Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Part Three: When the Honeymoon Ends, What's Left?

If you're new here, please read this, this, and this first (in that order).

Shortly after our wedding (a few months), the woman who had been our roommate for 5+ years decided it was time to move out. Being the passive/agressive person she is, she couldn't just say, "Hey, I need to move now", instead she made up an imaginary fight with John and told some incredible lies about both of us (she had been part of the JC crowd way-back-when and was also good friends with Geoffrey--as a result of the BS she spouted, John and his brother now have no relationship to speak of. None.).

Anyway, she moved out and a month later another roommate moved in, a man this time. A very charming man, so I thought. A complete schmoozer and user, so I learned. While he was with us, we celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary and had our first major blow-out fight on the very same day. Oh joy. We also came ::this.close:: to getting a divorce. Ended up in counseling. A lot of crap came out of those sessions, among the most important stuff though was John's apparent inability to "keep it in his pants".

We discussed the open relationship idea with our counselor quite a bit and I must say, for a professional who hears a lot, she seemed a bit shocked. Maybe because we both look so straight. Who knows. Whatever. The point she and I attempted to drive home to John was that while that may have been acceptable before marriage, we had made a commitment now, before family, friends, and God, to be true to one another. He never quite got it. Six months after boy-roomie moved in, he moved out again, with 3 hours notice and no deposit ever received. We were financially fucked.

About a week later, at John's company Christmas party, I met one of the new "girls" in his office--a funny, witty, sharp-tongued woman named Jessica. Turned out she was looking for a new place to live. We talked a lot about her moving in with us, but ultimately it came down to her resolve never to work with someone she lived with and visa/versa. So we told her before anyone else that John had been offered another job and was going to quit shortly after the holidays.

Oh Joy! Oh Happiness! Oh Thank God! Jessica came to the house to check it out, loved it on site, and even gave us a month rent ahead of time to hold the place for her. In Feburary of 1996, she moved in with us.

Right about the same time, I was finishing up my MA Thesis. There was a little community chatroom for liberal arts students at our University; it was called "Cafe Vax". I'd never seen chat rooms or anything remotely like that before; it was very cool! There were about 20 core people who "Vaxed" as obsessively as some bloggers I know, as well as the periodic pop-ins from other students. I met some incredible people there and still know a good number of them, but most specifically were two freshmen named Eric and Logan. Everyone thought they were the same person posting under different names, they were so similar in their on-line personas.

(Are you catching on yet that John, my husband of just over a year, wasn't a huge part of my social life by this point?)

After a few months of on-line socializing, when it became clear that the undergrads and grad students would never meet up on campus, we arranged an outing at a real coffee shop in our VERY small downtown. Both Eric and Logan showed up. Logan was funny, but too shy in person to really let himself out. Eric, however, Eric was larger than life, in a very subdued way. Is that even possible? Hmph. I doubt it. Suffice to say, from the moment I laid eyes on him, I was hopelessly hooked.

He was an 18 year old college freshman, flunking out of a state school and I was a 28 year old graduate student, one semester away from completing my MA, working full-time, with a husband and 2 step-sons at home. We couldn't possibly have anything in common. Yet within weeks of that first meeting, we had become best friends. Utterly inseparable. I went to pick him up for one of our typical late-night coffee house flings and was surprised to meet his girlfriend, Kat. I didn't know he had a girlfriend! Well, not really, he told me, they had just met the day before. I was in enough denial about my feelings for him that I didn't let Kat upset me TOO much. She just joined the force and became one of us.

Fast forward about 2 1/2 years--Eric and Kat by this point had become members of our household. No, they didn't live with us, but they were over all the time. Keep in mind, John is 10 years my senior and Eric 10 years my junior, so John was awfully close to Eric's parent's age. I think he & Kat found comfort in hanging out at a real house, instead of a college crash-pad, with actual adults. They could raid our refrigerator, use our washer/dryer, smoke our cigarettes, and know that they weren't going to be treated like "the kids"; they were our best friends. They helped bring John back into my social life. The four of us did nearly everything together.

Until Kat decided they had to move.

In November of 1999, Eric and Kat packed up all their (meager) belongings and moved to Vermont. Fucking Vermont. In NOVEMBER! They didn't even stay home for Thanksgiving. I was crushed. I missed them so much it hurt.

This, my friends, is where the story gets interesting.... Back atcha as soon as I can--I promise!

Thanks for sticking with me. xoxo