Monday, 14 February 2011

Broken heart, bubbles and carefully placed boxes

On Friday I took a day off from work. To recoup, to relax, to have a lie in and sleep off the all-encompassing hangover I intended to have. The PiB took a day's holiday as well. So on Thursday night, after polishing off a bottle of fizz at the flat, we went for a meal and more bubbles, followed by late whisky cocktails in Shoreditch. Shunning our usual night buses, we took black cabs wherever we needed to go.

We returned to the flat in the early hours of Friday morning, giggling and unsuccessfully scouring the area for pizza; our final cabbie even knocked a couple of quid off the fare home ("Call it a tenner. You girls look f-u-c-k-e-d.").

The next day we met my mum and her friend in the champagne bar in Selfridges. After polishing off a bottle of the good stuff, we took to the shop floor. Unable to find a vastly expensive handbag I liked, the PiB and I headed upstairs to the lingerie department. Another glass of complimentary champagne later, and I blew just over half a month's rent on Agent Provocateur underwear. It was the first time in a while that I'd looked at myself in the mirror and thought "You stupid, stupid boy." The cost, therefore, didn't matter. Later, I had a moments satisfaction in knowing I'd left the beautiful pink branded box on the bed, lid slightly askew, with a hint of lace dangling outside. He wouldn't have missed it.

But the real respite has been admitting that I needed to go home for a bit. He has been back and forth to the flat picking up various things, phoning me each time before coming round. With each phone call or visit, I spiral downwards. On Sunday I took to Twitter in tears to distract myself from the fact that he was in the living room, listening to music while his clothes tumbled round in the dryer.

"I'll be back later to pick some more stuff up" he said. As soon as he left, I packed a bag and went home.

Despite my best efforts, the flat holds no good memories. It sucks the breath out of me, catches me unawares, the whole place filled with a slowly diminishing pile of belongings and increasingly angry thoughts. I see him and feel infuriated at his casualness, and can barely stop myself coming out with bitchy comments in response to whatever he says.

I want the whole thing to be over, I want rid of the place. I never want to hear from or see him again. But at the moment, all that is still a little way off. Despite the shopping, the booze and the nights out this weekend, I still can't see an end point to it all. I know you'll say "Just get your stuff out, leave now, cut all ties" but it's not that easy. Because the one thing that makes me feel worse than living there is knowing that if I don't, he will.

And I'm not about to let that happen.


modelofamodernmajorgeneral said...

*tries to think of a way to refer to AP without sounding like a dirty old man. Fails*

Sunday did sound shitty, huge hugs for gutting through it. Home is always good - I went to see my Mum this weekend in her new place, and even though I've never seen it before, it immediately felt comfy. There is every reason to going to a place that allows you to soak up that love, with no effort required on your behalf. Wanting to stay in your current flat is understandable, especially for the reason you've given, but make sure you balance out the anger.

Ella said...

I have always *ALWAYS* wanted to own Agent Provocateur undies but I'm priced out. Glad to see you were up to some shopping and PiB sounds like a friend sent from heaven. Stay in the flat, the fucker doesn't deserve to be there outside of a body bag x

Anonymous said...

Good for you for staying. Don't let him have it.

jman said...

What is this death by a thousand cuts? Why doesn't he just come get his stuff and clear out? There's something almost sadistic to it all. It's not as if you've been living together for so long there is an argument about whose is whose. Hang in there girl, the best is still to come.

Fen said...

What jman said. I'd give him a date whereby you want all his stuff gone. Dragging the whole process out is just nasty.

pikz said...

When best mates finance left her, after about 4 weeks i was sick of him keeping coming back into her life to cllect stuff etc, so i made him come and get all his stuff at 8am on a saturday. I sat in the house not her and the best site was him running down the front path with a tumble dryer as he wanted to get away from me! Get his stuff out, have a theraputic clear out xx

Anonymous said...

I am sure I read somewhere that you have "no mutual friends only angry ones" (you'll have seen me all over your stats like a rash this morning trying to find it, but I can't for the life of me see it anywhere, perhaps it was Twitter, which is blocked here), perhaps you could get your mates around to help clear his stuff and deliver it to his thus rendering his need to come back and forth and drag this whole sorry process out longer than it needs to be? I'd happily give you a weekend day to come and help and I'm just a 'faceless' blogger who's never met you!

Do you think he might be using his belongings as an excuse to come over to be in the same place as you?

