Today, Owen and I had part one of our stuff exchange. I had a few things at his place. Most were left over from Thanksgiving: a card table, a chair and a glass casserole dish. Plus a few items of clothing. He said he'd get the stuff to me as soon as he could arrange it. A couple of days after the break up, I emailed and said he could hang on to the table and chair if he were using them, but that I'd like the rest of the stuff sooner rather than later.
I hate the stuff exchange. It's painful. No distraction is big enough to cover it up.
I heard from Owen today, as expected, and we arranged for him to come to my place around 5pm. He would bring the casserole dish and the clothing--basically the things he could carry on the metro. I suggested having a coffee or beer and he agreed. But when he got to my place, we just sat at my dining room table and talked for about half an hour. Not about anything in particular. I told him how a few blog readers complimented me for graciously giving him his last gift. I scoffed as I told him and he laughed too. Why? Because the way I gave it to him was anything but gracious. He said, "You mean the one you threw at me?"
"I threw the pants at you. Did I throw the other thing? I don't think so...."
"No, no, you didn't throw it...but you sort of...flung it at me."
"Yeah, flung, that's about right. I wouldn't have thrown it, I didn't want to hurt you. Or break it." Then I asked, "So, how did you like it?"
The gift was a nifty little teapot. I have the same kind and I've given it to my mom, dad and brother. Everyone loves it. Owen is a big tea drinker so it seemed perfect for him.
He said, "I even used it this morning."
"Great! I'm glad you like it. So, it's not tainted?"
Tainted. That's why I had to give it to him. I couldn't keep it because every time I looked at it, I'd think of him. I couldn't give it to Pele, either, even though it would be a good gift for her. Because if she ever used it around me, I'd think, "that was meant for Owen." Ah, well, maybe I should have given it to Pele. I wanted him to have it, though, and nothing was going to stop me from giving it to him, not even a break up.
The stuff exchange (part one) made me sad, but not inconsolable. Seeing Owen was definitely bittersweet. I was telling a friend about the break up today and when I said the crux of it was that Owen said he couldn't be a good boyfriend, that we argued about him not calling enough, the reaction was a slightly surprised, "That's it? That was the problem?" It's a pretty good reason to break up, but it's also odd. We didn't fight, we didn't stop liking each other, he just couldn't do it. Couldn't, didn't want to, whatever. Ach.
This is why I hate the stuff exchange. It makes me think. Hate that.
I can hardly wait for stuff exchange, part two.
Grateful for: civility.
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