Last year after moving from Atlanta back to Arkansas I seemed to be on a dating kick. I think it's like working out, the more you do it, the more you are comfortable and it becomes okay. Once you stop, the idea of jumping back on that wagon seems somewhat despairing. After dating and hanging out with all sorts of guys which I named, Army Guy, Chicken Pecker, Teacher Boy, Never Gonna Happen College Friend, Baseball Kid and so on (good year for me) I started dating a guy I now call Duck Boy.
Duck boy was a friend of a friend of a friend and he added me on Facebook. (That's embarrassing.) We had gone to the same college and had friends in common but I didn't know him. After finding out who he was through another friend, I accepted his friendship request and thought, eh, what's the harm.
We had been Facebook friends for a while and I didn't really give it a second thought. One day or another something was messaged back and forth between us and before I knew it we were texting. For about two weeks, we just texted back and forth. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just getting to know someone as well as you can over a text message. I don't really recommend it but it's how the dating world works nowadays.
If you know me, you know that I can recall specific weekends in a creepy Rainman kind of way. I can't help it, I could tell you this time last year I was going to St. Louis with my cousin on Saturday. We had a great time, bought scalper tickets and it's a memory I'll never forget.
Anyways...back to Duck Boy. So, last year during the Forth of July I spent the long weekend at the lake with my cousin and family. That was the weekend that Duck Boy called. He had been out on the water all day and it was late...I'm sure there was something to drink involved that made him call. That was the first time he had 'called.' Other than that it had been text messages, which to me are safe, easy and don't require much attention.
The phone call was awkward, confusing and ended pretty quickly. A couple of days later, Duck Boy texted again. It was a Tuesday and he was in my college town for work training thing. He lived two hours away from my college town so 'dating' him seemed pretty inconvenient, yet since commitment sounds scarier to me than jumping off a cliff with one bungee cord, it also seemed pretty easy. While he was busy with work training, I was busy baking that day. After quitting my job two weeks earlier, baking was a great way to preoccupy my time without having to 'think' about my life. It's easy to get lost reading recipes and measuring out sugar.
That day I had baked two different kinds of brownies. I didn't actually eat the food, I just baked it and passed it out around town. What else was there to do? Since he was in town that day I told him I would drop him off some baked goods. I needed to see this guy up close and personal before I wasted anymore time texting.
Once we had it planned out where I would drop off the baked goods, I made sure I had my makeup done 'natural' and looked 'skinny.' There is a lot of thought into all of this. After pulling up, he got into my car. We talked for a bit, he was cute enough, I'll keep texting him. He thanked me for the brownies and texted me all that night and next day. On Thursday I get a phone call from Duck Boy asking what I was doing that weekend...uh...ohhh....umm...
If you ask me out with plenty of notice I"ll say no. If you call me and catch me off guard your chances are much higher. He asked if a friend of mine would like to come on a double date, sure, no problem. So that Friday night was my first date with him and it made it a lot better that it was a double. Whew.
We go out that Friday. I see him again that next Sunday. Then the next Saturday. Then the next weekend. I started to like him. Though there were rumors that he liked to 'play' girls and other unflattering rumors, I wasn't really concerned. A relationship wasn't anything I was looking for, I just wanted to date, play and have fun. Also, I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, a distraction was a nice thing to have the real world problems off my mind.
A couple of months go by and I see Duck Boy about once a week. Things started to change, it wasn't as fun, he was in a weird mood, or I was secretly stressed about certain life things and didn't see the need to share with someone who in my book was just a distraction until real life started again.
After three months of being without a job, I moved to the lovely city and started working again. I was only an hour away from Duck Boy now but things were weird. There wasn't the fun side anymore, it started to feel stressed and he was becoming extremely distant. The fact that I had moved closer (for a job, not in anyway for him) had freaked him out. He told me that. I'm not guessing. After a couple of weeks of just uneasiness and weird event that had happened between us I decided to tell him that I couldn't do it anymore. I was tired of the guessing game, even though I didn't want a full on committed relationship, I didn't like the way that I felt when I was around him either.
So. That was the end of that. Of course I was upset for a little time after it ended. This ended the same time my long term relationship had ended a year before. Even though I didn't cry over Duck Boy, I was sad. After a couple of months I heard from him here and there. A couple of months in between. This and that. I even saw him once or twice. No big deal, I knew that it would never become anything. It didn't need to. He was never going to 'get' me and I was never going to 'get' him.
All of that to say this...
During Forth of July this year, I was hanging out with a fun, sweet girl from my college town whom also went to the same college as Duck Boy and I. We were sitting just talking and having a good time when a friend named Luke mentioned the word, 'relationships.' I stated that closest thing I had in the past two years was Duck Boy and you couldn't even count that. This is when her ears perked up and she asked me to repeat the name and timeline of when I hung out with Duck Boy. I told her again. Her face turned white and she said, "Maegan, I'm so sorry." I laughed because I knew this was going to make for a great story to tell and blog about.
"I dated Duck Boy last September," she said. "Oh yeah?," I replied while thinking, this all makes perfect sense! We discussed how he had taken her out, then kept hanging out with me and vis versa. She said she ended it because everyone told her what kind of guy he was. I told her I ended it because I knew there had been someone else.
Amazing how small world it is sometimes.
Though that weekend I was kind of upset for the fact that I knew I deserved more respect than what he showed, I realized that sometimes people are in your life for one reason. His reason in my life was to provide a distraction from all the stress of quitting my job and having to figure what was the next chapter in my life.
The rumors about him might be true, he might play this game with all the girls he dates, I don't really care anymore. Without him last summer I probably would have driven myself crazy with all the ideas that run through my head. Dating him provided some consistency that my life always needs. As long as one thing is consistent everything else can be chaos.
Whether Duck Boy knows that I found out his little secret or not doesn't really matter in my life. If he thinks he 'got one over me' then good for him. He did something that was good, but he's still a good person I believe.
Even though I'm not upset about what he did I would still like to play the song "White Liar" to him. Why? Because if you're dating others behind my back, I'm probably doing the same. Those weekends that I was at 'home' or 'at a friends' house...I was out. With someone else. Having fun.
Though my 2011 dating life has been slow compared to 2010 I can't help but repeat in my head...Don't hate the player...Hate the game.