Changing of the Guard and Why women and men cannot really, be friends.

[What’s behind the cut is fairly lengthy. There is a lot of backstory in it as well and anyone who has been around here longer than a year can probably skim quit a bit of it.]
I’ve decided to start shedding this “good girl” image and while many of you are probably choking on a drink as I type that, those who know me best know that I’ve been living a hermit like existence. I don’t go out, I didn’t actively date save for a few brief intense meetings and this has been my life for the last year and some change. Prior to that I was in a dead-end relationship in which save for a few people, I was a hermit fighting to survive living with an asshole for three years. It irritates me I go on about just living life and rocking out when I’m doing nothing to actually promote it. Most of my “bad girl” behavior is from my early 20s.

So there.
What clicked was my split second decision to meet some friends at a local “Irish” pub in downtown GR in what is fast becoming the “bar/club street.” I was going to beg off going because i didn’t have “hoochie momma” clothing to wear and I was dressed terribly down in a pair of flip flops, jean skirt and a tshirt. But as I was talking to Erika in the parking lot after class, Jen called and I said “sure!” So I went.
I had a blast. While the crowd was terribly thinned out, the men that met up with kate were um, interesting, my boy Kelly showed up and ended up embarrassing me with tales of 17 year old Lisa (which, I made him promise to NEVER EVER repeat again). heh. Anyways, the girls and I resolved to start bar hopping once a week. I mean, what the hell. Summer is coming and dammit, I have no plans on sitting my 2ksqft apartment solo while the rest of the world moves on
That split second decision changed something. I’m not quite sure what it was, but I started making small talk to clerks in shops I went into today and I adored it. I like making people laugh. Maybe they are laughing AT me, but hey, who cares right?
I was striking up conversations left and right with people I barely spoke to before, including a prof that I swore that for the rest of my careerer at AQ I would never take classes from and she’s one of main English Lit profs. She’s actually pretty funny. *gasp*
AQ Paul is married. He is very married. He and I met last summer when I was taking a theology course at AQ as part of my gen ed requirements. He, myself and few other people formed a study group together because it was a 2x a week, 16 week class packed into 1 night a week, 8 week class. I had BOMBED the midterm and had to do well on the final. We put in over 20 hours of pure studying time into that thing and I still only pulled an 88 on the final. That should give you some idea of how insanely hard this prof is.
AQ Paul and I found out that not only were were in the same situation (attending college later in life *cough*) but he was a year younger than me and had also attended a local high school. What was interesting is that we had both hung out in the same circles during our early 20s at the same bars/clubs and knew the same people. We have a lot of the same interests so it was just strange we had never met prior to AQ. With that being said, Paul told me about his wife and what not and I never got their relationship. They have zero in common. Do I know the woman? Not well, but he changes when he’s around her. Every time we’ve gone out together and she’s been along, she’s treated him like an idiot (ordering him around and monopolizing the conversations, being rude to people). I felt terrible! Paul barely spoke a word to me or to anyone every single time.
The final night of our Theology class, the study group (wifey included) went to dinner. After the very strained dinner was over, one of the other people asked if I thought I would ever see Paul again. I said probably in school, as AQ is tiny (only 2k students) and even though he is a Poli Sci major and I’m English major, we’d cross paths. But not socially as we had been, as while I know nothing of the wife and I’ve TRIED really hard to be nice to her, she’s giving off the vibes of “he’s MY Man” and she’s not the type to her husband to be friends with a female, ifyouknowwhatimean.
We tried for an additional time to get together before fall semester started but that was just as bad. Paul barely spoke and I got drunk, played badly at pool and had my tongue down my date’s throat. Ahem.
One night, during the fall semester, we went to Mulligans for drinks. On his anniversary. I was aghast. I told him he had to go home and do something with wifey. He said it was no big deal, they don’t celebrate anniversaries. I was like, um, okay.
I drank pretty heavily (for me) that night and started getting all confessional. Okay, it wasn’t the alcohol, but conversations were getting pretty heavy. Mostly about sex.
I ran into him and wifey a few times on campus, and the usual “Heyhowyoudoinghowsclassesetc” and thought nothing of it.
He and I had coffee and caught up on news since xmas break before my flight for Denver. As in, i left the coffee house and went right to the airport. Apparently, I was looking terribly forlorner as he had been bugging Megan about me and the trip. He was “concerned.” Turns out he and Megan have a class together and had studied with us a few times at Dennys. I tracked him down last week and we agreed to go for coffee again. Which we did.

