“I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul” Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run
It’s funny I start out with a Bruce Springsteen lyric for the next chapter in my story as my ex-husband hated Bruce, but I love his music. No hidden ulterior motive, just felt it fit with the story.
I met my ex-husband the old fashioned way. We were both working an event honoring a very well-known author who was speaking at the University where we were both employed. I thought he was cute but had no idea if he was single or married. I was probably three months out of my previous relationship and ready to dip my freshly pedicured toes back into the dating pool. We did the usual small talk and then I went in with the kicker. Disclaimer: I am a researcher by trade, so gathering information is my specialty. I also have no problem flirting, socializing or to the chagrin of some of my exes – talking. I asked him if his wife was upset that he had to work evenings covering an event.
“It’s just me and the dust bunnies at home,” he said. Well, that was it, game on. I did my best flirting, talking, seducing (trying anyway) for the rest of the night. Nothing worked, until he said those magical words to me “Are you working the educator’s conference next weekend?”
Well, if I wasn’t, I sure was going to now! “Yes, I’ll be there,” I said. “Great, maybe we can have drinks together one night that weekend,” he replied.
Of course, now I had four days to convince my boss, whom I must mention everyone hated and was worse than Meryl Streep in the movie The Devil Wears Prada, to allow me to go and help out at the conference. Four days to have my highlights done, waxing, pedicure, manicure, eyebrows, you name it. Four days! Needless to say, my boss was happy I wanted to “volunteer” my time. Unfortunately I had to also drive three hours with her to get there and she was so happy to have someone to do the drive with her that she treated me to some fast food on the way for lunch. Big spender that she is we stopped at Burger King and I must say that fish sandwich was quite the treat that lasted for hours. A small price to pay to be allowed the chance to unleash my seduction skills later.
Thankfully I had my own room at the casino. Did I mention the conference was in an area known for casinos? Now it was time to set the wheels in motion. I arrived late on a Friday night and was too tired to go out, plus a few hours of beauty sleep were definitely needed and I needed to rest before the real games, I mean conference, began. I felt a rush of excitement as I laid my head down and drifted off into that magical world that eludes me now, deep sleep.
The next morning was filled with handing out swag bags to thousands of teachers. These bags did not contain money, gold or any forms of currency but judging by the pushing, pulling and grabbing you would think they did. But I had to focus on the task at hand, locating the Legal Ex and making sure he noticed me in the sea of teachers. I repositioned myself closer to our University table when then it happened. He saw me, smiled and gave a little wave. I was hooked. Thankfully the word of our swag bags caught wind amongst the sea of teachers and very quickly the bags were history. I then moved over the area where the Legal Ex was standing handing out University brochures and asked if he needed any help. “No thanks, we’re almost done here,” he replied. My heart sank. Now what? As I said ok and turned to walk away he stopped me. “I will be at the bar with my coworker around 7pm, care to join us?” he asked. “Sure,” was my oh-so-cool response. “See you there,” he replied. Oh you bet you will and you have no idea what I am going to do to you if I get the chance was the thought playing around in my head.
As any woman will confess the ritual of getting ready and figuring out what to wear when meeting a prospective date can be quite the process. Throw in the fact that I am a Gemini and simple decisions become absolute agony. Sexy bra and underwear? Check. Heels? Check. Outfit? Why the fuck did I pack only this! I surveyed the final product and was ready for battle.
As I approached my Legal Ex at the bar, I felt a flurry of excitement. We talked, and drank, for many hours, and the gentleman that he is offered to walk me to my room. As we arrived at my door, he leaned in for the kiss. And oh my, what a kiss. Of course I did what any respectable woman would do, I invited him in! After talking some more, he started kissing me, maybe to shut me up, or maybe it was the alcohol but once he started kissing me I did not want it to end. I think we kissed until at least 4am, but however long, the time just flew by. As we said our goodnights so many thoughts raced through my head. Was he too drunk to remember this happened? Will I get to kiss him again? Does this violate work policies?
As it turns out, yes I did see him again for two years and then married him for many more. It was a passionate, loving, tumultuous, sexual relationship. We loved the same books, music, restaurants. We were both outgoing and sociable. We had so much in common and everything seemed so right until it wasn’t. He found someone else that he couldn’t resist and it wasn’t me. And as things soured I tried harder to make it work. But as they say, two people need to make it work, and if one isn’t trying then there is no trying. His parents cried when they found out we were breaking up. It was one of the hardest things I had to go through. Today we are still friendly and I harbor no resentment and have no regrets. Our divorce was brutally hard on both of us, especially me, but somehow we managed to come out of it as friends who catch up occasionally. But as so many chapters in my life, this one ended.
I guess I will never understand why he cheated on me and to this day I’m not really sure he understands why. I believe he is happy and I am truly happy for him. We email each other occasionally and catch up, but leave any relationship details out of our conversations. He recently told me that sometimes he wishes he could pick up the phone to tell me about something important going on his life because I am the only person who would understand. I have no regrets about loving him, marrying him and having him as part of my life. I also have no inclination to get back with him nor he with me. It took a long time to get to this place of friendliness and I am grateful that we were able to do so.