Nicki Quitting Again Is Unfunny Business

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What’s the one thing that can really screw up a comedian?  I’m not talking about the drugs, the adoration of an audience, respect from your peers or even being famous.  No, I’m talking about the “L” word, and how it affects comedians.

Yes, it’s time to talk about love.

In studying comedy and comedians for almost five years in addition to the comedy coaching, I have come to learn that as comedians, we get into comedy for a reason.  Like me, we may not realize the reason is as crystal clear as it should have been.  Sometimes like in my case it took a couple years of struggling in comedy for me to realize why I’m here in the first place.  Let me explain.

Comedians, for the most part are a bit arrogant but also they do comedy out of a need, from a place of lack that needs to be filled.  Mostly that place comes from insecurity, or a sense of being alone, unwanted, unloved, always struggling.

When I first entered comedy I figured that not only would it be fun, but I possessed the basic qualities of a comedian.  I am a good writer, good story teller, funny, quick on my feet and good in front of crowds.  Now, while that all may be true, it wasn’t until my comedy hit the skids (right from the start), and stayed skidding practically into the ditch for the first two years when I realized something.

The more I failed, the harder I tried.  The more I got bashed on stage, the more I desperately needed affirming words from my friends who came to watch.   The more I failed, the louder the opposition became from my family.  The more I failed, the more I realized I needed to succeed just to be on the same level as my other friends who had a career, or a hobby they were good at.  I just wanted to have something in common with my friends of having something go right from being a success.

So once the comedy coaching began, I got super excited about hopefully growing in my comedy.  Little did I know that a few months down the road I would meet the woman that would throw the next two years into a mixture of joy, sorrow, tears, happiness, anger, frustration and love.

I am only posting this because my side of the story is equally important.  Her side will only contain her half, the half that doesn’t talk about her mistakes.  The half that portrays me as a piece of shit loser fuckup.  If you want to only believe her side and believe she’s a victim (as some of you have), well that’s your right.  But I am here to provide the whole truth, in particular how it affects my comedy.

We met on a dating site, and from that first moment I laid eyes upon her, there was an instant connection.  She fell for me, and despite her best efforts over that first year, my “junk in my trunk” was still there from a lifetime of being disrespected, talked down to, verbally abused and screwed over.  I didn’t understand the depth of her feelings at the time, in part because I didn’t have the proper clear head space needed.

I knew she was different from the others, at least that’s how she appeared.  I got a pair of tickets to see Cassandra Wilson at the Broadway Theater for the Jazz Festival.  Third row, right in the middle.  I wanted to ask her to come, I really did.  But I figured she was full of the “toos”.  You know, too tall, too attractive, too smart, too funny, too caring.  It would have been a big gesture on my part early on to show my interest, but I was a little bit gun shy, thinking that if I did take her along, things would go to shit soon after.  This was a really cool and unique evening that I wanted to not have tarnished by a date that decided to bail down the road.  I ended up taking a friend of mine, who wasn’t a jazz fan, but by the end of the concert she enjoyed it, which is what good music should do, right?  If you ever get the chance to see Cassandra Wilson in concert, go.  It’s an amazing experience.

So, she came with me to comedy shows.  We took monthly road trips to Regina to attend the Pass The Hat show, usually coming back that same night.  She was there for the Laugh Shop debut, and for the second set of Laugh Shop shows that didn’t go so well.

Then on Valentines Day, 2015 something happened.  She conceived as we spent the night at the Saskatoon Inn with their romance package.    We were due to have a child together that would have been born towards the end of that year.

Unfortunately, neither of us knew she was pregnant.  She ended up losing the baby after a couple of months.  It was because of this, and my lack of support during that time, that lead to her having to excuse herself from her studies at that time and miss out on graduation.  She ended up shutting down on me that summer for a few months.  I was so wrapped up in my comedy trying to prove the doubters wrong, that I was pretty oblivious to the fact she was getting ready to leave, for the first time.  My critics were firmly entrenched at that point, and my focus was misguided.  Again, that came from years of (verbal) abuse clouding my own head with the junk in my trunk, not allowing me to stop being selfish and focusing on her.

She left, and it made her home life very challenging.  It left me having knocked the wind out of my sails, having to carry on with comedy alone.

Then in the late summer of 2015 I got an idea presented to me from my life coach.  He suggested that I start a 40 day challenge on whatever topic I choose.  I just needed to be diligent and consistent with it, writing once a day for 4o days.  Well, guess what I chose to write about?

I wrote about her, and the impact I realized that she had on me, once a day, 40 days in a row.  In conjunction with that, I wrote the first two blog posts about her, which happen to be the two most popular read posts in the history of the diaries.  Those first two posts got shared a lot, in part because she sent them to people she knew asking their opinions of what I had written.

