TapBack

What's worse than #TapBack? Lazy-azzed TapBack


We are closing in fast on the Holiday Season (okay, it's here already - Turkey, Black Friday, Sleigh Bells, the whole nine) so you know what that means. 'Tis the season for Cuddle Cocoa and TapBack. Yes indeed, many will reach out and touch someone just because baby, it's cold outside. If that's your modus operandi - if that's how you make it through low temperatures and long nights - do you, boo. But kindly figure out if your advances are welcome prior to initiating them.

For those that have forgotten or never knew - Le TapBack is when an ex-siginifcant other reaches out after a period to time to "check-in" with the expectation of either rekindling the old flame or just stirring the cocoa for a moment or two. Hence, tapping back.

And while I'm not a big fan of tapping back (there are reasons most exes are exes after all) I'm even more virulently opposed to lazy-azzed tapback. Allow me to share...

Dude: Hey
Me: What's up?
Dude: We should get together and do stuff.
Me: Stuff?
Dude: You know... stuff.
Me: Why?
Dude:  Why not?
Me: Alirghty then. Good talking to you.
Dude: Wait, you wanna get dinner or something?

Okay now- that's just lazy. If you're going to take the time to reach out, at least have a game plan about yourself. We ain't all low-hanging fruit. At least buy a dinner, a drink, pretend like you are interested in spending some time clothed around me. If not, just say that. I'm of three schools - 1) Either get gone and stay gone 2) Wine me and dine me and take your chances or 3) Just state it plain. Seriously, if I accept the dinner invitation, you have a shot. If you call straight out with the "scratch my itch" plea and I don't start laughing, you have a (narrow) chance. But the half-azzed approach? C'mon now. 

BougieLand, have you been affected by When Keeping It TapBack Goes Wrong this season? Who amongst us are out there tapping back after one too many sips at happy hour? And is it me or is half-azzed lazy TapBack the worst? Do share...

From the Archives: When TapBack happens

It's that time again.. Truthfully, it's apparently always that time. But as we inch closer to Holiday Boos and Cuddle Cocoa, it behooves me to remind everyone: Beware the TapBack (from March 2011):

Ah yes, the TapBack... one of our BougieLand special words. Defined as the reaching out of a former S.O. usually in the form of a phone call to test the temperature in case they 1) want you back 2) just want to "tap" or 3) want to mess with your head. Le TapBack.

Ladies want to know... why do you do it, fellas? We've moved on, you've moved on and yet here you go. Generally late at night with a full moon high in the sky... yonder come the TapBack. I received forty-eight (48!!) questions about TapBack. Why does it happen? How to handle it? What if it's one tap only, no repeat performances? How to make the calls stop? And so on, and so on, and so on...

I have multiple opinions on this topic. But it's not about me. Here to share their opinions are BnB regulars Mr. Skyywalker and JasonP. I setup a quick call with the fellas and posed the question... what's up with the TapBack?
Jason: First and foremost, this is not a male phenomenon. We can't even blame the testosterone on this one.
Skyy: Matter of fact, if you really want - we can blame 80% of TapBack on the alcohol.
Me: Your answer is really blame it on the alcohol?
Skyy: If it fits...
Jason: I think I've been hit by more late night/holiday/club parking lot TapBack than I've ever dispensed.
Me: You've never made a TapBack phone call?
Jason: Didn't say that. Just said TapBack is equal opportunity.
Me: Duly noted.
Skyy: Lookie here, you're sitting there, right? A song comes on, a movie comes on, a certain scent hits your nose and you think... oh yeah, her. You dig out the cell phone scroll through to see if the number is still there and next thing you know...
Me: TapBack.
Jason: There it is. Unless it's the wonder what game.
Me: Wonder what?
Skyy: Quit actin' brand new, everybody has looked through their contacts and said, "Wonder what happened to So-and-so?"
Me: I wasn't being brand new, just getting clarification.
Jason: Uh-huh and so anyway, it's not like some sort of malicious intent. Not like we wait until we see you on the street with some other dude and say, "Oh let me call and see what's up with that?"
Skyy: Unless it is.
Jason: Okay. True. Maybe we're jealous, maybe we're lonely, maybe we need cocoa and you always poured it correctly. All the lady has to do... is not answer the phone. 
Skyy: Boom. 
Me: Simple as all that?
Jason: Men are simple creatures. Unless it gets complicated.
Skyy: See now. That right there. My last TapBack phone call was fairly innocent.
Me: Didn't you get married a few weeks back?
Skyy: Exactly. So several months back when I got engaged, I made the closure "this shop is closed for further TapBack" call. 
Jason: Why even do that?
Skyy: Preventative strike. I try to meet drama before it pulls in the driveway.
Me: How'd it go?
Skyy: Not great. I called to say I was onto the next and she was like how about one for the road?
Me: Have a nice life Tapback?
Skyy: See? Messy. 
Me: So isn't it better just not to make the call at all?
Jason: In a perfect world sure. You could walk away from people without a what if or a look back. Sometimes you look back and TapBack happens.
Me: Thank you Gentlemen. I appreciate your time.
These were the questions posed last time, for those that answered - would you answer the same today? For those that didn't, feel free:

