I went out last night, and on my way to my destination, I passed this place:
Being the English teacher, currently Gatsby-obssessed person that I am, I took this as a positive sign. I also used it as a reflective moment. Gatsby met his downfall because he couldn’t move on from the past, and I think that continuously focusing on the past could impede my enjoyment of the present.
Therefore, I am going to conclude this series now. However, because it’s such a crazy soap opera, I’m going to share the events that followed (and preceded) my break-up with Tom. If you know me–the fairly average, normal person that I am–the fact that all of these events happened is crazy and unexpected, but they did.
I broke up with Tom at the end of August, and I left for my European vacation shortly thereafter. There is no better “sorbet” than travel! At no point did I miss him, and the brief contact we did have reminded me that I was better off. The weight was off my chest. I had obviously clung too tightly for too long to something that was clearly over. Our breakup was very friendly and mature. Our relationship had faded into friendship, and we kept in touch. I even saw him a couple of times when I visited my hometown. We exchanged pleasantries over bagels, and I could keep my conscience and mind clear because I thought I had an understanding of why we ended. I thought he just couldn’t handle a relationship.
At the beginning of December, I learned he was in another relationship. Finding this out was beyond painful for me because it made me reevaluate why our relationship ended and made me question what I had believed.
Enter Daisy. Daisy had actually been Tom’s personal trainer all summer when he started to get his head back together. I had actually suspected something and even asked about it, but in an attempt to avoid being “that girlfriend,” I dropped it. I got in touch with him and asked him about it and made sure that they had started dating after we were over. I was still bothered, but I made myself let it go.
A few weeks later, Tom sent me a text at 3AM wanting to talk. Suspicious, I started wondering why he would want to talk to me, and eventually I googled Daisy’s name and found her twitter feed. They had broken up, and she was heartbroken. As I scrolled back through the months, I learned–because she lives her life online–that they had started dating in July, nearly a month before we broke up! Wanting to reach out to someone and help her to get over this man, who had obviously lied to her from the beginning, I sent her a message, and we became friendly. I’ll be honest; I thought we were friends.
I helped Daisy through her breakup with Tom. I found her charming–she was energetic, supportive, friendly, and encouraging. She gave me a lot of advice on running and diets, and I sincerely thought we were friends. However, if you know Fitzgerald’s Daisy, you know that this is a woman who lives for herself and her own comfort. She uses people as she moves through various stages of her life, but at the core, she is looking out for herself. I noticed this through the things she would put online. Throughout our friendship, she was more concerned with the reality show that was her life rather than thinking about how her words could hurt or affect other people. At a certain point, I decided to hold her at arm’s length.
Because, admittedly, I had let her in. I think it’s difficult not to–bonding with someone over the end of a relationship can create a fast friendship. I forgot, ultimately, that I didn’t really know her, but the things she said to me (“You’re my soul sister!” “You’re better than my therapist.” “I’ve never seen such beautiful shirts.”–that last one was a lit reference) made me feel really special and like a true friendship was there.
I learned a lot of interesting things about the end of my relationship with Tom. My favorite was that he used my car to take Daisy out! The deception on so many levels in that instance is astonishing–I thought he had lost his license, and I also thought he was faithful! At some point, Tom found out that I was talking to Daisy, and started sending both me and her crazy messages. I felt like we were partners in crime.
Eventually, Tom went back to the gym where they had met, and Daisy texted me for support and encouragement not to talk to him. I responded, but I could sense something was strange. In the original Great Gatsby, Daisy remarks that there is nothing better for a woman to be than a “beautiful little fool,” and this Daisy certainly lives up to that expectation. She would present a certain aspect of her life to me forgetting that she was still living her life publicly on Twitter. As someone who spent years teaching students about audience, it floored me that an adult could be so oblivious.
She tweeted that she had a “great chat” with her ex at the gym, and then suddenly started talking about getting flowers at the gym and being in love and romance. The synapses in my brain started firing, and I realized that she had probably reunited with Tom. At this point, I decided to end our friendship. I wrote her an email saying that we had helped each other through something, but it was time to move on.
