[Content Disclosure: 55% Life; 38% Memories; 19% Lust; 9% Love; 7% Long Forgotten Pain; Stir in a bit of Nostalgia and a Smidgen of Insight; .5% Poker]
When you live in Las Vegas, a lot of old friends come to town for meetings, conventions, trade shows and junkets. I have several variations of my "guided tour" depending on how worldly my old chums are these days. At the end of one such visit this fall, I found myself upwind from a cigar on the balcony of a garden suite at one of more elegant hotels on the Strip. Yes, some of my old college friends have done right well in the world of corporate America and some of the perks are quite interesting for an evening. The client's expense account had paid for a very nice dinner after which I had given my high end poker tour (Venetian & Bellagio). We even did and interior drop by in Bobby's Room as I had to bug one of the players about a interview we had been putting off.
Later on the balcony my college buddy and I were discussing olde thymes and olde friends, when Steve said: "Tell me again about your crazy girlfriend."
"Well Chris wasn't really crazy." I remembered that Steve had been around a few times when I was with Chris in the 70's.
"No not Chris, your actually crazy girlfriend."
Oh, right Steve had never met Barbie, but at some long ago college reunion, the boys had stayed up late on another balcony of that bed and breakfast in Kalamazoo and told tales of our lives since graduation. I had told of a Barbie weekend in Los Angeles with the drugs, the overtly sexual Sunset Blvd. excursion and the broken picture window at the Coldwater Canyon house.
"I have the impression you are not looking to hear just another love/war story, what is it you are asking me? You got a crazy person in your life Steve?"
"As a matter of fact I do. And you are the guy with the Ph.D. in psychology and some experience with crazy women, so how about serving up a side of insight for me."
I remember a very similar talk Steve and I had forty years ago on that big front porch of Harmon Hall. Older and wiser, we thought we were, but still having late night dorm room conversations about life and women. Some things really never change, just the cost of the balcony.
As it turns out, Steve's crazy woman had been running an African photo safari compound for the past ten years, so it had been email only for a long time. But she was back again and too close for comfort to his fully functional life in Atlanta. While he finished his cigar and we both emptied several bottles of wine, I gave what clinical advice as I could and we judiciously did not see the sun rise over the Strip. But that night has been rolling around in my psyche since then and I have come up with the highly theoretical and anecdotally tested construct of the Emotional Drive-By.
Ladies please feel free to reverse the gender roles in this theory, it works equally well with crazy boyfriends.
The Emotional Drive-By consists of an ex-lover dipping themselves into your life, yet again! The essential symptoms include most if not all of the following:
-they are not staying, this is not an attempt at permanence nor reconciliation;
-they are adventure addicts, action junkies and/or lost souls;
-you can't save them and they will harm you;
-you know that re-involvement is a mistake; yet often that knowledge does not translate into rational behavior;
-the entire encounter is overwhelmingly seductive;
-the moment they are gone again, you look at yourself in the mirror again and ask: "Why did I do that...again?"
If all of the above makes completely rational sense to you, I am sorry because none of the above will do you any good since this is not and never was a rational relationship.
You have several choices: Don't take the phone call, no really, don't take the call. I know, I know but the other option is to store up better emotional bandages than you had back then and carve out some time in our life for yet another emotional recovery. Its always a balance between the chaos in your life after she is gone and the junkie release you get while he is there.
For those who find this scenario way too familiar; my deepest, most insightful clinical advice is: Run Away!
Please pay the receptionist on the way out, remember I have a therapist who costs me a lot more than I charge you. And good night Barbie, wherever you are.