She had blocked me on Facebook, but didn’t block me from Facebook messenger.  I noticed she started to read the notes that I sent her.  One in the morning, and one at night, saying a prayer for her, being encouraging.  The time stamps of when they were read always changed.  She read them a few times a day each.  Then after praying and crying out to God to help on Sunday, that night I got a message.  It was from her.  She mentioned that one of her children got a hold of her phone and was playing with it, making a call through the Facebook messaging app.  She said it wasn’t her idea, and that started a dialogue between us once again.

Within a two week span, she went from hating me and not wanting to see me because of the emotions involved, to accepting my invite to dinner at my place.  I cooked a very nice meal, and we danced our very first dance to a song (that shall remain nameless) that really spoke to us both as we stood in the middle of my living room, holding her close and sharing the first dance we had, almost eighteen months later.  A couple weeks before that dinner, she had a procedure to not allow her to bear children anymore.  This was a decision I suggested she take, in part, again, because I was too focused on the wrong thing.  I told her it wouldn’t be fair to her to have another child when she was trying to finish school.  For once, I should have been selfish and said no.  But I didn’t.  I was not very confident in my ability to be a parent, didn’t think it was something I deserved.

So that night of the dinner I had her read just about every page of the 40 day challenge (as I read a couple as well).  She asked me if I knew the person who wrote so beautifully and honestly.  I replied that I did not.  She said it didn’t surprise her, the depth with which I wrote because she always knew that guy existed.

Then I had the legal issue, that miraculously through prayer I really believe saved me.  She wasn’t at court for me, nobody was.  But I always told her that I would win, and I told myself if I did win, it might be a sign from above to hold onto her.  So I bought a ring a few weeks after the trial and gave it to her just before Christmas.  She wore it proudly, just like she wore her new necklace proudly.  Blue Caribbean diamonds, the necklace especially really brought out the colour in her eyes and made them sparkle.

I was looking at jail time, and she mentioned she’d be there when I got out, despite everything she knew that came with it.  Now, I doubt she was telling the truth.

Christmas came, and there was very little evidence from her that she wanted to make things work.  Her family was against me coming back into the picture.  She never posted anything about me at all from the time we got back together til the new year.  For somebody that supposedly will always love me, she deleted every single picture we ever took together, got rid of every single reference to me, except for one.

She didn’t attend church with me after the trial, when I desperately needed her to be by my side, as I had a new commitment to her and to God.  My relationship with God was awesome.  I finally had proof that prayer works!  Yet when she didn’t show interest, and never tell me the real reason why she wouldn’t go, it dampened my enthusiasm for church.  I felt like I was alone, once again.  The junk was still in my trunk.

Then the first day she actually posted something on her wall regarding me was about the date night I was supposed to take her on.  I say supposed to because that’s the day a death in her family occurred that day.

I was the first one she called.  I left work as quickly as I could and got to her place.  It was the first time I saw her children or family in a few months.  I wasn’t sure how I would be received.  Thankfully, mostly everybody was glad I was there to support her during that difficult time.

That death in the family was the catalyst that finally unpacked the junk in my trunk and scattered it all across the floor, exposing who I’ve really become, and more importantly why I was that way.  There were a few people who knew me on that level who knew about the choices I made, but nobody really understood why.  They looked at me, shaking their head in disgust at times wondering how I could be that dumb.  It’s a fair question, but that is what being alone and shit on most of my life had done.  She became tough to get through to, I wasn’t sure how to talk to her, what to say or do, as some guys might feel.  But with me, the hurt from the junk in my trunk, and from missing Christmas Eve & Day with her, and having her miss the trial, caused me to hurt her instead.

All this new material I was writing I couldn’t stop creating.  I took some old material about us and reworked it to make me sound like I didn’t deserve someone like her.  Well, that came true because I ended up hurting her again and she left towards the end of January.

She got mean, sending me emails then when I replied she threatened me with harassment.  Those first few weeks were very difficult for me because not only did I start to unpack all that shit internally, but I was still doing comedy, all new Nicki material.  With each joke I told that made me look like a buffoon, I could feel the knife go deeper into my heart and twist around a few times, just for good measure!  I didn’t want to do the material, but I couldn’t not do it either.  The jokes wouldn’t stop churning in my mind.

There were rumblings behind my back that people told her that whenever I told jokes about her, they were done with malice and intent to hurt her and throw her under the bus.  This has never, ever been the case.  Nobody has ever come forward with any proof at all, because none exists!

