Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ten Men From My Past

1) Scottie – When I was a kid, no one was fat. Well, some people were fat, but most kids weren’t. There were about six fat kids total at my school and Scottie and I were two of them. We were friends from kindergarten until I graduated. Even when other kids were cruel (because lets face it, kids are) and I was the designated “plague” of the seventh grade, Scottie was still my friend. After graduation, he moved to California, lost fifty pounds, got some ripped ab’s and became a stripper. I think he was cuter when he was chubby.
2) Greg – He was my first “boyfriend” when I was fourteen. He nicknamed me “The Tease” because I wouldn’t put out. Although we did a lot of making out at his parents house when they were out of town. I broke up with him because he had terrible table manners. Then my friend Amy went out with him and broke up with him for the same reason (I had warned her!).
3) JM – He’s the one that I never dated. You know that guy, that you like but never go out with because he’s your friend and you know that kissing him would some how ruin it? That’s JM. He got his girlfriend pregnant when he was 16. They made it for the first few years then she bailed with his best friend and left JM to raise their son. He’s been through dozens of girls. Once, when we were both single we almost “were” but it just felt weird. I always hope he’ll find someone wonderful, because I do love him. He’s got a very sweet girlfriend now and I hope she’s his forever.
4) James – my second boyfriend. We only went out a half dozen times before his ship was deployed. But I carried a picture of us together and called him my boyfriend as needed for several years.
5) Brandon – The one who I could have married. We just were never “it” for each other. He rode in to my rescue a time or two but I couldn’t be what he wanted and he couldn’t be what I wanted so we went our separate ways. A friend googled him not that long ago and sent me the results. He’s a lawyer! Never would have seen *that* coming!
6) Erich – the one I hide from. He’s my toxic boyfriend. The one that I can’t get away from. Just when I think he’s gone, when I think he’s finally moved on, gotten the hell over me, there he is again, working at the QT or delivering pizza’s in my neighborhood or hanging out with my friends. Luckily, he’s terrified of my husband so he keeps his distance, but I still do a double take from time to time at random strangers, my heart in my throat thinking that he’s tracked me down again.
7) Sister Dave – Dave was a friend from college. He called me “Cami” as in “Chameleon” because he loved that one day I was in black with Doc Martens and purple streaks in my hair and the next day I was wearing Rockies, Ropers and Wrangler shirts. We worked together at the dorm desk. He tried to kill himself and I never saw it coming. One night he was there, the next night there was a note from the manager that he was in hospital. He tried to come back, but people treated him differently. I only saw him once after the attempt and he had heard I was pregnant. He gave me a stuffed duck for the baby and by that weekend he had withdrawn from school and was gone.
8) Beavis and Butthead – when I was single, I was lonely. Although, looking back now, I wonder why. Anyway, my friend and I ran free personals in the Seattle Times and went on a couple of fantastically bad dates. The way people describe themselves was the funniest part. One guy described himself as tall, medium build with long hair and a motorcycle. Cool. He was really 5’8” with stick limbs, a beer gut, a mullet and a scooter. The other described himself as 6’ tall, HWP (that’s height weight proportionate for those that don’t know) with blonde hair and a boat. Yeah, about that boat, it was a canoe. Seriously. He showed me pictures.
9) Scott – OMG. The best fuck of my life. There is no other way to describe him. He was seeing someone, I was seeing someone, neither of us shared that information. On Valentines Day he came into my store and we chatted a little, he left about noon. By three there were a dozen roses and a note asking me to dinner that night. Of course, being Valentines Day, there was nothing available, so we wound up eating Chester Fried Chicken from the Conoco in the bed of his truck, freezing our asses off because it was Montana and February and there was three feet of snow on the ground. A week later, he showed up at my door, bearing videos, Chinese take out and a box of condoms. Of course I let him in. We screwed like porn stars off and on for six months, then I moved away.
10) Frank – the last boyfriend. On the surface he was what I needed. Stable, kind, employed and good with kids. We went two years with “pretty good” and it was enough. It wasn’t like I wanted to marry him, although I think we both assumed that it was headed that way. Then there was the pregnancy scare. Admittedly, we weren’t being that careful and when I was late, I just assumed that we would be on the same page about the outcome. Boy, was I wrong. I am not a pro-lifer but when it was my turn to choose, that’s what I chose anyway. But my Catholic, mother loving, Democrat, non-confrontational, hooray-family boyfriend’s first thought was that we needed to “do something about it”. I was shocked. How could he profess to love me and have his first thought be that our baby was something that needed to be “taken care of” and that I shouldn’t worry, he’d “pay for it”? That was it. That night, my feelings for him flipped like a switch. I no longer loved him, but I didn’t hate him either, I just didn’t care. I was done. A week later and one doctor’s visit to the negative, I knew we were just marking time. We made a show of “working it out” but I never really meant to. It was just convenient that I met my now husband two months later and had a good push to exit stage left. Still, he hung around on the sideline for a few more months, waiting to see if I really meant to stay with this new guy, really meant it when I said I didn’t want to be friends, didn’t want anything from him. We went out one last time to talk and he held my hand and cried and tried to kiss me when I told him that in my mind it had been over since that night with the EPT. He said he was sorry, said he never would have been able to go through with it, said he just panicked and he couldn’t understand how I could just walk away leave two years behind like it never happened. What he didn’t understand is that we never had passion, we never fought because there wasn’t anything to fight about, to fight for. In his mind, peaceful, good enough love was all there was. Maybe he was right. My husband and I fight like pole cats in a pillowcase and it tears my heart out. I wish we could get to peaceful, I wish we could get to calm, but we are too busy being right to step away and realize that the damage will one day be permanent, that the scar tissue will stop the heart, that one day, the switch will flip and enough will be enough and there will be another man to add to my past, a man who used to be my husband.

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