Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No Smoking. Or Women.

A message from the past:

It is October 29th 2009. I last sucked on a cigarette 11 days ago. Two days prior to that, the weekend kickstarted with some beers and the buying of smokes, despite a working week's abstinence. I went to a house party the next day, and bought a pack of 20. My friend's missus had also bought a pack for me to share, placing me firmly in fag heaven.

Monday October 19th became my first smoke-free day, coinciding with (or causing) some strange mental breakdown. Then I developed a violently sore throat that's only just cleared. 11 days have passed, and I haven't stopped stopping just yet.

I've smoked for 17 years, my entire adult life, and five years longer than Teenage Me intended, vowing, as I first dabbled, that I wouldn't make a habit of it and besides, I'd've probably given up by my 30th birthday anyway, because that's how teenagers think; Age + time = stuff just happens.

But it didn't, and then I was 35. All my earlier attempts had failed. My most successful quit was 26 days, from 12th November 2005, to December 8th. (Why did I stop? My inner "Fack it, it's Christmas!")

Anyway, if I manage to quit smoking for, say, three months - if I can get to mid-Jan having not smoked, including the 'difficult' Christmas and New Year's - that'll be an overwhelming personal best, even if I can piss on such an achievement by remembering that I'm not technically having to do anything to get there.

And if I do, I'll post this up. How exciting.

Back to the Future...
It's been 3 months and one day. I've saved £244, and I've not smoked approximately 1,000 cigarettes. It's very, very strange, but I just don't think about it any more. Neither do I think my life has vastly improved.

Case in point:

My ex-girlfriend (American) and I have been emailing for some time now. It's been kinda lovely, as I still miss her. There's been talk of me going over to visit her. She's announced her desire to visit London with her girlfriend this spring, and look for work here.

Our emails have ratcheted up recently. For one thing, that evil side of her, the Hell Hath No Fury banshee that appeared around the time I dumped her, well she's gone. Now there's lots of flirting again; her telling me about her strange dreams where we're snogging in the bathroom, while I thanked Thor that I'm still wanted by someone, anyone, who's not already a relative and therefore stuck with me like some kind of growth that complains.

I held back from telling her how my soul has been torn asunder with loneliness and despair since she'd gone, unable to tell her how much I miss and care for her.
Instead, I made a few nob jokes.

Time passed. She emailed some photos of her New Year's trip Midwest for no reason. I think I sent her a picture of a cocktail menu.
I'd go to bed to her emails. She'd wake up with mine.

And then, extremely early on Monday as I eeked out what no longer remained of my weekend and contemplated going to bed, I got an email from her asking if I was still up, and how my weekend had been.

'Fucking terrible,' I replied. 'I've spent it locked in my room trying to write, just as soon as I watch a couple of things on YouTube - except I've done that for 48 hours straight, and I've written absolutely nothing. How was yours?'

And then she told me.

She gave me her list that weekend; Pilates, drinks with friends, blah blah blah, followed the next day with lunch, and a "delicious" tongues down throats/ arse groping session that was all reported with effortless ease and ending with "Swoon", just in case I didn't pick up on any sense of emotional attachment. She hadn't worded it like that, of course, meaning that I'd all but finished composing my reply when I realised what she meant.

'Oh. Then congratulations are in order,' I'd written, followed by, 'Well, it's 2am. Goodnight.'

She wrote to me the next day to continue the thread, something bland and cheerful that I halfheartedly replied to, and that's been it. We've gone from several emails a day, to nothing.
To say I'm disappointed with her is a vast understatement. These last few months of emails, a couple of texts here and there and even a phonecall, they all feel like one enormous set-up; her opportunity to raise the tempo so she can hit me with a casual, 'Oh, and Fuck You All Along!'

But I want to know what you think, seeing as a disproportionate amount of you are women.

Is my ex-girlfriend totally batshit crazy? Or is she still angry? Or is this all my fault for keeping in touch? (Don't answer that one so much. Stick to the other two.)

