Note: As always, don't forget to follow my journey on my personal blog, So about what I said...
Oh, those five seemingly innocuous words that, once uttered, swing open Pandora's Box and unleash an unrelenting firestorm of emotions: Fear, tears, laughter, red-faced embarrassment, confusion, more red-faced embarrassment.
In fact, next to that other five-word phrase ("It's not you, it's me"), there's nothing so jolting or surprising in the language of love. It's the perfect ice breaker (or fire-starter) for having "that" conversation. It even works for those love scenes and other high-stakes story arcs in movies - a character (man or woman; I don't discriminate here) quietly approaches another character (man or woman; again, I'm all equal-opportunity here) looking scared and unsure while the background music starts to surge. Those five words are spoken - maybe on a rainy street corner, in a quiet bistro or even in the office (YIKES!) – and amidst the stuttering and fidgeting, the smoky air is cleared. Just like that.
But as we know, life very rarely resembles a Hollywood script (if it did, I'd write myself into a love triangle with a certain Jake Gyllenhaal and Jensen Ackles).
So how and when would a "So about what I said..." conversation come into play in real life? You see, I’m sort of an expert in this territory. More often than not, I either say the wrong thing at the wrong time (and in lots of cases, this scenario translates seamlessly to email interactions as well) or say the worst thing at the worst possible time. Ever. So what do I mean exactly? Funny you should ask….
You drunk-dialed (or spontaneously emailed) your ex (or a guy you just shouldn’t be emailing…): OUCH. Looks like that night out on the town with your gal pals didn't end exactly how you thought it would. Not that I endorse drinking (I advise against it, actually), but it does have a way of lowering your inhibitions, allowing you to do things and say things and maybe even break things you wouldn't do, say or break were you of sober mind. Another dangerous side effect? It allows you to view your love life through rose-colored goggles. You start to remember the time your ex made you chicken soup and layed in bed with you all day when you had the flu, or the time he serenaded you at work on your six-month anniversary. These memories, then, naturally lead to that voicemail message at 2 a.m.: "I miss you. Remember all the good times we had? I pretend I'm over you, but I'm so in love with you, it hurts." The morning comes, you're sober and somber and seeing things a bit more clearly.
SAY THIS: So about what I said. I was drunk. I'm not anymore. You were a loser. You still are.
You told your guy friend you hate his girlfriend: No one likes to be a third wheel, but who wants to go to the movies with your guy friend and his girlfriend (awkward much?). You. Just. Hate. Her. Okay, perhaps she's a very nice person, but does she always have to be nibbling his ear? It's just annoying. So you blurt it out, he storms out and you haven't seen him since.
SAY THIS: So about what I said. I don't hate your girlfriend. I just miss you, and we never get to hang out anymore. I don't even feel like I'm a part of your life anymore, not like things used to be.
You told your guy friend you're in love with him: You didn't mean to start the conversation like that, and you probably wouldn't have had he not been spraying his back with that all-body spray tan can: those eyes, those dimples, the way he can make you laugh when all you want to do is cry (on his shoulder, actually). Besides, you're sure he feels that spark too; it's probably just a coincidence he deleted you from his Facebook friends' list.
SAY THIS: So about what I said. I shouldn't have just sprung it on you like that. I know this is incredibly awkward. It's just that I felt a spark between us and thought you felt it too. You're a great guy (and don't forget, friend), so if I misread the signals, let's just forget this ever happened, OK?
You spill your love guts to a guy you just met: Let me use myself as an example here. My romantic heart and I were certain there were sparks between me and a certain Facebook Flirt. After all, we'd been talking for a few months, he said he liked my writing and kept virtually poking me. Isn't that what love is all about in this new digital, social-networking age? So I sent him a note (on Christmas morning, no less), saying how awesome I thought he was, blah, blah, blag…And for reasons STILL unbeknownst to me, I felt the need to send this follow-up note a few days later:
I don't know if you just haven't read it yet or you have and it completely freaked you out (as in, "why is this dorky, awkward girl sending this to me), but I just wanted to clear the air about that note I sent you on Christmas.
I hope it didn't come across the wrong way, and if it did, I totally understand....I do tend to get a bit wordy and over-introspective sometimes).
Anyway, just wanted to make sure there are no hurt feelings; as always, you're a great guy! Hope things are going well for you in the New Year!
He wrote back and said of course his feelings weren’t hurt. But he’s since stop poking me. Do you think there’s a connection? Oy.
What are the "So about what I said..." moments from your own life? I'd love to hear them.