I had to take my lil Beebie girl to Big Kid Orientation today. She wore one of her new, cute, trendy outfits that my mom got her for her birthday last week and she just looked like a teenager. I'll confess, I got a little choked up. I'm such a dork. I did manage to embarrass her, though, so the day wasn't a total loss.
We got her schedule, found where all of her classes are, set up her locker, tried to open it, and all the while I was fighting the onset of Instant Diarrhea. Why?
Because about two minutes after we arrived, I saw a dude from my sordid, slutty past while we were waiting in the line to turn in Beeb's medical forms.
There's always going to be someone I want to avoid, I guess. And I knew there was a possibility that I'd run into this person because his son went to the same school Beeb did (before we moved), and this middle school is where kids from that elementary school and Beeb's elementary school go, but I'd managed to either forget or convince myself that the school was big enough that the likelihood that he and I would run into each other was extremely remote. His kid has a locker disturbingly close to Beeb's. He's in the red shirt.
I had to walk past him about fifty times this morning as we were finding Beeb's classes. UGH.
Sigh. I had been meaning to tell this story on here but I never felt it was the right moment. I guess it's good that it came up naturally; now I HAVE to tell it. It's kinda tricky, though, because it's best told out of chronological order.
One night, about 5 years ago, R and I proudly took our adorable First-Grade daughter to Meet the Teacher night. And while we sat at Beeb's desk, I looked over and saw this dude that I had met in about 1993. Apparently he'd married a woman who had kids already because the kid he was sitting with had a different last name from his. Believe me, if I'd seen his last name on the class list, I'd have done a little research and politely asked the school to put Beeb in a different class. It's THAT bad.
I silently prayed that he didn't see me and actually thanked God that I'd gained enough weight since he'd last seen me that perhaps I didn't look the same and he wouldn't say anything to me. I would have just died if he came up and said something to me, mostly because I didn't want to have to explain my relationship with this guy to R. I can't believe I'm going to explain it to YOU, but stay with me, I will. For now, suffice it to say, it just didn't end well... because it got seriously weird.
I spent the whole evening avoiding eye contact with him and the entire next year avoiding as many school-related functions as I possibly could. And overall, I was rather successful. The following year we moved to a different school. I was SO relieved. TOTALLY dodged a bullet. Until.
Because I'm an awesome mom (and because I knew I'd feel guilty forever otherwise), I wanted Beebie to be able to participate in the activities she liked despite the fact that I had a toddler and a baby that I'd have to lug with me everywhere. I didn't think it was fair to her if she had to miss out on stuff just because I was too lazy to inconvenience myself for her benefit. As long as I had my trusty Double Stroller, I'd be fine, I figured. It wasn't her fault that her dad and I whipped out two babies in less than eleven months. Why punish her?
So I signed Beebie up for T-ball. I'm a big believer in team sports. They build character. It was a district team, which included kids from several different elementary schools. So there my dude was with his stepkid and his wife, who appeared to be pregnant. First of all, the years had not been kind to this guy. His hair and his beard were salt and pepper grey and patchy. I had forgotten how much older than me he was; at least a good 8 or 9 years. And then I got a better look at his wife.
First of all, she had reeeeeally bad skin, reeeeeeeally bad, long, stringy, dirty blonde hair, and she was the kind of skinny that's almost scary. So, so painfully unattractive. Both of them. It's kind of sweet that they agreed to take each other out of the dating pool so the rest of us could have better odds.
So for the next eight weeks, I had to see them twice a week at T-ball. And R was working two jobs, so I didn't have him to distract me. Sometimes Dude From The Past was there with his icky wife and sometimes she was alone, but I just did my best to stay away from them. All the while, I was pretty sure he didn't remember or recognize me. Fortunately I had the excuse of having to keep my boys entertained in their Double Stroller so I really never had time to sit down and chat. Sad thing was, I had to push the damn stroller so the boys wouldn't get fussy while they were waiting to see their sister bat. I hardly got to see Beeb play the whole season because I was so busy keeping the boys from screaming.
I did, however, get to watch his stepson play. It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. The kid would literally do a full 360 degree pirouette whenever he'd swing the bat. Sometimes he'd even spin all the way around twice. And instead of swinging a bat, he looked like he was swinging an axe, up and down. It was pitiful. Just pitiful. I know I'm mean, but seriously, it was sad. I applaud that he didn't give up, I'm sure they encouraged him, but you gotta know there comes a point where, just out of compassion, you need to tell your kid, Dude, This Just Might Not Be Your Thing. And that point had come and gone.
