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I met Matt (obviously not his real name) three years ago. I was 25 and was going through a very transitional year. I had split with my college sweetheart of 5 years, moved out of the home we shared and decided to completely turn a new leaf and live a completely different life.
Though it wasn’t a complete self-detonation like the summer of 2012, the changes were palpable. As I embarked my quest to self-transformation, I realized what I wanted most was friends.
Even though I had lived in New York for over two years, my friend group consisted of my boyfriend (like 75% of it), his friends, some work acquaintances (who I never speak to anymore), and a few friends from the neighborhood.
It’s not that I was ever THAT girlfriend who took on the identity of being THAT girlfriend; I was just in a new city, didn’t know anyone and was having a really hard time making new friends. I decided that I would go out, if not by myself, and just start talking to whoever found me interesting enough to talk to.
Amazingly, it worked. My contact list filled up like gangbusters and people actually liked me. In fact, some of my best friends who I now refer to as family are the people I met during that time period. One of those people is my dear friend Ben (name also changed just in case), who, a month or two into our fledgling friendship, invited me to his birthday party. That’s where I met Matt.
Matt was very charismatic, extremely flirty and all-around attractive. We ended up sitting at a booth talking for four hours during the party. Honestly, to me, it all felt like 10 minutes. We exchanged numbers, he helped me find a cab and I rode home kind of giddy. I hadn’t really liked anyone since my ex boyfriend.
He asked me out a few days later and I guess you can say we started seeing each other. He kept saying he wanted to keep it casual. I thought we had the same definition of “casual.” We did not.
You see, having a boyfriend for 5 years can make you a little rusty in the dating department. And if you suddenly find yourself dating in New York, then you can fucking forget it. The rules are completely different here.
Much like that one pathetic speech given by Marni in that one "Girls" episode, I, too, was used to calling the shots in my relationships. If I was dating a guy and I wanted him to be my boyfriend, he was my boyfriend. However, this guy had no interest in being my boyfriend -- but enjoyed spending time with me here and there.
As my resentment grew, we began making snide comments to each other over texts here and there until one night as we were “text-fighting” he texted me with “Lose 10lbs and then talk shit on me.” I was in such shock that I actually spat out a mouthful of cranberry vodka cocktail I was drinking. The fuck did he just say to me?
He sent me a casual text apologizing the next day, which I found out was only prompted by our mutual friend who tore him a new one over saying something like that to me. I was filled with rage.
I’m not going to get into what my physical stats are because I don’t believe that they have anything to do with it. No one should have to hear that they need to lose weight unless of course it’s a health concern and in that case, the only person who has the business to tell you that you need to lose some weight is your physical practitioner.
What really got to me was that there was nothing I could say back to him that would hurt him the same way. He knew what he was doing. After all, he wasn’t complaining about my weight while we were fucking. He knew he could say it and that it would hurt because attacking woman’s looks is the easiest thing to do.
And is there really a male equivalent? Why are insults specifically targeted at women so much more vile, so much more hateful then any insult you can throw at a man?
I felt shamed, stupid and powerless. Mostly, I just felt really fucking pissed off. So I did the only thing I could do: publicly shame him.
I started a blog. I called it lose10lbsandthentalkshitonme. I decided to make it completely user-generated. I thought I couldn’t be the only one who has heard some fucked up things from an ex. Turns out, I was right. I quietly passed it around amongst my friends to stock up on submissions before I went completely public with the site (i.e., posted it to my Facebook).
Now. There are a few things I regret in life. A handful if you will: Smoking my first cigarette the summer between junior and senior year of high school. Not going abroad in college. Not swiping the bottle of Macallan 12 I gave my most recent ex boyfriend as I left his apartment for the last time.
And this: I simply posted the link to the site to my feed.
An hour later, my phone blew up. The site received hundreds of page views that day. My friends thought it was hilarious -– except one. Ben thought it was completely immature. He told me it now made everything so much more awkward, but he would remain my friend anyway. He did tell me that all of Matt’s friends thought I was psycho.
I maintained the site for a week or two. It started to receive submissions from people I didn’t even know. But soon I grew bored. I also started to feel bad. What had I really accomplished? What did I even set out to accomplish? It just all felt empty, completely pointless -– not to mention, looking back, it just looks like a pathetic cry for attention and I was, and still am, better than that. Slightly better, but better nonetheless.
If you want to take a look, it’s still here. I changed the name because I was sick of thinking about it. Every time I read it I thought about my weight, I thought about him and I thought about how in a way he still won and I hate not winning.
Three years later, it’s still a joke my friends love bringing up. I try to participate because I want to own it. I actually lost 10lbs since December (not at all promoted by Matt’s comment). Apparently Matt is still very touchy about the whole situation.
So what’s the most absurd thing an ex has said to you? How do you go about seeking revenge?