Wednesday, February 8, 2017

“Well, I’ve Got Two Lovers and I Ain’t Ashamed” – Actually I Am Ashamed!

Hi Bill

You may remember that back in high school I had a long-time “steady” girlfriend. She (let’s call her Bachelorette #1 or B#1) and I were steady for a couple of years in HS and then on and off during most of my college years. I thought we were in love and she would be my partner for life.

In the fall after high school graduation, I moved to Pittsburgh and began my freshman year in college at Pitt. B#1 attended nursing school, I believe somewhere near our home town after HS. It was a difficult separation at first, but I traveled back home to see her as often as I could. I lived in a dormitory with a roommate so it was difficult for her to visit me in Pittsburgh. Even so, the relationship continued to be fulfilling.

However, as time went by I became more connected to my college life (and friends) and didn’t make the journey home as often. B#1 and I remained a “couple” but I believe we were both growing apart from each other. I had many college friends and it was more fun to stay in the big city with them instead of traveling to the home town.  However, B#1 and I maintained a rather tenuous “on again, off again” thing during most of my college years. I thought the relationship would improve some after B#1 finished nursing school because she got a job in Pittsburgh. However, I wasn’t smart enough to realize how complicated our relationship was going to become.

You see, I had a group of very good friends to hang with in Pittsburgh and I had casually met, and dated, other women there. One of those women (Bachelorette #2, B#2) lived in my apartment building just down the hall from me. The other tenants on that floor were very sociable and we all got to know each other very well and hung out together quite often. Duffus that I was, I didn’t foresee any problems with B#2 becoming an important part of my ongoing social life. I totally didn’t understand that there was a very big complication. B#2 was very attractive and we became very good friends. Unfortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to realize how strong that friendship was and I thought I could continue dating both B#1 and B#2. 

I mean, how often does a dork like me get to date two beautiful women at the same time? I thought I had hit the jackpot and I enjoyed every minute of the experience for a while. Even though I knew it couldn’t last forever, I couldn’t seem to walk away from either of these incredible women. I knew I was playing with fire, but … Hey I could handle it! I must admit that I enjoyed the logistical challenges and the status of dating two beautiful women, although keeping each of them from knowing about the other woman was sometimes challenging and stressful. It was like Heaven on Earth for a while. However, I couldn’t ignore the dark warning that floated in my brain telling me that I was going to get burned big time for this, and I would end up broken and alone. 

Well unwisely, I managed to cope with my two romances until I finished my last year at Pitt and graduated. Then I moved to Philadelphia where I landed a decent job as a welfare caseworker, and B#1 and B#2 remained in Pittsburgh. However, they both decided to visit me in Philadelphia and I didn’t see any problem with that. So, B#1 visited me first and I was happy to see her. It was a nice visit, but it was short because she had to get back to her job in Pittsburgh. Soon after B#1 left I was happy to welcome B#2 to my extremely humble Philadelphia domicile. I thought … This is working out very well! 

B#2 and Clark - Philadelphia 1973/74
I was really very happy to see B#2 and we were having a wonderful visit, UNTIL SHE FOUND SOME THINGS THAT B#1 HAD “ACCIDENTALLY” LEFT IN MY APARTMENT! She demanded to know who they belonged to and what that woman was doing in my apartment. I thought about “Pleading the 5th“, but I knew she wouldn’t buy it. I also was panicked because I knew that B#2 was “My True Love” and I did not want to lose her. Therefore, I thought honesty was required and I confessed that I had another woman friend who had visited me. 

Well B#2 was not the kind of woman who was going to tolerate a “Dumb Ass” like me who had tried to enjoy two relationships at the same time. She reamed me out and told me that I needed to decide just who I wanted to spend time with. Basically, B#2 gave me an ultimatum ... Pick B#1 or B#2 and let each of them know my decision. She packed her things, walked out the door, and returned to Pittsburgh. 

I knew what I had done was wrong and was amazed at how devastated I was by the likelihood that I had lost B#2 for good. I had already realized that she was the special one for me, but I had probably ruined any chance of a continuing relationship with her. Indeed, I experienced my prophecy of ending up “Alone and Broken”.

I dragged myself through life for a while (a few weeks turned into a couple of months or so) without communicating with either of my “Two Lovers”. Finally, I ended my relationship with B#1, although not very diplomatically. Then I made the trip to Pittsburgh and begged forgiveness from B#2. I was not confident that she would forgive me and certainly doubted whether we could renew our damaged relationship. 

Clark, Pat, Jessie - Near Philly 1973/74
Well, Pat (aka B#2) eventually took another chance with me and we have been happily married for 44+ years. Believe me, there has never even been a thought in my feeble brain about being with another woman since that little dustup way back in the early 1970s. I am grateful for the wonderful life I have with Pat and I hope we can last for many more years. 

Bill - I you have probably heard at least some of this story from previous conversations with Pat and I, but I thought it might be somewhat entertaining for you to experience it again. 

Please take care and keep in touch.