I'm keeping my distance in the meantime. If I'm just some conduit for her to gloat at, then she'll at least have to contact me first - Ha! And should she contact me, then welcome to Planet Polite, population: Me, being brief.

So despite the overwhelmingly obvious (viz: Why haven't you Moved On, you fucking freak?), can we all agree that the Hell Hath No Fury banshee never left?


Pearl said...


She does certainly seem to be playing games. Perhaps she thought, from her flirtatious nature over the last few months, that you have not responded with enough emotion/longing and she wanted to see how you'd respond...

Perhaps she has residual anger where you're concerned, for some reason, and wanted to play with you and then shove something sharp between your ribs.

Hard to say. Women are weird.

And are you truly coming to the U.s.? If you come withing a couple hundred miles of Minneapolis, let me know. I'll buy you a beer.


luna said...

It's your run of bad luck that i'm the first one to respond (that you had it coming) and have no sympathy.
Didn't we tell you again and again to leave well alone and start afresh with someone new?Didn't we?
The woman's mind's obviously bursting with revenge and she's perversely playing with you in a sophisticated sadistic way.
you feed her cruelty everytime you gobble up her hooked bait like a silly trout.
Everyone had a crisis on monday:i was in a&e, a friend of mine needs £2000 for next week to save his business, another got tricked by her employer, another watched someone collapse with a heart attack.
It's just a black monday in the world.
When you manage to have a pause in between feeling- sorry- for -yourself indulgent orgies,I suggest you log on the bbc and type in Port au Prince in the search box.

ess jay said...

your ex girlfriend is totally batshit crazy.

no ifs.

no buts.

no maybes.

Huw said...

Everyone likes having fans, a safety net, a vanity project. You, sir, are that, and as tingly as it is to pretend otherwise when the going is good, it is vital to keep it in mind. The telling of arse-grabbings is nasty, plain and simple, but did she not wrap herself around a fellow in a bar whilst in your company once? If so, she has form. I'm sure she is not a bad person, but if you're not together, the sad truth is that you may be bad for one another.

Mad Cat Lady said...

Perhaps having previously indicated no interest in anything long term, you are now in "friend with privileges" status/box and somebody with whom it is safe to flirt without it being mistaken for something more?

Miss Milk said...

First, congratulations for not smoking. That's an incredibly impressive effort, well done.

Second, you're an idiot if you think she's somehow going to fall back into your arms if, while she's putting ideas in your head by flirting and mentioning these dreams, you're telling nob jokes.

She was probably trying to make you jealous, not saying "FUCK YOU" Or if she is saying fuck you, it's for being spineless and not telling her what she wants to hear. Which is how your soul has been torn asunder with loneliness and despair since she'd gone, and how much you miss and care for her.

Getting back with an ex is a move that we are taught from our earliest dating days to be A Massive Mistake. I believed that wholeheartedly, until my ex told me basically what you said about your ex. And it worked. We got back together and we're very happy.

So stop being so gutless and just bloody tell her.

Dandelion said...

I've got to butt in, I'm afraid.

First, the crying in the loos makes perfect sense if you'd just stopped smoking. It happened to me when I stopped, lasted about a week. Turns out nicotine and serotonin have some kind of relationship.

Second, if you haven't told this woman how you feel...well of *course* she's going to go along with some local action if it's there. Didn't you say you dumped *her*? What is she supposed to think?

If you really really want to move on, there's only one thing for it. I dare you. You won't look back.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

You don't tell someone you've been flirting and having dreams about that you pulled someone else, unless you're trying to get a response out of them.

For fucks sake Fweng, now you've made me swear. Now email that girl, cutting the crap, and say look. I'd like to give it another go should you decide to come to London, or I can come to America. If not, then I suggest we end contact now as this dithering about is pissing my blog readers off, and I have to go and grow some balls.

Do it, Fweng. Do it now.

Lush said...

Mindgames, my friend, MINDGAMES. Don't even give her the satisfaction of a direct response to her obviously awful behavior, because that's what she is doing and quite obviously is looking for.

