The Bench

I have a story to tell you that requires a little background. Dad – this might not be the post for you but, I have no shame so carry on.  My dating life or rather history with boys should be a comedy show.  It really is quite entertaining or sad depending on how many glasses of bubbles we’ve had.  I have always been boy crazy whether I showed it or not. In my early twenties I didn’t date much, I had a less than great first sexual experience so I surrounded myself with guy friends just to feel safe and their overbearing nature gave me excuse not to date. I fed off the attention they gave me without the consequences of falling in love or being taken advantage of.  Hey – there is nothing wrong with seeking out what you need even if you don’t understand why, live your life girl.  My guy friends were truly great friends and I enjoyed being one of very few girls in the circle. Dating in my twenties was a little different than dating in my 30s. Some of you know that I moved back to Columbus from Indianapolis after a heartbreaker of a breakup – full story in my manuscript. I decided to take matters into my own hands and make sure I controlled every romantic interaction. Whether that was an office flirtation or a, earmuffs Dad, random hook up while travelling for work.  I only wanted 100% from those I surrounded myself with and if you wanted to date me you better be all in because I was not accepting any more friends or friends with benefits applications. I was intent on a relationship, but I was still broken and didn’t know it. I found excuses and was shady and stood guys up and found any reason to not go out. I was still broken from twenties. I was still grieving my date rape. I was still waiting for my kryptonite to find me on Facebook and profess his undying love.  I was still sad that my Indy Dolomite couldn’t make the grand gesture. Because I was still grieving and broken and waiting and sad I was very selective. So selective that men were actually afraid to approach me, ha ha, I still remember my friends telling me I had resting bitch face – which now I refer to as JMFP face so don’t push it. She needs to live her life girl.

Even though I was broken I still liked pleasure, as every woman does. As I approached 35-40 I started filling my bench of players, each one with a unique skill or characteristic or day about them that made them a regular occurrence. I had a Wednesday night, even though he was my kryptonite. I had a baseball booty, a foot guy and not my last, I had the sexting guy who reappeared this past year, I had a ginger or 2, you know for luck. I had the brother of guy I used to see but that didn’t last too long. I was happy and not afraid to admit I liked sex and I was going to live my life girl while getting it. Safely, come on now I’m not animal.  This was truly a great way for me to balance my fear of opening my heart  and getting a variety of great guys that were on the same page. There are rules with a bench and respect is at the top. I didn’t have to explain or be that girl that doesn’t understand the hook up. Eventually things change and you start growing and wanting different things for your life. I think I was starting to heal from my grieving and brokenness and I stopped waiting for him to love me.

I was beginning my 40s and thought it might be a good time to think more seriously about a relationship. Baseball bootie made it to the championship. He was fun and sexy, but as we were living through a pandemic our lives changed as many others did. He moved and I realized I cared for him but, it was too late to tell him. I decided that I should build my bench of players again, so I started online dating which meant a lot of texting because its still a pandemic.  I kept my bench lean for safety reasons.  As things started to improve – baseball season approached, and I love baseball specifically Columbus Clippers triple A. A night out with my favorite girls, living our life girl by ringing our bells and cheering with brews don’t forget an annual picture with Lou Seal. So, are you ready for the story? I could not make this next antidote up even if I tried. This is 100% my life.  Have you ever been hit on by a mascot? LOL – for real! He tried to give me his digits with his paws. HAHA – Live you life girl. I am sure he has done this a hundred times but it was the first time that had happened to me.  My friends and I just laughed and blamed it on JMFP and all her glory.  But then he came back – unmasked and laid one on me. I tingled and was impressed with his…ego?  He added his number, sans paws, to my phone. We started our rendezvous that night – I was wowed and he said he was wowed too but I knew who he was, the type. He had his routine down and I was ok with that because I needed to fill a spot on my bench.  For the next 6 months we saw each other most weeks and texted regularly. He made me smile when I he sent the 11:11 time stamp, I am sure he does this with everyone but it made me feel happy. I couldn’t imagine he had too many other girls considering the time he spent with me. Somewhere I started getting feelings and I knew this was going to end bad. Feelings were not allowed on my bench. I couldn’t afford another break or waiting again or feeling sad for not being enough.  As I started seeing the light in my recent job crisis he was there supporting me with affirmations.   We discussed our goals and how to support each other. I could see he was letting me in just like I was letting him in.  I still knew this was not that type of relationship but for the few hours we spent a few times a week it was what I needed. I needed to feel special and loved and like someone saw me. It was a bubble and today that bubble broke.

I discovered quite coincidentally that I was not the only big bootie blonde with cute toes he was visiting in the neighborhood. He had been visiting my neighbor since last September, which is about the same time he had been visiting me. Directly across the street from me – like I can see her front door. Now let me remind you I knew he had other interests and he liked to “share his time” as he says but I didn’t realize my neighborhood was a one stop shop.   The funny thing is that he met her at my pool from my invitation. Needless to say, I was humiliated this afternoon. He explained himself as much as he could and apologized, gave me some “you are special” and “you don’t deserve this” and “I never meant to hurt feelings”.  Of course, I blamed myself for letting him in. For the last 6 hours I have been replaying every moment we shared and making sense of so many things that my gut was warning me about. I am sure Cassie, my neighbor, is sweet and nice and lovely but I have to wonder what her story is. I mean live your life girl, hooking up with a neighbor’s dude, guy, random mascot that hit on me, whatever he was. I mean I can only assume I replaced someone else so its only right for him to have the neighborhood represented. Yes, you can probably tell I am angry. I went through rage, laughter, pain, self-loathing and now I’m angry that I don’t feel worthy enough for someone’s undivided attention. It brings up all the broken, grief sadness and waiting from my past. I strive to be my authentic self so that is why I am sharing my story about The Shadow, which he made up just last week after an afternoon session of sweaty passion. He is otherwise known as the seal, the cat, the DJ, the sloppy sloppy DJ. When morning comes tomorrow, I will be past it. He probably is already past it. I can’t say what Cassie has in store but I am sure I’ll see her in the hood at some point. Might even ask her how he is.

The lesson here is that no matter what social norms say you should do or should want it is always up to you. If you want to have sex with multiple people, live your life girl but there must be some rules of respect. Neighbors are probably a grey area but picking up girls while you are with one you’re currently sleeping with is probably going to be added to the list. I don’t regret the time with The Shadow because with pleasure comes pain and I knew better to let myself open my heart with someone that picks up chicks with his paws.  I am starting a new chapter Monday and have been feeling stuck, this was the reality check I needed. The nudge to get JMFP back on track. Now that doesn’t mean the bench is back, that means its time to put her first. She deserves to live her life girl with respect from every person in her life.  Judge me all you want but I think most of you will be able to relate to some of this story, if not let me live my life girl the way I want and I will let you live your life girl the way you want, judgement free.

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