I have never been really great with guys. As usual, I can blame Chris for this since he’s been My Guy for almost 10 years now. And not that it happens often at all, but I just don’t know how to respond when a guy shows any kind of interest. Fortunately, for most of my life I never really had to say anything.
When we were in college, Chris and I went to separate schools and dated long distance all four years. During most of that time I lived with my two best guy friends, two meatheads named Neal and Jay.
Neal and Jay were like brothers that I never had. They were also a lot like an interactive chastity belt. Anytime we would be out somewhere and a guy would get within 10 feet of me, Neal or Jay would suddenly appear out of no where. “She’s with me,” they’d say, and before I even had a chance to open my mouth the poor guy would sulk away. Not that I would have been interested anyway, but they didn’t even give me the option. They loved me. They loved Chris. End of story. In fact, when I think about it, the foundation of my marriage may be the fact that my lovable meatheads wouldn’t let me talk to another guy for four years. Well there’s a solid foundation for a marriage…
When I became engaged, my ring kind of took some of the workload off the guys. Not that I was getting hit on all that much to begin with, but my numbers drastically reduced once Chris put that pretty ring on my finger. Every now and then though someone either wouldn’t see my ring or my meatheads and they would mosey on over to say hello and, like clockwork, Neal or Jay would appear. “Hey asshole, see the ring?” they’d shout. And then it would be awkward and the guy would just slink away. Damn meatheads.
When I got married, Chris was around all the time and my slim number of suitors became non-existent. To be honest, I really stopped paying attention all together as to who was checking out what and so it didn’t bother me anymore. I always figured guys knew I was married, and that’s why they didn’t come around. But then one night my friend, Jessica, and I decided we were going to step out and see what we were missing as married women. We left our wedding rings with our husbands who were sitting at the back of the bar, and we headed out to see what kind of guy we could catch. Gay guys, would be the answer. The only guys that even looked twice were these two gay guys who looked twice at my killer shoes and struck up a conversation about leather boots versus high heels in the winter. Horrified that I had lost my mojo, I slunk back to Chris, put my wedding ring back on, and have never looked back.
And then two weeks ago, a boy talked to me. He was standing at my morning shuttle stop wearing a doctor’s white coat with a stethascope in his pocket. “Excuse me,” he asked. “Does this shuttle go to the medical school?” I told him it did. He thanked me. End of discussion. But he continued to show up every morning at the same time, at the same shuttle stop. This, of course, meant nothing. There are tons of people at the shuttle stops every morning. Since we had sort of had an exchange, we acknowledged eachother with a head nod or a “good morning” everyday. And after about a week, he started having little conversations with me. Could I believe how cold it had gotten? Did the green line shuttle run after 6:00 PM? Did I see the Red Sox game? Harmless conversations that I would have had with anyone.
And then a few days ago, he said good morning and out of the blue asked if I knew any restaurants for dinner in New Haven. Again, this was such a harmless question. Completely platonic. But not having much experience in this small-talk-with-strange-men game, I froze. I stood there for a second and then blurted out, “I’m pregnant.”
What the hell did I just say? It was that same awkward tension as if one of my meatheads had just yelled out, “Hey asshole, she’s knocked up!” I didn’t know what to do. Do I continue the conversation? Answer his question? Tell him I have Turrets?
“Um…congratulations…” he stammered.
And that was it. He disappeared. I guess he found another shuttle stop because I haven’t seen him since. The only good news in this whole situations is that I learned something about myself.
I am my own meathead.