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Friday, July 18, 2014

***** ********* (names were changed to protect the not-so-innocent)

 Normally I don't change names when I tell a story from my past. Maybe it's because I am not trying to be mean or vengeful, but I haven't had a good reason to not tell the whole truth.

Until now.

I will introduce you to Betty. She was a pretty young lady I met while *******. The attraction wasn't instant as she had a boyfriend, Barney,that I had become friends with. Although I had no Wilma, it wasn't for lack of trying. There just wasn't any takers. When the three of us would meet up, we joked around, giving each other a hard time, and in a relatively short few weeks, Betty and I got the tingles. You know... the tingles. That feeling you get when you are around someone you like but you don't know if they like you. Most people outgrow this by the age of 17 or so, but here we were, in our 20's, tingling when we shouldn't be. No good was going to come from this....

We got together almost every week, Barney, Betty, and me. The Modern Stone Age Friendship. We would spend time with some ******* buddies, and discuss forming our own team and joining a league. We recruited Mr Slate, Dino, and Arnold, and knew we would be formidable and fun . Eventually, we made it happen and the journey began.

The get-togethers happened more often. Not only the weekly ******* events, but maybe another time as well. The tingling became more of a temptation, and neither one of us was strong enough to run the other way. You have to know that this was not in the Jurassic, but the Insecure Period for me. I was feeling no love and would look in the mirror and know why. I hadn't had much attention come my way up to that point, so this was new and exciting. What were we going to do?

That question was answered one night when she called and told me she was housesitting for someone and she was all alone and wanted some company. Uh oh. Before I could dial Miss Cleo, I was knocking on this strange door, wondering just how awful of a human being I was. [note to self - pretty darn awful!]

Of course, I made it all seem so logical. That's what we do when we are doing something wrong, but don't want to admit it. My explanation was, she was bored with Barney, she was going to stray anyway, may as well be with someone who won't hurt her - that's me. What a bunch of rubble. I should say it was a beautiful night. I should say that we regretted the one-time we had indiscretions. I should say that 4 out of 5 dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.

None of it would be true.

That night was the start of a fun  but destructive part of my life. One of the few areas I would take a do-over if I could. One I look back at with remorse and shame. At the time, it was just exciting and new.
Barney didn't deserve to be duped like that by people he trusted. His girlfriend and his good friend, what a cliché. And we thought we were special.

Call me stupid, call me Fred, I was the worst example of the person I wanted to be. No one sets out to be awful on purpose, yet here I was, Mayor of Awfulville. There were times when it was all forgotten, when it was just me and Betty. We would imagine how much fun we would have together, not having to hide the fact we were involved. The trouble was, we weren't and in the circle we were in, everyone knew Barney and Betty as a couple. I sure didn't plan this out very well....

After that night and many others, whenever Barney and Betty would go out to the mall, look who happened to show up.... yup, me. What a coincidence! When they were going to the movies, oh-my-goodness, look who they ran into - me. It didn't seem to register to Barney that I lived on the one side of the river and they lived on the other. No way would we have had these chance-encounters so often without some kind of intervention - and this wasn't divine!

The three of us would go off and do something together, all the while Barney was smiling and happy that two of his favorite people were hangin out with him. We were terrible. All the while, in my epically warped mind, this was all going to work out for the best.

Eventually, as these situations often do, it exploded in a rather horrific way. Barney found out, because I told him. Betty wasn't up to it and I, being the Gary Granite of the bunch, had to reveal the truth like it was noble or something. Unfortunately, this wasn't a romantic comedy were we could all laugh about it while walking towards the restaurant to get a nice dinner . It wasn't even a porno that we could all just disrobe and have at it. It was a real-life massacre of a nice guy. I wanted to be John Waynerock and wound up being Gordon Gekkosaurus.

Of course, Barney wanted to punch me in the face. I was ready. He was more of a man and didn't. He was hurt but still was able to see clearly that neither one of us was worth the effort to fight for. Disturbingly, Betty was upset at finally having this opportunity for us. Maybe she realized that wanting is different than having, I know I sure came to see it very clearly. Not soon enough.

I was kicked off the team that I helped form. I was looked at in the ******* circles as someone you couldn't trust and no one wanted to be around. I was getting what I deserved. To add more irony, they won the Championship that year. In my years of competing, I never have.

This had been the first time that I really didn't feel alone. I was part of something and I blew it. There was no one to blame except me, no one to fix it, no one to tell me I'm OK. If this was Hollyrock, I would have been eaten by a Tyrannosaurus and a celebration would have ensued... the end.

But this was Bedrock, and it never seemed smaller. Betty eventually became my girl, and we stayed together a while. It wasn't easy. Her parents, The McBrickers, didn't approve of how this all went down. They liked Barney and couldn't accept me into their home at all. Friends that we had before, now were just polite acquaintances. How could they be anything else? We were Bonnie and Clyde. No one that hangs with THEM survives. It's a good thing we enjoyed each other's company most of the time, because that's all we had.

Boo freakin hoo.

Karma being what it is in any era, I got what I had coming to me. I noticed an inconsistency to Betty's excuses for not coming around. On one particular night, I followed her when she said she had to be home for something or another. I didn't even follow her, as I figured I knew exactly where she was headed - to Barney's house! I snuck around the house to peek into the window, and what did I find? Two naked people enjoying the moment.

What could I do? I couldn't get angry, I couldn't explain how unfair it was. It was at that moment that I think I understood Einstone's Theory of Relativity, but only for a moment and that moment is long gone.What I REALLY understood going forward was Newtonrock's Third Law of Motion - for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I disrupted Barney's world, and he squashed mine.


The natural order had been restored and vengeance was served. Surprisingly, when I informed Betty she was busted, she tried using Guy's Rule #1 to evade and elude - DENY, DENY, DENY. She couldn't deny as I had seen her with my own eyes. She then tried to go with Guy's Rule #2 - I DIDN'T ENJOY IT. Maybe she did, maybe she didn't. I had seen the light, and much more skin than I ever should have. She moved on to the Unauthorized Guy's List and threatened to drive off a bridge if I didn't forgive. How poetic.... and how pathetic. We were over and I had learned a valuable lesson in all of this misadventure. I'm sure of it.

Unfortunately, my actions going forward didn't prove that to anyone, least of all me, but that's a different story for a different time....

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