With little to no shame whatsoever, I would say that I’m one that quite enjoys drama in many shapes and forms.
Me and Stace would gasp upon seeing some of the bizarre scandals that would take place on either Facebook. Affairs, naked frapes, families literally falling apart, we had seen it all and spoke about it at length.
And let’s be honest who isn’t at least a little bit intrigued when you see a long term couple fall apart over Facebook?
I’ve seen best friends have their relationship abruptly set to ‘single’ after a three month relationship and it still resulted in a hearty gasp and an invite to the local cafe for a pint. (Of coke admittedly, but a pint nonetheless).
So when I sat at my sofa in the starting weeks of February, providing my Facebook friends were half as nosey as me I was set to drop one hell of a fucking bombshell on them.
With a literal deep breath and a few hoops to jump through to actually set the status I announced what was the biggest news of my life for a good half decade, possibly a whole.
See, this came at a very strange time.
Work was going through an absolute stale period of hiring new staff so for a good two, three maybe even four years we very much had the same set of workers. A lot of them turning into friends, in addition to this the close circle of friends I had was very much used to ‘us’.
Essentially I was one of those irksome people who as opposed to being ‘Dan’ who happened to have a girlfriend I was instead one half of ‘Dan and Stace’.
If there was a night out odds are me and her would be on it together, if asked about plans by co-workers I’d have probably have said something on the lines of “Oh me and Stace are doing [Said activity]
It wasn’t a healthy way to live a life, but hell that’s what hindsight is for, plus it kinda helps with the spirit of this blog entry so I guess it resulted in something useful.
Regardless what was done was done my world knew, alerting the world that I was single was another cross off of my single to do list.
And it was one of the most heart warming experiences I’ve had in my life. Within minutes, seconds even I had messages flooding through in regards to my well being.
Dan, Holly, Sarah, among the first few people to enquire, but what I really took from this was nobody, not one single person gave a shit as to what happened. They didn’t say “Oh what went wrong?” or “Oh what happened?” Just checking to see if I was feeling okay and if I needed anything.
Luke, somehow took it worst than I did, dropping all important plans to get me out for that traditional pint.
To a degree, providing they liked her which I have every reason to believe they did, the group had lost a member too.
I remember coming home from work one day to Stace laughing on the phone, turns out she had been on the phone to Luke for two hours.
She had arranged to meet up with Dan, and then both of them meet me after they discovered the BOMBSHELL of gossip (In which I probably shouldn’t divulge)
These little things were the point of realisation that Stace was not just a girlfriend, but a friend to my friends and a core member of our circle of friends.
It was only after a few course conversations were I suffered a bit of an identity crisis. As one half of a couple I knew where I stood, who I was, and what to do.
Suddenly, I was fucked.
I had no idea what I could bring to the table, literally everyone in my life at that time knew me as Dan from “Dan and Stace”, only ‘the circle’ family, and three workmates knew me before going out with Stace, and I was only seventeen at the time.
All of these little identity issues would have to be worked on later however, as I had pressing issues to attend to.
Seeing. People. Face. To. Face.
My most daunting part of the break up wasn’t actually the break up itself, it was the live reaction to the break up.
Out of the people in my life at the time, only Dan, Steve, Amie, Nicola and Nathan knew that this storm was coming.
Incidentally Nicola was the first person I saw face to face since it happened so that softened the blow a fair bit.
Toby, a friend and former co-worker had ran into us and was chipper as always
“Soooooooo Dan! I heard about you and Stace!?” he both acknowledged and questioned.
“Ye…..yeahhhhh” I awkwardly replied. And that’s when it hit me.
I had no fucking script to abide by in these situations.
And literally, that was the main line I heard for the next three to five days.
“So Dan, I heard about you and Stace”
And to this very moment I still have no idea how to respond to that….question? I don’t even know what it was.
I wasn’t quite in the mood to be cavalier about the situation, I just had to nod along and act like I was cool with it, sometimes added with a little humour, but there was always an element of “What the fuck am I saying” to my sentences.
That was the first form of acknowledgement I got.
The second, was a slight improvement but still nightmare fuel to me.
It was as if it was in a textbook.
The person in question would look at me with sad, soulful, supportive eyes.
Tilt their head at a 45 degree angle.
Look me deep in the eyes
Say softly “Hey Dan”
put their hand supportively on my shoulder
Say somehow, in a much softer tone “You okay?”
This had actually happened to me five times. The first time it happened I had actually somehow forgot briefly about the relationship turmoil and just thought this person had a vivid fixation on my shoulder.
It was only after the secondary shoulder support in which I thought “ahhh yes…Of course, I need to somehow deal with this”.
I’m shit socially, almost to the level in which I think “I wonder if I’m at least a little bit on the spectrum. Sympathy is one of those things I simply cannot deal with. People thought I was putting on a strong, loner-like front, truth be told I just didn’t know how to deal with the beautiful swarm of sympathy and support that was flooding my way.
It’s like getting a gift on Christmas day, or birthday. I appreciate it immensely, but I’m utterly shit at portraying such an emotion.
One of the complaints I’ve recently received (A very recent single life of Dan update coming….one day) is that I’m impossible to read. I assume this could have been the case back then.
After a long, long, long two days of running into people, explaining the situation, and having my shoulder touched more than its ever been touched in its entire life, I went into the bar across the road from me.
Somehow, heading to this bar at two in the morning lead us to the next chapter of my single adventures.