What I know about engineers by Beth

7 Nov

I know fuck all about engineers actually. But an engineer did break my heart. Twice. Same engineer. Twice the heart breakage. From this I learnt that engineers are efficient.

I met Len Careburn (not his real name), when I was 24 through a a girl I worked with. He was studying some kind of engineering. From this I learnt that there are lots of kinds of engineering. I liked him instantly, and when I say ‘like’, I thought he was hot in a tall, dark, skinny, standoffish but vulnerable way. We went on a date to a crappy Italian restaurant in Newtown, had sex, somehow gave each other a nasty rash (true story), and next thing I knew we were an item.

Len liked to tell me that he wanted to be a hermit one day. And that he would like that day to be very soon. Engineers are very independent. I have no idea how I glossed over this in my mind, because I was convinced that we would get married and have babies together. There were good times, but I honestly can’t remember what form they took. We had nice breakfasts I think…

There were bad times, like when he crashed my car and then dumped me for two weeks.

This is where the generalisations about engineers cease. But the story is too good not to tell you how it ends up.

There were worse times, like when we got back together only to have him tell me that he’d been sleeping with a friend of his. So we broke up again but kept sleeping together for a bit. He posted me his diary (as you do) sometime after the break-up, and in it was a list of pros and cons written about me. I now wish I had kept it because it was pure gold, but all I can remember now is that a con was that I was a dud root, and a pro was that he really liked my parents. So many tears wasted over this guy! “Argh! Young Beth, something better is out there!” I yell back at myself. But to no avail.

There were even worse times, like when I hadn’t told my parents about why we’d broken up and they offered to have him live with them when all his flatmates moved out and he was completing his honours year. I’d moved out, so I had to schedule my time visiting my parents when he’d be out of the house. They were pretty bad times.

And then we got back together! (?!?!) It’s good for me to know that I have made many insane decisions. I hope it makes me a humbler parent, but I’m sure it won’t. Somewhere in there I went to visit Tabitha in Paris and my friend Mandy in Tokyo, and got into film school, and life started really going some great places for me. So I had the courage to dump him. Two years after we went to that crappy Italian restaurant. And he cried. But I didn’t.

He eventually followed his hermit dream and moved up to far north Queensland to work with steam engines (his first love), where he still lives I think, with two dogs and some cats.

The relationship, although painful a fair percentage of the time, taught me so much about myself and what I wanted from life and a life-partner. Len predicted that Jeff and I would get together, and with that he was right. I bare him some ill will in a very mild way, but don’t begrudge him staying in touch with my mother. Which he does. I’m grateful for that time; engineer and all.

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8 Responses to “What I know about engineers by Beth”

  1. Tabitha November 7, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    Okay, so I’m going to put it out there: THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER APPEARED ON THE INTERNET.

    Just reading this was, for me, an amazingly cathartic experience, so I can’t imagine what it was like for you to write it! When you lay it all out like that, it’s just so, so…. BAD (THE DIARY!!!). And you know what else? The sad thing is it’s also, so, so TYPICAL of all those bad relationships that so many of us put ourselves through, before we allow ourselves to open up to the kind of relationships we deserve. Although I do like to think that the young women of the world today might have a bit more sense, if solely thanks to He’s Just Not That Into You (a greater gift to womankind than The Female Eunuch).

    And I completely agree about the benefits of coming out the other side of an awful, and ill-advised relationship. If this week’s topic was “statistician” I could have written my own version of this post, as you well know, but like you, I don’t regret those two crappy years one bit. Those two years earned me a lifetime of happiness.

  2. Justyna November 7, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Here here! This is the best post of the whole blog ever! In fact the remaining authors this week should read “engineer” as “crap ex boyfriend”. I have a physicist I could write about for a while.

    I can’t believe he was living at your parents’ place when you had broken up! Fucking hell.

    I too regret nothing. I scored a really decent thermarest out of the relationship and a snorkel mask, didn’t I! So it was worth it. Oh and the fact that every guy that came along after that in comparison was always going to be way better!

    • Beth November 7, 2011 at 10:01 am #

      Justyna, Ooh, ooh, can we please make the topic “crap ex boyfriend”?! That would save me having to hit refresh on the random word generator until it came up with “statistician”!

      Ahhh, the “living with my parents period”. He was very fond of my parent’s cat, and my parents, which is somewhat redeeming. Best leave it at that.

      My husband has just read the post said he laughed in parts, so I must be onto a winner!

      I think I remember another thing from the diary. A con being my weight, but I think there was a pro about me being “cuddly”. Hmm. Maybe I’m grateful my memory has blanked the rest out.

      Tabs, I am reminded of my “barn and desert” analogy here. When you first break up with someone it’s painful to remember good and bad memories, and hard to know what to do with them. A long time ago, I encouraged you to put all the nice memories into a warm barn to keep separate from the bad memories, which were relegated to the desert. Turns out that the desert ones are actually easier to remember after a while! Ha!

      • Tabitha November 9, 2011 at 4:12 am #

        So, as you can see, I have rejected your attempt to change this week’s topic, mostly because I already had a post idea for “engineer”, but also because I’m too much of a wimp to write about ex-boyfriends on the internet.

        And Beth, yes that barn and desert analogy has served me well over the years!

  3. Justyna November 9, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Well Tabitha, who says that we must use random word generators. You never know, in three weeks time the word that I pick just might be ‘ex boyfriend’. It will be a cleansing ritual of sorts. Since Beth’s post I’ve been thinking loads about it. Funnily enough when I’m imagining the post that I will write on the matter, I just can’t seem to keep an objective mature mind about it. The overwhelming use of the word ‘dickhead’ perhaps suggests that I really should go through a cleansing ritual It’s been bloody long enough.

    Admittedly I am not sure I could be as open in public about the experience as Beth was. Beth, you have mega balls.

    • Beth November 9, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      Wow. YOU have mega balls Justyna. You saying that makes me laugh and then worry that I’ve said too much. Although I actually left out some awesome juicy details!

      I agree! Stuff the random word generator. It’s my turn for a topic next and who knows what I will come up with?! mwah mwah mwah!

      • Karen November 11, 2011 at 8:48 am #

        I can’t believe I haven’t commented yet. This was indeed an awesome entry, and the kind of salaciousness I wanted from your “mind in the gutter” post too ;-). Crap ex-boyfriend is probably a topic everyone would enjoy writing about. Although mine would probably have a friend of a friend reading…

  4. Beth November 11, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    I’m just warming up Karen! Stay tuned!

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