July 3, 2009

Flashback Friday: My Ugly, Love-less Triangle

Shortly after my 17th birthday, I cheated on my boyfriend of six months. In a very public and embarrassing way.

I was in my second semester of my freshman year in college and he, thanks to my skillful forging of his high school transcripts so he would be accepted, came along for the ride. The only problem was: I spent a lot of time that semester riding someone else. Crass, but true.

My high school boyfriend was cool: he drove a '78 Cutlas, looked kind of like Duane Martin, had a great sense of humor and was probably one of the nicest guys I've ever known. He was never disrespectful - cuz his momma taught him that. He was generous to a fault, would bend over backward for me and had no problem carting my no driver's license having ass any where I'd ask.

I knew early on in our relationship he wasn't the one - is there even such a thing? We honestly had nothing in common save for a love for freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and NBA basketball. Yet, I couldn't bring myself to break up with him. I mean, who dumps a nice guy?

Not me. Nooo. Instead, I cheat on him. Embarrass him in front of...basically the entire campus at an HBCU.

The cheating isn't the worst part: it's who I cheated with. And how I cheated.

I basically carried on a public relationship with RJ, a 21 year old student, who'd been at the school two and a half years yet somehow had only amassed six credit hours. RJ wasn't smart. He wasn't even fyne. He had an S-curl. And was about five pounds away from the chubby list.* Folks couldn't understand it.

But: RJ made me laugh. He was a sharp dresser, never in jeans,always fly. He could cook and would do so for me often. And he introduced me to his friends: older students, who loved to pontificate over wine and games of spades and who broadened my horizons and opened my still very young mind.

I was so sprung, I actually went with him for a weekend to his hometown to visit his mother, leaving my boyfriend on campus, wondering where I'd went. He even came to visit me at home during a long weekend off from school. It didn't take long for things to get sticky. My boyfriend would get teased by his boys and he and I would argue. One night, RJ found his car spray painted and his windows busted. I'm pretty sure the boyfriend did it, but he denied it (I actually confronted him about it).

In the midst of all of this drama with the boyfriend (and yes, I realize I created the drama), tensions began to develop between RJ and I. You see, he was hurting. He'd recently lost his brother and hadn't moved on from the loss. He was depressed. And his depression manifested itself as neediness. He clung to our 'relationship' in the most desperate of ways, fighting with me for spending time with my boyfriend, declaring that I could save him from himself. Lest you think I am being egotistical, he actually said to me once, after I questioned him about his dismal grades "I could do better in school if you were officially with me". Mkay.

So there I was: stuck in the middle of two very needy men who allowed me to walk all over them. I wasn't happy.

Channeling Ms. Winfrey, this is what I know for sure: I didn't have feelings for RJ. Quite the opposite: his lackluster approach to school irritated me and his clingy behavior was a huge turn off (so much so, I made out with his boy one night, in the hallway outside his (RJ's) apartment, just to make him mad). I realize now that I really, really liked his circle of friends. I wanted to be part of a group that I perceived as being on the move: doing things, thinking things, making things happen. My boyfriend's friends weren't like that and the girls in the dorm just weren't cool. I felt alone and found entry into the 'cool clique' with a guy I would not have normally given the time of day to.

Even though I wasn't in love with the boyfriend, I couldn't break up with him. After all, I was the one who convinced him to go to college. I felt responsible to see him through. Besides, he'd gotten arrested for me. I owed him. I had no obligations to RJ so I made up my mind, at the end of the semester, to break up with him.

As fate would have it, I didn't have to: he flunked out. He left campus at the end of the semester and never returned. He called me at home during the breaks and in the dorm when I was back on campus, but I never answered. I screened my calls back then. I still do.

I ended up staying with the boyfriend for another four years - about three years longer than I should have. He forgave my transgression. I couldn't just up and leave him. Right?

As I moved forward, thinking about my life's plans, I finally found the courage to force a separation. The courage came in the form of a new guy. I'd met a 33 year old who was sexy. And educated. I was 21 and impressed. It would make me two years to find out he was an a$hole and that I was still searching, but that was a lesson I was meant to learn.

