I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow, and I plan to take The Ethical Slut with me, so I should finally have time to read it. I'll feel a bit weird reading it on the plane, but I suppose that I'm going to feel weird reading it in my parents' house, too, so I will just embrace the weird.
So I have promised a few times to tell this story, and now I feel like it's been built up a bit and will disappoint. Please forget I ever mentioned this before, and let's pretend this is new! and fresh! and a surprise! The story of the time I was a horrible human being and I still feel bad even though both people have forgiven me, even the one I was the jerkiest to, because he is an awesome dude.
Several years ago (I think 5ish?), I spent a weekend in Seattle - I was living on the Eastside then. I met two guys, both of whom were younger and pretty cute. They both made me laugh. They both seemed to like me. They were roommates and best friends.
Here a normal person would have chosen not to date either one of them, or just hung out with them more until it was more clear which one she liked. Nope. I decided I liked them both, and they decided that was a-okay with them. Hey, if they said it's okay, then it's okay! That was my thought process. My excuse for own behavior. To make myself feel better, I also decided I would not sleep with either one of them. Because that would just be wrong! ...
After a little while - a few weeks? I'm not sure - I realized I needed to pick one of them. It was clear everyone around us hated me for trying to date them both, and obviously if the physical aspect of this was going to proceed, it had to be with one or the other; this was my one little moral spotlight in the darkness of selfish wanton behavior.
It's hard to remember my thought process, but I went with Beard instead of Navy. A testament to the strength of their friendship is that this didn't alter it in any way. I continued to date Beard, spending most weekends at their house, just generally having a good time. Despite my valiant efforts to hang out and be a good... whatever I was - buying the boys new shower curtains, bath mats, and cleaning here and there - I also made sure Beard knew I did not want a relationship. "Don't get attached," I cautioned him.
We all know that "I'm not looking for a relationship right now" is a big fat red flag. It's a lie. What it really means is, "I'm not looking for a relationship with you." Yet, I used this line, and he, dear sweet naive soul he was at the time, accepted it. In my head, I thought that by telling him that, and having him say, "yes, that is totally okay by me," I was absolving myself of all guilt and wrong-doing. Even though I knew full well that I was his first ... everything. And that's Kind Of A Big Deal, for the vast majority of people. And knowing him, I should have known he was in the vast majority. He was and is definitely not the kind of guy who just thinks, "yay, sex!" and moves on with his life, emotion-free.
Can you believe this gets worse? AND THAT I AM TELLING YOU?!? I feel like I'm sitting here begging you to hit me, or throw things at me. Rotten tomatoes? Why doesn't anyone throw other rotten fruits and veggies? I mean, rotten is rotten - it's all gross and squashy and smelly. I have been known to accidentally forget about a cucumber in my fridge, only to later pull out a container of light green soggy goo. That would be pretty foul to have flung at you. I would probably cry and/or barf.
At some point, I'm driving Beard home from his work, and he looks at me sheepishly and says, "I'm, um... getting attached." Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Everything I ever put in place to alleviate my own guilt is crumbling! I immediately feel terrible, because I know I don't want a relationship with Beard. That, in fact, I have a lil crush on a guy in my own town, and I'm fairly certain it's reciprocated, and I totally want to act on it. Fuck. Now I have to end things with Beard.
But I'm a coward. And he's so sweet. And I'm telling myself that this is SO not my problem because I TOLD him from the START that this was not a THING and why didn't he LISTEN dammit now I have to end things and I HATE ending things. This was my bitchy internal dialogue of things I didn't really believe, but wanted to believe because it made me less of the bad guy. HE'S the bad guy for getting attached. Yep. That's it. Toooootally.
Being a coward, what I did was ignore him. A largeish group of us went on a short hike, and rather than hang out with him at all on this hike, I velcroed (totally a word) myself to my new friend, Bone Daddy. We hiked and talked and laughed and the whole time, I tried my best to pretend that I was not, in fact, being the world's most ginormous bitch from hell by ignoring this guy I'd been dating.
(I feel like I should wear some kind of welding mask or at least safety glasses next time I see people who read this blog, so as to protect myself from the rotten fruit/veg that should be thrown at me. Jeez. Over 5 years ago and I STILL FEEL BAD.)
Naturally, Beard realized something was wonky, so he called me later that night. It was definitely easier, I think for both of us, to talk about it over the phone rather than in person. I told him it wasn't working, he took the news well, and that was that. And in true "I'm not looking for a relationship right now" fashion, I ended up in a relationship with a different guy not long after all this went down. Because that is how it always goes.
I got what was coming to me, I suppose... that guy I went out with after Beard? Broke up with me a couple of months later, to get back together with his high school girlfriend, to whom he is now married. Thanks, Universe, you're always trying to keep me in line with your "haha, you were a bitch so now you LOSE" trickery!