Then trying to work made things that much more challenging.  I became very quiet at work, withdrawn, depressed and snappy.  That was part of the reason I believe they fired me without cause.  Now, before you get all happy thinking I deserved it, management kinda stuck their noses in the air and refused to say anything about why I was being let go.  Pretty classy after two years, hey?  No written warnings, nobody said anything to me that my job was in jeopardy at all.  Anyways…….

It was getting into May, and I was still doing comedy while starting to adjust to life without her, which I thought was permanent.

Until I went on that fateful dinner date.  She somehow thought the dinner date was the same person who commented on my posts on the comedy page and liked a few of my statuses (just for the record, that person was not the dinner date, a longtime friend instead).  She asked a good friend of mine how serious things were between me and this friend.  My friend said she had no clue, and that it was a good idea to not bother me.  Nicki though, had other ideas.  She said she needed to be “selfish” and see if I was alright.

So she sent me an email, weeks after her harassment threats.  I replied that we are adults.  If you really want to know how I am doing, you know where I live so come tell me to my face.  Well, she did exactly that.  But the first words that came out of her mouth surprised me.

She had been driving by my house every night for the past two weeks wanting to come over, thinking that if I was in a relationship, it might make me in a happier frame of mind and more receptive to what she had to tell me.  Basically, she admitted that she didn’t want me to forget about her.  She said she came over, just like I asked her to, and that she was sorry.

She apologized.  For everything.  That was the first time she ever said such a thing to me.  I wasn’t sure what made her do it, but I appreciated it nonetheless.

She admitted that the way she shut me down in the past, the way she shut me down and threw me under the bus in January was indeed the wrong way to handle things.  She also admitted that at key points in the relationship we both weren’t there for the other person when called upon.  “We both fucked up”, as she so eloquently put it.  She wanted to be friends, which we were.  We talked a bit, but the focus was still all about her.  What I felt or had opinions on didn’t matter that much.

She was going to help me with my comedy and be supportive.  I told her that for my shows before I go on stage, I would want her to take me aside and talk to me for a couple of minutes, to tell me that she believed in me, that I was going to do well, and that she was proud of me.  I waited for months and months for her to come to a show.  Actually, I waited for anybody to come to a show since last summer, really.

When she wasn’t coming around, I really wanted my friends to be there.  Sometimes it helps me do better when I know and can see them in the audience.  I was really looking forward to seeing them this time around because I was starting to get a bit better and be more consistent with my sets.  On my birthday only a couple of my friends made it, nobody got me a card or a gift.  Parents were too ashamed of their oldest son to invite him over for the annual birthday dinner of my choice.  I had no Nicki, no cards, no gifts, just a bunch of comics that all wanted to go up on stage.

I was super excited about that show, in part because I wrote all new material and was looking forward to debuting it.  But when I found out half the city wanted to be on stage, I figured they wouldn’t give me a decent amount of time.  They ended up letting me stay on stage for a while, but they put me up first (which I thought was a lack of respect from the host….I mean, if it’s a special night for you, why put you on first?  Why not keep everyone there to see you at the end, right?)  Well, I went that night and didn’t do a good job with my set because when I needed it the most, on the one day of the year, nobody really came through for me.  There were three people that came out for me, and all I got was a couple of birthday drinks, and nothing more.  With unemployment, my family treating me the way that they have, and Nicki still putting the screws to me of sorts, even though she was talking to me again, I didn’t want to sound childish and really state how much this meant to me.  One day a year isn’t much to ask for people to make a big deal about you, right?

Anyways, we were friends and working on building a friendship that really didn’t exist in the first place when we dated.  All I ever wanted was to be her friend and to be supportive through the summer.  She always said she wasn’t at the place to make a decision on things, and that was fine by me.  I didn’t care. She was still seeing the co-worker that she went back to when we were apart before.  Said she only came over because there was this connection we still had that she couldn’t shake.  I got her a Costco gift card, which she could use since she has been off work for over a month.  Also went and got a get well card and had a few friends she knew from my church sign it.  Planted the garden half full of things she wanted to grow.  I did 95% of the work.  The one day she came by and we spent the day together.  She weeded the garden, I picked up lunch for the both of us, and we had a nice visit.

She was going to come to Los Angeles with me too next year.  In my mind after all that I had put her through, I felt particularly bad that she always watched me struggle on stage.  That really bothered me and it’s a feeling I never could shake.  So I figured who better to come along and appreciate the reward for sticking with the journey, right?  Everything would be paid for.  I also surprised her when I said that I would book the hotel in Marina Del Rey, right along the harbour.  Dodger game complete with the fan gear, Knotts Berry Farm tickets, she would get to shop at Macy’s and Nordstrum, and most importantly she would be there for me, miles away from home to see me perform at the Comedy Store in Hollywood, the last place anybody ever expected Trevor Dean to be invited to perform comedy at, including myself.

