Stumbling upon the information that your ex is spending Q.T. with someone else is as appetising as an anthrax scare from your toilet paper company or getting the new 50 Cent album as a birthday gift. Either one of these will leave you feeling short of breath and a little off colour.
It’s not about timing, because let’s be honest, there’s never going to be a good time. Unless you get there first. If I had got there first I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be losing this valuable time of your life reading it.
Efforts to move-on / compete with / win / find happiness (not necessarily in that order) have proven that this whole ‘new love’ thing is a very dangerous space to traverse. It requires that you commit to a series of… *cough* … “first dates” … which – from personal experience – are an intolerable, exhausting and ridiculous right-of-passage that have the very real potential to scar you for life.
I have proof! Somebody’s else’s personal experience. And just so that you know, this is a real story about a real friend; this isn’t one of those I will pretend it was a friend to save myself the embarrassment. She’d tell you herself if you asked her.
Jolene* finally scored a date with the guy she had been after for as long as Telkom hadn’t answered their phones. The big night arrived, she tried on nineteen outfits and went with the first one, obviously. Their evening was like a soft focus, candlelit montage wherever they went… until he spoke. Their proximity was much closer than it had been on campus and she found out the hard way that he was a ‘spalker’: a spitter and a talker. She went on record to say that the two elements must have been out of sync somehow because, even if he was saying very little or nothing, she was a glistening glob.
As charming as she wished he was, she was more so. Always polite. Ever refined. It wasn’t like Jolene to excuse herself for the ladies and leopard crawl out through some restaurant-kitchen’s back door. She is an endurer – to a fault. So as the evening wound down and he held her hand along the sidewalk, she convinced herself that there were way worse qualities a guy could have, and when he asked her back to his place for coffee, she summoned some sparkle and accepted.
As her luck would have it, his house was actually his parents’ house. This is not a problem. There are all sorts of contributing factors that have respectable adults living with their parents. Ask me. I know. What secured this man’s role as the leading lad of lust was that his parents – who chirped a hearty “hello” when they arrived – were seated at the dinner table in their underwear. Correct. Their underwear. No exaggeration or embellishments here at all.
On a Friday night.
And they’re Jewish.
Fast-forward to Jolene and Don Juan in his room. She wasn’t sure if this geography was better than the underwear convention in the dining room or whether she should feign a burst appendix and call it a night.
She should have.
Despite being near impossible, things got worse. In a small way.
What is it with guys who know you like them and their gumptious grit to get away with anything?
Cut to my point: It’s a terrible sump of peril out there. Because if a perfectly good girl from the right side of the tracks with an incredible mind and all the manners in the world can barely stomach a
chance nauseating evening like this one, what hope is there I’ll ever get back on – or even near – any horse to speak of, ever again? There is (almost) nothing polite about me, but I will say this though: I have standards. Despite my own sagas of small penises and overzealous spit, I grew up in a household that taught me to draw the line at nekkid Shabbat.
Maybe after all is said and done – there’s nothing ‘stumbling’ about it?!
Maybe everything is just as it should be.
*Name has sort-of been changed in a half-arsed effort to protect Jolene’s very ex prince charmless.
© Dylan Balkind