As I entered the lounge searching frantically for a familiar face, I saw him. He appeared quite uncomfortable by my presence. Once he learned that I was apart of the group he gathered therewith, he couldn’t decide whether to hug me, tell me his name, shake or simply stand to acknowledge the entrance of a lady.
As I greeted my friends and others I didn’t know, I noticed him watching me. He was the bohemian type – think Bob Marley sans dreads. He was attractive although not really my type.
The DJ played a familiar song, and we all flocked to the dance floor, except him. He danced enthusiastically while remaining seated. When my friend and I told him he couldn’t dance that hard sitting down, his friend quickly pointed out that if he were wheelchair-bound, we’d think nothing of it. We laughed and agreed, and allowed him to continue his erratic chair dancing unfettered.
I caught him again – only this time staring at my hips – as I moved them in a slow, almost hypnotic, wind.
Finally, unable to resist the baseline of Ms. Fat Booty, he freed himself from the confines of his seat and moved rhythmically to the dance floor. Ironically, he glided over to me and we swayed together but he respectfully maintained a distance. Afterwards, we sat down to talk. I immediately noticed he wore a ring on his left finger, and asked if he was married.
He explained that he and his wife met in Canada and pursued a long distance relationship before marrying. We discussed the ills of dating in LA, and the inevitable question of why I wasn’t married.
We had a fire conversation, but I knew at the end of the night, I would go my way and he would go his – knowing I met him only for a reason, certainly not a season or a lifetime. So, you can imagine my confusion when he asked, “so how can we stay in touch?”
I immediately said, “we can’t.”
He said, “but I find you interesting. I want to know you.”
All I could think about were all the married men I had encountered in my past. I wondered what his wife was like, and if she would go HAM if she were a fly on the wall of the tavern watching him affirm his attraction to me and insist that we be “friends.”
He made a convincing argument, but nothing would change my mind. He did, however, pose an interesting question.
He asked offended, “so because I’m married I can’t have friends?”
It did seem a bit harsh to banish every married man to “no-female-friends” land never to return to civilization, but what could come of a friendship between a single woman and a married man? What would I be getting out of the deal?
“Honestly,” I told him, “I don’t have time for any more friends. If you’re not already a friend, and you’re not going to help me achieve my professional or personal (marriage/family) goals, there is no room for you in my life. I have to stay focused.” I know it sounds mean, but he wasn’t taking no for an answer. I had to be blunt.
He pleaded his case once again to no avail, and when I readied to leave, he walked me to my car and wished me a good night and the best in life.
I still wonder though, should married men befriend women they meet after marrying? Isn’t this playing with fire? Can a man and woman who are attracted to each other just be friends?