She's a headcase, and you need to get over her. Easier said than done, I know, but it's imperative that you do so.

This is coming from a girl that has played many of said mindgames over the years and has finally, at almost 25, come to the place where she doesn't feel the need to any longer...


Peach said...

Best case - she considers you a friend and so sharing details of other men is ok in her mind, unaware that you're harbouring feelings still. But telling her of those feelings won't get her back, she's moved on it sounds like, but it will stop her - or should unless she really is evil - telling you about her exploits with men.

Worst case - she's using you to prop her up when she hasn't any other male attention and drops you when she has someone to play with.

Most likely case: a combo of the two, I would veer on the former, first best case scenario....

Yeah, mate, move the fuck on. she's in america for chrissakes too... you're so appealing attractive intelligent and worthy, you do not need to grasp at the virtual straws she teases you with - whether she's evily doing so or not... who cares? Don't cling to her or the past. All of us lonely miserable singles do have to bit the bullet and get out there dating and yes the first one will seem terrible and yet you'll get used to it and may have a good time in the process and one day someone great may come along.

But they won't if you keep staying in and watching youtube emailing your ex out of familiarity and fear.

You've done so fucking well kicking the smokes... now kick the other bad habit.... feeling sorry for yourself...

And start a new one perhaps: 'finding a girlfriend' - give yourself a year, this year, and just go all hell out to date and meet new people and have some fun...

Love you loads, hope I haven't spoken too strongly... it's just another idiot's opinion after all...


Z said...

Oh love, I don't know, I don't understand women myself. Well done on the smoking. Or the not smoking.

If Dand is right about the crying in the loo thing, and I expect she is, then that is quite reassuring. And it got you to do something about it, anyway.

i am not your freud said...

this is not the first time she does this. she's done it before, remember? yeah either she does it on purpose or she doesn't realize that you still have feelings for her. i agree with peach and huw. BUT what does it matter? please, puh-lease stop contacting her. let it go. you're asking for it every time you contact her.

do you know why you still think about her? because you haven't had anything with anyone in a while and she is the last person you had something with. feel lonely - hold on to the past - feel even lonelier. it's a vicious circle. please see the pattern and do something to break it.

hugs ducks

Anonymous said...

huw described it nicely - "Vanity project". an american girl loves to brag about "This guy in London, my old boyfriend... he's still hot for me, i think he'd take me back". in fact, she may have used that to attract her new mantoy - makes her seem exotic, perhaps unattainable.

walk. don't look back if you can. onwards... being alone is better than being fucked with...

(hey, you asked...)

Dandelion said...

Notwithstanding all the advice here, if you're worrying about HER satsifaction, you're worrying about the wrong thing, as so often happens in the doctrine of manliness, to the detriment of millions of men. Don't let foolish pride stand in your way. It's not a competition. Your dignity is intact either way.

And to be fair, Peach, under option 1, you don't know that telling her his feelings won't get her back. He might have broken her heart, would be natural for her to keep it under wraps.

Re. the smoking, I experienced unexplained tearfulness and a terrible sense of doom and despair every day at 4pm for about a week, after going from 20+ per day to zero, in 24 hours. Got the hang of it after Day2. Cleared up after a week.

Une Londonienne said...

Meh, women. We're a pain in the arse.

Don't know if she's batshit crazy, but you're clearly not getting what you want. I'm kinda with some of the other peeps who've commented...would it be so terrible to just say what you want from your ex lady, loud and clear? You don't ask, you don't get after all, and I'm not sure you'd feel any shitter if she declined the offer. At least you'd know either way.

Having said that, if she turns you down, she is clearly batshit crazy as you seem quite lovely.

Think it's time to turn your attentions to ladies this side of the pond. You could go wild and develop a crush on some one on the opposite side of the river to you instead!

Anonymous said...

She's 'aaavin a laugh. You're her plaything. Cat with toy. You be toy x

Virtual Daisy said...

God just let it go. The best and only way to get over someone is to just stop contacting them. Full stop. It's shit at first but, a bit like giving up smoking, if you don't given in after a while you realise you don't want it anymore.

