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End of the Road

May 2, 2012

I had just finished a one-hour appearance on the Batchelor Pad radio show last night when I left my office area. I'm typically a bit different when I'm doing a radio spot, a more amped-up version of myself. And usually it can take a little time to wind down from that, but that wasn't an option for me after last night's program. I walked into the living room area and immediately knew I was in trouble. The lights were low. Stacy was waiting for me and told me to sit down.

The next 90 minutes were extremely unpleasant. Stacy outlined the many problems she had with what has happened over the past three-and-a-half years of our relationship. Three-and-a-half years to the day. I'm not going to go into detail, since a great deal of it involved personal things that I would rather not relive, let alone put out there for the world to read.

Me writing this in March didn't help, but that's mild compared with the original version of what I wrote. It was a reactionary response to her outburst at me for purchasing a plane ticket to New York City to attend the 2012 NFL Draft. That's how I vent my anger most effectively: through writing. I've tried to avoid that over the past few years since sometimes what I write gets me in trouble, and I really wanted things to work with Stacy.

In hindsight, I suspect it was already too late by that point to salvage things no matter what I wrote that night, positive or negative, though I didn't know it at the time. Any of it, really.

I was surprised by some of the negative things Stacy pointed out during the 90 minutes of torment, problems which I had apparently been too aloof to recognize. I did my best to counter issues that I took umbrage with and to argue points which I felt were inaccurate. But, in the end, it didn't matter. Stacy had already made up her mind, and finally she came out with it: she wanted to break up. After three and a half years, it was over.

In some ways it felt like being the focus of a vicious comedy roast, then having your girlfriend break up with you for real at the end of the event. It was the emotional equivalent of ten stomach punches and an uppercut. I wish Stacy would have just said that she wanted to break up from the outset and given the reasons why instead of dragging it on and on and on and us talking in circles. But maybe actually saying it was hard enough that it took her an hour and a half to finally do it.

Me hanging out with Clyde in December 2009.

Stacy was the woman who I had planned to marry and spend the rest of my life with, happily ever after and all that. We had developed our own sub-language and treasure trove of inside jokes. We held impromptu nightly two-person comedy shows to entertain each other, including dueling voice impressions of what we were projecting that her yellow lab, Clyde, would say if he could talk. When my brother's bulldog Titus was over here visiting we did the dueling voices for him as well, which turned into quite the show at times with both dogs involved.

Stacy and I were compatible in so many ways, though there were some incompatibilities that I was informed of last night that makes going forward together an impossibility.

I was stunned by it all, and I'm still stunned now. I can't even look at a picture of Clyde without tears welling up in my eyes. I thought I would enjoy watching him live a long, full life. Now I might never see him again once I leave town, which is going to happen soon. That hurts me more than I can put into words.

Since Stacy owns the house where we've been living for the past three years, it's time for me to exit. I've passed up multiple media job opportunities in the past to stay here in Nashville with Stacy, chances that would have required me to relocate but that would have allowed me to ply my craft, to continue in the business I studied in college and that I was successfully employed in for several years. So now I'm leaving town. That probably means I won't be doing any Father Ryan High School football broadcasts this fall, which is a shame since I really enjoyed them.

I have some plans to make it through the short-term, and if things work out the way I hope they will, this could end up being one of those blessing-in-disguise type things. But, right now, it sure doesn't feel that way. It hurts like hell, and nothing but time will be able to cure the pain.

Also, in hindsight, maybe the video clip from Lost in that aforementioned March column I wrote was really about Huntington, not Tampa...

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