BougieLand, what say you? Jason and Mr. Skyy making sense? Does TapBack just happen? Are you guilty of making the call (sending the text)? Is there anyway for "sex with the ex" not to be messy? Wouldn't a clean break just be better? Do you avoid these calls or answer the phone to see what's what? Inquiring minds want to know. The floor is yours...

Let me change your mind


Bougie dwellers, beware. Tis the season for TapBack. For the BnB newbies - TapBack is the unfortunate occurance when someone you used to live with/date/smash/love reaches out to you, generally in hopes of well- tapping back. Summer is wrapping up. Those that did not net a summer boo are thinking ahead to lining up cuddle cocoa for the holidays. Watch your texts, emails, phones, tweets... or have someone do it for you.

Chilling with 3N, his Facebook email starts gong crazy. It's one of his exes. He waves me over to read the stream-
Her: Hey you! I was just thinking about you. Heard you left Denver, what else is new?
Him: If you found me on Facebook, you're pretty up to date.
Her: You ignored my friendship request
Him: We're not friends
Her: We used to be
Him: Really?
Her: Looks like you're in a relationship and you live in Texas. How did all that happen?
Him: The usual way. I moved, I met someone, it's working out. Great catching up, take care.
Her: What - are you scared to talk to me? I just want to say hi
Him: Hi
Her: I'm coming through Dallas in September, we should get a drink
Him: No thanks, listen I gotta go.
Her: You don't even want to see me?
Him: I'm straight
Her: Let me change your mind
Him: Let me be more clear - no interest.
Her: I don't even have your new number
He turns to me, "How do we block random people from emailing?" We worked that on out. The not so funny thing is, we had just finishing having the "exes who TapBack" discussion, her name was at the top of his list.

BougieLand, fess up - who's been hit with the TapBack call already? Who is contemplating making one of their own? Is it better or worse to launch a TapBack text? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Learning not to take the bait


There must be a sensor. Some sort of tingly spidey sense that men possess that tells them that their ex is in a happy place with someone else and have moved on. Fellas, am I right? Do you have a commission that keeps an eye on these things and sends out coded signals to let you know? Inquiring minds want to know because I swear it's uncanny. 

The very minute I relax and say, "You know what? This could be good. This could be what happy feels like," something wicked this way comes. In the form of a text or missed phone call indicator or the like.

But guess what? I finally learned. No one says you have to return a call or answer a ringing phone. That is why the tech gods created the IGNORE button. That's right. Just don't take the bait. If someone's dead, they can send an email about the funeral. If someone's sick, they can text the hospital address. If they just want to say they're sorry? We already know. Got news? Tell it to someone who is still required to give two shakes of a damn. Otherwise, I have nothing left to say except...

No. Thank. You. As a matter of fact, how cool would that be? If you had a "no thank you" setting for contacts so that if they called, emailed or texted they would get a pleasant voice and icon saying, "No thank you." That would rock.

Yes, good citizens of BnB. For the first time in I don't know how long. I ignored the missed calls from Certain Someone Upon Whom Many Years and Tears Were Wasted. The freedom of confirming that BlackBerry question, "Are you sure you want to delete?" - YES! Epic moment. Like booty dancing in the middle of the afternoon goodness. 

Just had to share. I know it's not a revelation. I know you are supposed to surgically excise human cancers from your life. But I finally learned to take my own advice. That's celebration-worthy.


Oh, I just got schooled. Apparently women do the ill-fated, unwarranted, malicious and untimely tapback too. My bad. Everybody should stop that. Seriously. Eyes forward. Nothing to see here.  Thoughts?

Question for the fellas: What’s up with the TapBack?

Ah yes, the TapBack... one of our BougieLand special words. Defined as the reaching out of a former S.O. usually in the form of a phone call to test the temperature in case they 1) want you back 2) just want to "tap" or 3) want to mess with your head. Le TapBack.

Ladies want to know... why do you do it, fellas? We've moved on, you've moved on and yet here you go. Generally late at night with a full moon high in the sky... yonder come the TapBack. I received forty-eight (48!!) questions about TapBack. Why does it happen? How to handle it? What if it's one tap only, no repeat performances? How to make the calls stop? And so on, and so on, and so on...

