My sister: Hey, did you call me a few minutes ago?
Me: Yeah, I was just calling to tell you about how I am SUCH AN ASSHOLE. Do you want to hear why?
Sarah: Um… yes. I do.
Me: So you know how I was in Boston?
Sarah: Yeah, did you have fun? Her dress looked gorgeous in the pictures.
Me: Yes. It was. She looked beautiful. And her husband is really nice and funny. It was a great wedding.
Sarah: That’s good.
Me: But so, on Saturday, the day of the wedding, I had all this time to kill by myself, so I decided to do some sightseeing. You’ve been to Boston, right?
Sarah: Yeah, for Katie’s wedding, but it was a long time ago and I don’t really remember…
Me: Well there’s this thing called The Freedom Trail which is a brick path that goes by a whole bunch of historical sites. I took the T over and walked most of that. Towards the end of it is the Bunker Hill monument. It’s a really tall pointy building.
Sarah: That one you posted a picture of?
Me: Yeah. It has something to do with not shooting till you see the whites of their eyes.
Me: It has a tiny little winding staircase that goes up the entire thing to the top, where there’s just a little square room and 4 windows. I hadn’t gone running that day, so I decided to run the stairs. There’s 394 of them to the top. When I was coming down, a guy passed me and I told him I was just taking my time so I didn’t go tumbling down.
So then, when I got outside at the bottom, I was dripping with sweat and my legs were all shakey, and that guy who passed me was sort of hanging out right outside. I’d been alone for like 5 hours by then and I really just get to the point where I’ll talk to ANYONE, so I was like, “That’s a workout, huh?” and he was all, “Yeah, I live near here, so I run it like 4 times a week.” And I was like, “Huh, I was wondering if people actually do it for exercise because it’s free and it seems like it would be an interesting way to get a workout in.” He asked me if I was walking The Freedom Trail. I told him I had been, but that I was in town for a wedding and I needed to figure out how to get back to my hotel pretty soon so I could get dressed.
The guy was like, “Well, I could point you in the direction of the nearest T station if that would help.” And I was honestly confused as to where I even was, because I’d started at the beginning of this Freedom Trail thing and walked a couple of miles to Bunker Hill, and I didn’t have time, or the desire, to double back and get to the station I’d originally come from. Plus my phone battery was getting really low and I was kind of nervous it was going to die before I successfully made it back. So I said, “That would actually be super helpful if you could point me in the right direction.”
Me: But it turns out, instead of ‘pointing’ me in the right direction, he really meant walking me like half a mile to the station personally.
Sarah: Oh jeez… I see where this is going. But you had your wedding ring on, right? So he knew you’re married.
Me: OK, see that’s the problem. I totally didn’t.
Sarah: WHAT?! Why not?!
Me: I haven’t been wearing it lately because I can’t wear it to circus class and then my knuckles swell and get really sore for a few days after class and it hurts to put it back on. So unless I’m going to be not taking class for a few days, I’ve been leaving it in my jewelry dish at home so I don’t lose it. I totally made a mental note when I was running the morning before I left to put it back on, but then I forgot until we were halfway to the airport.
Sarah: So when you were walking to the station did you work your husband and children into the conversation?
Me: Well, in retrospect, that seems like it would have been the smart way to go. But at the time, we were just making small talk about running and he was telling me how he’s training for a sprint tri and about some of the restaurants in the city and the farther we walked, the more sure I became that I would not have found the stupid station by myself and that I actually kind of needed this guy’s help. It seemed like it would have been super weird for me to just randomly be all, “So, I’m married… just FYI,” when he hadn’t even said anything but normal, friendly smalltalk you would say to anyone. I mean, right? Don’t you think that’s what anyone would have done?
Sarah: Um no. I would have done my workout and not made eye contact with random strangers.
Me: Ok, I know. But I get lonely! I made friends with like eight people in the airport on the way to Boston. And I sat next to an old British guy who was drinking coffee at the Cheers bar and talked to him for awhile.
