Busted: The Pinnacle of Awkward

(credit: Margaret Gunning)

(credit: Margaret Gunning)

Yesterday I wrote about how I should have handled this awkward situation. Unfortunately, that telling was merely a fantasy I only wish were true. Today I confess what actually happened. 

I should have known this was coming. How stupid of me to let my guard down and not be ready for this!

I was just relaxing, trying to enjoy a peaceful moment like an ordinary human for a change. Relaxing. That is when people get sloppy, when they relax. And that is precisely why this caught me so off guard…why I am presently struggling to regain my composure, feeling so uncomfortable as I feel their stare burning holes in the back of my head.

What a marvelous day it has been. To call it “magical” would be a great exaggeration, for this is what ordinary people do regularly. It’s just a regular ole Saturday night for them. But not me. For me, this is the culmination of a long arduous journey. This is what I have been fighting for.

Or at least it was, until we bumped into them.

The day started with an ordinary lunch. We were just going to grab some gumbo on this cold rainy day, then come home and catch a movie. But after the gumbo we decided to grab a drink. One drink led to two, two to three…Beer lead to Jack and Cokes, Jack and Cokes lead to Dirty Martinis, Dirty Martinis lead to Traditional Martinis…and I fucking loved it.

My wife would never have been spontaneous like this. Here we are 30 miles from where we had planned to be, entering this hole-in-the-wall bar. Our route to get here made no logical sense at all. And we didn’t give a shit. We were going with the flow having fun. Being spontaneous is so therapeutic!

My date was being clingy too, which I absolutely loved.  As divorcing men are prone to do, I am emotionally needy and absolutely crave female affection in all forms. Today was especially good because my date and I had had late morning sex before heading out for gumbo. I missed daytime sex in my marriage. I think I could get used to this spontaneity stuff.

Why was it so fucking difficult to get to this place? Why couldn’t my wife do this? Even if she didn’t like it, why couldn’t she understand that I do? I need to relax, go with the flow, and have fun every once in awhile. This recharges my batteries. As Jimmy Buffett sings in Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season :

And now I must confess, I could use some rest
I can’t run at this pace very long
Yes it’s quite insane, I think it hurts my brain
But it cleans me out and then I can go on ~Jimmy Buffett

FINALLY, today, it is all coming together. It is healthy to get drunk and blow off some steam every once and awhile. This is the type of therapy I need to clean me out so then I can go on.

Or at least it was, until we walked into this little pub.

Hell, I wasn’t even leading at this point. All I knew is my date’s ass looked fucking good in her jeans.

You know how a puppy will follow you around if you are holding a delicious treat it is about to get? — That must have been how I looked following my date around at that point. I couldn’t help it. Her ass looks that good.

I’m sure we looked comical walking in that bar. She sort of quick sashayed all the way across the pub, with me in tow, following right behind completely mesmerized by her Pilates ass. It was like she had an ass tractor beam locked onto me. I had to follow it wherever it went, and was utterly powerless to resist.

I assume the reason she walked all the way through the establishment was to scout the available seating options. Having reached the end of the line, she asked me where I wanted to sit. At this point I took my eyes off her and looked around the bar.

Immediately I made eye contact with my wife’s coworker Melany, and my heart fucking stopped. I turned away pretending I didn’t see her.

This is the point where the story of yesterday and today diverge significantly. I did not play it cool, I did not keep my composure, I did not tell myself to man up. I did none of that. Instead, I panicked like a terrified little girl.

Nor did I have any chivalrous thoughts of how important it was for me to make my date not feel like “the other woman”. Nope. Looking white as a sheet I turned to my date and said, “My wife’s coworkers are here.”

Without hesitating she said, “I’m going to the bathroom and running out the back.”

I paused for maybe two heartbeats, in the back of my mind wondering if I should be a man, confront the issue head on, and go say hi to my former friends. As I turned to follow my date I stole another glance at the table. There I saw Melany and Tim making great efforts to not look our way. To the extent of hiding their heads behind hands literally.

That is when I decided that I would follow my date’s lead flee like a coward out the back.

I didn’t even have the courage to see who else was at the table. I was trying to play it off as if I never saw them–or didn’t recognize them–so I was scared to look. For all I know my wife was there too. That thought really unsettled me.

