Many, many years ago, when I was a much younger bling, I dated a married man. Who happened to work with me. And be the guitar player in my band. Am I proud of this? No. Looking back on all I have done, I am not ashamed of too many things (if you can believe that. I must have a high tolerance for shame), but that is the one thing that I would go back and undo, if I had that power.
It’s hard to explain why I did it. Mostly because I was young and stupid and fancied myself in love. In reality, I think it was the drama. The clichéd ‘singer dating the guitar player’. The sexual tension that we had on stage, which is a good thing when you are in a band together – makes for great shows, spilled over and made for a really shitty relationship.
It was a relationship that dragged all of my friends into it. They all came to see the band play, many of them worked at the same place we did, and when you’re young you tell your friends EVERYTHING. So it was really like a relationship that consisted of me, him, and my five closest friends. Including a particular friend that I shall refer to as Fancy.
Fancy and I had met in CCAC, back when I was dating Baby Daddy. There was a group of us that hung out pretty much all the time, and included her, her then-boyfriend, Baby Daddy, me, and a guy I will call Mick. Mick was my best guy friend. We had fooled around a couple of times, nothing major, and he dated Fancy for a bit when she became single. I think most of us at the time were sleeping with each other. Because that’s just what you do when you’re 19 and drink a lot. And smoke weed. Because at the time, I did that shit every day.
The years go by. I have jr. I get a ‘real job’. I get Fancy a job in my company, I secretly date a married guy, who happens to sit next to Wormy. This time in my life, as much as it sucked, at least gave me her. This was the dawning of the era of Mindbling and Wormy.
I had a band, everyone loved me. Loved us. The company we worked for, a retail vitamin shop we can call GNC, because let’s be honest, that’s what it was, was like high school writ large. Me and my friends were the cool people, and everyone circled around us like the sun. I am not making this up. Our band was ‘the’ GNC social scene. Me and the married guy were like the prom king and queen. And Wormy was our featured tambourine soloist during our Godsmack medely.
And then. Everyone found out about us. Our dirty little secret was a secret no longer, and the backlash was swift and fierce. You honestly would have thought they caught us clubbing baby seals. His wife had already found out the month before, thanks to my industrious ex boyfriend calling her and telling her, and now the world knew. It was good in the way that we could openly be together, but bad in the way that everyone hated us and wanted us dead.
I think we lasted 5 months after that. Once all the secrecy and drama and band were done (did I mention his brother played bass? And that he made if very clear on several occasions that he wanted to date? I think, in a bizarre attempt to make the married man jealous, I did go on a date with him. His own brother. That is just the scandalous, heartless tramp that I was back then), once all of that was over, we were just too scarred to go on.
So we broke things off. Painfully. I had to quit my job, because looking at him everyday was a reminder of all the bad things I had done, the people I had hurt, the mistakes I would never forget, and the pain I caused myself and others. Including my friends. Friends who were there for me and nursed me through all of this. Friends like Fancy.
Fancy didn’t quit her job. She stayed on at GNC. As did married man. And before you can say ‘Ain’t karma a kick in the bits?’ they were dating. The double betrayal, or what I perceived to be a betrayal, almost killed me. Obviously, we did not stay in touch.
They got married. Fresh, sharp knives through my heart. Time passed, and the pain went away, but the lessons did not. I felt a better person coming out of it, and after a time, in my mind, I wished them well.
I don’t know what dark forces make people decide to go looking for their past, but about two years ago, in a three day period, married man, Fancy, and good ol’ Mick all reached out to me. Two on MySpace (fucking interwebs), and Mick, well, he was always a smart cookie. He tracked me down at work.
Turns out married man and Fancy didn’t make it, either. They were divorced. While I secretly chuckled my face off that they, independent of each other, both got in touch with me (was the ink even dry on the decree? How long did they wait? How long had they wanted to reach out to me?) I was genuinely happy to hear from them. And that they were divorced. Glad to see karma is an equal opportunity employer.
Mick just wanted to get lunch and reconnect. I told him about Fancy and married man. Two days later, Mick saw Fancy on the street and decided to look her up, too. Two years later, today, I get a Facebook message from Fancy. Who is now Mrs. Fancy Mick.
And in the final twisted bit of what the fuck, I was just thinking about Fancy last night. Mavrick and I were at the Panther Hollow Inn, an establishment that I was last at roughly 15 years ago. With Fancy. Before it all began. And before I knew it was destined to continue on.
What connects us all, over and over and over again? Lives overlap, a drive down a street leads to marriage, hearts break and heal, people grow and change, and you can’t do anything about any of it. Life, as much as you do all you can, is sometimes something that just happens to you.
I am thinking about 20 something me. She was so young. She was so stupid. She was so destructive. But I have to thank her, because she made me ‘me’. And I like me now. Looking back on my life is often an exercise in feeling reeeaaallly uncomfortable, until I get to the past two years. And especially the past two months. That’s where the really good stuff is.
I have never been happier, healthier, or more optimistic that I am, indeed, going to be okay. And as much as I have to thank the people that make my life so incredibly awesome every single day, I also have to thank the Fancys and the married mans out there. Because without them, without the ugly and the hurt and the fuck-ups and the tears and pain, I would never know how truly good I have it.