Tuesday, September 10, 2013

it's like the falafel problem, except, with words

i dated the same guy through most of college. let's call him John Smith. (always John Smith. never just John.) he was (and is) a really nice guy. i really can't say anything bad about him except that he and i were definitely not MFEO. (made for each other, duh! ;)) but, despite the fact that we were often like oil and water, we had definitely discussed marriage, kids, and forever. for-evah-evah. then, i accidentally fell madly in love with DM and that was pretty much all she wrote. and yes, if that timeline sounds a little too close for comfort, it was. fear not. i believe i have received my karmic retribution and paid my debt to the universe.

anyway. this is probably (definitely) just be me being a narcissistic a-hole (again), but i am pretty sure i ruined three to six months of this guy's life and/or killed a small sliver of his soul. what really drove this home for me was when two different friends of mine told me that they had spoken with John Smith's then-girlfriend, who had said something along the lines of, "wow, someone really f*cked him up good." hmmm. weird. i have no idea who that could be.

but. it's been a really, really, really long time, and i'm sure if there was any ruination, he has long since recovered. still, i feel a vague sense of guilt if/when he ever pops into my consciousness, which, i'm sure my husband will be happy to hear, is not often. despite the fact that we own homes less than a half mile from one-another (bizarre), i probably see the guy no more than once or twice a year. DM actually runs into him more frequently than i do on his way to/from the local surf spots. however, a girlfriend of mine recently mentioned that he and his wife are expecting their first child, and shortly thereafter i received a mass email from him about a new business venture. i didn't think much of it at the time but then i had a very strange dream where he and his wife were our roommates and their baby looked like DM (in that it had black hair) and i couldn't remember the wife's name so i kept calling her "tanya the cheerleader" and then it ended in some sort of apocalyptic scene where our planet was attacked by alien jet planes.

ANYWAY. when i do run into him.... *sigh.* how can i explain this? have you ever seen that movie tommy boy? do you remember the scene where he loses his freaking mind when trying to close a sale? yeah. basically, that's me. it's like, i start off saying something mildly awkward or off-color, and when i don't get the reaction i was looking for, rather than backpedal, i just go full steam ahead to crazytown. i'll leave the "why" to my future therapist, but here is a small sampling of weird shit that i've said, apropos of absolutely nothing...

"do you still eat entire apples all the way down to the core?"
"that's funny, why does your myspace profile say you're 6' tall? did you grow since i saw you last?" [that one was a while back, obv. and the next day it had been changed to 5'11". i am a terrible person.]
"i had a strange dream about you while i was pregnant - is that awkward? man, you should HEAR some of my pregnant dreams, this one was tame in comparison - i dreamt that you got married on a party boat wearing a kilt and playing the bagpipes."
"i'm so jealous of your wedding date! it's so auspicious! [it was one of those days like 8.9.10, which, incidentally, is the date i really really really wanted Jack to be born. dammit!] i really really wanted to get married on 6.7.08! but the venue was already booked! because you totally care!" [i definitely said this with all of those exclamation points, or, "i really mean its!", as my brother called them when he was little :)]
"remember when you got that weird itchy contagious rash over your entire body??"
"do you still break out in hives in the cold? my nephew has that too! reynauds? yeah..."
"hey, your dad's an accountant, does he know anything about dissolving a private corporation?"
"do you prefer boxers or briefs?"
"remember when i had a total panic attack and fainted and peed myself at that jack johnson concert? or that ben harper concert where you tried to pick a fight with a man twice your size and we got in a huge argument and you tried to walk 13 miles home?"
"do you ever miss the 80s?"
"remember when you got arrested and thrown in the drunk tank after PB block party?"
"remember when your parents stayed at my house and i baked terrible burnt banana bread and may or may not have adequately hidden the sex toys?"
"what's your take on national immigration reform?"
"do you like the color yellow?"
"remember how you were a virgin when you came to college? that was so cute!" (i'm lying, i didn't actually say that one ;))

probably my best work was shortly after colby jean was born. it was one of those situations where we needed milk and i looked like death warmed over (or maybe just plain death) but said to myself, it's not like i'm going to run into anyone i know at CVS at 10 o'clock on a wednesday night, right? WRONG. i went and got the milk and for some weird reason some really random ass other stuff like dr. scholls gel foot pads and nutter butters and a sand sifter that was in the sale bin in the seasonal aisle and then i hear behind me, "Mackenzie?"

naturally, it was John Smith. ugh. listen. i am, somehow, still, after all this time and the trials and tribulations of being married with children, head over heels in love with my husband and i have two beautiful babies and it's not like i am trying to get the guy back or make him jealous or anything of the sort. but no matter the present circumstances, it is no fun to run into someone with whom you were once romantically involved, when you probably haven't showered, brushed your teeth, or combed your hair in 24 hours, are not wearing makeup, and are dressed in semi-transparent, stretched out workout pants with a hole in the crotch, and an ill-fitting t-shirt with sweatstains and spit-up stains and God knows what other kinds of stains that does little to disguise the cardboard nursing pads you haphazardly stuffed into your granny bra.

he asked how i was doing and in response i think i basically gestured to my person as if it was pretty self-explanatory. then, somehow, we got on the topic of traveling with children and i launch into one of my (in)famous non sequiturs - "well, actually, DM and I sometimes* joke that Jack is yours and it was just a 7-year gestational period** and how that would be awesome because then you'd take him every other weekend and we could have couple nights off." crickets. so i continued "you know... because he's blonde... and... you're blonde.... and... we're... not blonde... and... also... blue eyes... and... yeah." he was like, "uh... okayyyy. so anyway, nice seeing you, Mack."

OMIGOD you guys. what is wrong with me?! this is one of those things that will probably haunt me into eternity. not only does it make me sound bat-shit crazy, it makes it seem like we regularly discuss/laugh about John Smith behind his back, which is definitely not true. but. oh well. i guess i should be happy, because if there was ever any doubt in his mind about whether our separate lives turned out as they should have, i'm sure this incident quickly put those to rest. he was probably thinking, hahahahaha, DM, SUCKAH! have fun with your crazy frumpy unwashed wife and her nutter butters ;)

so yeah. that happened. i got home and told DM and he was like, "you did not say that." oh yes, yes i did. can't wait until the next time we run into each other. maybe i'll just give him the link to this post ;)

* "sometimes" being code for "one single time during a totally random conversation."
** once, while volunteering on the mental health docket during law school, a woman was actually suing her doctor because she had "been pregnant for 7 years" as the result of her doctor "putting a piece of plastic inside to block the exit" and she wanted the judge to order the doctor to remove it so the (7 year old) baby could get out.

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