Holding My Tongue in the Face of Fire – the Update I Promised

When my bar pal’s girlfriend sent me a solicitous message through an online dating site I tried to straddle the line between excessive involvement and laissez faire friendship.  I sent Jackson a friendly email inviting him to watch football on Sunday; and Samone received a dispassionate reply to her email indicating that she must have forgotten the moment her boyfriend introduced us and that I looked forward to seeing him for drinks later in the weekend.  I thought I had struck the best balance available but I still wasn’t necessarily eagerly anticipating our Sunday meeting.

It was just before halftime of the smash mouth game between my Pittsburgh Steelers and the carpet-bagging Baltimore Ravens when Jackson mentioned that Samone was going to join us later.  At that point, my beer must have been the most interesting thing in the room because I focused on it until words formed in my brain.

“Jackson, I need you to let me talk for a minute.”


“This is one of those times when I really wish I didn’t have to say anything…”

“Is this about the message you sent to Samone’s old dating profile?  She told me about that and trust me it’s not a big deal.”

I was being handed another opportunity to keep my pie hole shuttered.  Determined to take it, I replied “Well, I’m glad you two talked and everything’s everything.”

“Dude, we’re all cool” were Jackson’s (and I hoped everyone’s) final words on the matter.

I suspected that Samone spun the story to have me initiating contact and I was determined not to care.  This is their relationship; Jackson is a drinking buddy not a friend and more importantly there is no graceful exit for me.  Still I had no desire to be party to certain fraud when his girlfriend arrived, but no plausible reason for leaving with my Steelers on TV.  I tried not to consider the eventual and hoped Samone wouldn’t arrive until after the game.

Jackson and I talked football in general and this game specifically as the two defenses yielded almost nothing to the opposing offenses.  Going into the fourth quarter my Steelers were down six points and Samone walked into the bar – not sure which bothered me more.  She greeted both of us warmly and sat to Jackson’s left and placed her arm round his shoulder.

Idle chatter was interspersed with random shouts of “Go,” “Hit that guy” and other football expletives.  The game was going down to the wire – along with my patience for this situation – but my Steelers and my patience were winning. The rookie Ravens quarterback who has played over is head the entire season had no more magic in his arm and the final play was intercepted.  When the cheers had quieted Samone punctuated the moment with “I’m so glad the three of us can sit here and enjoy an evening together in spite of the potential awkwardness of the message you sent me, Refugee.”

“Me too, if you two will excuse me for a moment, I’ve been waiting to go to the men’s room for the last 45 minutes.”

I returned after a few minutes to settle my tab and exit for more friendly environs.

“Samone, Jackson, I’d say that this has been a pleasure but I don’t want to compound the lies of this afternoon.  Jack, I just sent you an email wherein I forwarded the original message your girlfriend sent me.  You and I have never been great friends and I don’t imagine that this is going to improve things.  But you needed to know the truth about how this went down, and you should also know that even if Samone was my type – you know, faithful – I would never have tried to poach her away from you.  Good luck to you both.”

While my words still hung in the air, I said good bye to the bartender and most likely a bar pal with whom I won’t be drinking again.


16 Responses to Holding My Tongue in the Face of Fire – the Update I Promised

  1. liz says:

    First, she must be a psychopath. Second, nice exit!

    I don’t think she is a psychopath (though I wouldn’t necessarily bet against it) I just think she could get away with reversing the spin and that her boyfriend will believe her. She very well might.

  2. Angela says:

    whoa… really? how could she think that that little game was going to work?

    Because the past is prologue.

  3. I told you she would lie and turn it around to say YOU hit on HER via email. But, still, you did the right then when it came down to it.

    I really wish that I had ignored the original email.

  4. brookem says:

    wow. i just read this whole scenario starting from the original exchange via the email last week.
    sure, in retrospect you wish you had ignored the original message. at the time, replying felt right, so you went with it. caught in a sticky situation at the bar the other day with things being turned around to incriminate you for something you didn’t do, seems to me you handled the situation with a lot of class and in a way that saved your dignity.
    well played.
    still sucks the whole thing had to even happen, but regardless, you handled it extremely well, i think.

    Thank you for your kind words. While I do wish that I had avoided the entire situation, I am glad that I have a web enabled phone.

  5. Liebchen says:

    Wow. I’m kind of shocked that she would even bring up “potential awkwardness” when everything was going well. Maybe she likes drama?

    Regardless, I’m with Liz…that was a great exit. You did what you had to do.

    I don’t think she was seeking drama, as much as she was tipping her hand to me about how she played it and to warn me to play along.

  6. f.B says:

    so she IS a horrible person. i see… well, you made the right call. it’s just a shame it had to be the backdrop for the Steelers game.

    But what a game it was.

  7. well, there went my theory that perhaps s & j had an open relationship.

    i’d like to say that kind of dishonesty never bodes well for a relationship, but unfortunately i’ve seen too many people pull exactly that sort of thing, and their partner just rolls over for it…


    I never thought that open relationship was an option, but I too was initially hopeful that it might have been the case.

  8. Fearless says:

    I’m not so sure I would view her comment as a tipping of the hand, but more along the lines of a slap to the face.

    Yeah, that too.

  9. Lisa says:

    Wow. I have to imagine she’s used to getting away with whatever she wants. Very bold to just assume you’d say nothing – and stupid to shove it in your face. I feel bad for the guy – he really seems to want to believe her.

    She is definitely the kind of woman who is unaccustomed to hearing the word “No.”

  10. sorry to hear it went down like this…
    this is a very small town and while i dont think you were wrong…you were perfectly within your right to set the record straight and you prob. did him a favor… but…

    i do think that often…

    discretion is the better part of valor

    whenever i have the chance to say… nothing… i take it….
    ….of course this is also one of my biggest faults…

    I agree that saying nothing when given the opportunity is a virtue, sadly it is one in which I have not achieved advanced mastery.

  11. carrie m says:

    For what it’s worth, I totally think she is into the drama. A person like that one, is already walking a dangerous line because she was seeking out a date whilst in a relationship and while I’m sure you’re a catch, you’re probably not the only one she reached out to. And two, she could have just left it alone in order to not open the door of deceit. When you put your foot in it, the best course of action is to (hopefully) apologize if necessary or just ZIP THE LIP so you don’t call attention to it. The bigger deal you make out of it, the bigger it becomes. My guess is she, like Molly Hachet, loves flirtin’ with disaster.

    Anyway, well played. What a miserable situation to be in though.

    To demonstrate my degree of squareness, I had to google your reference to Molly Hatchet – well played, Carrie.

  12. Sara says:

    On the upside…the Steelers pulled out their second “keep the fans aggravated while managing to win at the very last second” victory in two weeks. Think of how much worse it would have been if they had lost.

    Our boys do seem to relish the role of Cardiac Kids lately.

  13. Brett says:

    I’m sure she lurves the drama. In any case, I’m glad you saved that original email. Make your bed, now lie in it, beeyotch.

    I honestly took little joy in telling him – she just poked me a little too hard.

  14. Wow, I can’t believe she had the balls to say what she did. I guess she figured you’d keep your mouth shut. Unreal and even though the guy might not realize it now, he had a good friend in you.

    Betting on me to keep my pie hole closed is a safe bet – the first time around – gambling on the second time is a sucka’s gamble.

  15. Vittoria says:

    This… seems like something Bogey would do. Granted, email and dating sites weren’t something Bogey dealt with, but if he had, and this situation arose, he would have dealth with it in this way.

    This might be the nicest compliment I have ever received.

  16. Sarah says:

    Awesome. That is all.

    thank you.

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