Almost everybody has a repeater. What is a repeater? A repeater is a former lover [or even a friend] who continues to pop back into your life, even long after you have fully and completely written them off as being totally wrong for you. They are like a skin rash that keeps coming back. Mysteriously, you keep allowing the repeater back into your life, no matter how many unhappy outcomes there are to those re-appearances. They are a lesson you just can’t learn. Each time you allow the repeater back [or worse yet, initiate it] you swear to yourself that this time it’s going to be different, better, harmless,…..even good. Unfortunately, you can’t fight basic chemistry. When you put potassium metal in water, it explodes. Every time. No exceptions. Same goes for bad relationships. Doesn’t matter how much time goes by, how emotionally detached you are, how casual you swear it’s going to be this time, it’s still: Square Peg and Round Hole, Oil and water, Donald Trump and hair.
My repeater, let’s call her Diana because that is her name, was a doozy of a repeater. I say doozy, because she took the traits of a repeater: attractiveness, psycho-ness[patent pending], and toxicity, and blew them up to epic proportions. A blue-eyed blond, 10 on a scale of 10, Diana was not only beautiful, but also tested in the top 2% on IQ tests. This, however, did not reduce the psycho aspect of her personalty, it just made it more dangerous. She was sort of like a human Venus Fly Trap. This allowed her to play me like a fine Stradivarious. Whenever I dealth with her, I felt like I was playing poker with my cards facing the wrong way.
We started going together in high school. I was the football star, she was the cheerleader. At the end of football season each year, she would break up with me and start going with some one else. Not seeing the pattern, her break-up excuses always baffled me, as they seemed a little weak on the logic end. In Sophomore Year, she told me that she felt our relationship was standing in the way of her pottery career? Up to that point, I couldn’t remember ever seeing her and wet clay in the same room together. In Junior Year she left me because, she claimed, “I wasn’t willing to talk about certain things.” Confused, I asked her what those things could possibly be, and her response was, “I don’t want to talk about it”. Magically, the day that football season re-started, she was once again in love with me.
Being the quick learner that I was, by Senior year I was finally on to her. However, even though I was expecting her breakup move, she was always a step ahead of me, because this time she threw in a surprise twist, which was that she wasn’t even going to bother with an excuse for leaving. She simply came up to me at the school dance, slammed my ring in my hand, and proclaimed angrily, “We are done baby”, as if there had been a precipitating incident prior to that. All I could remember was the quiet lunch of “Spinach Surprise” that we had had together in the school cafeteria that day. Was I somehow being blamed for the Spinach? Never found out, but I was left with the thought that this woman travels to the beat of a different drummer, who apparently was exceeding the recommended dosage of his prescription medication.
Now I am sure everyones’ experiences with their repeaters are different, but I am also sure that we all have one thing in common, and that is that there is always a series of red flags, letting you know, if you cared to pay attention, that the road ahead was washed out. You know, those little warning signs like the fact that your dog growls or your potted flowers wilt everytime your repeater comes around. If you ever stopped to think, just the simple mathematics would wake you from your trance. A repeater usually causes at least twice as much misery as joy. This is the rule of thumb you should go by. Only your family or your boss should equal or exceed that to 1 rule.
Now I am not saying everyone’s repeaters are bad. Amazingly, there are even those who end up living happily ever after with their repeater. May god bless them and who-ever comes up with the sarcasm font that I would have used for that blessing. However, as the other ninety-eight percent of us struggle along, I guess our only consolation in all this is that WE are obviously the repeater in our repeater’s life. We happily are providing them, with any luck, the same amount of aggravation that they so generously heap on us. They probably feel the same we do; that it could be a wonderful relationship if it didn’t have that one tiny little quirk that instills in you a desire to compress their trachea every fifteen minutes. While some people bring out the best in each other. Repeaters bring out the kitchen knives. Strangely, this dynamic can also make the relationship exciting, right up until the time the police arrive.
The only time I ever gained an advantage on my repeater was when I finally discovered, AND was able to harness the magical power of the female jealousy gene. Here’s how that works. A woman can be ready to dump a man like last week’s French bread, but if the female jealousy gene is activated, all of a sudden, he’s looking like a $100 gift certificate to Whole Foods. It is a woman’s achilles heel. A woman may no longer want you, but if someone else suddenly does, they are certainly not going to get her property. I stumbled across this wonderful gift in phase two of my repeater saga.
After my initial brutal rounds with Diana, I was able to cobble together enough of the emotional train-wreck that was myself and start up a relationship with another woman. This, of course, drove Diana completely wild. She immediately dropped her new love, called me up, and demanded to know what the hell I was doing. My response to her was: “Who me?” What it lacked in cleverness, it made up for in self-satisfaction.
