Ever since I got my hardwood floors finished, I have been looking for a rug for my living room. Just after the new year, the Boy came across an advertisement for a Persian rug shop that was going out of business. We decided to go up there and check it out. It seemed promising since all of the rugs were 50-70% off.
After flipping through piles of rugs, I came across one that I really liked. Then I looked at the price tag. It was $5,900. Even after the sale discount, the price was still $2,950. The owner of the shop told me I could take it home for 24 hours and think about it. I asked the Boy what he thought I should do.
"Don't take it home with you unless you're prepared to deal with the consequences," he advised.
I took it home anyway, knowing that I had no intention of paying almost $3,000 for a Persian rug. When I got it home, it was perfect. The colors matched my living room exactly and the intricately woven pattern was mesmerizing. But the next morning I rolled it back up, stuck it in the trunk of my car and returned it to the store. There was no way I could justify the cost.
Weeks passed by and I kept shopping for rugs. I must have looked at hundreds of rugs in at least ten different stores. There was nothing that could even compare with my rug. Every few weeks I would call the store to see if my rug was still there. I was secretly hoping they would tell me it had been sold, so I could move on with my life. But no such luck.
Then one Friday morning after another horrible week at work, I had a moment of clarity. What is the point of working so hard and making all of this money if I can't spend it on the one thing that I really want? I called the rug store one more time. The owner got on the phone and offered me the rug for $2,200. I told her I would pick it up that weekend.
Meanwhile I was also trying to gain some clarity in my relationship with the Boy. Valentines Day was coming up, which is always a good opportunity to re-assess your relationship.
The Boy called me and asked to schedule time with me that week. I asked him what day he wanted to meet up and he suggested Friday, even though Thursday was Valentine's Day. I agreed to Friday since I had already made plans to drop off gift bags for my nieces and nephews on Valentine's Day, and that seemed like a much better option than forced conversation and dinner with the Boy.
The first two times I broke up with the Boy, it was out of frustration. I had reached my tipping point with his lack of communication and other annoying habits. This time I was very calm about the whole process. I wasn't angry or emotional. I just knew that it was time to move on.
I went to the Boy's house after work on Friday and picked him up for dinner. Part of me wanted to just break up with him and go home, but I was starving and I wasn't sure how long it would take. It seemed like a better option to have a civilized dinner and talk at his place afterwards.
While we were sitting at the bar waiting for our food, the Boy said "Happy V Day," and then casually draped his hand on the back of my chair. "All of my friends at work asked me why I wasn't going out with you last night but I told them you don't celebrate Valentine's Day," he continued. "Which makes things easy for me."
"I celebrate Valentine's Day," I told him matter of factly. "My parents got me flowers and my sister got me a bottle of wine, and I made gift bags for all of my nieces and nephews. If you come over to my house, it looks like Valentine's Day exploded in there."
The Boy seemed really uncomfortable. "Sorry, I thought you told me you don't believe in Valentine's Day," he mumbled.
No, it is marriage that I don't believe in, I thought to myself. Valentine's Day is something you are happy to avoid because you are too cheap to buy me flowers! I didn't want to start the break up conversation in the middle of the restaurant. So I just changed the subject.
They say you never really know someone until you break up with them. I have broken up with the Boy so many times that I should know him really well by now. Yet, this last break up left me questioning whether I ever knew him at all.
When we got back to his house, I tried to communicate with the Boy one last time. "So, I think we need to talk," I began with the classic break up introduction. "First I want to tell you that I appreciate how hard you have been trying to make this work. You were willing to give up on the idea of having a baby to be with me, and I know that is a really big deal. But this just isn't working."
The Boy sat there and stared at the floor. I don't know why I expected him to suddenly start communicating in light of a break up. So I continued the conversation to fill the void of silence.
"I have been thinking about this a lot since the fall when I talked to you about moving on. We have dated on and off for four years and we never say 'I love you'. And if you are not in love with someone, then it doesn't make sense to be with them," I explained.
"I am not going to say something if I don't feel it," the Boy glared at me.
The conversation started to decline from there. The entire time we spoke, I could sense a great deal of hostility towards me. He was cold and callous in his remarks, for as few as there were. As I sat next to the Boy on the couch, it felt like I was sitting next to a stranger.
I had always assumed the Boy was a good person. When he could not express his feelings for me, I told myself that it was because he was an engineer and even though he felt those things, he wasn't capable of saying them. But as it turns out, he never felt anything for me. He was only interested in sleeping with me for as long as I would let him.
Or maybe he was hurt and that is just what he wanted me to believe. Either way, I have never been so relieved to walk out a door and close it behind me.
I was so worried that I would spend thousands of dollars for a rug and later regret it. The same way I worried that the Boy was my last chance at finding someone to be with, and if I broke up with him I would feel lonely and sad. But every day I walk through my living room, look down at that rug and smile. Because it is just what I was looking for. And someday I know I will have the same feeling about another guy.
It has been a few weeks since I broke up with the Boy and I don't miss him at all. In fact, I barely remember what it was like to be with him. All that time I used to spend with the Boy on the weekends has been consumed with work, hanging out with my family or just relaxing at home.
Ultimately, I wasn't in love with the Boy. But that isn't why we broke up. It turns out that I didn't really like him that much.