Worlds Collide

When you’re a serial monogamist like I was, sometimes your exes meet your currents, and world collide. I have never had one of these meetings go well.

When Shane and I broke up, we were still long distance. We’d only met once during our courtship, and then only for a couple of days.

A few months after we broke up, I started dating Luke. We’d started off as friends and we weren’t much further along in our dating relationship than burping contests and one-armed hugs when Shane came by during a college visit. Shane and I were still friends, so we ended up hanging out… all of us.

It was me, Luke, Shane, and a few of my other high school girl friends, and we were pretty much doing nothing in the basement/den of the house, as teenagers are wont to do. Shane and Luke both felt awkward, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more awkward in my life, so there was plenty of awkward to go around.

Apparently Shane’s way of dealing with awkward was to make marginally inappropriate jokes.

“So what’s new with you?” I asked, nearly choking on awkward.

He responded, “Why don’t you come sit in my lap and we’ll talk about the first thing that comes up?”

And the awkward spread like an airborne virus. Nervous giggles all around. (From Luke, too.)

There may have been more penis jokes, but I’ve blocked them from my memory. These were traumatic innuendos for a 16-year-old girl desperately trying not to think about penises, especially the penises of ex-boyfriend and current boyfriend both in the same room, but not being able to not think about ex-boyfriend’s penis (or imagining it, as I never did see it) and wishing I could flirt with ex-boyfriend, but feeling horribly guilty at even the thought. It’s a distinct possibility that the portion of my brain that was hearing penis jokes literally exploded, which is why I can’t remember any more of them.

I do remember that eventually we ordered a pizza and went to go get it. I was driving, and Shane called shotgun, which caused a pained expression from Luke. Shane gracefully (I thought) gave in and decided Luke should sit shotgun, but as we were pulling out of the driveway, he let loose with more awkward.

“Thanks for letting me sit shotgun,” said Luke, who was always nice to a fault.

“No problem,” Shane returned. “I figured you’d want to sit up there and fondle Ramona’s leg.”

Fondle. He said fondle.

And then Luke did the “hurr hurr hurr” dude laugh and reached over and fondled my leg.

I slapped his hand so hard the entire car went silent.

I have never before or since wished to die instantly in a car crash.

Later, it was time for me to drive Shane back to the hotel where he was staying with his folks. And, of course, everyone in the basement got up and wanted to ride along.

No,” I snarled. “I’m taking him myself. I’ll be right back.”

Luke backed off, hang-dog. I fumed. How dare he fondle my leg in front of my ex-boyfriend? How dare he make me feel guilty for wanting to flirt with my ex-boyfriend? How dare he be less sexy than my ex-boyfriend? Argh.

And, in hindsight, the weird part was that I was not mad at Shane at all for making things more awkward. He didn’t have to make penis jokes. He didn’t have to say the word “fondle” in front of God and everyone. But he did, and damn my messed up psyche, I totally liked it.

Nothing happened on the ride to his hotel. In fact, nothing ever happened with Shane again.

And probably no one remembers the penis jokes and fondling but me… at least I hope that’s the case.

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