2 years in high school as the backseat girlfriend (the one good enough for THAT but not good enough to take out in public)
11 years of marriage to a man who wanted me to change everything about the way I looked
9 months of playing punching bag to an ex-marine
1 lousy self-image
For three months after escaping the terror of The Monster, I dated an honest-to-God hottie. I met him in an unconventional way. I had just finished a training ride and headed over to the local Wal-Mart to pick up a few personal items. I decided to peruse the book section, although I had no money and didn't plan to buy anything. I had on holey jeans, a faded t-shirt, glasses, no makeup, and had a bad case of helmet hair. I was not putting my best self forward.
I noticed him out of the corner of my eye - tall, slender, clean cut, young, and flashing those crystal blue eyes that always slay me. I was embarrassed that I was so sloppy, but there was nothing to be done about it but exit the area quickly. Too late - he was coming right toward me.
He looked me right in the eye, smiled ever so slightly, and softly pardoned himself as he sidled by. I don't think I babbled, but I'm pretty sure I swooned. He looked like he could have just walked right off a television set. He was out of my league.
I checked my items, navigated the parking lot, and backed out of my space. I looked in the rear view mirror in time to see those blue eyes gazing at me over the steering wheel of the vehicle behind me. I considered myself lucky to get one more eyeful of this young man.
It didn't take me long to realize that his car was traveling precisely in the same direction as mine. I took a few random turns to test him, and lo and behold he was following me. It was broad daylight, and I am as curious as a cat, so I pulled into an empty parking lot and waited.
He sauntered up to the driver's door while I lowered my window a few inches. I asked if I could help him. He asked for my phone number. I'm not a complete fool, so I suggested he give me his instead. He complied, asked me to call sometime, and drove off.
I held on the number for a few days, not really intending to call. I just wanted to have it. Sort of a burden of proof that I was desirable, to one so desirable himself, even if only for a few moments. I surprised myself when I dialed the number. He surprised me even more by actually being the one to answer the call.
We embarked on a whirlwind romance of the most insensible kind. We behaved badly, you might say. It was sheer animal magnetism, nothing of any substance. We had nothing in common. He was the wrong kind of guy - too young, too immature, too unstable, too poor. And.. I was having the time of my life. Never before had anyone stopped me in front of mirrored tiles in a mall to say to my reflection, "Do you know who that is? That is one beautiful woman, that's who. And she is with me!"
I know, I know. This wasn't a real relationship. Not the kind that smart, self-sufficient, honorable women embrace. Yet it was exactly what I needed at that time. It didn't last. I didn't expect it to. It was sad when we parted. I'll never forget him. And I'll never underestimate the value of the rebound boyfriend. I only wish I had thought to thank him.