#10 Get Hung Up on the Unavailable

A little more about myself–

I graduated with a degree in Screen Arts and Cultures, our five dollar name for a film degree, with a subconcentration in screenwriting. This means that I am qualified to tell stories, which I’m finding out is not in major demand in the job market. I work freelance on films that pass through the area while hammering away on my screenplays.

For the past month I’ve been working on a screenplay about a girl in small town midwest who takes drastic measures to resolve leftover feelings for an exboyfriend when he shows back up in town to marry his new girlfriend.

It turns out, and this is the only good thing about this post, that I have the gift of prophecy. Whatever I write comes true.

Last night I found out my exboyfriend is engaged.

I haven’t talked to the boy in over a year and we haven’t actually dated in four years, but we have a complicated history. Like how in August 2009 he said maybe he was interested in dating me again–before he decided he wasn’t. That’s when I stopped talking to him. And while I am not Facebook friends with him still, best friend Anne is. And every once in a while I have Anne check up on him because I still think about him a lot and I’m kinda nosy. Also, I had this feeling he was going to get engaged to his current girlfriend, and I wanted to find out through stalking, not through the grapevine.

So Anne and I were hanging out, and I said, “Hey, check and see if Ben is engaged yet.”

And lo and behold–

Now, I'm not saying this is getting any weirder, but Ben's chosen doppelganger for this blog ALSO got engaged in November. Alright, I'll say it--this is getting weirder.

Now, when I get in stressful situations, I tend to laugh. I’m a nervous laugher. It’s pretty inappropriate. But that’s just the way I am. So my first reaction was amused incredulity. It actually happened. Lots of “Wows, I can’t believe this.” A few tears, but nothing compared to the floods I’ve shed over this guy before. Lots of railing against the illogicalness of the proposal. I called my sister, who’s not a nervous laugher, but who instead deflects the situation until she can figure out how to respond, which is why she talked about how aggravated she was that butter was not on sale for about three minutes after I told her about Ben. I was patient, though, never once saying, “Hey, I’m sorry you’re going to be a dollar poorer, but can we get back to how the man I thought I was going to marry is now engaged to someone else–who’s also named Judy? Can we please?”

Anne and I were on our way to watch Monty Python with our two best platonic guy friends, but I insisted we stop for alcohol, because that seemed like an appropriate thing to do. I walked into the liquor store and announced I wanted margaritas because my exboyfriend had just gotten engaged. Also some lotto tickets. Liquor store boy was helpful, sympathetic, and kinda cute.

But even margaritas, Monty Python, and scratch lotto couldn’t stop the swell of more serious emotions, and soon I found myself sobbing on the bathroom floor. Because I thought I was preparing myself for this, I thought I was ready, I thought I knew it was going to happen, but then when I really realized that the boy I have thought about every day for the past ten years had gone to a jewelry store, picked out a diamond ring, got down on one knee, and asked some other woman to spend the rest of her life with him, I was overwhelmed. And I realized that all my secret hopes of him becoming the man that I hoped for, a man who’d realize his mistake of pushing me away and who would show up at my door, ready to love me like I loved him, all those secret dreams where impossible. And to continue to hope for them would be ridiculous. But the problem was that I’d been doing it for so long, I didn’t know how to stop.

Hello, gorgeous.

Today is better. The love of my friends helps fight the fears and lies I believe about a lonely loveless future. It still overwhelms my thoughts, but the paralyzing pain is gone, replaced by a sort of dull heaviness that I know will leave in time. And it startles me to realize, that in a time where I can’t seem to catch a break, when I get cripplingly sick without health insurance, when my car decides it’s tired of braking and needs a two day vacation at the mechanic’s, when I’m still working for free in a cut throat industry, when I’m far away from family and sometimes neglected by friends, when I’m alone, chronically alone, always single and without any possibilities or even much faith in mankind, when all this is against me, hope really does spring eternal.

I hope for health insurance, for a new car–or at least a newer one that I don’t doubt on long road trips–, for a real paying job in an industry I love, for success, for peace and contentment if I don’t have success, for a husband and a family and a beautiful story of my own. And there’s a voice that whispers to me, the farther you feel like you fall, the more beautiful the view when you climb again. The greatest stories of redemption begin with a soul so desperate and depressed. Hope drives me forward, unstoppable, even when hope is all I have, and I fear that it’s false–I hope that it’s not.

I hope that Ben and his new Judy are truly happy. I wouldn’t want him to marry if it was anything but the greatest love he’s ever known. And I won’t lie and say that I’m not sad or hurt or struggling through a very difficult time with everything a hot mess in my life.  I believe that life is hard, that things don’t “get better” just because they’re difficult now or because I deserve it. But there is something completely illogical and divine about the hope I have for my future, and I cling to it with wonder. The sun still shines even at night, and love still exists even when the only one I’ve loved chooses to love someone else.

Also, this is my new favorite song–


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lizzie
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 00:27:39

    Ugh, I’m SO SORRY. Weirdly enough, I just found out that my ex-fiancee is ALSO engaged. And it truly, truly blows. Even if you know you’re not supposed to be with them in the long wrong, it’s still a major blow to your heart and your emotions. I’m hoping for nothing but good things for you in the immediate and long term future :).


    • Judy Rocket
      Dec 08, 2010 @ 23:39:26

      Thanks, Lizzie. In an ironic way, it’s always nice to hear that other people have gone through a similar situation. One of the first things I did was call a friend who also had been through the same thing. And she said a true thing, I think, that maybe this will be freeing. I definitely hope it means good things around the corner. 🙂


  2. Kristin
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 20:21:53

    That engagement story is almost identical to mine! Dated for 5 years, then “friends” for 4. Most of which he wanted to get back together. I wasn’t ready. Then I was and he tetter-tottered between yes and no. Then I get the “I need to see if this relationship will work out”. Guess it has, they’re engaged. There are some days I posses the same grace as you do and hope that he has found true love. Other days, I’m bitter and/or still ridiculously hopefull. Regardless, it is a daily process of letting go.


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