Monday, January 14, 2013

Promiscuous? You Must be Joking!

Yesterday’s post was a quick one due to time and location constraints. Today I will elaborate a bit more on the weekend and some of the discussion J and I had.

We were fortunate enough to be able to spend a few hours together both on Friday night and Saturday morning. I made the daring suggestion that he stay in a motel right here in town to maximize the amount of time we could spend together. Although I knew that left open the possibility that someone who knows me might see me I decided taking the chance was worth it. We also went out to dinner together Friday night, again right here in town. I kept an eye out for anyone I might know, but we lucked out and didn’t run into anyone. I had a few ideas in my head regarding cover stories but was glad I didn’t need to use them.

While we were at dinner, we were reminiscing about our high school and college years. Here’s where things got just a little wonky for me. I tend to remember things with a bit of a skew to them, a skew to fit my own self-image and self-story. I suppose many of us do that. Anyway, J challenged my take on reality just a bit when he summarized my personality back then as not at all shy and introverted as I remember but as, of all things, “promiscuous.”

Promiscuous? Me? In high school? I hardly think so! I maintained my virginity, technically, throughout high school. I certainly was not promiscuous! If one used Bill Clinton’s definition of sex I never had sex until late in my freshman year of college. Promiscuous? Ridiculous!

Or was it ridiculous? No, not really. I have a way of using selective memory. If you asked me before, I would have told you I had one boyfriend at a time in high school with some times being boyfriend free altogether. However, J brought up something I had forgotten all about, and then remembered after he reminded me.

At our end of year band banquet (yes, we were both band geeks) my senior year, during the “awards” time they announced the award for band couple of the year. My memory was that it was J and me. His memory, and his is more accurate because I too remember this now that he reminded me, was that it was me & Eddie, me & Greg, me & Randy, and me & J. Now, to be fair J & I started dating Halloween of my senior year (something else I had forgotten until he reminded me) so really Eddie was before J & I got together so I don’t count that one as a bad thing, at least not from the promiscuity angle. The freshman boy dating a senior girl angle: now that is a bad thing and probably explains why we lasted only through a couple of dates, including Homecoming dance. Truth be told, I went out with Eddie because I wanted to go to Homecoming, and he was the only one to ask me.

Now, with Greg and Randy he had a point. I did hang out with both of them more than a girl going steady ought to hang out with other boys and participated in activities a girl ought to only participate in with her steady boyfriend. I never really dated either of them, unless you count cruising and parking as dating. While I thought of myself as “sociable” I can certainly see how it could also rightfully be interpreted as “promiscuous.” Also, I can see how it could be incredibly hurtful to J. I’m surprised in hindsight that he put up with me and my antics. I wouldn’t have if I had been him. I’m also surprised he never called me out on it back then. WTF? I know I interpreted his lack of reaction as tacit approval at the time. I’ve always been one to push the limits to see where the limits are. If you don’t draw a line in the sand I just keep running down the beach.

Putting on the 20/20 hindsight glasses, I realize that as mature as I thought I was back then I was really quite immature. I played very juvenile games, mostly because of my insecurity. I thought I would be lucky to ever have a guy interested in me and so I would just do my utmost to attract as many as possible. Of course, this is not a good plan. The quality of companionship you get when you act desperate is not the kind of companionship you truly desire. The kind of guys who go out with another guy’s girl are not the kind of guys you really want to look forward to a future with, and really I knew that. They were my fun guys. I never considered a future with them the way I did with J. But looking back, how on earth could I expect J to consider a future with me? Why would he want to tether himself to somebody who would blatantly run around on him with other guys right in his face? Sheesh. Stupid kids. Both of us really.

Then there were the college years. I hurt J big time when I told him that I had lost my virginity to another guy. Why did I tell him that when I was home on break the summer after freshman year? It was a misguided attempt to get him to show me he cared. J always kept me off balance, always stayed just aloof enough that I wasn’t ever sure if he really loved me. I realize now that he put up a wall as a type of protection for himself, but to me at the time it seemed as though I loved him so much more than he loved me. I felt like I was always on the verge of losing him, and I would do things (really stupid things) to try to get him to get off the fence and either love me or hate me. And he kept coming back (which should have told me something!) with his aloof indifference.
Only last Friday did he tell me just how hurt he was over all those things I did back then. Only then did I feel like I was way more perpetrator than victim in our relationship. Only then did I start some soul searching, and I am far from finished. On Saturday morning, I apologized to J for my treatment of him back then. I feel that my apology was far less than he deserved, but I’m also not sure what I could ever possibly do to make amends for my treatment of him.

I anticipate this being a big topic of conversation with my therapist on Wednesday.

1 comment:

Val said...

"I don't think 'promiscuous' means quite what you think it does honey!"

Oh my GOD, this makes me want to bang my head on desk!!! What is the difference between a "normal", enthusiastic, popular BOY and a "slutty" GIRL?!?!? The ol' double standard is alive & well...

(You haven't done anything that requires an apology, but I suppose that horse is already out of the barn!)