Monday, July 10, 2006

Shoulda coulda woulda

Posted by Anonymous (as always, no relation to previous Anonymous posters. )

If you'd like to use this space to vent or rant or tell the stories/secrets/confessions of your dangerous maternal (or paternal!) mind, send me an e-mail and you too can enjoy the refuge of the Basement...


It’s 6 pm. I’m feeding the baby her dinner, waiting for my husband to call. He’s out of town for a while and I miss him dreadfully.

The phone rings. The caller ID reveals an unfamiliar caller.

“Hello?” I answer.

“Trish?” a man’s voice asks.


“It’s Jay. Do you remember me? From college.”

“Oh my God! Jay! Hi! How are you?!” my heart is fluttering with excitement. While I’d like to think I don’t know why, I do. I know damn well why I’m excited. This guy, this man, is H-O-T hot and I always wondered why I never…

“Well, anyway, remember when you were still here, I told you I had a friend who lived near you? I’m here, in town, visiting that friend…and I…uh…thought maybe we could have lunch or something.”He sounds nervous. Maybe. I might just be wishing he sounds nervous.

“Sure! Do you mind if the baby comes along?”

“Of course not.” He pauses for a moment and I almost speak to break the awkward silence. “Will your husband be joining us?”

“No. He’s not home this week. He’d love to meet you, though, I’m sure.”

After we set a date and time, we end our conversation. I’m still nervous and very excited. I finish feeding the baby and go through my closet for something to wear. I even frantically sort through my stock of makeup, and lay out on the bathroom counter what I’ll use the following day to make myself pretty. I usually only feel this way for my husband, and I wish I didn’t feel this way now. Doesn’t it make me a bad person? To find another man, other than your husband, the father of your child, attractive is bad, right?

The following day we meet for lunch and he’s just as I remember him. Tall, dark, handsome. Taller than most men I would ever even look at. And still preppy. He’s wearing Dockers pants and a red striped polo shirt. I think he’s wearing cologne, but I’m not sure. He smells good anyway. It could just be detergent or deodorant. He opens doors for me, comments on how much the baby looks like me, and pays for my lunch.

At the end of our lunch I comment that it’s close to baby’s naptime. I imagine he’ll tell me he had a wonderful time but he needed to return to his friend’s house.

Instead he says, “That’s a shame. I’ve had a blast talking to you and catching up.”
“Me, too. Listen, do you want to come back to my place for coffee?”

An hour later we’re comfortable in my living room, while the baby sleeps in her room, talking about anything and everything. I feel a definite tension between us, like we have things in our minds to say to each other but don’t. I feel comfortable enough around him to touch his arm at certain times during our conversation. The nervousness has faded into familiar comfort, just like I felt during our college days.

Jay says quietly, “I really liked you back at school.”

I laugh and say, “I liked you, too! You were such a great friend.”

“No. I mean, I really liked you.”There’s an odd silence again as he stares a hole in my head. He says again, “I really liked you. You remember the day we had lunch, and you tried my black beer?”

“Yeah. And Tanya was there, acting like an idiot.”

He chuckles while rolling his eyes, “I hated her.”

“Me too!” I say, amid laughter. “What about that day?”

“I wanted to ask you back to my place so badly.”

“For coffee?” I suggest, grinning slyly.

“For sex.”

Jay kisses me and I like it. I like it a lot. I like it so much that I let go of all my inhibitions and let my temptress out to play.


That never happened. It never will happen. It’s just a scenario I play in my mind sometimes at night, when I’m alone and lonely. Sometimes the scenario takes place after one of our many college lunches. Sometimes it takes place in his car.

I remember Jay well. Maybe too well. I even found a picture of him on the internet and I look at it sometimes. There were several times in college when we were so close to acting on something, some unspoken desire, and yet we never did. The electricity, the desire, was definitely there.

But, for most of the time I knew Jay, I was an engaged gal. I was taken and absolutely in love with my fiancĂ© (now husband.) I was the kind of girl who would never even entertain a thought as lurid as the one I play in my head now. I always felt that imagining cheating on my husband meant I may as well do it. I feel like trash when I think about Jay. And yet, something about it makes me wish I had acted on my feelings before, when I was in college with Jay. I’ve never thought about Jay while with my husband, and I never will.

For now I just think, “Shoulda, coulda, woulda.”


Anonymous said...

Oh god do I ever hear you, I have one of those, I do see him from time to time and we joke about what could have been. The times I want to leave my current situation I dream about making a new life with him and then I realise that my son's father is too important to him to take him away and be raised by someone else. I guess everyone has "one that got away" thanks for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Me too, I have those shoulda, coulda, woulda moments way too many times! You aren't alone and I'm glad you express your feelings on this blog. Some days I'm happy with my husband, some days I'm not and wish I could be somewhere else dating other men. I married too young at 19 years old. Well that says it all - 'I married too young" I really missed out a lot of things. One of my close friend told me to look for the future and not dwell on the past but sometimes that's too hard isn't it?

Silly Hily said...

