Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Replacement

It's common knowledge that the best way to get over one person is to start liking someone else. It worked pretty well in 8th grade when I didn't want to like the Juvenile Delinquent anymore and decided to aim my affections at his Scumbag Friend. I had a thing for white boys in flannel and Doc Martins (thank you Kurt Cobain). Replacement therapy worked pretty well, until I realized the Juvenile Delinquent was still my heart's desire. The only drama this change of heart created was the internal variety since neither party was interested. Over the years, I continued to implement the replacement strategy, with similar results.
Freshman year of college, my first (and only) official boyfriend (I like to stick to gray area "quasi-relationships" because they make it easier to star in my own personal soap opera) was a replacement. After months of futility spent trying to work my way from being Jockboy's friend/sidekick/personal lackey to being his girlfriend, I met the sweetest guy in the world. Sweetheart adored me in a way no one had adored me before, so I was more than happy to be his one and only. So I did what any girlfriend does, I spent hours tying up my dormroom phone whispering sweet nothings in his ear. I told him I loved him and did naughty things to him in his bedroom while his mother watched TV downstairs. This guy made me feel wanted, secure, pretty, and all types of wonderful. Who cared if he he wasn't in college, didn't play football, wasn't 6'1", and didn't drive a white Ford Explorer? I guess I cared a whole lot, because I still thought about Jockboy. CONSTANTLY.
The problem with replacements, is that more often than not they fail and you're left right back at Phase I mooning over someone who's probably not mooning over you. Replacements don't push the old feelings away, they only cover them with contrived feelings that you convince yourself are real. What I've come to realize is that I'm never looking for just a replacement. What I really want is an upgrade. Someone who is bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, sexier, richer and better than what I'm desperate to leave behind. I didn't find that freshman year. When I measured what I had against what I wanted, it didn't compare. I'm ashamed to say this now, but the fact that one man treated me better, didn't compensate for the other being better looking and more high profile. Actually, that's the reason none of the replacements ever really replaced anything. They weren't better than the original.
A few years ago, I found what I thought would be the perfect replacement for the Idiot. The Upgrade was taller, just as good looking, made more money, had a bigger apartment, drove a nice car, was smart, funny, got into all the good parties, called when he said he would, and best of all was interested in me. I thought I hit the jackpot. But lying in bed with him one night, I started staring at him as he slept. It wasn't there. I couldn't see all the grand possibilities that I saw whenever I looked at the Idiot. I came to realize that even though The Upgrade went beyond my standards, the Idiot set those standards in the first place. The Upgrade couldn't compare. I didn't want an upgrade, I wanted the original basic model that I fell for in the first place. From that moment on, I would always gaze at The Upgrade and think to myself:

You're dark, like him
You're tall, like him
You dress better than him
You're in better shape than him
You don't make me cry, like him
You don't ignore my calls, like him
You don't look at me, like him
You don't see me, like him
You don't hold me, like him
I won't love you, like him


Clem said...

I am quickly growing to love, praise and worship your blog!! Thank you!

Anhoni Patel said...

hhhmmmmm...i think you need to ditch all the guys and the replacements and the upgrades and love YOURSELF first and firstmost. my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Liz loves herself...she does have issues though.

I completely understand the replacement/upgrade methodology. I'm attempting to practice it right now.

Trish said...

Why is it the "Idiots" have such a hold? What is it with them? How do they do it? Or do we let them do it? I don't know.

Unknown said...

Love this! And how right you are. We want what we want when we want it. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Miss Scarlet said...

Ain't it the truth!

Anonymous said...

To trick to tricking yourself into digging the replacements/upgrades is you can't be aware that that's who they are! Denial is not just a river in Egypt, and I say you practice it more often! LoL... =D

But seriously...haven't we all been there? Yet, I doubt I ever meet Y with the intention of having him replace X. It's usually later on when I realize I was only attracted to Y because he reminded me of X yet was (seemingly) so much better. By that time I hate both X and Y and have moved onto Z and I just SWEAR he's the one! (See!?...that denial trick works every time)=D

Deb said...

What an excellent post! This reminds me when I was going through a rough break up, I started dating immediately after we broke it off. I brought all the baggage into my next relationship, and took things out on the new girl—which wasn’t fair. I constantly compared the new girl to my ex all the time. It was a self-destruction mode I was setting myself up for. I knew I needed a ‘one year hiatus’ to purge myself from any lingering feelings I had for my ex. I had to. If I didn’t, I would have just continued to keep up with this vicious cycle of never getting over ‘her’ and constantly comparing my new love to my ex. So not fair for the other person…

The one year I took off, I began to realize who I was, took more time focusing on God and it became clear to me what I really wanted…and what I didn’t want any longer.

Sometimes we have to ‘be still’ and just see what’s in store for us. I know we can’t see the ‘big picture’ right now—but it’ll become evident once you become more confident in who you are—and what you want.

I hope you’re healing—and remember, just because they drive a Ford Explorer does not mean they made all their payments. ;)

K said...

Amen. Ooooh how I loooooved Kurt Cobain.

Anonymous said...

I have felt this way before. More than anything I think that getting over someone -- or at least getting over that horrible gut feeling you feel whenever you think of him -- is all about time. There are some people I know I will never get over.

Anonymous said...

So I feel you right but I can't help but go back to the old addage that "Women Are Crazy", what is the hold these lame cats have that would even make you overlook someone better than him. "You don't make me cry like him", "You don't ignore my calls like him" that ish don't sound retarded to you so you actually in a sick way enjoy his hurting you. I mean I cna understand missing the good but missing them f'n you over I got to say that's just damn foolish. But nonetheless I understand and to keep with my theme of Martin quotes do liek the stand-up show says put on that "fuck um girl" dress hit the club and work it out.

Pop Culture Casualty said...