As for AP undies, I have never even been in that place. My wallet hurts just walking past it. Today, for the record, I am wearing Primark pants with 'Supergirl!" emblazoned across the rump and the S symbol on the front. Because you needed to know that.

Keep on keeping on Jo, every day that passes brings you a day closer to being happy again. x

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

model - Home is lovely. I can curl up and be grumpy and cry. And there's someone to go "Oi, it's alright", whereas when I do it in the flat, there's no one there.

Ella - She is a very good friend in times of need. And Agent P is way out of my price range, but in lieu of rent...

breezy - I'm there but not, if that makes sense.

jman - I think he's trying to avoid going home. As far as I'm aware, his mum doesn't know what's happened. He plans to just move into a new flat, thus is bit by bit taking his stuff to various friends' houses. It's shit.

Fen - Thing is, while he's paying for this month's rent as well, legitmately (perhaps not morally) he does have a right to keep stuff there.

pikz - That sounds like a good idea. Although whether I trust my friends to be in the same flat as him without unleashing the fury is another matter.

Soup - Yes I remember writing that somewhere too you weren't imagining it. It's true. The problem as I mentioned to jman above is that he hasn't really anywhere that he can move the stuff to aside from various friends' houses in central London. Well, he has a family home out in the sticks, but he's avoiding going back there. It's a cowardly excuse not to go back home where no doubt he will face questions from his mum and sister, neither of whom he gets on with all that well. Sunday was the first time since Wednesday that he'd come round while I'd been in, the rest of the times I'd made sure I was out. As for Agent P, I'd never been in there either. It was something he always said he'd buy me, but you guessed it, never did. So I got some for myself.x

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I see the difficulty. Perhaps a variation on Pikz's comment is the way forward: whenever he lets you know that he will be coming over, rather than scarpering so that the flat is empty when he gets there, get a couple/gaggle of friends over and instruct them to ignore him.

Take up pews in the lounge, get comfortable. They can either chat away with you and you all behave as 'normal' with each other - but ignore him as if he doesn't even exist - or you could all sit there in stony silence and not make even the slightest peep of noise. Just sit there. And possibly watch him the WHOLE time.

He'll feel so uncomfortable that he won't stay any longer than absolutely necessary.

Could get some friends on standby for this?

In a perverse way, you might even enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

And I know you're moving out in a few weeks, but get your stuff EVERYWHERE. Make it very clear from your belongings that, despite him paying rent and legally* being allowed to be there, it's your flat and he's in your space.

Leave your knickers on the floor in the bedroom. Chuck magazines on the coffee table. Leave half-drunk cups of tea on the sofa ends. Shave your legs in the bath and don't rinse the hairs away. Turn the bathroom into a shrine to all things girly and lush. Put photo frames of you and your family/pooches by the bed. Leave the hairdryer plugged in and casually discarded on the chair in the bedroom. Leave shoes EVERYWHERE. Make up on the coffee table.

He can enter - at his peril.

(*as you've said, morally he doesn't have a leg to stand on of course)

pikz said...

Also pack all his stuff up for him (or get friends to do it) so that he can't go in the bedroom anymore and things like that...regain a little of the space back that is yours and can't be invaded by him. Take heart and strength Jo your doing amazingly x

Sarah said...

I've just started reading your blog and enjoying it so far so I'm really sad to read your latest posts, what a shit he is.

I've been there and all I can suggest is let yourself grieve, do whatever you need to - friends will try to get you to leave the house for a night out but if you don't feel like it, don't go - if you're anything like me you'll only end up in drunken tears (I sobbed into the chest of some poor random man in my local pub, which just goes to show how low it got.)

Also good on you for staying. My ex and I broke up in August but due to circumstances neither of us could move out until December, which was agonising and made things a whole lot worse. Look after yourself as best as you can x

Redbookish said...

I think he's actually not so much sadistic as very immature & childish. Reading all of this, I've been impressed by your grown upness and his childishness. And in adult, that's just selfish behaviour. And he's being a dog in the manger -- he isn't sure about wanting you, but he's marking your (singular) flat as his territory.

As others have said, give him a date by which all his stuff has to be gone.

In fact, I think I read somewhere(Twitter?) that the flat is re-let or nearly so. So a few days before that is his deadline. And then he has cleaning duties before you both hand over the keys to the agent.

Good luck and best wishes, from a stranger on the interwebz (we're not all axe murderers! )


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