I have multiple opinions on this topic. But it's not about me. Here to share their opinions are BnB regulars Mr. Skyywalker and JasonP. I setup a quick call with the fellas and posed the question... what's up with the TapBack?
Jason: First and foremost, this is not a male phenomenon. We can't even blame the testosterone on this one.
Skyy: Matter of fact, if you really want - we can blame 80% of TapBack on the alcohol.
Me: Your answer is really blame it on the alcohol?
Skyy: If it fits...
Jason: I think I've been hit by more late night/holiday/club parking lot TapBack than I've ever dispensed.
Me: You've never made a TapBack phone call?
Jason: Didn't say that. Just said TapBack is equal opportunity.
Me: Duly noted.
Skyy: Lookie here, you're sitting there, right? A song comes on, a movie comes on, a certain scent hits your nose and you think... oh yeah, her. You dig out the cell phone scroll through to see if the number is still there and next thing you know...
Me: TapBack.
Jason: There it is. Unless it's the wonder what game.
Me: Wonder what?
Skyy: Quit actin' brand new, everybody has looked through their contacts and said, "Wonder what happened to So-and-so?"
Me: I wasn't being brand new, just getting clarification.
Jason: Uh-huh and so anyway, it's not like some sort of malicious intent. Not like we wait until we see you on the street with some other dude and say, "Oh let me call and see what's up with that?"
Skyy: Unless it is.
Jason: Okay. True. Maybe we're jealous, maybe we're lonely, maybe we need cocoa and you always poured it correctly. All the lady has to do... is not answer the phone. 
Skyy: Boom. 
Me: Simple as all that?
Jason: Men are simple creatures. Unless it gets complicated.
Skyy: See now. That right there. My last TapBack phone call was fairly innocent.
Me: Didn't you get married a few weeks back?
Skyy: Exactly. So several months back when I got engaged, I made the closure "this shop is closed for further TapBack" call. 
Jason: Why even do that?
Skyy: Preventative strike. I try to meet drama before it pulls in the driveway.
Me: How'd it go?
Skyy: Not great. I called to say I was onto the next and she was like how about one for the road?
Me: Have a nice life Tapback?
Skyy: See? Messy. 
Me: So isn't it better just not to make the call at all?
Jason: In a perfect world sure. You could walk away from people without a what if or a look back. Sometimes you look back and TapBack happens.
Me: Thank you Gentlemen. I appreciate your time.
BougieLand, what say you? Jason and Mr. Skyy making sense? Does TapBack just happen? Are you guilty of making the call (sending the text)? Is there anyway for "sex with the ex" not to be messy? Wouldn't a clean break just be better? Do you avoid these calls or answer the phone to see what's what? Inquiring minds want to know. The floor is yours...

Kicking off 2011 - Learning not to say "I told you so!"


Stands up and steps to the podium to address BougieLand. "Hi. My name is Michele and I'm a perennial tongue-biter."

"Hi Michele."

"I'm afflicted with drama-avoidance-for-the-sake-of-politeness syndrome and I must be stopped."

Bougie folks know sometimes it's best to bite back the one thing you want to say more than anything else in the world. Why? Because sometimes it's just not helpful, sometimes it's just mean and quite frankly not everything you think needs to be shared. But whew... it's really, really hard not to say (in tart tone), "But I TOLD YOU this was going was to happen and NOW look at yourself!" [Or in a less loquacious way - I told you so!]

New Year's Eve netted me a phone call from Dude Formerly Known As New (DFKN). [For Newbies, go back to BougieNation at a Glance, scroll down to Top Ten All Time and get your read on]  In my defense, I was typing away and did not double check the caller ID prior to hitting the speakerphone button and saying, "This is Michele." My bad. For real though. Technology FAIL on my part. Anyway...

In the months since DFKN and I went our separate ways, he reconciled with his Shady Ex-Wife (SEW). He left the company where they both worked and took a position with a large consulting company. She took a pay cut and transferred into a virtual position so she could live down here with DFKN. [Sidebar: All of this I knew from DFKN's mama who was determined to stay in touch. And yes, it sets my teeth on edge that SEW's crazy behind is sleeping on the 800 thread count sheets I picked out for his bed, staring at the summer sage walls I painted. Woo-sah. Letting go. Letting go. Moving on...]

D proceeded to say, "You will never guess what happened. You will absolutely not believe this."

I was rolling my eyes so hard to the left, I feared corneal damage. Of course I could guess, but what I said was, "What happened?"

Should I strategically pause while all of you who followed the DFKN saga take bets on what I'm typing next? No? Okay. He said, "I walked into my house. My sanctuary. The place I came to get away from all the trifling bullshit she pulled the last time and guess what?"

"Why don't you just tell me." But um, haven't we all seen this film? Isn't this the part in the movie when we scream at the hero - Don't go in there! Umm, hmm. 

"She and Vince were in my damn bed sweating up my damn sheets!"