Someone totally brilliant is out there for you but you can't find them because you spend far too much time feeling sorry for yourself and wanking into a tube sock.

I agree with Peach. Do like the rest of us miserable singles and force yourself out of the house and on some dates. I had 22 dates in the last year - some were great, some were funny, most at the very least were diverting. Some times I was miserable about the whole thing, some times it was really fun. And then 2 months ago I met someone great. Even it goes wrong it's lovely now. I really do not understand what you think you have to lose?!

C said...

I'm just utterly impressed you managed to not smoke for three months- bloody hell, well done!

fwengebola said...

Pearl ~ Women are weird, aren't they? Why? I did want to say 'something', but didn't quite have the balls - mainly because I didn't know if she'd throw it back in my face. She already stuck something sharp in my ribs when I last saw her. I thought she was over that.
Minneapolis. I know it. I just can't place it geographically.
Luna ~ Crap, why were you in A&E? And bear in mind I was discussing a Monday in October, not last Monday week.
Strange that a sad, personal blog would dare to be all self-obsessed n' shit. I try not to dwell on Haiti, in the meantime. It's incredibly depressing.
EssJay ~ Thank you, I thought so. I know revenge is a dish best served cold. I didn't realise also 'repeatedly', but then I'm giving her that chance.
Huw ~ Oh. I'm someone's vanity project. How tremendous. Yes, she did more or less flirt constantly not with one fellow, but with several at a NY bar, scene of a really shitty evening for me. I think I may have to get over her and her quite evident desire to treat me like a twat.
MCL ~ You make an intriguing point, except I'm 'Friend with no privileges whatsoever.' In fact, let me amend that; I'm 'Former friend with no privileges whatsoever.'
I'm an ex-boyfriend who shouldn't be keeping in touch, no matter how much I want to.
MM ~ Thank you for the smoking bit. As for your other points, I really don't know if I should say anything. After all, she's doing a sterling job of rubbing every fucking date in my face. While I realise this may be the female version of a less-than-subtle hint, I also don't want to tell her how much I miss her as, well, it's a bit cruel as she's 4,000 miles away. It's also the reason why I split up with her, and I don't think it's fair on either of us to bring my emotions into it.
So it's not spineless, in that sense. It's kinda sorta protectionism, or something.
Plus I think she's only goading me into that kind of admission so she can unleash the Mother of all Gloats and start emailing me pictures of her last fuck.
Dand ~ I refuse to think that any 'sniffle' on my part was down to not smoking - or anything else for that matter. I just had something in my eye.
I won't tell her how I feel for reasons expressed above, otherwise summed up as: I don't trust her with that kind of information. As Huw said, she has form.
You'll have to explain your last bit. What's the one thing you think I should do? I'm intrigued.
Jo! ~ Oh lord yes, she wants a response. She's prodding a fat and apathetic cat in a cage. It's easy for you to get all fluffy and romantic, though. You're already fluffy and romantic, plus you're on holiday. You're on natural crack.
At least that's what my instinct tells me.
Lush ~ Yup, I reckon I'm being 'played', which I believe is the correct adjective. And I will put money that, at 25, you're far from retiring, despite what you say.

fwengebola said...

Erm, and there's more...

