Somewhere or other I mentioned this woman awhile back and people have asked about her since. I know I’ve told this story before but obviously everyone hasn’t heard it, so here it is.
Marvin is my ex-husband and the person who suggested I start blogging in 2006. I am certain he is chagrined that I’m still doing it. In any event, I’d known Marvin in college, we dated three terrible months (I was an anxious attacher and he was a love avoidant at the time. Seeing as I didn’t know about this dynamic I just felt constantly nervous about if he’d call and he rarely did and that sums up those three months. I remember calling him on my birthday just so I wouldn’t spend my birthday worrying if he’d call).
Ten years later, Marvin lived in Los Angeles and I lived in Seattle. We’d stayed in touch, sporadically, and I always liked him. I invited him for a visit on the spur of the moment because you know how I’m not impulsive or anything. He immediately said yes and visited a few weeks later and the rest is history but then again so is the holocaust.
The visit went well and we got married. I mean, not that weekend but I’m trying to move the story along.
Fortunately, by that point Marvin was more of a secure attacher and as an anxious attacher dating a secure attacher I said, “Wow, this feels so different. I don’t have to feel terrible and wonder if he’ll show up or disappear or what have you.” So then I became a secure attacher and all was well.
In my studying about attachment theory they say the cure for anxious attachment is to find you a secure attacher and I can say it really does work. Then we got divorced and I stampeded for another love avoidant and follow me for more healthy choices.
I trusted Marvin. I never looked through his desk or computer history (we didn’t have phones to look through but I wouldn’t have looked through that either) or any of the old tricks I’d normally pull as an anxious person in a relationship.
Ten years into the marriage and four years into blogging, this woman started leaving comments on my blog. As was the custom back then, she also had a blog. She was hilarious and really smart. I think she had a PhD, if memory serves. This was back when maybe four people would leave a comment all day, and I’d end up emailing back and forth with those commentors. So we really got to know each other.
I have since figured out I choose two kinds of friends: the charismatic unreliable and the old faithful. I am always, always drawn to smart, funny, charismatic women (and men) who inevitably let me down. For example, one friend in LA, who wrote screenplays for a living and left you ON THE FLOOR with his hilarity, said no to my wedding invitation because, “I thought about your wedding and said to myself, ‘Am I really gonna have fun?'” So he didn’t go.
I always want those people as friends and they always fail me. I end up staying friends with people who are quieter and more sensible than me. My friend Sandy. Dottie. The Other Copy Editor. You see the trend.
The point is, this woman was 100% a charismatic unreliable, and oh, I was enamored with her. She lived in New York, which seemed so glamorous to me. We got on the phone and MapQuested each other’s addresses, or maybe it was Google Maps by then, who knows. The point is, we could see each other’s dwellings and it seemed super cool and futuristic and she couldn’t believe I didn’t have a sidewalk.
She was unlucky in love, and I gave her advice, the sage advice of a married woman.
I can’t remember how she and Marvin started playing Scrabble online and maybe it wasn’t even Scrabble but it was some game. I must have set it up, and there you go. Then he’d be telling me her latest woe and we were both friends with this funny, smart person in New York.
As I said, I trusted Marvin, maybe too much. We once met this young, pretty woman we liked at the dog park and they both wanted to see some band play and I said, “Why don’t you go together?” and they did and in retrospect I think I was kind of setting him up to fail a bit.
Anyway, over MLK weekend, the New York woman sent us cookies with a funny card, and I wrote her to thank her and she didn’t write back. We talked all the time so that was odd.
I wrote her again and? Nothing.
After a week I really started to worry. What had I done? Was she OK?
And I can’t remember all the ins and outs now, so to speak, but I know in my worrying I found her secret blog she had or something. I don’t think I found this in her regular blog. Anyway, it was a whole post written over MLK weekend about how “the affair had been memorable” but she’d decided to end it without another word.
It couldn’t have been an affair affair, as we were hundreds of miles apart.
“Did you have a cyber affair with Charismatic Unreliable?” I asked Marvin.
It was the first time I’d ever had any sort of anxiety like that the whole time I was married. I didn’t believe anything had happened at all, but then I feared something did, and now 12 years later I don’t know what to think.
I mean, Marvin left one year later, almost exactly. So maybe he needed someone to talk to, and she was lonely, so maybe they got close and she got excited about it and Marvin didn’t see it the way she saw it.
Anyway, it’s water under the bridge and I never talked to that woman again but that’s the story of how Marvin was almost stolen by Scrabble. How many points for the word harlot?
Charismatic unreliable June