I must say my heart was racing while reading this. When you said he kissed you I literally almost yelled "Noooooo" to my computer. The way you told this story was kind of evil. :-)
I don't think you should torture yourself over this. I'm sure it is something that you want out of your head b/c it is making you feel really guilty. I think this is a "closure" issue. There was no closure between you and Jay.
I have no doubt that EVEN if you WERE given the opportunity, you would never actually do anything to put your marriage in danger.
I honestly don't think there are too many women, or men for that matter, that don't think about someone from their past. It's human nature. Thinking is one thing, acting is another.

One more thing. I think the older we get, the more we look back and wish we would have done things differently. Man, I should have done this or I should have just gone ahead and did that. It's like you regret trying to be smart about things or do things the right way b/c now, as an adult, that's all you have to worry about. In your younger years you think, we think, I should have been more carefree and not so timid or shy about things. But you know what, everything happens for a reason. And thinking about all of this now is kind of like cusing someone out while driving. You can talk smack all day long, but you have your car surrounding you, keeping you safe. You can talk all day long about what you wish you would have done because you have the safety of time not being able to rewind. There was a reason though that you and Jay never took things further. You may never know that reason, but there was a reason.

Oh my goodness, someone please just tell me to shut up already. (Sorry for the book. Sometimes I start rambling and can't stop.)

Anonymous said...

I recently reconnected with the man That I was in love with 16 years ago. We are both married. We talked for a couple of months...sometimes, but It got too hard. The longing, for both of us, became palpable. Thank God we don't live close enough to each other, or we would have ended up in a hotel room somewhere.

While I can't say "don't look him up", I can say - Be ready for what it stirs if you do.

Miguelita said...

I love this. I have one who got away and I drag him out every once in a while for a lovely fantasy. But then I snap back into reality and imagine that he probably leaves his shoes in the hall and forgets to put the milk away too. ...sigh....

I actually WAS the one who got away. I used to hear from him every once in a while and we would meet for lunch. He was married and settled and I was still single. He loved hearing me talk about all of the great single things I did. Those lunches ended the time I told him I couldnt meet him because I had to get fitted for my wedding gown. POOF - I turned into a wife. Havent heard from him since.

Mel said...

It doesn't make you trashy to play with maybes and might-haves in your mind.
It doesn't make you a bad person to think about what could have been different in your life.
No life is perfect, and sometimes reality is too hard, and a fantasy is a wonderful thing to escape to when life is just tougher than you can take and you are lonely.
But, having said all that - don't get so sucked into that dream that it ruins your relationship with your husband. As Michele said, I imagine "Jay" would be just as human as the next guy. As an escape it's great... just don't get obsessed with a possibility and therefore spoil your relationship with your sweetheart.

Anonymous said...

ME too. I have one of these too. In fact when I am having a stressful day and can't fall asleep (which is almost everyday), I evoke that fantasy to quiet my mind. I fall asleep everyday thinking of another man. A man who in reality would never measure up to the fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Fantasy is fantasy. As a few people have commented above - the real thing probably wouldn't measure up. I've been there. The person was actually not someone that I would have wanted to have a life with, but I enjoyed the sexual tension for a time. And sexual tension is something that usually disappears from a marriage - especailly a good marriage, because what is there to be tense about?

We all respond to mystery, to 'what if?' I think that you can enjoy the fantasy guilt-free, so long as it remains fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Hear it from a single young woman:

- it is only a fantasy. Jay is not who you think he could, would have been. I mean a loving man, like your husband.

The comfort, closeness and love that you share with your husband, trust me, cannot happen with anyone else.

I have tried that over and over again. Went back to those people that I thought liked me and sounded dreamy to me. Perhaps even slept with them, but then I realized it was only a one-night fantasy for both of us, until the reality hit.

Dreamy friends will always stay dreamy, until you take the time to go and talk it out with them.

If it is such a big deal now, go. Go, find Jay and tell him you want to know if something could have happened. It might haunt you for the rest of your life unless you do this and get it out of your system.

Anonymous said...

yeah, before child--i've actually been there too. and for a short while it was amazing, and then i missed my husband.

and i can say, that i do not regret it all. at the time, as i was considering if i still wanted to be married, where my life was going, it was exactly what i needed, it was thrilling and taught me a lot about myself and my relationship.

it also taught me that there was no way i could do it again, especially with a kid. it's messy and painful (my huz never found out, but if he had....)

but sometimes we need to experience, or at least fantasize about experiencing, being someone else, and being seen through someone else's eyes. the thrill is shortlived and not worth ruining a family for, but we're all human.

kittenpie said...

I agree with those above - fantasy is fantasy. I think the comment about lack of closure has something valid about it, as well as the fact that it is one of those opportunities for "what ifs." Don't we all have some sort of "what is" we like to turn over in our head?

I think as it is, this isn't really harmful. It's not like you ARE tempting fate by going out for those long solo lunches, inviting him over, etc. Not like you are letting somethign get to the point where you actually have to make that decision about whether to act on an impulse or not. I think by that point, it's gone too far. But a little daydreaming? As long as you are aware of what you are doing and keep it fantasy, take a little reality check to keep yourself from running away with it, it's not hurting anyone.

I noticed you said it's when you're feeling lonely, though. Perhaps it's more of a symptom of another problem? Perhaps some more time with husband/friends/hobbies/whatever would help you in more ways than just crowding out this fantasy?