Peach ~ Yay, hello! Yes, I agree with your seesaw of feeling implicitly, although I'd veer towards the latter. She's too nice not to actually disembowel me with a pen, but to, uh, well, female, not to completely ignore me when I'm still hanging around to boost her morale.
Don't be mean on yourself. You're not an idiot. That's my job. Although you're too complimentary. I will endeavour some kind of ghastly and nerve-wracking dating ritual this year.
Maybe. Don't stop enjoying yourself in the sun, in the meantime.
Z ~ Why is it that men and women can both agree on women being slightly, y'know, 'not that normal'? (That was my attempt at diplomacy). Thanks on the no-smoking plaudit. It is very, very strange. I don't know how I'm doing it.
IANYF ~ Hello ducks. How very, very boringly correct of you. I know, and I'm trying not to give a shit, but it's hard pretending not to give a shit when you give a shit.
But I haven't contacted her in a week and a half, if that helps. That's a step up from 'every day'.
df ~ I never thought of it like that. Well she can keep it. I'm not going out of my way to get back in touch, so it's all on her.
Dand again ~ I think, to be fair to me, that any unexplained tearfulness and a terrible sense of doom and despair was just the crushing realisation of my own limitations, and nothing to do with giving up fags.
There's no way in hell I'll be telling her how I feel now. (Note how I've become more resolute since I've been replying to comments.)
UL ~ Seriously, why are you all such a pain in the arse? But sweeping generalisations aside, thank you for thinking I'm lovely, but I'm not. I'm just a burping, sweary bloke. (You're south of the river, aren't you?)
I'm not contacting her. I've made my mind up. I'm going to have lots of rampant, anonymous sex with loads of women just as soon as I lose a bit of weight and buy some new clothes and... ah, I can't be bothered.
Anon ~ I know you, don't I? I'm sure I do.
And yes, miaoow, etc.
VD ~ Look, it wasn't a tube sock. It was a common or garden M&S variety.
I'm not sure if you can compare not speaking to an ex with not smoking. Well maybe you can. It's still giving up.
I like the idea of a vast swathe of hu(wo)manity out there just waiting for me - and then I get disappointed for them as it's me we're talking about.
You've had a lot of dates, certainly compared to me. But I find them, what's the word? Fucking Agony. All that fear, acting cool when I really want to crawl under the table and cry, y'know, the usual.
I'll think about it, after I have this vast diet.
C ~ Oh look, hooray, it's yoooou! Thank you. It's sorta been quite easy. I'm disturbingly surprised. How are ya?

luna said...

For nonsense.But sometimes it's impossible to tell between what's serious and what's nothing much.
Gave me a fright though.

If you won't declare yourself to that woman,because you don't trust her,it is a sign IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE.

fwengebola said...

Well that was vague. At least it wasn't serious. And yes, I think I've been dicked around by her long enough to back off with a vengeance.
So there.

Miss Milk said...

Well, perhaps I'm mistaken in assuming that you should deal with her like any normal woman. Normal women often take delight in subtley rubbing their latest affairs in the faces of exes, especially if they're still bitter and hung up on them.

But if she's really just a crazy psycho bitch and you can't fathom saying something nice to you because she'll transform into a terrifying harpy monster psycho bitch then why the hell are you still even...?

heybartender said...

Yep. Steer clear. I would like to reiterate what somebody else said (sorry but I lost track) about how you only really miss her because she was the last one. Been there, done that, and when/if you got back with her you would just remember why you hated it in the first place.

BRAVO on the smoking thing. Take that money and buy yourself something pretty. When you look good you feel good and people notice. Seriously.

luna said...

yeah go buy yourself a flowerhat.

That'll sort you out,man.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god. It's not very often I can say this but it's so much easier being gay when compared to dealing with all of... that.

Try not to worry about it. Besides, do you really want to get serious with someone like this only to unleash the Hell Hath No Fury banshee when you're getting divorced and splitting assets?

In my opinion, you're coming out on top.

fwengebola said...

MM ~ Hey, I'm not bitter and hung up on her. I just give off that vibe.
Psht, I dunno. Loneliness?
HB ~ You're right. And as for the no-smoking money going on something pretty, it appears to have been absorbed into solicitor's bills, which is nice.
Luna ~ Thank you for your fashion tips.
WTW ~ Ah, welcome, Lavender person. You're quite right of course. She's fucking mental, and now playing the innocent card. I'd move on and shag someone else, but, well, heterosexual women don't have quite the same level of reckless abandon as the gay community where I'm concerned.

hedya@israel said...

you started with those 11 days... i cant really pass first one. i get nervous, i feel shortage of something and then i just go and buy another package...

fwengebola said...

So you're nervous and fearful. What are you fearful of? Because the truth is there's nothing to fear in giving up.
Here's the book that helped me do it.