At some point in any relationship, I am visited by my alter ego: Insane Girlfriend. I don’t like Insane Girlfriend and she doesn’t like me. I hate how needy she is and she can’t stand my self-control. For the purposes of this essay, I am going to call her IG, or Iggy. She hates that.
Sometimes Iggy has a point: she deserves a phone call when a phone call was promised. Especially when Unsuspecting Boyfriend is away for the weekend having a good time without her. But the depth and intensity of Iggy’s emotional reactions are too much for me. I scold her—'this might be inconsiderate but it does not necessarily point to an essential character flaw or the ultimate doom of the relationship'—and she ignores me. I hate being ignored.
Iggy’s primary states of mind are Anger, Panic, and Tears, in that order of priority. She is so consumed by her Anger that it is impossible for me to get anything done. Last night she would have dropped her toothbrush and darted into the other room to see if it was, indeed, her cell phone ringing, had I not through an effort of will prevented her.
And it wasn’t. My cell phone ringing.
A cell phone is a particularly bad thing for Iggy to have. As much as I hate the umbilical cord that it has become, tying me to anyone with the number at any time, Iggy cannot be without it. Sometimes I force her to leave it in another room, out of earshot, but I have not as yet convinced her to leave the house without it, or to turn it off.
I used to keep my cell phone off all the time. Then my roommates and I decided that it would be simpler and cheaper to cancel the land line, switch to cable Internet, and use the cells as our primary phones.
And that’s what they are—cells. I’m sitting in one right now, with Insane Girlfriend. She is rattling the bars and alternately shouting obscenities at UB and sighing over pictures of him. I’m over here, wishing for once that I had papers to grade or a punching bag to punch. I don’t know whose picture I want on it: his, hers, or mine.
Because as much as I try to sit over here in the opposite corner, Insane Girlfriend is me. I am the one who needs the attention, the reassurance, the time spent. I am the one who overreacts when I don’t get it. I am the one who gets angry, who panics, who cries. That Girl for whom most of her weekend plans revolve around her boyfriend? It’s me. Ouch.
Last night Iggy and I called UB and left a nasty message on his voicemail. This is his own fault, we told ourselves. It helped us sleep, to get all that off of our chest. But today I’m still fighting with her, not him. It’s myself I’m angry with, for needing so much, for being so sensitive, for acting so insane.
In a move that seems to amuse only me, I pull lines from the blogs I hit on the Next Blog button, and arrange them into found poem form.