No backsies!

So today’s prompt for writing is “Do you often go back for seconds?” Honestly, I’m not really sure what that means. Not knowing what something means, however, doesn’t mean that I can’t write about it, so I press on.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. — Albert Einstein

My girlfriends and I often giggle about my ‘no backsies’ rule. (Get your mind out of the gutter!) For me, I try to do things right the first time and if I tried and gave it my all, what is the point of giving it another go at the same thing? The only exception to that is trying out food – just because Aunty Sylvia’s macaroni salad tastes like shite, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try macaroni salad again. Okay, I’ve strayed. Let’s talk about relationships.

Let me tell you why backsies don’t work for me, in general. I look at what people do and not what they say. That’s what I make my judgement on. In my opinion for a backsie to work, the person/situation should be different from what existed the previous time. You can’t go back to the person who continues to lie and then expect complete honesty in the revived relationship because they said so. You know what I mean? You’ll end up just where you came from the first time.

I know how backsies work: I get it. You love him. You think he’s sexy. He makes you feel wonderful. You like his friends. You have a great time together. He can horizontal polka like nobody’s business. He makes you laugh. There are a lot of items in the Plus column. I get it. Trust me. You weigh the Plus column against the Minus column whose items might include: He treats his parents like crap. He’s unkind. He won’t commit to exclusivity. He’s not the most truthful person you know. He drinks too much. He can’t keep a job. He likes to flirt. You look at both sides and then you go back to him since none of the Pluses changed over time – he’s still smoking hot – and there might be a Minus or two less on the list – he’s got a job now and he’s cut down on the drinking. You jump back in. Makes sense to me and it’s extremely logical.

As the brilliant Mr. Einsten said, to expect different results, you can’t be dealing with the same thing. For me, if I think it’s the same thing, I’m not touching it with a ten-foot pole. No thank you please! He could talk until he’s blue in the face. No can do. I’d have to see concrete actions to convince me that he’s sorted out a few things on that Minus list.

I know you want a story, so let me tell you a story.

I dated this guy who I quickly realized was a stranger to the truth, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and tried to make it work. In the end, I realized that he was a lot of talk with little action. Most of his statements started with “I will” with very little follow through. Exhibit A – my unassembled barbeque. Flashforward to him standing me up for an important event and him losing financial independence. Shortly after, we broke up.

Months later, he called me asking to get back together. Over the phone, he gave me a list of all the things he’d accomplished since we broke up and that he’d gotten himself together. Warily, I tell him, “I actually have never gotten back with an ex.” What followed was his “I will do whatever it takes for us to get back together.” I said, “Okay, we’ll see” followed by his, “I’m travelling, but I’ll call you next Tuesday after work.” Guess what happened? Go ahead! Guess! I didn’t hear from him again for weeks. Not a peep. There was no point in me getting back into that leaky canoe! What the hell for?

When going back for seconds, be sure that what you’re going back for is BETTER than what you had the first time! Be mindful of what you’re asking for seconds of. There’s no point in eating Aunty Sylvia’s salad – you know how it tasted the first time and you didn’t like it, remember?

My message for you today is words are free and have no weight without action. Strip off the words. Probably the most common thing for someone to say to get back together is “I’ll change”. For me, the magic words should be “Let me show you how I’ve changed”. That way you have evidence that it’s not the same thing and you can start expecting different (and hopefully better) results!


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