The first few months after my husband left are mostly a blur now. I was single for the first time … ever. I wanted to do all those things my single friends did when I was stuck at home with the babies and/or hubby. There wasn’t anyone there to tell me I couldn’t go here or there. There wasn’t anyone there to watch the clock waiting for me to come home. No one to stop me from giving my phone number to any man I wanted. I all of a sudden had a freedom that I’d only dreamed of and I made every part of that dream become reality, including the consequences.
I spent over a year chasing a guy that basically wasn’t ready for the relationship I wanted. He & I are close friends now. No, not fuck buddies. We’re just good friends. In order to get to where we are now we had to fess up to a lot of unanswered questions each of us had. Things we’d done while we were together and weren’t exactly honest about. Most of my questions that he answered proved to me that my intuition was right…and in some instances my intuition tipped me off to something strange happening but the reality was far worse than I’d even imagined. I’m sure he’d say something like that about my confessions too.
After a couple months of chasing this guy who was giving me mixed signals I started to get fed up and decided that I would stop making him so important and go out and meet some new people. So, come Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, I’d go out either alone, with G & his friends or with my girlfriends. Usually I’d stay semi-close to home. I was drinking a lot back then. So, I didn’t want to drive that far intoxicated (lame, I know). I quickly discovered that being single at my age is not as fun as I thought it’d be. I would see the same men in the bars I went to every single week. I watched their game. Some Most of them were so pathetic. They’d use the same failed approach on every new woman that walked in that they tried on me. They’d wear the same obnoxious flowered Tommy Bahama dress shirt and same cheap cologne…hoping to get lucky. But they mostly didn’t. I did end up giving my number to a couple men but it never went anywhere. I came to the conclusion that 1.) the bar scene was not for me and 2.) I must hunt and capture him for it to be worth while to me, not the other way around. I lose respect for a guy if he chases me. Good men, in my opinion, aren’t easy.
So, all in all, my bar-hopping stopped after maybe 2 months. Instead, I hung out at home. I got busy with repairing my house that hubby left a disaster when he moved out. I also spent a lot of time helping my neighbor with his house. He’s 82, blind and has no family to care for him so I offered to be his care-taker for the remainder of his days. His house needed a lot of work. Most importantly he had no electricity in nearly half the house so I worked on getting that fixed for him. Ironically my hubby is an electrician but there was no way I’d call him for help. I really didn’t know where to find a good electrician that wouldn’t freak out over the hazards at my neighbors house and end up calling social services on him. I talked to G about it and he gave me the name & number of his electrician. I called the electrician and he came by the very next day. N pulled up in his truck and G was following close behind in his truck. I walked out to meet them both and give them an idea of what they were going to see in the house and not to panic. I sensed G was jealous. N was cute and so very full of himself. He was short, shorter than me, maybe, 5’3 or 5’4. Once I brought the 2 guys inside to start working on the problem G had to leave, so N & I are in the dark part of the house trying to find the problem. We talked & talked. He was a really cool guy. He had 2 children, he was only a couple years older than me. But he was married. My reaction to that was relief. I knew…or rather, assumed he wouldn’t end up chasing me around and making me have to put him in his place.
Over the next few weeks he’d come by to do a little work either at my house or my neighbors house. We flirted with each other. I’d send him those signals and he picked up every one of them, then shot his own right back to me. He’d take me out to dinner. Somehow I made it ok in my mind to be the other woman because I was single now. I figured it was his sin not mine. I was upfront about what I wanted and he was just happy to be right where he was. Eventually I had to tell him we needed to end it because he started falling in love and started talking about leaving his wife. Well, He and I are still friends and he’s still with his wife and kids. He’s told me that if it were not for me that he would have ended his marriage and would have nothing but regret and guilt over it. He added that I helped him see his life from a different angle so he could do something about it before it was too late. Luckily things worked out for the best for him and his family.
I looked at my involvement in that situation and I put myself in his wifes shoes. I felt a little guilty for what I did but he wasn’t forced to cheat on his wife. Ultimately it was him that allowed it to happen. My guilt didn’t stick around long, the next thing I knew was I was being wined & dined by F…who was unhappily married with child.
It’s midweek in Spring, 2006. My house is quiet except for all my noise. My flip-flops flip-flopping on the tile floors, the radio turned up loud so I’m sure to hear it in the hot tub out back. I’m enjoying my favorite glass (or 3) of Cabernet and relaxing in the tub watching the sun set. I started texting back & forth with G. Typical of me, I was trying to manage juggling my glass of wine, smoking a cigarette and fumbling with my cell phone when plooop, my cell phone falls into the jacuzzi. I grabbed it and tried drying it off but it was too late. So, I get the bright idea to get in my car and go across town to get a new phone before the store closed. I dry off a little, drink more wine as I put some dry clothes on, grab my keys and phone & head out the door…too buzzed to be driving but I do it anyway. I took the freeway and was there within 10 minutes. As I walk in I see that the store is almost completely empty except for a couple store employees and one gorgeous, 6’5″ man with an animal magnetism so strong I felt my legs get all wobbly as I passed him. He watched every move I made & I was careful not to give him too much attention right away.