I don’t have a lot of dirty little secrets. Hell, if I do, I’ve blogged about them already. But I’ve got one that I’ve never really talked about. It’s one of the few things I’m ashamed of – and there’s damn little of that in my life. (Not because I’m that much of a goody-goody – I simply have very few regrets in life.)
I regret it…and I don’t.
Without this weird moment in my life, I might have taken even longer to leave my husband. I might have come to the lifestyle much later than I did. A lot might be different. (See what I mean about not having regrets? Life might be different without what happened in the past.)
He was as big of an idiot as my ex-husband was. Maybe that was the attraction.
He paid attention to me, listened to me. Maybe that was it.
He thought I was attractive, and I’d just spent a lot of time losing weight and finally feeling less like a slob. I know that had something to do with it.
He was the laziest guy in our office (damn, I had a type back in the day) but the boss ignored it, and the customers adored him. He had the most tenure so he wasn’t someone to mess with because he was also sneaky (how else does a lazy guy make it to the second in command?). And I nearly had an affair with him.
I almost ruined my career over it.
And when I think about it now, I die a little inside because he wasn’t worth any of it. He was mealy-mouthed, weasel-y, pasty, and weak.
But he said the sweetest words. He took me to lunch. He held my hand. He gave me something I was missing from my marriage.
I found myself in his hotel room while we were on a business trip. I ended up shirtless and breathless. And ashamed. Guilt seemed a constant in those days.
We went out with others from our office, including the boss, while on that trip and for the first (and last) time, I forgot myself and drank way too much. So did he (although my best friend thinks he was more sober than he let on). There are plenty of moments from that night I remember – laughing with co-workers, dancing on Bourbon Street (did I mention we were in New Orleans?). What I was told the next day was mortifying. He licked my cheek – in front of everyone. He declared his desire for me – in front of everyone. He walked me back to my room – alone – and everyone saw it. Even though that was the night I told him to leave, that he couldn’t stay, the damage was done.
Less than a month later, I was convincing myself we could just be friends. A few weeks later, I was begging him to leave me alone – although he ignored me, and sat in my office every morning and afternoon, sometimes just staring at me. The two weeks before he finally lost his job, he flipped out, sending me text messages to pack up my children and run away with him – all while he was refusing to come to work because he was having a “break down.”
It took six months to earn any respect back from some of my co-workers (that’s what happens when you work your ass off, I guess). It took a year for me to realize that what he did to me after I asked for friendship only was sexual harassment. Even then, it took a while for me to become angry about it. I believed I deserved what I got – I should never allowed my toe to dip across that line, not while married, not while professing to be the most loyal person I knew.
I spent months lying to my ex-husband about my co-worker. My ex is an idiot, but even he’s not that stupid. I texted the man for hours at a time, while sitting on the couch with the man I was married to. His name could make me smile when nothing else could (God, I feel nauseous even admitting that now). He became the center of my world in some ways.
Even though my skin crawls thinking about him now, he was also the catalyst. I am one of the most loyal people I know – until I’m not. For that loyalty to waver for my own husband, there was a problem. It wasn’t fixable. Once I dipped my toe across the line and had an affair of the heart, I could never stay with my husband.
If not for that dirty little secret, the weird office romance that wasn’t, I might not be here today blogging about it. So while I look back on that time with shame and mortification, I can’t completely regret it, can I?
Welcome to Wicked Wednesday! This week’s prompt was about office romance. Well, there you have it. My sad, weird, shameful (in my own mind) office romance.