Sarah: He was drinking coffee at the bar?
Me: That’s what I said! I told him I don’t even like beer but I was drinking one for the novelty of being at the Cheers bar. And he said he actually likes beer but he just felt more like coffee.
Me: I know.
Sarah: No, you. You’re weird. So what happened when you got to the station?
Me: UGH. It just gets worse. So we got to the station, and I thanked him for helping me and he asked if I had a Charlie Card so I could take the T.
Sarah: What’s a Charlie Card?
Me: It’s the subway card you put money on so you can ride. And I did not have one, but I’d paid cash previously, so I told him I was just going to do that. But he insisted I take an old Charlie Card he had that had like 50 cents on it.
Sarah: Oh my god. This is so awkward.
Me: I KNOW. But I felt like couldn’t stop it at that point. He was just being really nice, not creepy in any way or asking me out or anything, but I know he wouldn’t have put the time and effort into it if he wasn’t hitting on me, you know?
Sarah: Yeah. How old was he?
Me: I don’t know, like late 30s?
Sarah: Was he good looking?
Me: He was fine. Not like super handsome, but not weird or unattractive.
Sarah: So you didn’t give him your phone number, did you?
Me: Well… see… I did.
Sarah: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???
Me: After he gave me the Charlie Card he was like, “Why don’t I give you my business card?” and started searching his pockets for a card. And I thought to myself, OK, this is perfect, now I’ll have his information but he won’t have mine and this will all be over.
But then he couldn’t find a card and I’d already made positive noises about accepting his card. And when I didn’t offer to put his number into my phone, he was like, “Or, you could give me your phone number…”. I felt like there was nothing to say but, Sure!
Sarah: So did you give him a fake number?
Me: Again… in hindsight, that makes sense. But I feel like maybe you have to be in the practice of giving out fake numbers to pull it off in a way that seems legitimate at all. Which I am not. When the the thought crossed my mind to give him a fake number, the only number I could think of besides my own was Jason’s!
Sarah: OH MY GOD, YOU DID NOT GIVE HIM YOUR HUSBAND’S NUMBER.
Me: No, no, I’m not that dumb. But I totally did give him my real number.
Sarah: So did he text you?
Me: Yeah, as soon as I got on the train he texted me that it was nice to meet me and he hoped I made it back to my hotel ok.
Sarah: But you didn’t text him back, did you? I’m like, kind of afraid to ask.
Me: I just felt like I would be SUCH a scumbag if I didn’t just tell him I made it back ok.
Sarah: Of course you did.
Me: But then I didn’t text him back ever again! But here’s why I called you today: He totally texted me today. Like, “Hey! How was the wedding? Did you make it back to AZ? I might be coming to do a rafting trip in the Canyon soon!” So now I don’t know what to do. I feel like I should probably text him, “Hey, I’m totally married. Sorry that wasn’t clear.” or something, just to put him out of his misery. But I like really, really don’t want to because it feels so uncomfortable. I’M SUCH AN ASSHOLE.
Sarah: Well… I think you had several avenues you could have taken to keep from getting to here. Like just wearing your wedding ring to begin with. Also not talking to strangers. But at this point, I think it’s actually more humane to just not text him back at all. If you tell him, now, that you’re married, he’s going to go back through the whole scenario in his head knowing you were married and feel like a total jackass. Now, maybe he’ll just think you’re not interested in striking up some long distance romance or whatever it is he’s looking for. I mean, what really, could he expect? He knew you were in town for 2 days and from all the way across the country. He banked some good karma helping you out. I think you should take it as a lesson learned and stop beating yourself up.
Me: It’s totally a lesson learned. I think I’m going to get a wedding ring tattoo.
Sarah: Oh definitely. You absolutely won’t get divorced like 30 seconds after you do that.
Me: It is sort of tempting fate, isn’t it?
Sarah: You need to make better choices.
Me: *SIGH* I know.