Pray for me y'all because here's where I thought - not the ones I picked out! Not relevant, I know. "Oh D, I'm sorry that happened to you." [The Oscar for Best Performance by an Ex-Girlfriend who knew this shiggity was coming goes to... ME!]

"I just don't know how I ended up back here."

Now biting my tongue damn near in half. "Hmm."

"She and I were doing so well in counseling, working through our past issues. We had recommitted to each other, you know."

Now wondering if I should just hang up because do I really need to hear this?

He continued, "We had a little misunderstanding last week. She found the Christmas present I bought you."

Suddenly my interest in the conversation picked up. "What Christmas present? Why would you buy me a present?"

"Oh I bought it months ago before you dumped me without a backwards glance."

Well damn. What to tackle first? The fact that he kept the present? Or the revisionist history that he rolled out there? "Why didn't you just give it to her and play it off?"

"It was a charm bracelet with an 'M', a little pen, an amethyst heart and a purple pump on it."

"The David Yurman cable bracelet?"

"Yeah but I had to get some of the charms from other places and have them added."

I had to hit the mute button and have a stern talk with myself. This was not about me or the bracelet I lusted over. I would not ask where it was at this moment and if I could still have it. After all, it was customized just for me. No one else would appreciate it like I would. Focus, Michele. No, I did not ask any of those things. I said, "Oh."

"Anyway, she found it and asked me why I was hanging onto it."

"Why were you hanging onto it?"

Hesitant silence followed by, "It was custom, I couldn't return it."

Side-eye to the phone. "Uh. Huh."

"The point is that I still had it."

"Where?"

"In the nightstand."

"Ooooh."

"What difference does that make?"

Did I really need to explain that you only keep the important stuff in the nightstand? That's where you keep the "grab in case of fire" stuff, the "I might need it in the night" stuff. If you aren't thinking about it, you throw it in a closet or the junk drawer in the kitchen or your bottom desk drawer under last year's tax returns. Just sayin'. "Never mind. So you had words about the bracelet." My bracelet.

"She said I wasn't over you."

"Funny, I said the same thing to you about her. That conversation has got to be stale for you right about now." Ooops. A little zing snuck out before I could catch it.

He gifted me with the hurt silence.

"Sorry D, so what you're saying is you two had beef and a few days later you caught her with Vince."

"You know, you're not over your ex either!"

"Whoa, hey now. I'm playing the role of sympathetic shoulder to cry on here. Which is above and beyond the call of duty since you in essence chose her over me! But if we're going to start pointing fingers and whatnot..."

"I'm sorry. You're right. I'm just angry. I should have listened to you in the first place. I don't know why I called you. I mean really what can you really say besides that you saw this coming, you told me it would happen?"

The People's Choice Award for Best Ex-Girlfriend taking the high road goes to... ME! "I'm still sorry you're going through this. I really am."

"Thanks. I know you're dying to say something else. Go ahead."

"So you're done with the two of them now, right? You've seen all you need to see? No third, fourth, fifteenth chances?"

"Definitely. The only thing I can't figure out is why the two of them keep pulling me into the middle of their games. It's obvious to me now, like you said that they've been at whatever their thing is for years. Took way too long for me to stop being their pawn. Hey, can I ask you something real quick?"

Uh-oh. When someone asks if they can ask something, it's always a doozy. "Sure."

"If I'd listened to you a few months ago and gotten rid of them, would you have stayed? Would we have worked out?"

Like I said... a doozy. I answered honestly, "I don't know. Maybe."

"Do you want the bracelet?"

Drool formed on both sides of my mouth. Of course I wanted the bracelet! But I went all zen with it, "You were holding onto it for a reason. When you figure out what that reason is, we'll talk about it. Happy New Year, D."

"Same to you."

And the Golden Globe for Best Ex-Girlfriend Acting Like a Grown-Up when she really wanted to cut a fool goes to... ME!

Fellas, if you've bought a present for your significant other and then you break up... what do you do with the present? Ladies, do you take the bracelet? BougieLand, am I the only one who thinks Stevie Wonder could've seen this coming through a blizzard with a blindfold on? Thoughts, insights, comments? The floor is yours...

What happens when you mix red wine + painkillers?

I'm a relatively controlled person. Okay, I may have latent control freak issues that I'm working on. Generally, if I decide to cut loose, I've made a conscious decision to do so. I don't like being out of control of my actions which I why I'm rarely "chemically altered." In spite of my deep and abiding love of South American red wines, I generally only drink two glasses. Unless I'm at home and stressed or out having fun with someone that I really, really trust.

When the migraine hit Wednesday night, the painkillers were not kicking in. For some bright reason, I thought a sip or two of red wine would help dull the pain. I remember drinking the third glass of wine and deciding to order up whatever the latest vampire Twilight movie was on the DirecTV cinema on demand (a clear sign I was out of my head). That was around 1:00am.

