Songwriters: Sade Adu, Andrew Hale, Stuart Matthewman
Original Release: Stronger Than Pride
Definitive Version: None
Shortly after we broke up, I had a chance to get back together with Debbie, but I didn’t do it for reasons I will discuss at a later time. So, in the end, I guess I’d have to say that I found pride to be stronger than love. That said, although I didn’t go back to Debbie, I didn’t make a clean break either.
Part of me couldn’t understand why she kept contacting me, wanting to have dinner together, to celebrate my birthday. She had someone else—someone she left me for and thus preferred over me: Why still bother with me? Had the situation been reversed, I would have thought to leave well enough alone. (Have I disclosed that Debbie left me for someone else yet? I don’t think I have. Oh well. Now’s as good a time as any.)
But the larger part of me thought, well, why be mean? It wasn’t a feeling of if she wants to waste her money on, say, taking me to dinner at Handke’s or buying me tickets to see Neil Young & Crazy Horse, why not take advantage of that. Instead it was, well, Debbie and I had been through a lot. We were friends first, and she knew where the bodies were buried, so to speak. I guess ultimately I didn’t want her back but I didn’t want to push her away either.
After I met Laurie and moved to Chicago, I thought my relationship with Debbie would end once and for all. It didn’t, and for a while at first we chatted on the phone fiarly regularly when I’d go up to Northwestern to conduct my job search. But our relationship grew more remote, more distant.
I definitely was ready to move on after a while, but, again, I wasn’t interested in just saying to Debbie, you know, I don’t want to hear from you again. What good what that do? It didn’t bother me to hear from her, that is, I didn’t descend into some spiral of why did she leave me or anything like that. It was fine as is.
Even after I got the email from Debbie announcing that she married her new guy, I was fine with hearing from her. I had my own life going on, so it wasn’t a big deal, although it was interesting to me that apparently she didn’t really care about that pension after all.
Anyway, after Mom died two years ago, I saw Debbie for the first time in maybe six years since I moved to Chicago. We met for breakfast at a Bob Evans (I’m a sucker for Bob’s biscuits and sausage gravy) when I was in town to help clean out Mom’s condominium. Our reunion was cordial and warm. There wasn’t a sense of finality to it, but when we parted, I had a pretty good idea that I never would see Debbie again. Since then our contact has been minimal.
I still don’t hold any animosity toward Debbie. It’s been 12 years since we were together, and that seems like a lifetime ago. Maybe now our relationship finally has run its course.