Milk Dud (Summer)

Now, my work friends and I have given my situationships some terrible nicknames, but Milk Dud is the worst one. It all started when my friend Joe started calling him Doug. Somehow that evolved to Milk Dud and unfortunately for him, it stuck.

I remember he called me while I was at work and politely requested that his nickname amongst me and my friends be changed to Thundercat. I declined. I wasn’t surprised he called me at work, but I was surprised how it made me feel. My normal reaction to anyone I’m dating calling me while I am at work is annoyed. My previous situationship, The Lobster, would call me all the time at work and I would ignore it. Something about a call from Milk Dud made me slightly less cynical. A teeny tiny bit warm and fuzzy.

This teeny-tiny-warm-and-fuzzy feeling I was feeling was uncomfortable for me– unnatural.

One of the things I hate most about dating is that everyone wants cutesy, snuggly. Everyone that knows me, knows I am anything but that. I am so guarded that I’ve forgotten how to even do any of that crap. Milk Dud got this about me. We could be people battling our demons, but could still date and get to know each other without all that fluffy shit.

The most honest and vulnerable conversations I have had with a partner have all been with Milk Dud. While everyone was walking on eggshells around me, he was the only one not treating me like I was fragile.

I was already crushing on him, but when we started having sex I started falling dangerously quickly. Which I somehow manage to do when I am really trying to avoid doing it. We started being cutesy and snuggly. Mostly initiated by him, but it didn’t absolutely repulse me like it normally does. I seriously held this man’s hand in public. Yikes.

So, what went wrong? My mental illness strikes again!

Dating is always going well for me when I am riding a good manic moment. I can always feel when the ride is slowing down to get ready to descend. It’s similar to predicting the weather for me. I’ve gotten better at controlling the impact of the drop, but I haven’t learned how to stop it yet (if there even is a way). After about a month of dating Milk Dud, I felt like I ran full speed into a cement wall.

Overnight I went from bubbly, flirtatious, and spontaneous to a complete fucking jerk. I made it clear I didn’t want to text or hangout, but I could never give an explanation why. He knew I was a bit of a basket case because a week before my crash, I had coerced him into asking me to be his girlfriend. When he asked I said no and apologized for coercing him.

Milk Dud is a smart guy. He knew something was up and I just wasn’t telling him.

The truth would’ve been: “I’m really sorry for being all over the place. I’m pretty sure I am bipolar but I’m not totally sure because I am terrified of going to therapy and would really prefer to avoid it. Also, the thought of being prescribed meds makes me really anxious. Anyways, I’ve been a lot of fun to date the last few weeks because that was my hyper mood but my really bitchy mood is right around the corner. I’m legit unbearable to be around until I climb back out of it. No saying on how long that takes though…”

Even the most perfect person in the world would take off running for the fucking hills after an explanation like that. I went with the much more practical approach and told him that I was nowhere near ready for whatever our situationship was evolving into. (I often wonder if this makes me the female version of a fuckboy?)

He still tried to stick around but when the switch happened it became hard to focus on the things I liked about him. I loved that he was a musician. His hair reminded me of Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You and/or Aragorn. He didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought about him.

Instead, it became really easy to focus on a bunch of random things about him that annoyed me. It annoyed me that he still had his exes cats that she was supposed to pick up forever ago. I love cats, but he had three of his own and two of hers. Even by my standards, it seemed a little too animal hoardy to me. He was too impatient. He was needy.

Eventually, I got burnt out from being fake nice all the time and the great sex didn’t out weigh my annoyance of all the petty things I was fixated on. I told him I didn’t want to be casual and I didn’t want to date anymore. He told me that I’d pretty much given him emotional whiplash and I told him I didn’t fucking care. Now, I really wish that was something I just said because I was mad, but honestly I am such a turd that I truly did not care. I do think I should have been more tactful in my approach to end things with Milk Dud.

I’ve had a few highs and lows since I dated him. Every time I hit a high, I think about texting him. Then I remember he kinda hates me and that it’s selfish of me to reach out. Deep down I know it’s an easy fix to get the attention I crave on fun days, but that I will ditch him again before the sad days.

Instead of calling Milk Dud, I just start messaging back the group of people that are always kind of waiting on the sidelines. These are the people I flirt with when the mood is right but I never actually date or hookup with. Normally, I jump into another situationship and repeat the cycle.

Depending on my mood, I am either embarrassed or impressed by all the carnage I am leaving in my wake. Regardless, Milk Dud is the only one I feel remorseful for. I don’t want to revisit things with him because I am a completely different person now than when we dated. I’d just like for him to know it really wasn’t him. It was absofuckinglutely me. This is a prime example for when that is not bullshit. Might be cliche, but it’s honest.

The song that always makes me think of Milk Dud: Eyelids by PVRIS.

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