I awoke at seven-ish because the BlackBerry was beeping. I pried my eyes open to find the empty wine bottle on the nightstand. And no clear recollection of how it got that way. I sat up relieved to find that the pain was low-key. Just a dull ache near the base of my neck. Completely bearable. 

I washed up, grabbed a bottle of water and reached for the BlackBerry. Six messages in, I froze. An email from an ex with no subject line. I opened it up and it read, "Are you okay?" Scrolling down I realized that he was replying to an email I sent him in the middle of the night. The migraine started creeping back in.

Ruh. Roh. At some point in my medicated migraine hell/haze I typed out a lengthy email to him and hit send. The first line of my email read, "This email is not a good idea." The last line read, "Not going to send this, just going to sleep." And yet for some illogical reason, I typed it and hit SEND any damn way. Lawd! As I read through it I winced. It was rambling and way too transparent. What it really was? Nothing I would have written in my right mind. 

Saving grace? I apparently wrote six drafts, each more graphic and "creative" than the last. In one or two iterations, I attempted to write rhyming poetry. I rhymed gloved with loved y'all. For the record, I am not a poet. Thankfully, the draft I sent him was not the worst of the bunch. But you can bet at some point, I'm going to have to face the music on the middle of the night communique. It is what it is.

Moral: Just as you shouldn't drink and drive... you shouldn't drink and dial (or text, or tweet, or email). Chemically altered people should not be allowed to operate any form of communication device. 

So what would you do? Pretend that you were hacked? Shrug it off? Has anyone experience a "drink-n-dial"? Sent a tipsy text? Emailed under the influence? Been the recipient of the boozy tapback call? Do share. The floor is yours.

"I just need five minutes"


This is the text message and voicemail and email I received over and over again Tuesday from an old S/O, Jason. Last time I heard from Jason, he had his current girlfriend call me for advice on how to treat him right. [dramatic pause] Prior to that, he called for the obligatory TapBack check-in. And before that, his fiancée (number 5 or 6) broke up with him the night before the wedding by putting a post-it note on his door and fleeing the island. I tell you this to say, I really didn't want to take his call. As a matter of fact, if I hadn't been on one call hanging up when the other call rung through, I would have avoided it all together.

"Hey girl."
[Silent eye-roll] What's up Jason?
"Not much."
"You said you needed five minutes?"
"Yeah, you good?"
"Great, but really busy so..."
"Can you chat a brother up for a minute?"
"It'll cut into your five but sure. How's Denver?"
"I'm in Boston now."
"Well good for you. How's your mom?"
"She said she talked to you last month."
"True, I take it she's still well?"
"She's great. You really don't want to make small talk do you?"
[Silence on my end.]
"Fine. Can you remind me what I did wrong again?"
"When?"
"When we were together."
"Over 15 years ago?!"
"Well. Yes."
"You were an adventure junkie, control freak who wanted a robot with ladyparts who would bow, curtsy and say yes sir."
"I wasn't an adventure junkie."
"Ooo-kay." [He was an undercover drug agent who kept volunteering for the assignments no one else wanted]
"So you're saying you didn't feel respected."
To say the least. "I felt disrespected, smothered, irritated and tired. But this is a long time ago. Why are you asking now?"
"I was told to find out where my best relationship went off the rails and figure out how to get back on track."
I heard some life coach speak in there but I didn't want to pry. "Well, now you know."
"But I really don't agree."
[Gritted teeth] "This is the problem right here. I told you how I felt. You don't get to agree or disagree. You can accept it or ignore it but my feelings are my own."
"I was good to you."
"You're not listening."
"This last girl says you broke me and I can't be fixed until you forgive me and release me."
This last girl? Is that how were referring to the significant other? "Your new girlfriend is a psychiatrist? Relationship counselor?"
"Life coach, how did you know?"
[Side-eye to phone] "I forgive you, I release you."
"Seriously, just like that?"
"I'm not the one still invested. You keep circling back around to me. So sure, fly and be free."
"Are you seeing somebody?"
"Bye Jason. Good luck with the new one." *CLICK*

First of all, I love it when I no longer gibbadam and can be dispassionate about the whole thing. Secondly, is it truly possibly that some people just never learn? I mean if you keep hearing the same complaint about yourself time after time, wouldn't you start to wonder if it had merit? Do you have an ex that you just can't get rid of? Thoughts, comments, insights... the floor is yours.

Next time I’ll let it go to voicemail (TapBack gone bad!)

What had happened was… I was distracted. I had the D'Angelo video (that Untitled tune with all the nekkidity, six packs and whatnot) playing on VH1 Soul plus I was tweeting on one computer while proofreading something else on my laptop… I just wasn't paying attention. So when my cell phone rang, I answered without checking the caller id. I know, I know… playette FAIL.

