I have been wanting to write about this but then thinking, hmmm…. perhaps it is too much for certain members of my audience. But I am struggling with the notion of censure these days as well as the more basic censor. I am torn. The question of how personal to be – or not to be – begs a degree of serious consideration. But then, at this point, it seems like, what the hell. Scandal sells, and my circus of a dating life could be a NY Times syndication.
So, as Mr. Vonnegut so aptly said, it goes.
When one gets asked out it is hard to not be flattered and I would say this even includes the requests that come from people you would never even consider offering an affirmative. It is nice. It is validating. It makes you feel special, like, selected or something, even if you were already feeling pretty fly about yourself. When I was recently asked out by OMYSFYSFYBMM I was all of the above, though I was certainly not averse to acquiesecing. I was pretty psyched, frankly. And, as the details of the date are not really so salient here, plus I think people have imaginations that might lend more color to the story than my words might, I will just say it was a pleasant set of circumstances all the way around. It was what I would describe as a successful date.
For all of these reasons, you can imagine my surprise to learn, on the second date, that OMYSFYSFYBMM has – not had, but has – a girlfriend.
-Yeah, well, I know. It is kind of weird.
-Umm, weird is not precisely how I would describe this.
-Well, we have been having some problems for the last few months and…
-Well, we’ve been together for five years…
-It’s just that, well, I don’t know. She was cheating on me and so we have been sleeping in separate bedrooms…
-You live together?
-Yeah, we bought a house last year. And the thing is, it is kind of complicated…
-I just.. well, I don’t know how things are going to go and well, there is a kid…
–You have a kid?
-No. I mean, well she has a kid. And, well, he is 12 and I have been you know, with him since he was like seven and…
-I think the word you are looking for is not the linking verb ‘with’ but rather the active verb ‘raising’.
-Yeah, yeah. That is the thing. And so… Well, really I had sort of made up my mind to try to work it out with her the day that I asked you out and…
-Why did you ask me out?
-The first time I saw you I knew I wanted to get to know you, you were just totally intriguing and –
-‘Get to know me’?
-Well, yeah, and –
-But, you are in a relationship.
-Yeah, well, like I said I am not sure-
-You live together with a child.
-I know, it is confusing. But she was seeing some other guy and I, well, I didn’t think you would be so cool and-
-You ‘didn’t think I’d be so cool’?
-I don’t know, I had no idea I would be so interested and –
At this point a million things were going through my mind. On the one hand I felt lucky that he had not confessed that he had AIDS or scabies (under our current circumstances, the latter would be more problematic than the former). On the other hand I was super irritated at the notion that he even thought I might not be ‘so cool.’ Then again, I was glad to know he was not fathering children around the City with reckless abandon and that he seemed to accept responsibility for the one he was “with.” And it was nice to know that someone thought you were hot enough to ask out on the day you had decided to attempt to work it out with your LTR. What the hell?
And then it hit me: “The Retribution Hook Up.”
It made perfect sense. He had been pissed off enough to try to ‘do unto others’ as it were. She cheated. He would cheat. This was new for me. “The Other Woman.” I thought about this label. I did not like it. Making completely fucked relationship choices for my own life has been a full-time occupation, I hardly have the time to be fucking up other people’s shit.
I considered the karma I have undoubtedly piled up with my past relationships and the attendant fall-out. It is substantial to be sure. Could this be a part of it? Maybe. It could also just be my own proclivity towards selecting, from an admittedly wide array, the most likely person to cause me problems in an intimate, interpersonal way. The whole situation stinks. And of course, OMYSFYSFYBMM and I are incredibly compatible in a million ways. I suppose the cheating may be one of those. When he texts or calls, which is always just when I have gotten him off my mind, it takes an iron will to simply ignore. I called in all the girls as my support network. C in HK reminded me in her perfectly succinct way:
Stop feeding that stray cat of a man.
This is a dead-end street with a car coming.
That woman will go apeshit. Do not continue. She will be angry and blame woman not man.
So, now I have the opportunity to do the right thing. Maybe it will reduce a bit of my karmic debt and maybe it won’t. But one thing is for sure right about now:
Ho’s before Bro’s – and if you hooked up with me and *then* you were surprised at how cool I am, you are clearly not paying attention.