! i want to be better all around, not just in the crazy department!

wouldn't you feel insecure if your girlfriend was engaged to some really rich guy or some guy with a ginormous penis before you? maybe i'm only thinking like this because i'm female.

the rest of what you said does make sense and makes me feel better. i know all that stuff. i just have this insecurity about it popping up in the back of my head. i know he must like me better than her and that there is nothing wrong with ME. blah blah blah.

again, i say, this is something only women can understand.

NML said...

I thought the way you described yourself as the back up singer, the rebound girl was brilliant. You make me laugh with your posts and I understand where you're coming from. What I would say is that if you're uncomfortable about the pattern, do things a little differently. Don't turn psycho but maybe don't be too accomodating - back to the over giving thing. Let him work a little ;-)

tall glass of vino said...

I am SO going to be late to work, but I just had to send this off to you anyway.

Men have just as much compulsion to 'fix' people as women do. WE get involved with guys who are bad for us because it's thrilling, and we want to be the one to turn them around, help them do good. Guys get sucked into the same thing, sometimes.

The messed up, needy, overwrought girls tug on their heartstrings because they want to be 'the good guy' who'll take care of them, protect them. They sometimes end up proposing bc they think that element of security is what this girl needs, and that THEN she'll calm down and stop with the crying. Then, then see that it didn't work.

On the OTHER hand, when a guy is in a relationship with a GREAT girl - stable, independant, easy-going - they want that to stay the same, forever. I swear, guys would NEVER propose to women if they could get away with it. In part, because they're scared that the 'officialness' of it would screw things up.

So there: in a nutshell, guys propose when they feel things NEED to change. Otherwise, they'll hold out 'til the cows come home, or until they're afraid that if they DON'T, then things'll change in the other direction, that they'll lose you.

ah, all we can do is laugh and roll with it.