We should all simply acknowledge that any time I am with PR, who I met on Christmas and dated through March of this year, it will be weird. Every time.
I suppose we’ve embraced it. Our mutual friends have embraced it. We just sort of go with the fact that when we are in the same space, we will be together hanging out, we will kiss good night, we will go home alone.
True to form:
Friday night, his band was performing at a show. I invited three of my most attractive girlfriends: two blondes and a brunette who is about my age. The brunette reads young and gay: short hair, interesting tattoos that are very visible, and a punk aesthetic. Except she’s neither, although, to be frank, I was not entirely sure until this evening and I’ve been hanging out with her for weeks.
Anyway, the Tattooed Brunette and I meet at a dive bar a block from the venue because I don’t want to be there super-early. As soon as I am there, waiting for her, I realize that PR is there and calling out to PR Jr. and others to join in the fun they are clearly already having. The two blondes bail on us. One, who is the Hot Blonde salon owner who introduced me to the tattooed brunette a couple of months ago, is ill. The other is our girlfriend C who is becoming a hermit in the wake of her most recent breakup with the fratty jerk whose best friend I am still seeing secretly.
Anyway, the tattooed brunette and I sit at a dive bar as I finish a local craft beer I’d ordered — I rarely drink beer, but when in Rome — and she tells me about a man she’s dating. And their very amusing date this week. She’s exactly the right combination of assertive and confident and I know immediately that we are going to have many future adventures tormenting men.
Needless to say, we are now partners in crime. I listened to her hilarious tale, which ends, “so then I texted him about the bruises on my knees.”
And then I filled her in on the backstory of me, PR, PRX, PR, Jr., PRXBFF, etc. Essentially, all the people in our lives are connected because I dated PR.
Like the people TB and I hang out with weekly, we’re all PR connected. She is amused.
As I am at a totally random, uncool dive bar, very successful professional friends of mine arrive, slumming. Of course. They are on a dive bar crawl, so we bump into them again at the next place, a music venue where PR is going to be playing.
When we arrive, I pay both of our covers and she gets the first round of drinks. As I know myself, and I know myself in the presence of PR, I go with water, and eventually switch to vodka and soda. We talk to my friends again before I decide we’ll wander off in search of PR and his crew. Of course, I walk past the whole group . . . and keep walking, as if we are going outside to smoke. I hate to just arrive with a “hey, guys!”
After we giggle outside, I steel myself for the re-entry. I walk up to his bandmate’s girlfriend who I like very much and hug her, say hi to everyone and PR and I nod and clink glasses. Whew. Last encounter ended rather embarrassingly with me hitting on him, so that was just enough interaction for me.
Over the next hour, PR circles up to me repeatedly and we’re having a great time. He’s impressed with the tattooed brunette as she’s hot, she’s with me, and she looks fun. (PR is a playboy and he’s always looking for an angle.) We are drinking and flirting and he reminds me in a moment alone of something he still finds humiliating . . . when he introduced me to a rock star friend of his . . . and called be by the wrong name. I of course had forgotten about that insult, but he still is embarrassed. Good to know, as it’s been 7 months.
He buys me a drink . . . well, he hands me money and I order a beer for him and a cocktail for me. His friends are standing there . . . PR, Jr. and his girl . . . and I kinda look at them like, eh, you know. We are at the point where we are a couple in these very limited circumstances and everyone else just sort of rolls with it.
In this world, I have status for two reasons: through my connection with PR and through my own professional career. When I talk to bands, it’s meaningful because of who I am. When I tell his bandmate, that was a great show, I always forget until they remind me “coming from you, that means a lot.” And it does.
I also forget sometimes that his close friends and employees remember me as his girlfriend, that we’ve attended a cocktail function at their office, and that they’d seen me many many times, with their ceo’s arms wrapped around me, being referred to as darling, etc. I was his girl, very publicly, which I forget until I mention something to one of his friends who then responds, uh, yeah, I remember meeting you. Right, of course they do.
We are so far past that, that I forget they know me as his girl. I also forget what tattooed brunette pointed out after watching us for 45 minutes . . . he is not done with [you]. No, of course, he’s not. But it’s obvious to everyone, and yet, we all have the good taste to avoid mention of the fact that we’re obviously still crazy about each other. That chemistry thing is hard to deny.
His show is great and he does a way better job than you’d imagine with the amount he’s been drinking.
We reconnect after to laugh and hang out. Everything about PR is intense and direct, without necessarily being explicit. I am reading him clearly, though, and he knows it.
. . .
[I forgot to finish this at the time, so this is now from memory . . .]
Again, after his show, we spend all of our time together. He is getting more and more inebriated, as that’s sort of the point when we are all hanging out together. We are with all of the bandmates and friends, but for the most part, PR and I stand together in the middle of the club talking just to each other. As usual.
TB drifts off, and I spend a lot of time with BMG, his bandmate’s girlfriend as the boys need to load gear.
And, as the night ends, he kisses me passionately in front of everyone.
I leave with BMG, who drives me a couple of blocks so I can get a cab. PR heads off with his BandMate, as they live two blocks away from each other downtown. BMG and I giggle about the show and the guys. We confess we are very glad we’ve become friends. We spent a lot of time giggling before the guys’ show and then during their set about these two women who were dancing drunkenly. It was quite silly and they were so drunk, but we (BMG, PR, and I) each had very, very serious conversations with them . . . that we thought were hilarious.
It was much silliness. PR and I very much a couple throughout, to the acceptance of all of our friends, though we’re both aware he’s with PRX, who is no longer my friend. (I am dating many, many people.)
He’s very affectionate, very present, and clearly has completely forgiving me what happened the last time I saw him, as he said he had.