So. I did it. I went out and managed to survive a night with the OldSchoolFriendWhoIsActuallyReallyInappropriate. I also managed to only get a little bit wreckheaded. Something I am immensely proud of as it would have been too easy to get absolutely slaughtered and be cutting and sardonic the whole evening. Obviously her clear distaste at not being the centre of attention the whole evening and unnecessary questioning regarding my sexual habits (Newsflash: I'm not 15 anymore. I don't want the whole world to know what I get up to and with whom) grated slightly but on the whole I walked away feeling more than a little sorry for her.
The conversation somehow got round to the subject of cheating where she declared that she had been cheated on and so she deliberately went out and cheated to get back at him. It was such an odd declaration from someone that pretends to be a feminist and have self respect and, more importantly, be in love with her boyfriend. Her proclamation led me to thinking about the time I (correctly) guessed an ex had cheated on me. Even though I had my suspicions to have them confirmed and watch the whole sorry episode unfold in front of me was physically painful. I brought my knees to my chin and wrapped my arms around my legs and didn't say a word for forty five minutes as he scrabbled around trying to give me a reason, then cried because he didn't want to lose me and said it wouldn't happen again and every other cliché I imagine happens in these situations.
And I took him back. I took him back because, at the time, I loved him. And cheating on him did not even enter my contemplation. I think it would have been an easy thing to do. But I didn't even think about it. Why? Because I loved him so much that I would never have wanted to inflict the same agony on him that he inflicted on me. Seeing as I'm officially the Spinster of this Parish I imagine she would disregard my point of view with the same blatant disregard she had for her relationship that I think she so clearly had when she went out and cheated. Who knows.
I do know that I then came home and dug around for my 'Box of Special Things' (If you don't know what I'm talking about then you really are dead on the inside, you know, train tickets, gig tickets, birthday cards, stuff you pick up from exhibitions that hold particular sentimental value for you. No? Oh. Right. Yeah. You're dead) and got out this which I cut out because I don't think something had ever resonated so deeply with me at the time,
"My first boyfriend broke my heart so hard and so violently that he altered the way in which I lived my relationships ever after. For him, sex was an appetite that needed to be slaked; it was something distinct from love. Despite my loving him, he was easy prey for all the nubile flesh that offered itself up to him. He'd swear his sexual sojourns meant nothing and beg me to stay. Each time, I stayed. And now, as an adult, I understand why. It's much harder to walk away from a person you are still sexually in love with than end a relationship where the physical side has already broken down. When I eventually left him it was because I no longer desired him"