Do you guys remember Ted the clergyman whom I met through my alumni association? AKA Ted the Jerk, or, more accurately, Ted the First Jerk, as Primo's brother Ted is Ted the Second Jerk.
Neither of them is really named Ted, of course. I messed up with the character naming here and I didn't keep track. I am sorry about that - remember the two Cathys in Wuthering Heights? (There were two Cathys, right?) I had such a hard time with that. And maybe there were two Heathcliffs? I can't remember - it has been a long time since I read that book.
Anyhow, that wasn't fair of me to give two characters the same name. I hope the context of what I have written will help you keep it all straight.
Anyhow, Ted the First Jerk, or TFJ, is a guy I met years ago at an alumni event. I didn't know him in college. You may read all about it here, but be advised, I think the posts show up in reverse order.
1. I meet Ted.
2. He starts to call me, almost daily.
3. He makes me a cake for my birthday and transports it to a restaurant where I was meeting my friends.
4. He tells me he is really attracted to me and that he thinks there is "potential" between us, but he CAN'T DATE ME RIGHT NOW.
5. He keeps calling.
6. We kiss and mess around but don't you know.
7. My landlady, who goes to the same church he does, tries to warn me about him but her words fall on deaf, infatuated ears.
8. He keeps calling and flirting.
9. He takes me to meet his parents.
10. He continues to tell me how attracted he is to me, blah blah blah.
11. I go out of town for work and he still calls me at the hotel every night.
12. We finally sleep together - and I don't hear from him for two weeks, at which point he leaves me an angry phone message that I tricked him.
13. Nine months later, he calls to tell me that there is a house for sale across the street from where he lives (I had been in an apartment when we met). I blow him off, sort of, and don't engage.
14. A few years later, I organize an alumni event and get an email RSVP from him with the domain name "tedandsueswedding.com" or whatever. I look at the site - oh come on, like you wouldn't? - and realize he has married a woman he talked about to me all the time. In their cute little "how we met" story on the site, they say that they started dating at the same time that Ted was telling me we couldn't date, which, of course, was true, because he was seeing someone else.
Now we are here. Now we are years and years later and I dodged a huge bullet with him. He turned out to be a jerk and I ignored the signs to my detriment. But he is in the past and that's fine. He can stay there.
Remember that Primo and I went to the same college. So Ted, Primo, and I went to the same college. It's a small school and if you don't know someone directly, you probably are within one or two degrees of separation.
Primo knew sort of who Ted was. He knows more about him because I told him about Ted, but he and Ted were not friends in college.
However, they have many friends in common.
Last week, Ted sent Primo a friend request on facebook.
"What should I do?" Primo asked.
"Tell him to go f* himself," I said.
"No, really. I'll reject the request if you want."
I told Primo the whole story. He knew some of it, but I don't think I had ever given him all the details.
He got madder and madder.
"I should tell him not only no, but how dare he! He knows you are married to me! It's on my profile!"
I panicked. "No! Don't say anything!"
"But he was a jerk! I need to say something! I need to write him a nasty note."
I did appreciate the show of gallantry, but the last thing I needed was to resurrect the issue.
"This is done. It was over years ago. I don't care about him - I am just mad at myself for being so dumb. If you say something to him, he will think that I have spent this time thinking about him and I haven't."
Primo nodded. "OK. I will just reject the request and I won't say anything."
He paused. "But you say that he was mad because you guys slept together? And you tricked him into it?"
"I didn't trick him into it," I said. "But there may have been some silk scarves. Loosely tied. You know."
"Wait! You've never used scarves with me!"
"You didn't spend five months teasing me, either," I answered. "You were upfront from the very beginning that you liked me and you were interested in the long term. And you sure didn't feel guilty about sleeping together."
He laughed. "Nope. You said you weren't going to sleep with me until my divorce was final but I had it all planned out. That Gateway Nap was all part of the plan. And I wasn't mean to you after and I didn't disappear. I knew what I wanted and I wanted you."
Like I said. Dodged a bullet and came out ahead.