"Hello?"

"Michele?" Male voice. Didn't recognize it.

"Yes."

"This is Bill." No help.

"Bill who?"

**crickets**

"I'm sorry, Bill who?"

"Bill Pollard." Oh snap. Blast from the past. (as always, name changed)

Flashback:

Over ten years ago I met Bill while walking through a mall. He managed a furniture store; I was a young Human Resources Assistant at a Fortune 500 company. Bill was 6'2", sexy and caramel colored, originally from Florida. He was a sweet guy, heart of gold, super affectionate, cooked for me (literally made and brought me homemade chicken soup when I was sick), and worried more about how I was feeling than how he was. In the beginning, I had very few complaints. He had a tendency to butcher the English language every once and a while, "I seent dat." What is seent? "You know I loveded that gurl," Loved-ed? Every time he dropped one of those, I would gently correct him and he would say, "Thank you baby, you speak so good." Winceworthy but not major. The first major issue came out of the blue.

We were sitting quietly one Sunday afternoon when he said, "I need more from you."

My eyebrow went up but ooo-kay. "What do you mean?"

"I need us to share our every intimate thought and need all the time. So like, tell me what you're thinking right now. Right this minute, how do you feel?"

I didn't hide the horror on my face well as I said, "Wait, I'm confused. You want us to share every single thought?"

"Yes, I want us to be so close that there's no difference between your thoughts and mine."

"Umm, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that." Nor was I sure that was humanly possible.

"You're so closed off from me. I just want us to be close."

"I thought that builds over time, right?"

Holding my hand he looked deep into my eyes, "Take down your walls girl, I'm here for you. Don't be afraid of love."

Okay, I KNOW I was wrong to laugh. I KNOW THAT. I was young and he caught me off guard and in that moment it was the corniest thing I had ever heard. Much to my horror, he started to tear up. Actual tears. Ah jeez, I felt terrible (and more than a little dismayed). "I'm sorry; I'll really try if it's that important to you. What would you like to talk about?"

He sniffled and said, "I just want to know how you feel about me, is that too much to ask?"

So are you where I was? Starting to feel a distinct role reversal in this relationship? Whatever, I was supposed to be thrilled to find a sensitive man. I said, "Bill, I care for you very much."

"What does that mean?" His face scrunched up.

"It means I really, really like you." I gave him the 'what more can I say' look.

"And?" He prompted.

"And I'm glad you're in my life?"

He took a deep breath, squeezed my hand and said quite forcefully, "I need you to LOVE me!"

To my credit, I bit back my first response and answered, "Then I need you to give me some time."

After this conversation, our relationship shifted. I didn't know it then but looking back I realized that in that conversation he gave me all the power. You can't give that to a daddy's girl, young stupid bougie chick with a princess complex. She will run right over you… which is exactly what I did. With that conversation, he had laid down and stamped "doormat" on his forehead, and I wasted no time wiping my feet. I'm not proud of it, just being real. I nagged him to dress better, I urged him to speak better, I left brochures on Business Linguistics classes all over his apartment. I tried to mold him into what I thought he should be all the while dangling the carrot that if he did this thing, and then this thing and then this thing I would love him. He literally cracked one day. We had a particularly nasty fight where I verbally beat him about the head and neck (shamed to say words like 'punk-ass' and 'man the f! up' fell out of my mouth in his direction). [Blogger's note: Fellas, women will get away with as much as you let them get away with. I know you think that is your game exclusively, here's the wake up call. If you allow a woman to treat you any old kindaway, she just might. Ya'll ain't cornered the market]

Anyway, at three in the morning, I heard the shower running. I went in there and he was curled up on the floor of the bathtub sobbing like I shot his mama. "I'm never going to be good enough for you. I'm just not what you want. Why don't you just say it so I can walk away?" In that moment, I questioned everything I knew about myself (at that age, it wasn't much) and realized that I had taken a good guy who just wanted to adore me and broken him. He was a broken tore-up soul letting cold water run across his body. I turned off the water, wrapped him up and held him through the night. The next morning I told him, "You're right and it's really not you. I just don't know who I am and what I want." He looked at me and said sadly, "But you know it not's me." He took his keys and walked out. I never laid eyes on him again.

So back to present day. Now that you know the tale, you can imagine my discomfort at hearing from him again. I had actually tried to find him a few years back to "make amends" but old boy had fled back to Florida. Yep, I broke the boy to the point that he quit his job, left the state and went home to his mama. *hangs head in shame*

"Bill, wow – it's been a while. What's up?"

"I just want you know that I thank you."

"Oh, uh. Really?" Color OneChele confused.

"Yes. If you hadn't ripped my heart out years ago, I would never be who I am now."

