I blamed Groupon for convincing me that all of their stupid “adventures” were good ideas. Of course that dinner cruise was going to be full of bridge-and-tunnel drunks; I’m sorry, that was my bad call for a birthday present.
I blamed soccer, video games, and sci-fi. Most specifically Star Wars and Battlestar Gallactica.
I blamed my parents for always telling me how great I am. They are very believable, and it may have instilled an unrealistic expectation that others who did not birth me would feel the same.
I blamed the masseuse who squeezed my arm the way you always did. I didn’t want to cry in that massage chair.
I blamed the mean girls in school for being mean. Some of it may have rubbed off on me. Sometimes I hear myself repeating things they once said and I think, this isn’t me, what am I saying? Why am I trying to sound so tough?
I blamed my job for taking so much of my patience and leaving me with very little left over for my real life.
I blamed every gift I ever gave you, because maybe they were too much.
I blamed every gift I wanted to give you but stopped myself from buying, because maybe I should have bought them.
I blamed my cat, because you’re allergic, and cats have a lot of hair, why doesn’t someone do something about how much damned hair cats spread around, that’s no fun for anyone.
I blamed your girlfriend wish list for including “opinionated,” because that encouraged me to say what was on my mind.
I also blamed your list for “non-judgmental,” because how can I be non-judgmental when judging people is so much fun? Have you seen people lately?
I blamed Harlem for a lot; I finally freely admit that I don’t like Harlem at all, and I want every one of those $25 cab rides back.
I blamed your friends for not convincing you that this is stupid and telling you to buy me some flowers, promise that you’ll never do it again, and offer up some couples therapy as insurance.
I blamed all the fruits and vegetables we’ve been eating lately. That much health food sets anyone on edge.
I also blamed all of the dessert we ate in the beginning, all blissed-out in love and “Yes let’s share that cake, yum, why not.”
I blamed the ten pounds I gained in four months as a result of all the cake.
I blamed how awful I’m sure I looked when we started exercising together.
I blamed your job for being over every day at 5 PM and providing you with extra holidays and summer Fridays. Underworked you and overworked me was a tricky combination.
I blamed that time I asked you if you were on your period, because I guess guys don’t like being accused of that, but wow, you took that harder than I expected. Do you know how many times women get asked that and are expected to laugh in response? It doesn’t seem fair.
I blamed your “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster because, well, you didn’t do what it suggested.
I blamed my friends for saying, “Yeah, okay, I guess” instead of “What the hell are you talking about?” when I told them that we were in love after dating for two months.
I blamed karaoke so hard.
I blamed my apartment for being 170 square feet; a size that several of my friends believe is the sole reason we broke up, because what two people and a shedding cat can live in 170 square feet without killing each other?
I blamed all of my friends in relationships because they always joke around with each other and it seems fun and no one gets hurt.
I blamed how casually I seem to approach things. Maybe you didn’t realize that you were everything to me, because I’ve been hurt before and I try not to make such a big deal of things so that people don’t know things are a big deal to me. But they are. You were. Everything.
I blamed every happy couple holding hands on the sidewalk.
I blamed Sleep No More, because it put a wedge in between the two of us that night, and now that wedge is permanent.
I blamed Britain, because you love all things British and I could never get on board with that. This includes, of course, Coldplay, and every time you said “bollocks.”
I blamed Christmas, because we had such a great one together. I blamed the hotel suite, the stroll down 5th Avenue looking in shop windows, and the tree at Rockefeller Center. I blamed hot chocolate and that thought I had that I’d be warm with or without it, because I had you.
I blamed the false security that you made me feel, the safety to be myself, when you secretly wanted me to be someone else.
I blamed unconditional love, because that’s what I felt for you, and if your love had conditions, what good is mine?
I blamed the hopeful voice in my head that always silenced the doubtful voice in my head, saying, “Stop asking yourself if it’s okay to be happy and just know that it is; you deserve this. Everything is exactly as it should be.”
I now blame myself for wondering, however briefly yesterday, if I should erase my edges, soften my sarcasm, and paint myself into the picture of perfection that you require.
Today is a new day, and I face it happily, knowing that everything is, in fact, still exactly as it should be.