Anyway, one night R was able to come to a game with me, and while he and I were hanging out and keeping the boys occupied, R suddenly said to me, "That guy across the playground is totally staring at you..."
It seemed that he'd put two and two together and figured out why I looked familiar. Fuck. Time to come clean. So I said to R, "Yeah, well, let me tell you about that guy, honey..."
I proceeded to tell R that we'd seen him at Meet the Teacher Night and how I didn't want to tell R how I knew him. Then I got into exactly why I didn't want R to know how I knew him.
I met him when I worked at the library at a local university. I was the youngest person who worked there, and the only woman under the age of 40. I was 21, at the peak of my cuteness (I mean, sure, I'm cute now, but this was before my body had squeezed out three children - back when my boobies were perkier and my ass was more compact). At 29, he was the closest person on the staff to my age, so we hung out. We were kinda thrown together by circumstance. And, long story short, pretty soon we hung out in varying states of undress.
R took a gander at the guy and gave me a look that said, YOU? And HIM???? And I can't defend it. He was gross ten years earlier, and he was even grosser when I saw him again. Not that I'm Angelina Jolie or anything, but seriously, it was embarrassing to admit that I had any kind of history with this guy.
Back in the day, he lived at home (as did I) and he also had model airplanes suspended from the ceiling in his bedroom. Am I painting enough of a picture for you? He had a teaching certificate (as I was in the process of acquiring - yes, I could teach high school if I wanted to). He had been dating one of his former students, which I thought was kinda icky. But she had broken up with him because after more than a year, she woke up and realized that dating an almost 30-year-old man when you're barely 17 is kinda weird.
To his credit, he did have a certain set of skills that were well above average. And he knew some great locations where we wouldn't get busted. Did you know there are tunnels underneath the library that go under Natural Bridge Road to the campus? Yeah, well, very few people do. And the library after dark can be quite a seductive place.
This guy is the only guy who's ever been able to get me to agree to watch even part of an episode of Star Trek. R's taken me to Ren Faires and Pirate Festivals, so he's deflowered my Inner Geek, but R knows I won't watch Star Trek for fuckin ANYBODY. Based on this fact, and unable to resist the opportunity to fuckin mock me, R came up with the name we've used for the guy ever since - Shatner.
A few months after I started working at the library with Shatner, my mom's job was transferred to San Antonio, and I told him I was planning to move there with my family. Here's when things got weird. Shatner told me he was applying for a teaching job in Brownsville, Texas. It's not close, but it's still Texas. He gave me a purple t-shirt with a picture of Racer X on it. He also told me he loved me. Uh... ewwww. Yeah, he was fun to mess around with and everything as long as nobody knew about it, but don't go fuckin it up talkin' love, dude. Just, No.
So the semester ended and I moved to San Antonio, and for a while I got very emotional letters from him that I never answered. It wasn't the right way to handle it, I know, I guess I just didn't really know how to respond. And then, one day, I got a spiral-bound typed Star Trek Fan Fiction Story in the mail that he had written, which included me (using my real first and last name) as the lovable slut of the story. Yes, I read the entire thing, and it Freaked. My. Ass. OUT. I kinda wish I hadn't thrown it away now, though.
Three years later I had moved back to St. Louis and was just starting to date R. After having had zero contact after the story he sent me, I saw Shatner again working at a grocery store near R's apartment. There's NO way, I thought. But it was him, no doubt. I checked the nametag. Ugh. I hoped he figured I had to be somebody who looked an awful lot like me, since I was still living in Texas, for all he knew.
R and I got married and for years I'd periodically see Shatner at the store, but I'd never said anything to R about him. And then, there we were, all of us on the playground one day, me confessing my past inexplicable indiscretions to my husband while Shatner stared at me. And the whole story tumbled out just as jumbled and non-linear as I'm sure it sounds to you now.
The next time we went to the grocery store and saw him, R gave me shit. "HEY SARAH!! Sarah (my maiden name)!!!" within earshot of Shatner. I was pissed, but I figured at this point he had to know who I was and if he hadn't said anything to me up to this point he probably wasn't going to. Since then we've also run into him (literally hit his cart with my cart) and his little familia at Target and around town a few times, and he's never said anything to me. R thinks his wife looks like a praying mantis. And every time I see Shatner, I swear, I get the rumbling in my belly like I've just eaten about fifty White Castles.
This is the price I pay for being rid of archnemeses Stella Dallas and Dr. Eyeball for the next three years. Still, I'll take Shatner's creepy unrequited love over those bitches and the Daisy Troop Puppet Regime any day.
Should be an interesting year.