Sunday, January 4, 2015

Not Guilty

This has been occupying too much of my brain for too many of the last forty or so hours. Experience tells me that if I write about it, the offending subject will fade to the background and plague me no more. Let's hope so. Even though the people in question don't frequent this spot, I'm going to do my best to be general enough so those involved may remain anonymous but specific enough to clear my brain as well as my reputation. Man (hereafter referred to as B) walks into a bar, a man with whom I am not acquainted, but he appears to be with people I do know so I assume he is with them. A woman (hereafter referred to as A) who is a friend of mine leans in and says something to me which I don't hear clearly due to the music and general loud bar atmosphere, but it seems to be in reference to B. She gives me bit of a raised eyebrow expression and smiles. I have no idea what she said so I return the smile. Asking her to repeat the comment seems pointless due to the ambient noise. A proceeds to the bar presumably to get drinks. I stand up to go and request a song from the DJ. In the process of standing and looking for the most opportune route to take through the crowd, I find myself pretty much face to face with B and he leans in and kisses me. I briefly smooch back and continue toward the DJ thinking nothing of it. Drunk, overly friendly bar behavior. I return to the table and my requested song comes up. Group singing and dancing ensues. I notice that B and A are engaged in close conversation by the bar. Soon last call arrives and the patrons are instructed to drink up and depart, which we do. It seems that A is giving us a ride home. B is ushering us toward A's vehicle and opening doors and tucking us inside and closing doors, reserving shotgun position for himself. I am amused by this. I am dropped off first. Fast forward two weeks to the most recent Friday night where a number of us converge for happy hour at A's house. After some initial niceties A informs me somewhat curtly that she and B are now officially an item. She gives me a pass for my inappropriate behavior (ie, kissing boyfriend) two weeks prior but it had better never happen again. A can be a bit terse at times, so I don't take it personally. I cover with a whatever, fine sort of remark and laugh because as far as I'm concerned, B spontaneously smooching with me is a big fat nothing. The stern, disapproving look on A's face tells me she's serious. Fine. Sure. More friends arrive and a pleasant evening follows. At some point A, after either a message or call from B, announces that he will be coming over later. A waggles a finger at me and tells me she expects me to behave. I don't find B the least bit attractive so I figure this will be easy. When B arrives my flatline of attraction toward him is confirmed in my head, which is a genuine relief given the circumstance. Goodnight and thanks, and we all, with the exception of B, depart. Then my brain won't shut off. I consider A a dear friend. I beat myself up for what is essentially a misinterpretation of something that is forgettable to me that lasted maybe two seconds. How could this possibly be so important? Did B deny initiating? Are available men in such short supply that I must be made a villain in order for B to remain appealing? Is A truly so lacking in confidence that she considers me a threat? She is a beautiful, successful, educated, fun and funny person whose company I truly enjoy. I will own that I flirt and that I'm a pottymouth and that I'm not shy as far as making the first move is concerned. What I don't do is make passes at men that I regard somewhere between meh and insipid. At the same time I must admit that I'm a bit on guard. If A has reservations about B she has no right to leave them at my doorstep. At this point I'm choosing to let it go in light of preserving my friendship with A. I wish her well in her budding relationship with B. At some point an apology from A would be appreciated, but as these things go, it doesn't seem likely. I may not be innocent, but in this case I plead most definitely not guilty.

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