I wasn't going to cheat so I knew I had to end the five year journey with the boyfriend. He, however, had other things on his mind: marriage. He proposed, I broke up with him. He cried. I sat there staring at the wall.

I am not proud of this chapter in my life. But it's just that: a chapter. I lived through it. And I learned some lessons. I have not cheated on a boyfriend since. And I have been conscious of not dragging relationships out long past their expiration dates". **

Sometimes, we do things that are completely out of character for us. This particular experience taught me to slow down and ask myself "what's up? what are you really trying to do?" when I go against my basic nature. I now try to figure out what motivates my actions before I hurt someone or make a fool of myself. I suggest that everyone do the same.

*His belly didn't cover his schlong, so I was okay with him being a few pounds over weight.

**It would take me two years of living with and being engaged to the 33 year old to realize that, if you aren't feeling anything after six months, you should do everyone a favor and bounce.


bfrank84 said...

I am going through a similar experience....in the sense that I am not being truthful with myself in a relationship that is past its expiration date.....but simply don't want to admit the answer to myself...thank you for sharing :)

Monica: Amazing said...

Wow...the amazing thing is, you seem like you learned from this experience. More people should ask themselves "what's up? what are you really trying to do?". It would eliminate so much drama.

Also, I totally agree with "if you aren't feeling anything after six months, you should do everyone a favor and bounce."

I wouldn't even go as far as six months. I'd say a month tops.

good post.

V dot said...


A month might be a little too soon, lol. What about three months?

Assertive Wit said...

good life lesson to learn :)

KindredSmile said...

As a fellow victim of the Unsolicited Proposal(s), I have to say that I feel your pain at the awkward, depressing situation it creates. I'm glad that you were able to take something from the mess that you created though.

Lite Bread said...

Ya know, I really wantt’d to like you. I promise I did! Swear on MJ’s corpse! For Luvvie’s sake, if nothin’ else.
But, this here makes it a lot more difficult.
Because it’s MY life story. From the other side.
If I ever hear again (fer the 1,000 time) “Yer just such a great guy an’ all …. BUT …”.
If another girl is havin’ me fix her car or unplug her hair-clogged drains (you girls hair is Death on drain traps, lol), while she’s on a, er … uh … “ride” with someone else, I’m gonna end up one of those old, bitter “woman hatin” geezer’s we ALL dislike.
I shouldn’t admit it publicly, but, what the heck, I ain’t got no “shame” left in life. The “Ex” did this too, but for a year, not 6 months (that I know of). While I tried to “preserve” the marriage (gee, a guy who can Commit, whata ya know); fer the kids an’ all ... ya know.

V dot said...

@Lite Bread: In my defense, I was not married. But, I know I made a mess. Sorry to hear what your wife did. I really am. My reasoning wasn't b/c he was a nice guy - it was b/c he and I were on different tracks in life, had different goals. I just wasn't able to articulate it them. Friends?

Lite Bread said...

Friends? Absolutely!
In your defense? No need, pretty girl.
It wasn’t meant to be personal, as in “at you”, lol. And it wouldn’t even BE about defending anyway. Life is what it is, and we all got stuff we’d like to bury away.
I must say though, that takes some mighty big adult maturity to say what you just said, that you made a mess. I down right Proud a Ya! 99% of people try to excuse their way through life, and never learn a daummm lesson.
One wee tiny thing, about me, I ain’t no “Internet Hater”; I’m not looking to insult, criticize or badmouth you. Ever. One thing I just LUV’s me about Luvvie an’ House of IG, is that serious stuff can still be funny. That’s Me! So, the above comment of mine pokes some serious fun at Me! While it’s all true, lots an’ lots of girls in my life have done the “Nice Guy Turndown” thing, it’s STILL kinda funny, right?
The “Ex”? Well, ya just gotta get over some crap in life, don’t cha V.dot? In the words of Her Very High Awsomelynessis hersef, iRefuse to go bitter!
Please, just keep writing. I’m glad to know someone else has had parts of life go wacko too, LOL!

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