Of course my advantage over her lasted about as long as a quark in the Hadron Particle Collider. She soon was able to split me up with my newfound relationship and accelerate into phase two of the female jealously syndrome which is: Once the man’s new relationship is destroyed, the female once again is free to throw out the stale bread, and guess who was in the bread box.
Now please do not worry, because I am not deluding myself into thinking ANYONE at this point would have a shred of sympathy left for me. As George W.Bush would say, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me again, untie your shoe”, or words to that effect. I guess I was sort of like Bart Simpson repeatedly getting his tongue stuck on the frozen lamp post. To my credit though, I did occasionally ask myself , “Why do I keep doing this?” At some point, everyone with a repeater wonders why they keep putting themselves through the wringer so many times. Here are some probable reasons why we continue on with our repeaters:
1. The sex ranges from good to great. This can over-ride a lot of rational thinking, especially in men. As Robin Williams said, “God gave man a brain and a penis, but only enough blood to operate one at a time”.
2. We get bored with our lives and are willing to take another chance with them, full-well knowing that something bad will happen, but doing it anyway, just to tempt fate. Something along the lines of, “Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”.
3. For some reason, unrelated to rational thinking, we believe that this next go round with our repeater is going to end better than the last several. Aside from showing extreme pattern recognition retardation, this type of thinking, while positive, flies in the face of all the abundant evidence to the contrary and therefore deserves the punishment that is most assuredly headed your way. If you would like another saying here, no extra charge, how about this one, “Love is not just blind, but also deaf, dumb, and stupid.”
After one of the many rounds with Diana, in one of her best moves, she then started dating my best friend, mostly just to aggravate me I am sure. However, this wasn’t sadistic enough or her. No, she had to bring him over to my place one day for a “casual” visit, as if I wasn’t already convinced that she should win the psychopath-of-the-year award. Seeing them at my doorstep, I informed them that I would dearly love to visit [if they would just allow me to smash their heads together while we chatted, that is], but I was just on my way out to meet with my new girlfriend Shirley [who, while she was only an imaginary person and did not actually exist, was still kind enough to serve my purpose for the moment]. I then took the streetcar all the way downtown, just to make sure they we gone when I got back.
Of course some people may never have a repeater. That means that either you are a fast learner, using the wrong mouthwash, or you met the right person right out of the gate. I am not sure whether to say congratulations or offer condolences. Yes, your life may have been more peaceful and harmonious but what do you have to talk about in your therapists office? I know only one guy who met the right person the first time around. When I asked him to what he attributed his astounding luck, he responded that his mother prayed for him everyday. I offered him money to have his mother pray for me also, but he didn’t take me seriously.
Much like putting a cherry on top of stupid pie, I had one last [please god, let it be the last] encounter with my repeater. In this encounter, however, I finally almost had the upper hand. See if you can pick out the key word in that last sentence. My supposed upper hand was the fact that this time, I had a complete lack of interest in having an actual relationship with her, almost as if I had the ability to think and reason. Even more to my advantage, THIS TIME she was the one that was actually looking for real relationship. This was my golden opportunity to correct the mis-aligned karmic balance of the universe. All I had to do was keep my mouth shut about my intentions, let her get comfortable in the relationship and start planning our future together, then BOOM, let her have it like she had done to me so many times before. The temptation to do that was very, very strong. Ah, but it wasn’t to be. I was bedeviled by the twin curses of honesty and maturity, thinking [for no apparent reason] that she had also matured. So, like a sucker, I told her upfront that this could just be a fling at best, due to our proven track record of being the worst-suited couple since Charles Manson and Squeeky Fromme. Upon realizing that she wasn’t going to have me for the long-term, Diana proceeded to set up a series of meetings with me that hinted of great romantic promise [refer to Robin Williams quote here] but for each of them she proceeded to not show up. Each time I got stood up, I would call to find out where she was, and would hear such solid excuses as, “Oh, the freenpeg on my carburetor sprained a tie rod”, or, “I forgot I told my mother I would clean her welcome mat tonight”. It took me three attempted rendezvous to see that I was being set-up and duped. Now, I fully understand that my inability to see this coming would merit me an Eagle Scout Badge in the Slow-Learners-of-America Club, but REALLY though, a full grown woman [this was many YEARS after high school] pulling a prank like that? Does the gaming NEVER stop? Fortunately, as I have matured, my own consciousness has evolved past that kind of juvenile and small-minded behavior……NOT!!!!
I will get back at her as soon as I can Google the right practical joke.