Then I would rent a convertible to drive around town in as well.  I’d have that look that Axl Rose had in the video Welcome To The Jungle, you know, where he gets off the bus and takes a look around.  I wonder what he thought in that moment?  I know I would be thinking finally, all the hard work has paid off.  I’ve been successful, this is something they cannot take away from me.  The moments before I would take the stage I’m not sure if I would break down in tears again like I did after my very first time hosting the Laugh Shop.  Though, this time they would be tears of triumph and joy, as opposed to being tears of being completely shit scared and not very confident.  If anyone deserved to see me at my very best, it was Nicki, without question.

But just a couple days ago, she sent me a message through Facebook after midnight.  In it she stated that she had been asked to cut all ties with me and leave it that way.  She knew it would hurt me but said it’s what she had to do.

No I’m sorry.  Not a hint of an apology or explanation.  It’s not like I went to her and apologized.  She came to me.  Then she overheard a conversation my parents had with me one evening where they talked down to me.  It was at that moment that she understood why I was the way I was.  I was changing, I was the one who always changed while she got grumpy and dug her heels in to hurt me however she could.

I did plan on purchasing an engagement ring for the trip to Los Angeles, and propose to her as we walked along the beach in the evening.  Sounds corny I know, but the ring I got her before wasn’t an engagement ring, more of a promise ring.  She enjoyed being made a fuss over, and I was determined to do this the right way.

Ever since we were talking again she said the connection, that “something” kept her coming back.  I appreciated that, because it gave us a chance to talk.  We had more open and honest conversations about our relationship and where things went wrong than at any other point.  A lot of things that were said we never told the other before, because we assumed the other person knew.

But now she is gone, for how long is anybody’s guess.  I can’t say if it is temporary, or if it’s for good.  I do know that she is back on that dating site again, trying to find that connection again.  I really believed that she was sorry for the way she treated me when she came over in May.  Maybe she had me fooled? She believed in me, cared about me deeply, loved my singing and who I was.  She figured out early on that I was the type of guy to take risks.  Well, I took a risk over this last year, and I think I failed yet again.

We didn’t take many pictures together, in part because of the junk in my trunk.  Then when I finally cleared out the junk she never wanted any part of pictures.  Going back exactly one year to last summer, at times I feel as if I wasted a year of my life waiting for her.  For the most part I did a pretty good job trying to be there for her and be the guy I needed to be from the start.  I forget what she was like in the beginning when we first dated.  It’s as if she was another person back then.  All I ever wanted was to look into those eyes again, those soulful eyes that tell a story none of you pick up on.

When she took pictures after her pouting episodes and left, she admitted to what I saw in her eyes in those photos.  While everyone else liked the photos on Facebook and praised how beautiful she was, which she is, but in that moment when the pictures were taken, I could tell.  I could see in her eyes what nobody else picked up on.  I would give anything to take a picture with her, to see that look in her eyes that was so electric.  That look of electricity has been replaced with a distant, unrecognizable look to her that she’s had for months, well over a year now.

I do not know if having a baby would have changed things for us, thought she did say she regretted having the procedure done.  So do I, the only problem was back then she was still intent on playing by her rules all the time, not caring about my opinion.  A child would have been nice, especially after all the years that went by when I told anyone who will listen that I would never get married because nobody was worth it.  Well, I found someone worth it, but she’s quit on me.  Three times.  They say the third time is a charm.  A charm for what exactly, we’re not sure.

I’m heartbroken, yet again.  Just knowing that she didn’t mention that she came to me to apologize, her never telling the other side of the story about the mistakes she made, just threw me under the bus and walked away.  I don’t get it, for the life of me I just don’t get it.  I didn’t deserve to be treated like this, not after being a friend and playing just about every moment of our friendship (since May) by her rules, just like it has been for the last year.

I will always be around to listen to what she has to say, if she ever decides to show up at my doorstep again.  It will be a different conversation we have though, much different from the one we had when she came over in May to apologize.  Much, much different.  I thought she’d at least stick up for me, or at least admit that she came back to me to want to be friends, but no.  I believe there is more going on than what she is telling me, as she’s hid things from me for so long now that I am almost certain there is something else at play.  To not have her around hurts.  To not get the chance to make things right, to take her to Los Angeles, that hurts.

This sucks, but the show must go on.  I can only hope that her, along with all of you, will come out to see the new direction I’m taking things in the fall.  This year has been lousy for me, right from the start.  I could really use the pick-me-up.

I never figured I’d use my blog as an outlet to talk about my relationship, but when she acts like this, sometimes you just have to get your message across by any means possible, because in the end, you know she will read it.

Besides, if anything, by now you should know that I never give up.

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