After French, I bounced out of class with Megan to go meet up with AQ Paul as he and I had a lunch “date” for some Indian food. Since I had told Paul about Patrick’s uh, grammar issues (he thinks he is the end all be all of speaking properly) Paul got this worried look on his face and I recommended a book to him that I had used for class and helped a lot. He also expressed interest in Libertarianism and so I recommended he read Ayn Rand — whose books I have. Though I made him promise me on his honor he’ll never become a Randite.
Paul and I went to grab lunch and I started getting cheeky with the waiters. Paul was laughing over the conversation because one waiter was getting confused while getting our order in for the buffet and I had piped up, “Can’t multitask well?” The second waiter starts chiming in about the computer system and I said “Oh. I was trying to be funny. I’ll never do that again.” But it was said lightly, joking tone. The waiter said, “That’s okay, I’m just an asshole.” I returned, “Good thing you’re not my waiter then, now isn’t it,” as I pile butter chicken on my plate. He said something else and I replied something else to the effect of how nice the other waiter was as I had, “Had him before.” As soon as those words were out of my mouth, I quickly added, “As a waiter I mean!” The asshole waiter just looked at me funny.
Said asshole waiter turned out to be our water and everything was exaggerated. “Thank YOU very much.” “No problem, it’s my pleasure to serve.” “You are TOO kind!” Paul sat there laughing because he had overheard the whole exchange.
We left a sizable tip.
Now before I continue this monologue, I must confess something. I’m absolutely convinced of the following:
The only men attracted to me are:
1. Gay
2. Are Married/In a serious relationship
3. Live nine trillion millions away
I’m not bloody sure WHY I cannot attract someone who is local. For heavens sake, most of my exes have left the state.
Which brings me up to today.
I had a few errands to run and I asked if he wanted to go with me. I wanted to pick up some GBA games used and he decided to come along. During conversation on the way to Gamestop, I told him about Kelly and the four minute story and what Kelly had said about what happened. I also told him I had spoken to Patrick and my ex-Paul about the whole “lisa is too aggressive at sex” thing and their comments and my own astonishments about their admissions. We were sitting in my car in front of the store because this was not something I’m going to discuss in public (haha). He gives me this look like he knows how I am in bed. I say, quite loudly, as we get out of the car, “You have no idea what I’m like in bed as we’ll never ever have sex.”
He says, “I know.”
And the way he said it caught me off guard, but I, again, thought nothing of it. At lunch, I was telling a Patrick story when I mentioned that one night when Patrick and I had gone to a bar, I had amaretto sours. He said, “Yeah, that night after theology class, you were drinking amaretto sours then too.” This caught me off guard. I don’t remember what I was drinking that night and you’re lucky I remember to put deoderent on in the morning before I leave for school.
I get my game, and we head to the bookstore across the street and we head off in different directions. We talk music for awhile and head to leave. As we are leaving, Megan and Patrick call at the same time. I talk to Patrick and do the “Hi Honey, how are you etc” bullshit and Paul’s fiddling with his purchases. I head back to AQ to drop him off and we are silent and he says out of the blue, “What do you mean that we’ll never have sex?”
What. The. Fuck.
That is such a woman trap and I tell him so. I’m so fucking surprised I almost swerve the car over onto the shoulder. Suddenly I get tense, hands in 10-2 position, and he’s asking me repeatedly why I’m so tense. Earlier we were talking about male/female relationships and I had said, “I often find that when men are terribly insecure will project their own insecurities onto their girlfriends, making them feel insecure.” I gave no details to Paul about that statement (though he did agree), but I will tell you dear reader that it has to do with Patrick and we’ll leave it at that and that Patrick now has me on paranoid mode when I’m around male friends, even platoniclly.
I relax a bit and lightly say: “Uh, you’re married? Duh?”
Light banter continues and he acts all hurt saying he “thought” I meant that he was “repulsive.” I start laughing and say no, I keep hammering home that he’s “Married.” He converted to Catholisim for his wife, I mean, HELLO! He’s stated openly he doesn’t believe in divorce. Uh hello? FRIENDS FRIENDS FRIENDS! That is IT and NOTHING more.
But in my head, I’m thinking as I drive, “This is NOT a good situation. What will come of this conversation later on is “oh i like you” bullshit and etc and yah, we aren’t going there.
I tell him he’s not repulsive and I’m not stroking his damn ego. Laugher ensues. He keeps bugging me about it and I finally say, “Yeah, you’re hot.” But so what? Well a lot “what.” He and Patrick could pass for twins except Paul has blonde hair while Patrick is metrosexual blonde and Paul has bluer eyes and is considerably thinner than Patrick. Ironically, AQ Paul, my ex-Paul and Patrick could pass for brothers. AQ Paul knows that he’s a dead ringer for Patrick. Patrick knows that AQ Paul is a dead ringer for him. You follow me here? Best part is, I don’t normally LIKE blonds!
I don’t get it.
More banter, I pull into AQ’s parking lot, and the topic has turned to sex as I tell him about how Patrick thinks that I’m just gonna get naked with Erika again and do another photo session. I explain how Patrick can justify that it’s okay for me to have a lesbian experience as long as pictures are involved and how men have catch-22s to that little scenario and how Patrick would NEVER do a lisa sammich and Paul looks at me and says, “I’m not as conservative as you think I am.” I laugh uneasily, and answer that yes, I know that due to our drinking sessions at Mulligans and then we start trying to one up each other. I laugh, good naturedly and say, “You’re not going to think I’m picking you up if we go out again are you?” And says no, so we made plans to meet next week.
To be honest, as I write this (and if anyone reads this I’ll be fucking surprised) I realise that I have to nip this in the bud NOW. I LIKE Paul, but aint no thing no where happening. I’ve got Patrick and he has wifey and that’s the end. We can’t have these kind of conversations because it leads to OTHER conversations that shouldn’t be said, as they always do.
As soon as Paul gets out of the car, I immediately call Megan and relate the story. Her response:
Dump Patrick. Sell all my shit and move to Belgium and hook up with a 6’7 redheaded Englishman by the name of Ben. Move to the south of France and live happily ever after.
I think I might do that.

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