We live in a city. But it’s a relatively small city. And we know a lot of people.
With the amount of new friends I’m making, awkward encounters are becoming a reasonably regular occurrence. It’s a situation that’s further complicated by the fact that my early explorations into all this involved me making some impetuous and ill-considered moves on mutual acquaintances.
My early dalliance with a work colleague is a perfect example. While my work, family and social lives are reasonably compartmentalised, all clashed together on one potentially awkward evening. A mutual friend had invited Mad Max out to an event which The Husband and our kids were also attending! While I was uncomfortable, I was utterly amazed by how cool, calm and collected the men were. The Husband was charming and Mad Max equally un-phased. It was a triumph that could in some part be attributed to the fact that no-one in our circle of family and friends would have guessed in a million years that I would ever have had any kind of carnal dealings with the man in question.
Probably one of the most awkward encounters of my life happened on the train. I was with a friend who was visiting from overseas, and we were heading into the city for a day of sightseeing. Before I knew it, Rocky was sitting next to me.
Rocky had never been my type. He was an older guy who I had recruited as a bull for The Husband’s birthday celebrations. We’d had a pleasant enough time but he couldn’t get it up for more than a quick blow job.
And here he was, making polite conversation with me and my unknowing friend on the train. I managed to steer the conversation into safe, work-related territory. But as we neared the station, he mentioned getting together again, claiming that he’d been seeing a physiotherapist and nodding towards his crotch. It was excruciating. I put on my best poker face, said how nice that would be, and ushered my friend quickly through the station without any reference to the conversation at all.
The most personally confronting for me was the night that I came face to face with not one but two of the first fellas to knock back my advances. It had all started 6 months previously in my favourite pub, when I realised I wanted to snog the face off a mutual friend. It’s a pub that I usually go to with one or two friends, but this time we were all there, including The Husband. The mutual friend being there was no surprise, but I was still blown away by the fact that he, The Husband, and I were all stood at the bar having a completely regular conversation. The Husband even bought him a pint. And before long, everything was back to normal.
That is until Mad Max’s Brazilian bandmate walked in and started talking to me like we were long lost friends. A few months earlier, I had drunkenly flung myself at him at a party, proclaiming my newfound polyamorous status, and frightening the poor guy out of his wits.
While it started awkwardly, the night at the pub ended up being a positive and affirming experience. Being knocked back early on had been a massive blow to my fragile ego. But by that night, my confidence in myself and what I was doing had grown immeasurably. And I was looking particularly smoking hot. Where I had taken it as rejection, it was more apparent that they were scared and intimidated by such openness. Even though I was no longer interested in either of them, they were clearly interested in me. And it felt good.