At the time, I was desperately (key word: desperately) trying to have an amicable friendship with this man I had loved so much, and this was the LAST experience I wanted him to have of me before he deployed just seven days later. What I felt it said to him (and perhaps what he felt, too): if we maintain a friendship -- which was very important to me (because I would feel like a failure if we didn’t) -- we’ll always have to be dealing with this nonsense: squelching rumors, dealing with reporters, all of the things he hates. I was holding up a portrait of his worst nightmare. It was HUMILIATING. When I spoke with Jack two days ago, and told him about this portion of the episode, I was just as nervous as when I called him that day back in December with the reporter. His life is bigger than this crap -- he’s actually out there (just back from a seven month deployment) fighting for our country, and he doesn’t deserve to have to deal with questions about his past relationship. We ended our conversation amicably, but I feel deeply uncomfortable that he’ll be affected by my mentioning this on the show. I should have thought of that when I walked into that coffee shop. But I didn’t.
That’s the problem inherent in reality shows: if you’re a conscientious human being, you try to take into account everyone’s feelings (“Should I say this, even if it’s what I’m going through, knowing that a mere mention of it will drag this person into a situation he might not want?”), and then you’re accused of not being authentic -- when really you’re trying to protect someone. So you start being honest and authentic -- and then people accuse you of NOT protecting the people you love or loved. It can be a horrible catch-22, and you just hope and pray that your loved ones -- whether they be your family or your friends or your exes -- understand your intentions, understand that you were doing the best you could with the emotional resources you had at the time.
I suppose that’s really all any of us can do.
So from there we move to this bike date with William. Now, a few things on this:
1) I look like a drunk cowboy riding a bike!
2) I will never again be filmed on a bike.
3) Have I mention that I look stupid while biking?