The Day I Wore My Pants Inside Out

I worked over the weekend, which I’m officially convinced is totally counter-productive because on Monday, I was utterly useless at work. I couldn’t get a damn thing done without the benefit of decompressing over the weekend. Tuesday, I had an important meeting with my boss so I got up at 6 a.m. in order to get to work early and get my ducks in a row. I later realized that half asleep in the dim light of dawn, I put my pants on inside out. (They’re boot-cut dress pants but stretchy like yoga pants – a working girl’s dream!) The best part is that I went through the entire day without a clue. I didn’t know until after work when I rushed to Lean’s for some emergency girlfriend support and she meekly asked, “Um, are your pants on inside out?” I was shocked but by that time, couldn’t have cared less because I’d just found out my friend Dan killed himself. Frankly, I’m devastated. We met last year at this time and shared an immediate connection. Lean said in the six years she’s known me, she’d never seen me so smitten. And I was, in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time. We bonded over music, our mutual love of words (he taught me “perspicacity“), our rough childhoods, and our coping mechanism senses of humor. Dan was so, so bright – he went to law school, then got his MBA, and had the sort of wisdom that comes when you’ve endured a lot of shit. His smarts made me all the more attracted to him. It wasn’t long before he asked if I would date him and I wanted to but had some un-finished personal business. We had crazy chemistry – the kind where your heart flutters just standing near one another – but I had reservations and things fizzled. When we stopped talking, I cried a lot because I knew we had something special but wasn’t sure how to proceed. I was mad at God for bringing this wonderful person into my life but that things didn’t work out perfectly. I thought about Dan so often and was certain we’d talk again when the time was right and start dating. Now I wonder if the God I questioned was trying to protect me from the potential hardship of being in a relationship with someone who commits suicide.

I know there was probably nothing I could’ve done but it’s hard not to wonder what would’ve happened if I’d called him or opened my heart more – taken a risk. Today I remembered a conversation we had early on. He told me he hadn’t ever been happy and wondered if it was even possible. At the time I thought it was sad, but didn’t know how imminent it was.

I realized quickly he didn’t have the greatest self-esteem. He introduced me to his younger brother and went on and on about how his brother had gotten the good looks and he was the ugly sibling. His brother is cute but I’d have picked Dan any day. I wish I’d told him.

I could always feel the weight of the hardships he’d borne and how it had affected his personality. He was self deprecating to a fault but there were so many things I liked about him, I just wanted to shower him with love so he’d know how great he was. The thought that I’ll never have the chance to do that is heart-breaking.

There are so many questions, the most painful one being, how the hell do you go on with life after something like this happens? And the vulnerability I feel now that this terrible thing occurred in my periphery – a dull ache in my heart and an undeterred lump in my throat. I’m at a loss, truly and metaphorically.


9 Responses to “The Day I Wore My Pants Inside Out”

  1. tmc Says:

    My condolences…

  2. unclevinny Says:

    Jeez, I’m so sorry to hear this! I suppose it goes without saying, but of course you shouldn’t think bad of yourself for anything you did or didn’t do. We all make decisions for various reasons, and we can’t be hostage to others, especially on something like suicide. Suicide is selfish, but it’s also aggressive; it ends pain and puts it on other people. Although I’m really sympathetic with anyone who is in that much pain that they’d want to die, I’m more defiant in support of those who are left behind… they need a lot of help and hugs, too.

    So please, spend time with friends and talk things over with anyone that feels right to you, and try to stay away from the “what if?” questions. Keep aiming yourself towards healthy spirits and attitudes, and love those around you, it’ll make things better in time.

  3. lydia Says:

    I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but did you happen to see that Desperate Housewives episode a few weeks ago about the handyman? I think it was the 100th episode. Anyway, he died. And the whole episode was each housewife remembering how he had done something little in each of their lives that had turned out to make a huge difference in their happiness. At the end, we found out that he had known the one housewife who had killed herself, and had seen her that day and noticed something was off, but he hadn’t done anything about it. When he found out she had committed suicide, he vowed never to *not* do something if he felt like someone needed a boost or a shoulder to cry on or a good old fashioned wake up call.

    I bawled my eyes out at that episode, because I thought the message was so important. While I am so sad for you at the loss of your friend in such an awful way, I hope that you’ll find a way to honor his memory by not worrying about “what if” you had done something different with him, but making sure you never have to ask yourself that again. It won’t be easy–we can always look back and think we could have been better or done something different–but perhaps losing him will give you a different perspective on others you meet that might be like him…

    Something tells me that your friend may not have thought he was ever happy, but that you provided brightness in what sounds like a very dark life. More than likely there was nothing you could have done, so don’t dwell on the choices you could have made. Remember the choices you DID make, the ones that led to the wonderful memories you have of him. He had those same memories of you.

    Hang in there, chica.

  4. westwardbound Says:

    This is awful and I’m so sorry.

  5. Kriss Says:

    I’m so sorry.

    Sending you an e-mail, sweetie.

  6. SweetBasta Says:

    Though I would usually use this comment to make more fun of you wearing your pants inside out, I instead offer you thoughts and prayers. Try not to dwell on the things you didn’t do, but instead remember the fun times that you did have together and how that must have brought some happiness to his life amidst the sea of sorrow he carried around. You are one of those people that makes everyone happy when you are around.

    Love you, hang in there.

  7. Amelia Says:

    I was going to say that I like the new layout, but then I actually read the newest entry.

    I’m so, so sorry.

    I can’t imagine what kind of pain your friend must have been in to feel that suicide was his best choice. But as one of the above commenters said, his pain ended but now all of you who knew him are in pain.

    No point to what-ifs, but do remind yourself that you did bring joy to his life, for whatever time you spent with him.

  8. Amy Says:

    Sounds like a good time for Abby-hugs.

  9. Lorie Says:

    I was just catching up on your blog and I read this. I am so sorry!

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