First thing this morning, I got a call from Hottie2. I've got to say--I'm pretty proud of how I handled the whole Hottie2 situation. But more on that in a moment. First, let's travel back--to a time when I would have handled the situation much differently.
I was not a cute teenager. For real. I grew up hating the way I looked--so much so that when I walked down the street, I'd look down at the sidewalk. When I saw a cute guy, I'd turn around. Because maybe he'd find me attractive from the back. Needless to say, I didn't date.
But things changed. My skin finally cleared all lovely and smooth. I learned what to do with my hair. I grew into my features. By the time I got to college, I wasn't half bad. I gained confidence, but the former me--the one who hated the mirror so much--wasn't yet so far behind.
Enter my first boyfriend. Oh, he was a catch. I remember looking at him and not quite believing that someone so attractive, so smart, so cool--yes, he was definitely one of the "cool kids" (and well, by that time, so was I)--was my boyfriend. When I was with him, I felt just giddy. But soon...he started acting less than considerate. See, First Boyfriend had a tremendous talent. He was an amazing apologizer. His reasons always made sense, and he always berated himself endlessly. He apologized with humor, with sincerity, with regret. Trust me--you wound up feeling bad for him. So, when we made plans, most of the time he just wouldn't show up. By the way? This included my birthday dinner. But almost every time, despite having absolutely despaired over his absense, I'd just let it slide. What a good girlfriend I was being, I thought. See how cool I am? Won't he want to stay with the girl who forgives him when he f*cks up?
First Boyfriend broke up with me and broke my heart.
Fast forward many years. Hottie2 made me think of First Boyfriend. The old me? Would have let him cancel on me three times without standing up for myself. The first two times, he had good reasons, and he was very apologetic. The third time? Canceled last minute. By text. I did not respond.
The next day (yesterday) he texted again, "Free tomorrow?" I did not respond.
This morning, he called. I picked up. "Are you free tonight?" I replied, "I'm busy." Tomorrow night? Busy. This weekend? Busy.
There was a pause. Then he started apologizing. It was work stuff, he knows he was awful, blah blah blah. I accepted the apology. "So are you free tonight?" he asked. "Nope, I said. Busy. But I might be free next week. You can't cancel."
He said he knew. But that I could cancel, of course, if need be.
Don't get me wrong--I'm still wary of this one. But with busy lives, things do happen. I am not unreasonable. He gets one more chance.
I'm just really glad that I let him know it's not okay to treat me inconsiderately. Maybe you think it's the obvious thing to have told him. But the old me? Probably wouldn't have done it. A small step--but one I'm proud to have taken.