I can't believe it has been over a year. And what a year it has been. I am so torn. Undo all of last year? Do it all over again exactly as it happened? Change some things and not others? Who the fuck knows at this point?
But last June that was all just a future memory. You see, I was off to Maryland to meet Red and Smarty and I couldn't have been more excited. Well, let me not exaggerate. I didn't want to go to Maryland. Not really. I had a bad feeling about the party. I wasn't sure why, except that having been on AFF for so long, I think I was pretty good about reading online 'people' there and I didn't want to meet our hostess, 'The Princess'. From her blog, which I only read because 'The Prince' said I should check it out, I thought that we had little in common and even less of a reason to meet than my friend Smarty thought.
Plus, I know I can be quite definite about people I spend time with, especially when I have to pay for things like hotels, etc., but hey, I was about to meet my girls! I remember calling 'The Actor' and after having said 'no' to him for almost a year, I said 'yes'.
And that's how we ended up going to 'The Hostess's' party together, but not really. You see, he had warned me that he would be busy playing party host that night so I shouldn't be too upset if we hardly saw each other. I laughed because clearly this guy didn't know me.
Then I called 'The Prince' and said...wanna? The truth is that he and our hostess had something going on that I couldn't explain. I'd seen some of the emails and texts and posts about each other and I sort of thought it was comical, or even not really real, until I saw it in person.
Before even arriving in Maryland, I learned that our hostess had lied to her husband about who our fair Prince was. That led to a nice chain of events, which is why so many of us don't speak anymore.
But on that night, I was out with a bunch of bloggers who had never done a 'blogger bash' before. Having done a ton of them, I was totally prepared to do very little. Oh, sure, I played kissing games, and drank, and collected business cards from the couples at the party, but for the most part, I watched.
I watched "Brother Dom", as Smarty calls him, and his wife try to decide what they were doing; I watched Red, the smartest of the bunch, sit in her chair on the lawn and watch the nuttiness. I watched 'The Prince' and 'Brother Dom's' wife come out of a room, clearly having hooked up, then I gasped as Mrs. Dom kissed me on the lips and said 'thanks' for the time with good old Prince. Uh, you’re welcome?
Then, later that night, as 'The Actor' and I stood in the kitchen together talking, 'The Prince' walked up to me, kissed me and told me that he and our hostess had gone 'swinging' as it were. Smarty says she doesn’t get why this happened (uh, because we’re dealing with swingers?) because Prince was my boyfriend. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Congrats! The story can end here, right? Everyone is happy. Our Hostess is about to become very popular; Prince got what he wanted; I liked the Actor more than I had expected to and Smarty and Red were real life girls now and we could plan our world-wide takeover.
Nope, sillies. Nope. You see, by the middle of the night, Hostess’s husband was not in a good mood; her best friend was still upset over a fight they had before all of the guests arrived; The Actor was passed out on Scotch; Brother Dom was in a room, in tears, with me trying to cheer him up; Smarty’s husband had met someone who seemed to like him way, way, too much for later comfort and I was exhausted from driving through the entire state of MD, twice, lol.
Oh...and then the morning came. Our Hostess overheard someone say that Prince Charming had actually come with me, not with Red. Gasp! Now I have to listen to her tell our breakfast table, over and over again, how he knocked her nose ring out; then I got to hear her husband tell me how she lied to him about Prince's real deal. She had told her husband he was Red's date. Hubby was smart enough to know there was a lie, just not what to do about it. So I apologized because none of us wanted anything other than a fun weekend. He said I was being silly. I decided I liked him and wanted to be friends forever.
Oh...and while all was well in the world...Brother Dom was looking at bruises on his wife and allowing a new story to brew: That we had an angry black man in our circle who left marks on his wife. He later decided to admit that wasn't what happened, but not before he wrote a post about it accusing the Prince of some un-charming behavior. Recently, our Hostess said I demanded that the post be removed. Wrong-o. I asked Brother what really happened and he told me. Then he and Prince talked and Brother removed the post on his own. However, I think the re-telling of an angry, viscious Bubbles demanding blog retribution sounded better.
Princess has recently decided that none of the stories that counter her unicorns and bunnies fantasy are true. But they are. And they get worse. And I sometimes get mad at Smarty because she wants to tell these stories.
They all, every single one of them, made me cry. Want to know why? Because I spent my year in love with 'The One'. That's why. I only wanted to be with him. But I was in a perpetual time out and so I went off to parties to learn more about people. And I grew close to so many of them. They became my friends, people I love and respect and will/have/would go to the ends of the earth for, probably way too often.
And what I learned, repeatedly, is that we are exactly what we think we are, no more and no less. Even when we pretend to be something else.
Last year, I watched a wife in an open marriage lie to her husband, constantly. I watched a couple swing, then not, then swing again. I watched Prince engage women I was like: WHAT? I listened to the Actor through all of his bad days and good.
I made friends. I lost friends. I went places I wanted to go and to some places I hated even thinking of traveling to and I learned an awful lot.
For every 'fantastic' story, there is someone thinking...yeah, this isn't so fantastic, is it?
But wait...we didn't all implode until about six weeks later. That's when the real hurt and anger started. I guess I have to wait for Smarty to start writing about August before I can chime in. Hurry Smarty. Hurry.
Riff, baby, if you’re out there, wait until she tells you about DC, or STL, or Vegas…or, or, or...