Friday, April 18, 2008

Had To Do It: Exit Strategy

"and when i try to walk away/you'd hurt yourself to make me stay/this is crazy/this is crazy..."

-Lauryn Hill

Welcome yet another guest editor, folks. You've marveled at the level of lunacy demonstrated in a young lady who does, in fact, share my genetic makeup in Tyra's post (actually, you've probably marveled at how crazy ALL the women in my family are seeing as how Tyra, Jawai and Courtney have put their two cents in--something in the gene pool ain't clean). Now, marvel at the mildly distubring antics of a young lady who might as well share my genetic burden, my best friend Ro. We've been through it all. And as I read her guest post, I laughed (nervously) out loud because I remember all of it. She, too, embraces the concept of "had" to do it, but asserts an interesting theory (not explored here), that if we trace our BIC antics, they're in line with our respective menstrual cycles. And so I introduce a woman to you who is patently certain, upon a review of the past decade or so, that all of the truly crazy things she did were within 7-10 before a period. Hey, just to get by, right?

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--- I started to write about walking away, without looking back, head held high. Then I decided to be extra real because quietly, being BIC is the easy part. It’s the aftermath where you just might have to pretend that “the crazy” was a release (an “eff it, I’m done) as opposed to a plea (“Baby I’ll turn around, all you have to do is ask me to stay”)-that and what happens when your BIC inspires extreme DIC (Dude is crazy).

Where what’s really true when I get to the point of BIC slipping, is I’m at the edge of madness- the illegal, can’t eat (or eat too much) can’t sleep (or sleep too much) and let’s not talk about the alcohol- the brink of I’m going to find someone, anyone just for the night, to stick it to you (while he’s sticking me) without you even knowing it. All this is preventable, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I pride myself on control-doesn’t every BIC chick? So when I get hoe-deporting, cross country moving, Godson losing, walking barefoot in the Oakland Hills at 6:00am BIC, you know it’s the culmination of a series of episodes that for my less-controlled, and in my opinion more emotionally well adjusted, BICsters, would never let escalate that far. At least they let off steam regularly. Whether that’s a sign of crying wolf BIC style (defined as weekly episodes of crazy) or the omnipresence of men that drive them to the point is irrelevant. I love that they have that constant release.

Back to control. So, I don’t trip. Any of my exes (and presents ) will tell you, I’m pretty damn cool. I can check out another chick’s ass, watch a football game (and throw the tightest spiral you’ve ever seen), cook, run meetings and rock 5-inch stilettos with a tight ass pencil skirt and make it work. What I won’t do is be treated like an idiot or be controlled (unless it’s in bed-but this isn’t a post about BIC fetishes, although now that I think of it, Ash should do one on the correlation between BICs, DICs and well...DICks). And I can be aloof. Apparently my behavior drives men DIC, hence the need for an exit strategy.

OVERT DIC

I moved to California in March 2006. Woke up one morning, called a good, good (male) friend who was involved with his own BIC chick and asked if I could crash for a few weeks while looking for a place (that move in and of itself was BIC as I ended up at his place for 5 months while dodging the biggest DIC on the planet) I left said DIC in Texas (long-distance relationship – I lived in NY) told him I was moving to Cali and for the first two months insisted that he couldn’t come and visit me because my roommate Leslie was anti-social.

There was no Leslie, I was living with the good friend, sorting out my life, coming to terms that he (the friend) would forever be embroiled with his BIC chick and couldn’t face the fallout from opening up to DIC in Texas precisely because I was not ready to deal with his brand of crazy, combined with the BIC of his twin sisters who were both engaged and summarily un-engaged in the same year amid rumors of one sister abusing her beau and the other un-ashamedly abusing her betrothed. Why did I date him given the genetic predisposition to crazy? I’d known him all my life, he’s brilliant as hell, a great catch, definitely not a commitment-phobe, he would throw himself in front of a truck if that’s what I asked and, ahhhhh the dick!

But, good friend aka voice of reason said, “tell him the truth.” And. So. I did. What followed was worse than the time I flew home from the UK to DC in a rage because I received and email from my then boyfriend- who I along with everyone else thought I was destined to be with forever-about having sex with another woman for “cardiovascular and recreational purposes” (I call that my inaugural BIC episode-I went to his house and then to her job…. not allowed to go into what transpired for emotional reasons, I will add though that he didn’t see why that might have upset me, after all--I was the one he loved). Worse than the time Texas DIC threw a fire extinguisher in our Miami hotel room because I didn’t want to wait in line at the club--I don’t do lines. Worse than the time Texas DIC screamed and threw his pot because I washed it with soap-as opposed just water because it needed to be seasoned. Worse than the time I had to leave DC in the dead of night and head to NY because he threatened suicide because he was upset at some other trivial situation…So you see there was a pattern. Everyone told me I was crazy for not marrying this prize, they didn’t know he was bat shit crazy.

I suppose I did drive him to some of the episodes. Yes, I did give him blank stares when he would fight with me, to egg him on. Yes, I did travel to Miami and not tell him, but really, I needed a break from the crazy. And yes, I did sometimes say I was home when I was not-but he wouldn’t have known I wasn’t at home if he wasn’t SITTING.OUTSIDE. MY HOUSE. WAITING. FOR.TWO.HOURS. My defense? Aaaaahhh the make-up dick! And he was sweet in his saner moments.

