Guilty Pleasures

I am not a reality show fan. I have friends who are. And are addicted. But today….

I stumbled across my ex-boyfriend in a reality show. It aired its first episode just this Tuesday, and he and his girlfriend were in that premiere episode.

I wasn’t looking for it, honest, even after he mentioned in a voicemail after I last saw him that they had recently been in a reality show. I thought, oh, okay, whatever. They both want to be actors, here’s their shot. Wonder if it will get aired. I mean, whatever happened to the reality show Dr. Drew was doing with random couples taking a road trip together? Or maybe that was someone else’s show, but I thought road trip, I’ll audition. Never heard of it again.

So what to my wondering eyes should I see when looking through Hulu, to see what episodes of favorite shows I missed while on vacation, but a snippet that clearly showed the ex’s girlfriend. Uh-oh. I think I found it. Like I said, wasn’t trying.

I took a deep breath before clicking play. My heart was pounding. Did I want to see this? He had mentioned there was therapy, and physical trainers and stuff like that involved. Would I be enlightened by watching this? Would it help me understand what went wrong in our 7+ year relationship? The one he said if he had any sense, he would marry me, because we obviously would never get bored with one another and things to talk about and do together? And really, enough about them, what I wanted to know, was would I come up as an issue in their relationship? The love of his life that got away? Because he always stays away from me when he’s with someone else, because they get so jealous of me. I can’t imagine what he says about me that causes that, but I miss one of my best friends not being in my life when he’s dating someone else. I know we can still be friends, but apparently he doesn’t.

I hit play. I watched. My heart continued to pound.

That picture in the background of their place, I remember when he got that. The plates they ate off, we went shopping for matching ones for me, and we too ate off them. The breakfasts they talk about preparing before consulting with the nutritionist are the ones he used to foist on me, and I would protest it was too much food, I wasn’t that hungry.

This is the girlfriend he started seeing while still seeing me. He claimed he stopped seeing me because I got too fat. At the start of the show, she is far heavier than I ever was, or ever have been.

Yeah. And then I wonder how much reality shows are scripted.

I won’t give away the grand finale, but I just noticed the date they wrote in the sand while at the beach. Hunh.

Because, about two weeks later, after not hearing from him for months, maybe even a full year, I got a phone call from a police officer at his request. I was at a party, with a date. Drinking. Enjoying myself with friends.

The police officer told me where they were, and requested I come pick him up, so he didn’t have to take him to the drunk tank. They couldn’t book him for drunk driving, as no one actually saw him driving, but the tires up on the curb, and the voluminous empty beer bottles in the vehicle and his polite but quite drunken demeanor were evidence enough. No keys in the ignition, something he knows well not to have when the police stop him. My showing up, date driving his vehicle as I knew I should not be driving at that point, meant the ex did not have to go to the drunk tank. They handed over his cell phone, keys, and ID to me, and explained since I had come so quickly and was obviously responsible, they were releasing him to me. Could we just move the car off the curb before we left?

After the police escorted him out of the back seat of the police car, I immediately asked him why he hadn’t called his girlfriend. He said she was working. And so? I thought.

I spoke some more with the police, hoping my own intoxication was not obvious. My anger covered most anything else, I think. Besides, I wasn’t doing anything illegal. I wasn’t driving. The cell phone in my hand started vibrating. By the time I was able to look at the screen, I could see it was his girlfriend.

Should I answer or not?

Hi Meg, it’s your boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, rescuing him from the police again. How are you? Why didn’t he call you?

No, I decided, enough drama without creating some more. I got to our car, where he was now captive in the backseat of a two door coupe, and told him his girlfriend was trying to get ahold of him, and handed him his phone. We closed the door to leave him in privacy, and went to go move his car. There was cash strewn all over the seats, and I figured I didn’t want to be responsible for his car getting broken into for such an obvious temptation, so I gathered that up too. The car was a pig sty. I had never seen it that messy before, with food and wrappers and CDs and just stuff. Almost like he was living in his car.

He gave us directions, and we took him home, someplace he had never invited me to before, though I knew he lived somewhere in this area for a few years now. Five miles away from me, rather than the 50 I had been always driving to see him four years ago.

His place was a disaster. Now, you must understand, he and I are both slobs. We are clear on that. But one thing we had always been good about was keeping the common areas clean when sharing space with others. I asked where the dog was, since I knew they had adopted a dog, just as we had once when we had lived together. I had been wanting to meet the dog.

“Oh, Meg’s probably walking him.”

“I thought you said she was at work.”

“Uh, or maybe the roommate is out walking the dog.”

“Uh-huh.”

I walked straight into the kitchen, the very same one shown on the reality show, and immediately put his keys, cash and ID in the freezer. Unfortunately, the point of hiding them was kinda moot, since he followed directly on my footsteps into the kitchen.

The freezer? you ask.

Yes. It was someplace he always hid things when drunk. I figured when he woke up the next morning, it would be one of the first places he would look for them, in perfect drunk person logic. He used to go to parties and hide his keys in random places, so he wouldn’t drive drunk. Then call me to pick him up, hoping the keys were found the next day during clean up. They usually were.

But instead I got a text from him the next morning asking where his keys and ID were. Guess he wasn’t watching when I put them there after all.

So the question is, why call me? As he has had no contact with me for months, why would he even assume I was in town, even nearby?

I could have not answered the phone. When I answered and it wasn’t his voice, giving me directions to someplace completely random, I thought maybe it was a prank. Another reason to take the date with me, in case I was right and somehow walking into something dangerous.

But I did, and I was nearby, and I did rescue him, again.

And now that I have watched the reality show and seen the conclusion, I wonder all the more about the health of that relationship.

Because when you are in trouble, don’t you call the person you love and trust the most? The one you know you can count on? Isn’t that the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?

 

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