If someone had told me, back in the early days of college, that I’d be standing in the school corporation parking lot late on a Sunday night, making out with my new college friend’s exboyfriend, I probably would have laughed in their face. Even if that someone had been the future me.
But that’s exactly where I was last night.
Maybe I should rewind. . .
Before I knew either of them, The Traveling Progressive dated a girl who would later become one of my best friends–until she dropped out of college and moved across the country. And it was never so much that he was now automatically off limits by virtue of simply being my new best friend’s exboyfriend (who she may or may not have regularly fawned over when we saw him eating lunch with his new girlfriend), but more that this girl and I never really had similar tastes in men.
Fast forward several years, and I haven’t heard from my college friend for over half of them, since she asked me to help her plan a wedding that never happened before she left town to move thousands of miles away with another guy. But now The Traveling Progressive and I have been hanging out/chatting fairly regularly for the last week, and even though the years have certainly changed all of us, I can see why he might be her One That Got Away.
TTP and I mostly hang out with other people, though. So when he asked me if I was busy and invited me out for drinks last night, I was both nervous and excited. Nervcited is really a thing. Some friends that I was hanging out with before I met up with him kept commenting on my “furious knitting” because apparently I was so nervous and knitting so fast, I was shaking. Ooops.
After a wardrobe SNAFU (it took three of us to get my dress to zip over the ribbon detail, especially because I kept cracking obnoxious jokes like “maybe I need some spanks” or when my friend J said “Why did you stop pulling?” and my response was “I thought you needed in there!” and J was like “That’s what she said,” because we are clearly 14 year old boys), I finally arrived almost 20 minutes late. Oops again.
We had a wonderful three-ish hours of talking and laughing, even though I become a horrible awkward mess around people I like, even if I have spent a lot of time with them anyway and have no reason to be awkward around them. I just get combative, in a sense, and find myself either attempting to push buttons or mocking my own weirdness because what else is there to say? What else is there to do? And then I say dumb things that make me sound like a horribly negative, judgmental person and I swear I’m only like a mostly negative, judgmental person.
To reiterate: I’m really bad a dating.
Anyway, all good things happen in the parking lot across the street from the bar I/we frequent, a parking lot that happens to belong to the administrative office building of the local school corporation.
So we’re standing in the parking lot, sort of making fun of each other, when he got very serious, looked at me, and announced that he was going to “fuck things up right now.”
Was there a look of panic? Because my brain panicked a little about what this meant. But then he just straight-up asked if I was interested in things happening between us, and I said yes and apologized that it apparently wasn’t obvious, and he said he thought so but that he’s the guy who fucks up and asks just to make sure. Maybe some people are not into that, but I think it’s really sweet that he is aware of boundaries and willing to respect them and actually wants to talk about them rather than just assuming that because my foot kept touching his leg or I never asked him to stop brushing my arm when we talked, that he could just go for it.
But then he wrapped one arm around my waist and put his other on my face and we shared one of those kisses that I feel like some people just spend their entire lives waiting to come along and land on their lips.
And that’s how I ended up in the school corporation parking lot, making out with my college friend’s ex boyfriend, hoping that maybe we can do it again soon.