If you like piña coladas

Did I tell this one already? I don’t know, so I’ll tell it again.

As my marriage was collapsing, a lot of strange things started happening. My ex was working constantly, and I rarely saw him even though his office was upstairs in our house.

One day, out of the blue, he starts talking about a Missed Connection on Craigslist of a man looking for a man he saw at LA Fitness in a Speedo carrying a blue striped towel. My ex had a Speedo and striped blue towel. He tells me this and then says he’s not going to go swimming there anymore.

He does not give an explanation as to why he was looking at Missed Connections on Craigslist. Or why he would be bothered if a man had a crush on him. I never knew him to be homophobic. I’d known him since we were 11 and one of our best friends was gay. But nevertheless, he made a declaration.

A year passes, and we are separated. But we are still meeting up to see if we can resolve our differences or convert the relationship to one of friendship. Seventeen years is a lot to throw away overnight. My ex had moved into a very nice apartment downtown…just a stone’s throw from his favorite bars. Because he didn’t want to risk getting DUI’s.

On one of our outings, he takes me to all his favorite places to hang out downtown. Bars, coffee shops, etc.

Soon after, he tells me he’s gone on Plenty of Fish to date (which I laugh at now because good luck to those poor dummies). But his timing was particularly cruel. It was days before Christmas. He knew he was dropping a bomb on me to think about through the holidays right up to our anniversary on January 3.

I go home, filled with rage. And no outlet. So I start writing…a series of Missed Connections on Craigslist. A man, looking for another man, who happened to look just like my ex. I write a Missed Connection for every place he ever took me post separation. I drop them into Craigslist one at a time over the course of days.

I never really talked to my ex after that, so I have no idea if he ever read any of them. But it was cathartic for me. And honestly, it was the most harmless gaslighting I’ve ever heard of.

I have no idea how I thought of something like that. At the time I was falling apart piece by piece each day. I guess I wasn’t done living and something kept me fighting.

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