I reached the exit door at the back of the pub. My date was still in the bathroom, leaving me standing by myself for the entire restaurant to see. Standing naked on a stage could not feel more awkward than I felt at that moment.

Does this back door have some alarm that is going to sound if I go through? Fuck if I know, fuck if I care, just pleased don’t be locked! I’ve got to get the fuck out of here! This whole situation is freaking me out and I want to get away!

Out the back door I escaped. Thank goodness it wasn’t locked, and thank goodness no alarms sounded.

20040514-dumpster-workI waited out back by the smelly garbage dumpster for my date to find me. Just call me Mr. Chivalry….

I would like to be able to tell you how calm, collected, and poised I was. But the truth is I was a total fucking basketcase. My mind was racing with a thousand questions: Are they going to tell my wife? If so, when? How is she going to react? Is this going to complicate the divorce? How far up Shit Creek am I?

At the next stop, after another Martini, I was so mad at myself for not keeping my cool. Yet I was still scared shitless at the same time. Why did I feel so guilty when my brain knows I did nothing wrong? Why do I care what those people think anyway, I know all their shit–who was pregnant out of wedlock, who had an affair, who has a drug habit, who takes anti-depressants like candy…why do I give two shits what any of them think anyway? Their baggage is no less heavy than mine.

And yet it did bother me, I just can’t logically explain why. One thing for certain: I did not handle it cool at all. I acted ashamed and looked guilty.

I asked my date what she thought would happen. She said, “They are going to tell your wife I’m an ugly bitch and they can’t believe you’d go out with me. Then they are going to all talk about what an asshole you are. It is only a question of when, not if…”

Her analysis was spot-on I think. My date apparently has a sharp mind to go with her Pilates ass.

That is how it really happened folks.

16 thoughts on “Busted: The Pinnacle of Awkward

  1. Pingback: Busted: Wife’s Coworkers See My Date | Smooth ReEntry

  2. Do you think it’s possible that you felt awkward and ashamed because even though you are in the middle of a divorce, you are still, in the most technical sense of the word, married? Obviously you have nothing to be ashamed of and neither of you did anything wrong.

    • I think I felt judged because many here in the bible belt believe if you are married you are married,period, end of story. I have dozens of blistering online dating messages crucifying me for having an active profile as a separated man, and it has worn me down over time.

      I also feel bad because I don’t want to do anything to disrespect my soon-to-be
      ex wife.

      And then my feelings escalated because I am pissed at myself for caring what those people think at all. If I know what is right and wrong, why do I give a fuck what others think?

      And I was also pissed at myself for not handling like I should have, as communicated yesterday.

      Basically I am fucked in the head I suppose. Dating is strange after you have been married 20 years. There are probably all kinds of things I am not self-aware of going on under the surface.

  3. I may be going out on a limb here Smooth – but before this happened, had you tried to anticipate running into your ex, or her friends in a situation like this? Reading this post, it sounded to me like you locked up because you simply weren’t expecting anything like this to happen.

    it’s easy for me to talk about that because my STBX live about 5 states away from me, so the chances of running into her are remote at best.

    • I would say I anticipated it in general. Believe it or not, I handled “being seen” rather well on multiple occasions. But the odds of that group being where we were were extremely remote. So on this occasion I was not remotely expecting this to happen at all. Totally surprised me.

    • Ironically, you actually have a part in the story. I messaged you right after escaping. Ms. Pilates Ass saw the email and frequently asked about you afterwards. I don’t see her anymore, but I thought it was cute that you made her jealous…Maybe she knows something we don’t?

      • I did tell her. But she was on heightened alert anyway. It is bizarre that of the all the women on in world, she picked you to be suspicious of.

        You should try it with X. Next time you are on a date let me text you. I’ll bet that will increase his sense of urgency…it works!

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  6. Lol. Omg. Ok. Sorry. We are human, we are profoundly human. The fictional story was one for the ages, but I connect to this much more because I think we’ve all traveled some road like this. Unfortunately.

    All the best, going forward.

  7. Pingback: Smooth’s Rules Put to Test | Smooth ReEntry

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