Uncomfortable. He spent the next 15 minutes letting me know how angry and bitter he was after I "ruined" him. And how he entered into a series of relationships where he basically did to other women what I had done to him (ooo- the guilt burned! I'm sorry Florida sisters!) until finally getting married a few years ago. He now has two kids and a chain of some kinda store.

"I'm happy for you, Bill. I really am. I always wanted to apologize for how I treated you. I was really young and stupid. If it helps at all, I never treated anyone else that way again."

"Well, you can apologize in person."

"Beg pardon?"

"I'll be in Dallas in a few weeks and I think you owe me closure… in whatever form I choose to exact it."

Say what now? "I'm sure I don't understand."

"You owe me."

"I owed you an apology, I just gave you that."

"I want it in person. And I want the break-up sex."

I held the phone with my mouth hanging open. "Umm…"

"Yeah, I'm not that same punk b*tch in the shower boo-hooing cause you don't love me."

Wincing, wincing. "Umm…"

"Shall I call you when I land?"

Damn if he didn't sound like he'd taken that Business Linguistics class I had recommended. "Bill, I don't think that's a good idea."

"You married some doctor or lawyer, huh?"

Take the easy fork in the road girl, "You know me too well."

"Exactly, that's why I'll call when I get in. Knowing you, old boy is on a short leash and you're ready for some no strings entertainment."

Ouch. "You take care, Bill." CLICK. Straight to call history. SAVE NUMBER? Yes. NAME? "Do Not Answer Bill!"

Truly, I believe karma has come back around and kicked my ass plenty for my Bill foolishness. If there's a yin-yang in the universe, I've more than out-yinned the yang of it all. But feel free to let me have it, BougieLand. Did I just have this one coming? Is the over apology enough, knowing that what he really wants is revenge instead of closure? Do we even really owe anybody closure if we weren't "with" them for over a year or married? Isn't "goodbye and good luck" enough? Does hearing the other person apologize net you anything in the long run anyway? And what good did break-up sex ever do? Okay, comment as you will.

I just called to say…

Kicking off Relationship Week (the remix) with a few true confessions stories. Feedback strongly encouraged! Enjoy...

Back in the day, I would spend hours on the phone. Catching up with friends, flirting with the fellas, being about business. In the last eighteen months, I have noticed a shift. More and more, I catch up with friends on Facebook or via email. These days I do a lot of flirting (okay, not THAT much) on Twitter or one of the three instant messaging programs loaded on the laptop. I'm not ashamed to say that if I don't recognize a phone number, I let it go to voicemail. Now I will call folks back and if you're saved into the Blackberry, you get answered on the second ring. As a matter of fact, chances are if you are someone of any sort of import – I've assigned you a ringtone on my cell and home phone. I like to know which calls to run for (or away from). It occurs to me that I actually don't recall what I did before caller ID.

So it was with no small trepidation a few weeks ago that I heard No Doubt's epic song, "Ex-Girlfriend" blaring from my BlackBerry. This is the song I've assigned to the ex-S/Os. I looked down to see which one and gave a sigh. Not a happy sigh, a weary sigh. It was the one we call Eugene. The so-called Feast in my from Feast to Famine story.

I answered the phone with the following sentiment, "This can't be good."

He was taken aback, "What do you mean? What kind of greeting is that?"

Sighing I moved on, "Hey, what's up?"

"Sitting out here chillin.'"

You see, back in the day- that was the hook. He tossed it out there; I nibbled by asking the follow-up question. I played along, "Out where, whatcha up to?"

"You know where I am." Again, back in the day… I did. I kept that boy's schedule like a secretary gunning for sainthood. I knew what time he flew, how much time it took him to get a rental car and usually I was sitting in the lobby of his hotel chatting up the concierge but the time he arrived. I had .pdf copies of his schedule filed chronologically on my desktop. In retrospect, that says something that I felt I had to keep that close a tab. But anyway…

Things had changed, "Gene, I have no clue."

"I'm in Dallas for work." And there's the bait.

"Oh okay."

"So what's your schedule like?" Fishing a little deeper.

"Why?"

"You should come out and have a drink with your boy."

Uh-huh. I should also douse myself with lighter fluid and strike a match the next time I want to BBQ. No. Thank. You. But I say, "Is your situation different?" In other words, have you fixed ANY of the f*ed up stuff that made our relationship completely unworkable in the past? I knew the answer before I asked the question.

"Uh no, but it's just a drink." Right, like Hurricane Katrina was just a little rain. I steers clear of disaster these days and don't need no burning bush to read these signs.

"I don't think that's a good idea, but you enjoy your time in Dallas." Now that was new. Time was, your girl would've have spun twice in the shower, whipped up the hair and makeup, thrown on tight jeans and pumps and been out the door in record time. As I sat there, I got a little angry. We had JUST had this discussion. I sent over a text, "Do you NOT recall what I said last time you came through?" Which was a "don't call me, I'll call you" "we're done, son" speech.

