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.
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.