sorry, can’t make it

In my lifetime I have been invited to more things than I can count, and certainly more things than I’d like to attend. Most of my life I went, even when I didn’t want to.

A specific not-wanting-to-go-but-going-anyway that I can’t ever forget, happened just days before my twenty-seventh birthday.  A coworker was getting married and invited me to her wedding and it was easier to go than to not, so I went with a few friends and my boyfriend at the time.

The day of the wedding I was so annoyed that I had agreed to go and was suffering from menstrual cramps so I took let’s just say more than your standard dose of ibuprofen. Jammed myself into a fancy getup and off we went.

My grandmother always told me the places you want to go the least sometimes end up being the best time, she was [half] right, I had a great time.

I drank the carafe of table wine and only got more boisterous and entertaining, so my friends were stealing the carafes from other tables and feeding them to me.

My boyfriend was, to be polite, straitlaced and my behavior was too much for him, so once I was snapping pictures up my skirt he announced we were leaving.

I sill vividly remember following him halfway outside like some sort of drunk Cinderella from the other side of the tracks; missing shoe, purse spilling out, shouting obscenities. Telling all my friends he was making me leave.

The drive back to my house is five miles, maybe. In that time I begin sobbing about my grandfather having just died (he hadn’t) and telling him how he isn’t any fun because he made me leave my friends, and he tucks all his shirts in (seriously, ALL of them!)

By the time we get home I’m on FULL ON CRAZY and he calmly tries to explain to my mom why he brought me home and what’s going on, but he isn’t even really sure …

I’m screaming and calling him a liar and my mom takes me into the bathroom where she holds me over the toilet and I continue to cry, nose dripping, retching and vomiting and still, for what appears to be no reason.

I remember my brother, from the pantry outside the bathroom asking my mother if it was okay to open some sour cream and onion potato chips; I keep throwing up.

When I’m “calm” I pull all of my short hair up into a sparkly purple hair tie and go back to the kitchen. Brother eating chips, boyfriend talking to my mom, me, sitting with my skirt up around my thigh, leg up and my mother telling me to close my legs and I go on about how I’ve already “shown everybody!”

My boyfriend, who it’s important to note, was a person I had talked about getting married to, and was leaving about 12 days later for Air Force basic training said he’d put me to bed and then head out.

It was too much for him, I mean, me, I guess. And while kissing my head he stuttered and stammered and said he couldn’t do it and broke up with me. He walked out of my bedroom.

I flew down the hall after him screaming, my mom telling him to just go, she’d take care of it (not knowing he just basically dumped me) … my dad walking in from somewhere saying he heard me screaming from outside.

I’m choking on my tears, on my words, on table wine fighting it’s way back up I’m sure… I run, barefoot, out to his car. I start yelling, trying to explain myself (I don’t even know what words are coming out) – he stares straight ahead as I slap my hands on the windows, shouting. He only gets out when my father comes toward his Jeep, to retrieve me.


I am laying on the driveway. The only way he can leave is by running me over.


I fall asleep on a towel in my bed, sure that I am going to die in the night, crying that he’ll never talk to me again.


The next morning I see that I called him after he left about eleven times. We have plans for my birthday that day, he doesn’t call.

He doesn’t check up on me, he doesn’t come over, he doesn’t respond at all.

A text message – before texting everyone instead of calling had even caught on –

“I’m sorry, I just can’t do this.”

I later find out that his mother was mentally ill, and my outburst, a one-time-thing or not, triggered something in him and that was that.

We (my mom & I) also learn shortly after this episode, that the amount of wine I had, combined with my more-than-recommended doses of ibuprofen could potentially cause “psychotic episodes”

Uhhhh, yea.

It was one of the most heartbreaking times in my life [then].  Now, it’s just a story my boyfriend likes to hear me tell at parties because I still think he thinks I’m exaggerating!

It’s laughable because it is so ridiculous.

Now, if I don’t want to go somewhere, I don’t.

Can ya blame me?


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