Even though I'd told Gardner that we weren't a good match, he still kept in touch with me. Nothing intrusive, just a text now and then. But, this weekend, he told me he was hoping we could get together, and it occurred to me that maybe I needed to say something. I mean - I knew we weren't going to date again, and he seemed to be hoping that might happen.
I finally asked him why he was keeping in touch. [In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have engaged. I'd been talking to a friend about maybe sending him a goodbye for good type email, but a text arrived before I got to it. It was late, I was sick - I don't always make the best choices under those circumstances.]
Wait - What?
I asked him if he really felt that any of this has to do with how much he earns. He said, of course it does! Women want security, and he can't provide financial security. His friends, it seems, had all assured him that I was "into him" but, and they hate to say it,but, "it's the money, man."
[Which proves some men should never be allowed to give relationship advice. In fact, some shouldn't even be allowed to dress themselves.]
Okay - I'll admit it - I messed up here. I could have just let it go at that. I mean, there's no denying he doesn't make a lot of money, so if I just went along with the idea that his income mattered - or was even a factor - it should have all been over. But it's not a factor, and I felt insulted. So, I let my pride get in my way. Emotional mistake. Nyquil might be to blame here.
"I am my own security. And if I was really interested in a man who would pay my bills, I'd move home with daddy. There's a name for a woman who dates for money - and I'm not one."
I went on to explain that what I am looking for is confidence, compassion, self-awareness and maturity. All of which, Gardner promptly informed me, he has.
Ya think? [<- My actual response.]
At that moment, I really understood how people can get pushed to the point of being mean, just for the sake of ending a conversation. I'll admit I've pushed more than one person past that point, more than once. I'll also reach right around and give myself a big 'ol pat on the back for not stooping to that level.
Since I wasn't going to stoop, one might think that, being the mature, sophisticated, intelligent woman that I am, I took the high road.
One would be mistaken. Instead, I went with the, "I'm rubber, you're glue..." defense.
To be continued....