So I delivered the truth. “Umm, hello Texas DIC, I’m really living with a dude. Yes, I know I said I moved to Cali because I wasn’t ready to move in with you or anyone yet, but ummm, right…” He was calm. He was CALM. I’m like, “yeah!; I dodged a bullet. This moving thing is a great exit strategy”.

Until it’s not, because now we’ve got the interwebs, and the ability to blog, and email and cc all your friends and YOUR FATHER on an email about me. The love of your life, who needed to find herself (and did, but not with you).

So as I’m congratulating myself on being honest, I draft an email to him.

“So the truth is, I am not in the business of hurting you senselessly. I haven't been completely forthcoming b/c frankly i worry about your reactions, and long term, your emotional well being…. I just don't feel the way i used to. ..”

You get the drift.

I lay down to a contented sleep. And then I wake up to this response…

“Unless someone dies or if it's about [name redacted] I never want to hear from you again. Fuck you Rochelle.”

And here I thought I’d emerge unscathed. As the emails escalated in intensity and packages began to arrive (at my NY address-I wasn’t nuts enough to give him my CA address) with various artifacts going back 10 years, napkin from the lunch room in 8th grade that he saved etc…I know there are a few lawyers that read BIC and I do believe that’s stalking or at the very least harassment. I decided on a new exit strategy. SILENCE. To no avail. And Ash, who incidentally had also been cc’d on all the emails, thought she would jump into the fray in my defense. And got this (along with several “eff you”s on her voicemail -–he has a potty mouth-- in response:

You two deserve each other as "friends", whatever it is that you think that means. You are both fuck ups of the worst kind. Fuck off.

Note to self, DIC has no boundaries, you know you’ve got DIC when he tries to turn your friends against you.

So it went with my being called evil by another mutual friend he turned against me, and culminated with a poem on his blog…I won’t bore you with the actual stanzas unless you request it in the comments.

Just a few months ago, as more than a year later I’m still his favorite blog topic, there was a post about how he broke up with his new girlfriend because he was having issues getting over us.

DIC holds a helluva grudge.

SUBVERSIVE DIC

This DIC is the most sinister kind. You encounter this, when you’re trying your damnedest not to show your BIC but by virtue of his inability to see that he’s making you crazy by not JUST SAYING what the EFFING DEAL IS, you (screw it, I) am reduced to periodic BIC episodes that wouldn’t have happened if full disclosure were the order of the day.

Let’s be clear, I’m a cool chick (see intro) but sometimes…I just have to say what’s on my mind consequences be damned. Which leads me to Saturday night. Great restaurant, great ambiance, I look hot, he looks hot…

Remember when I said that I don’t like being treated like an idiot? Well, true BIC is about failing to process whether or not you’re actually being treated like an idiot before falling off the deep end (this is also known as paranoia).

So we’re eating and wine is flowing and we get to talking, about his past (taboo subject w/BICs and DICs alike) long story short, turns out there are some things that I know that he doesn’t know I know that I want to get the straight story on.

And so I ask. And ooooh he’s good. He goes, well this never came up because you never asked. Ummm, right. DIC is smug, DIC doesn’t know this BIC is on the edge. Or maybe he knows. Because historically, this DIC has a habit of pretending to be oblivious. DIC is a wily devil. This brand of DIC is stealthy, subversive, he doesn’t trip either. He disappears, for days. Weeks. Then pretends nothing happened. Making you CRAZIER or depressed or crazy and depressed. I hate being “handled.”

I know, I know, you’re saying, “Aww Ro, that’s not DIC, he’s giving you space.” Subversive DIC knows you’re BIC, because he’s been with many, many perhaps BICier BICs before you. He pretends to not know in an effort to avoid the wrath, which only incites worse behavior. How much worse?

Worse behavior than showing up at an object of your affection’s nightclub every Friday for a year, worse than pretending you still lived in a city that’s at least four hours away from your real residence, worse than buying a new outfit every Tuesday because that was the day you knew you were going to see him (shout-out to my home girl and her Tuesday outfit!)

What’s worse? Laying as stiff as a board –awake for 6 hours straight next to him in bed-while he sleeps like a baby, alternating between planning to wake him up in the most painful manner you know and waking him up in the most pleasurable manner he knows-because there is nothing sexier than being on the brink.

He wakes up bright-eyed and bushy tailed and as though nothing is wrong said “what’s wrong.” Today’s exit strategy? Being a straight-up punk. Why? Think back to the beginning of the post. Sometimes you just want them to want you as much as you want them. So what do I do? Ran fast as hell before the BIC rears it’s ugly head. Out the door. Barefoot, barely light out, cold as hell. Clothes inside out.

He called. Like nothing was wrong.

ON YOUR EXIT STRATEGY

Yes, DIC begets BIC begets DIC and so on. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m controlled but am re-evaluating that particular stance. I would argue that it’s the BIC (the letting go) that works. Men are terrible guessers, yet the BIC in us punishes them for not guessing what we can’t just say because that other BIC is shouting it from the rooftops and the message is being lost in the medium.

Two stories. Read between the lines. The exit strategy was thinly veiled fear. Fear of just saying no and fear of what saying yes really means. Giving up control. BIC let’s us do that and I really believe the DICs that respond, do so because it’s the closest thing to real we can allow ourselves to be with them.

Embrace BIC. At least until you find a better exit strategy.

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