Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Another Case of Not Getting the Part

At 36 years old, living alone in Los Angeles, I'm still learning about life.

Being alone in a new city teaches you a lot.

Several months ago, when I'd only lived in LA for less than half a year, I connected with someone who called me a kindred spirit. I thought I'd found a real friend, maybe more.

But when things became romantic, he backed off, citing excuse after excuse as to why getting involved would be too complicated: all of our mutual friends, our semi-professional association with each other, his need to focus on his writing, etc.

Knowing there was no reasoning with him, I tried to seduce him again, only to be told, "I'm not a piece of meat."

And then the final judgment came down: "Whatever you're looking for, Sandi, I'm not your guy."

And there was no protesting. There was no convincing. The finality of the statement was undeniable, and, though not devastating (especially since I was and am still hung up on somebody else), definitive.

At least for the moment.

But our connection was so strong that I held out some hope for a rekindling. Maybe he'd change his mind. Maybe he'd get a lot of work done and would make some time for me. Maybe he would get to know me better and like me more. Maybe enough time would pass so that he would stop worrying about all of his excuses.

Most importantly, I just wanted to stay connected, even if that meant not romantically. If we were, indeed, kindred spirits, I wanted to keep him in my life. I'd been waiting a long time for him.

He, apparently, had an easier time letting me go, successfully fading away by not replying to text messages or emails, ignoring invitations to movies, hikes and events, and avoiding me when we inevitably saw each other in person.

And then, just as I'd come to terms with his unavailability, he started pursuing someone else.

Right in front of my face.

It was blatant to me, maybe because I know him. I know how he operates.

And when that relationship had been consummated, he didn't do a very good job of hiding it from me, though somehow he's managed to hide it from most of the rest of the world - so far.

So I now have two of his secrets to keep: me, and now this other girl, who, for some reason, though seemingly far less his kindred spirit, and only slightly less in his social circle, makes him want to be her guy.

Now, of course, I realize that sometimes an excuse is just an excuse. It's not a reason. It's an escape. It lets someone off the hook from saying that they're just not that into you, or that they've gotten what they wanted from you and now they're done.

At 36 years old, I'm still learning these things.

At 36, I can't get that upset about it anymore.

I have to remind myself, as in the world of auditioning: if I'm not right for the part, I'm not right for the part. My feelings aren't hurt. But don't call me back, and for God's sake, don't cast me for a day and then release me from the role. Don't pretend that the reason is that the role got cut or that the play has been postponed.

Cast who you want in the role, if they want to be cast, and be proud of your choice. Let the rest of us move on to some other audition.

Let the rest of us off the hook to find an actual real friend.

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