He texted back, "Of course, forgive me for wasting your time."

Zipped over my response, "You've kind of used up your credit at the forgiveness store. You take care."

I felt good about myself, stronger and wiser; and put it out of my mind. Two days later, the Gwen Stefani ringtone: Kinda always knew I'd end up your ex-girlfriend, whoa-oh! Who now? Jason. My ex whose latest fiancée broke up with him via Post-it note the night before their wedding. Ah jeez. Jason is an ex-Federal Drug Task Force with a GI Joe-complex and an irritating way of treating women like subordinate (and not so bright) members of his old squad. He liked women to be ornamental and lacking in opinion. He thought women belonged in the bedroom and the kitchen and should wear heels at all times. At last count, he has been engaged 5 times without making it to the altar.

He is 6'2", 210, caramel colored, quite fine, chock full of testosterone and confidence with an ego the size of Texas. He's that quintessential small town Texas boy that made good. Still wears Wranglers and Ropers (look it up, people) well enough to make you pause and look twice. We were briefly engaged way back when. So briefly I never told BougieFam and chalked it up to temporary hormonal overload of a girl who grew up sheltered. Moving on… every 18 months like clockwork Jason tracks me down. In a weak moment back in 2002, I made the mistake of seeing him. It took me 4 days and a Leverage-style con to get rid of him. Lesson learned. The thing was though – his mother and I kept in contact. She adored me (of course) and still laments at not being able to call me her daughter. She has been in poor health for a while so when he called, I was positive it was about her.

"How's Pauletta?" I answered my phone by getting straight to the point.

"She's okay, she misses you though."

On my end silence.

"I guess you heard what happened with me and Terry, huh?"

"Uh, yeah – your Mom sort of told me. Why'd she break it off?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know? Come on, you HAD to have done something for her to call off a Caribbean wedding the morning of… via post-it. Dude, remember who you're talking to!"

"There might have been a thing."

"A thing?"

"A slightly inappropriate thing with a chick from the hotel. Nothing serious though."

"So you sabotaged it."

"No! Why would you say that?"

"You grabbed the ass of a hotel employee where your fiancée was staying. You wanted to get caught, you didn't want to get married."

"I didn't want to get married to her."

"Uh-huh."

"I always only wanted to be married to you."

"And how'd that work out for you?"

"Still mean. Listen, you wanna hang out? I'm in town for a day or so."

What am I? The Dallas Hotel Hook-Up Chick all of a sudden? "Uh, no."

"Come on, it'll be fun. No strings. Just a couple of drinks, some laughs, a walk down memory lane." Like I don't know what that means?

Oh, so I'm the Dallas Hotel Hook-Up Chick that you have to get liquored up first. "If we're walking down memory lane, Jay… very few laughs."

"Oooh, still know how to cut a brother. Come on out, what are you afraid of? Afraid you'll like it?"

Deep, deep sigh. Ninja PLEASE. You couldn't punk me into doing what you wanted when I was twenty-five, it for REAL will not work now. And now, I know how to play too, "Ah baby, I'm afraid you'll get hooked again. And it took me a week to get rid of you last time."

"It was a good week though."

"For you. It was a good week for you. Listen, I gotta go."

"You still with that dude?" Okay, Eugene and Jason have never met face to face but do not care for each other on GP. Many a time I've convinced one not to seek out the other to declare war.

"Nope."

"That's something anyway. I always told you he was no good for you."

"He says the same thing about you."

"So you're free?"

Easier to lie, "No. New guy. Getting serious. As a matter of fact, I need to go ahead and get ready."

"So you're really not coming?"

"I'm really not coming."

"Well think about it and call me if you change your mind."

Don't hold your breath. But I say, "You take care."

So fellas, help me out. What's with the temperature taking calls? We used to call them "TapBack" because (obviously) someone was trying to come back and tap. I hear tell women are notorious for this as well. Not my scene. I don't get how anything good comes out of the TapBack beyond the temporary pleasure of the tap. My grandma Blanche had a saying, "When you start stirring up old sh!t, it just starts to stink again."

Another girlfriend of mine used to blame the TapBack on the full moon. She swore that every full moon brought out the crazies and the exes (sometimes one and the same). I used to get one of these calls per quarter. However, the older I get and the more of my exes that get married (whole other post, ya'll), the fewer of these I receive. Of course, the older I get the more exes I have. Okay... moving on.

Here what I wonder... is the TapBack an indicator that there's still something there or just that you were next up alphabetically in the BlackBerry contact list? And if you fall for (or go along with) the TapBack, are you re-igniting a relationship or scratching a temporary itch? What say you, BougieLand? Is there any merit in the TapBack? Does it ever lead to "reunited and it feels so good"? Any stories you'd care to share?