We later got into a conversation over text about who she was dating, and she denied it was Tom. Yet, at the same time, she is tweeting, “I hate when I think I’m getting a text from my boyfriend, but it’s really his exgirlfriend instead.” Being smarter than a 5th grader, I called her on it, she called me a stalker, and I told her that I didn’t trust her, so that was that.
Honestly, if that had been it, I wouldn’t have even cared, but what she did next is astonishing. She sent me an email the next day telling me how much she cherished our friendship and saying the was tweeting lies to try and catch me being a “stalker.” I ignored her email. The next day, her “boyfriend” sent me an email through Facebook.
Despite the fact that she was in fact back together with Tom, Daisy created a boyfriend named Jake Grossman (I’m using the name because it’s already fake!). Jake emailed me to say he would do anything to help us preserve our friendship.
You know at the end of Scooby Doo the criminal always mutters, “I would have gotten away with this, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!” Well, Daisy would have gotten away with it… if she only knew how to spell! Or, perhaps, if she were messing with a non-English teacher.
Jake told me that Daisy and Tom had no contact because he was her bodygaurd [sic]. Because Daisy worked as both a lifeguard and personal trainer, I had noticed her consistent misspelling of the word “guard.” And here it was again. Laughing that someone would go to so much trouble to maintain contact, I forwarded the email to my friend Jordan Baker, and Jordan gave Daisy a piece of her mind.
The next day, Daisy called me multiple times and left rambling messages telling me I was crazy and needed therapy and that Jake Grossman would call me if I really needed proof. I ignored her calls but could not stop myself from looking at her Twitter feed. It had become my favorite reality show, so I especially appreciated it when she created a fake twitter name for Jake Grossman and they chatted lovey messages to one another.
This is probably where I am going to look like the crazy person, but I don’t care. I still look at her Twitter. As I mentioned above, it became my favorite reality show, a guilty pleasure. Also, it became a good contrast for me–we all like to know who we are, and sometimes the best way to do that is by knowing who we are not. I enjoyed analyzing and criticizing the way she created this life around herself, where she consistently played the ultimate victim. I enjoyed feeling superior.
Here’s what went down:
Daisy and Tom got back together and got engaged less than a week later.
Less than a week after that, she broke up with him and began pursuing another relationship, declaring her love for this new man while desparaging Tom for being pathetic.
It’s too bad because I honestly think they deserve each other.
After all these events originally happened, I posted the following quotation that appeared in my second Sorbet post.
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
At that point, I sincerely felt like the human collateral in this whole situation. I felt used by both Tom and Daisy who were allowed to skip off into the distance happily.
One of my other lit-minded friends replied to my misery with this Gatbsy quote:
“You’re worth the whole damn bunch of them put together.”
Knowing and believing that, here’s my take on the whole situation:
1-I think cheating is disgusting and cowardly. Before you move onto a new relationship, end your current relationship. It’s not that difficult.
2-Don’t look back. I’ll write more on this later, but it probably wasn’t the best idea for me to reach out to someone else who dated Tom because it dragged me back through all kinds of stuff. (Though at times it was nice to learn what really had been going on during the end of my relationship.)
3-Even though her twitter feed is hilarious, I need to stop looking at it. That goes along with this whole “don’t look back” philosophy. Guess I’ll have to return to Real Housewives or Bridezillas.
4-Being friendly, open, and supportive and living your life with integrity is never wrong. Ever. Even though I felt used and tossed aside, I need to remember that these qualities I have are admirable. I did not go into this situation to hurt anyone.
5-Be open. Sharing this ridiculous story with my girlfriends has opened up my friendships. No one wants to be friends with a perfect person. We need to know our friends struggle and have weaknesses. I have an amazing support system.
So, my comparison did not work out perfectly. Tom and Daisy aren’t sitting in their house conspiring over fried chicken. Tom is alone. Daisy is onto her next victim.
And I… I am happy.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned.