Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Fluffer

There's nothing worse than being the one before “THE ONE.” I'm sure there are women out there that are reading this that are standing in the exact same pair of shoes I found myself in this past weekend. And I'm not talking about some sick Jimmy Choos. And by now, most of the men that have begun reading this have realized they've been duped by a cleverly crafted title, but are too stubborn to stop reading because well: 1) They're men. 2) They've already committed and must finish the task.

Maybe that's how I found myself in this situation this weekend, when I found out that I had in fact, been a “Fluffer.” But I'm not referring to the stand-in they use on porno sets or :::cough:::: Major League clubhouses. I'm talking about being the girl that comes before the girl that turns out to be “the one.” This particular ex really hasn't even bothered me in quite some time. In fact, it’s rare I even think about him, and honestly, I wish the guy all the best. Well, as much as you can for our given circumstances. But when I heard the news of his recent engagement to the girl he cheated with, and then left me for.. Well, I couldn't help but feel a little.. Confused?

The reason I say confused is.. I really can't describe what it is I felt. It was a mixture of closure, and resentment with a touch of … WTF Factor. Even Coldstone Creamery couldn't have thought that ‘ish up. And it’s not that I even wanted him back or was jealous that she won. It was more the thought that I had invested so much time and energy into something with zero pay-off. That my life with him had eventually morphed into some sick and twisted "bit." And now, he was blissfully happy, and I was still dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”

Still, who was I to judge? The new girl was in fact beautiful, and from everything I had heard about her, seemed like a genuine human being. Then again, so was I before I got involved with him. As good of friends and sparring partners as he and I were, we just weren’t compatible from day one. But when something is fresh, people tend to have their blinders on. I had my blinders on for the greater part of a year and a half or so, like those idiots that wear those stupid Kanye West glasses in the club late at night. Things ended, then didn’t end, then ended, and didn’t end.. then enter: new girl. And.. well, the story just kinda drug on and morphed into one long, melodramatic Lifetime movie.

Still, I don’t really miss him. He was an important part of my life and all, but now just a piece I see that could never really fit into my finished picture the way I imagine it. But his decision to tie the knot did get me thinking. Why had he chosen this particular girl, after such a short time?.. I had done my hard time, and so had the poor sap before me that gave him a good five years of her life (six if you include the meddling she did throughout my relationship with him). And then it dawned on me.

Maybe men don’t marry the woman that is best for them; so much as they do the woman they find at the best time for them. His post college sweetheart didn’t have a chance in hell up against his career ambitions. And as for us?.. Well, aside from chemistry issues, the timing was just all wrong. After all, he was a few years older than I was, but still in denial about that. But when a few of his friends started getting married and making babies, I guess even the most stubborn of bachelors figures out he won’t be a spring chicken forever.

Anyone that's followed my blog for more than a few months knows it a mix of trials and triumphs. Life is hard. After all, it eventually kills you. So I don't paint my life to be any prettier than it really is. But I do use an amazing palette of color commentary and self deprecation to tell my stories the best way I know how.

Upon revisiting some of my old relationships, and near misses, I came across this eerie theme that seemed to be present in more than a few of them. I was their "What if Girl."

For those of you wondering what a “What if Girl” is, let me explain. They aren't necessarily the kinda girl that gets the guy. In fact, in most cases we aren't even first runner up, which regardless of how glamorous and noble the pageant world paints it, still means: “You freaking lost!” Instead, the “What if Girl” is that Miss Congeniality of Life. We’re fun, easy going, vivacious.. The kind of influence anyone could use a little more of in their life. We have a pretty optimistic view about life, and all its possibilities simply because, even after all the shitty things people have put us through, we still believe in the "good in people."

Aside from being a life cheerleader for those around them, the “What if Girl” has a giant flaw or blessing that she brings to most people she meets: The “What if” factor. It’s the “What if” factor that makes even the most secure guys question their own life paths and sometimes even their choices in partners.

It’s a pretty well documented fact that guys I have dated or hung out with often ended up marrying or finding the girl of their dreams shortly after I entered their lives. In essence, I was “Good Luck Chuck.” I was the warm up act to a Jerry Seinfeld. The Pussy Cat Doll to Britney Spears. The fluffer to.. Well, scroll up. The point is.. I was the set-up girl, whose ending was always an awful punch line. I always brought them a step further in the evolutionary process so they could be everything a girl wanted. And the next girl in the batting order reaped all the benefits.

I've tamed wild animals and playboys. Thrown blinders on the usually wandering eyes. I taught a man that just because I have boobs doesn't mean I'm without my own opinion. I've taught them that karma is a real live force not to be f*cked with, because she will show you what she’s made of. And made even a gay man question his sexuality. And it has NOTHING to do with sex. It simply has to do with the presence you have in someone’s life. I’m a balls-to-the-wall kinda girl, even though I don't own any of my own. I defend my favorite sports teams the way I would my friends and my family. I'm the most loyal person you'll ever meet, only to a fault because it ordinarily sets me up for some kind of disappointment when they can't return my sentiments.

So if I'm all these things and more, you're probably wondering why I'm still single??? Well, that makes two of us. The fact of the matter is, maybe I just haven't met a man that has the balls to keep up with me. I'm not calling out any of my past suitors, it’s actually quite the contrary, I have the utmost respect for most of them. Their influences in my life, no matter how good or bad they were, brought me through the evolution of Sterg to be the person I am today. But then again, most of them still ride their bikes of life with the training wheels on, scared to fall in front of the rest of the world. Being scared, making excuses, not taking chances, and playing it safe gets you absolutely nowhere in life. It’s like riding the “People Mover” at Disney World. LAME.

Sure I could have settled plenty of times, with what was familiar, or what was easy or convenient. But the people that settle are also the same ones that cheat, get divorced, or end up in a relationship they really get nothing out of. People never said finding the real thing would be easy, but they did say it would be worth it.

So if you ever find yourself asking why a certain person is in your life, think twice before discounting them. And ask yourself the real questions.

What if you took off the training wheels?

What if.. they’re your “What if” moment?

Think long and hard or you’ll end up just like the rest of them, sitting on the sidelines… wondering if going for it on “Fourth and DUH” was such a crazy idea. But, don’t feel too bad for them though.. I'm sure someone’s still hiring a water boy. After all, the position of “Fluffer” has been filled… for now anyway.


swampy said...

The blog title made me laugh and I couldn't wait to see how you would work it into the mix.

You are still young. keep enjoying life. When the time comes, it will find you and you both will know.

Political Leverage said...

Well half of all marriages end in divorce. Maybe if you married any of those guys you would have wasted time and money. People get it wrong alot. I think guys duck up with you and then think 'I aint screwing up again. Plus,look at the age catagory your now dating. You ain't dating young 20s your dating guys at the end of their fun life and into start of settle down life

Bay Area Sports Guy said...

Just a matter of time! Any guy would be lucky to court you.

DS said...

Life can not be planned out, it never works out according to your rules because there aren't any. Example: I recently received my masters in Geoscience and now one of the numbers of unemployed overqualified!! I moved out of NYC to Boulder to at least be surrounded by beautiful scenery and world class outdoor fun. Live is what you make it. "Marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries."

KT said...

Great blog :) I'm sure every man and woman who read it can relate, as we've all been a fluffer at one point in our romantic careers. I was, in fact, the fluffer for the last 3 people I casually dated, and my last serious relationship was two years of mutual fluffing on both our parts.

A very perceptive guy once told me there are two types of guys: guys who change when they're ready, and guys who change for the one. In your case, I believe it's the former, so you should take the news with even less shock. You deserve better than someone who gets their shit together because they've FINALLY hit an age appropriate stage of social emotional development. Just wait until you meet the guy that will be motivated to do ANYTHING to please you, and you'll feel glad that you were the fluffer before him <3

Doug said...

As always, I love reading your blogs because I relate to many of the topics you write about. I've been on the other end of the coin as the setup man (the thought of a male fluffer makes me shudder) for ex-girlfriends on three occasions. Even though we broke up for a reason (and it was for the better), it does make you question "what the hell's wrong with me?". The answer, as I think you know, is "absolutely nothing" (although it took a while for me to realize it).

You're absolutely right that the real thing will be worth it and you have a great attitude about it.

Keep stepping into that batters box and more importantly, keep swinging. If you don't swing, you can't strike out, but you can't hit a home run either.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Jill B said...

I read your blogs from time to time and I'm definitely feeling this one. Been there done that... I've thought the same thing many times. Jenn, we're what you said and guys think they want that until they get it and then it's too much. Remember when Big marries the young chick? Yea, we're Carrie but hotter with less hot shoes :) We'll find IT eventually. We were raised in the south so we were brought up to think we should be getting to that point at our age. But I believe women with real ambition who refuse to settle just need a little more time. So keep your head up and it will work out. If we can’t believe in that we’re f*cked! Stay on it and maybe I’ll see you when I move up your way.

Ray said...

O boy. Definitely been there, done that, more times than I care to remember. Sorry to say I'm glad it doesn't just happen to me and quite surprised that it happens to women too. Especially one as awesome as you!?

Anyway... The way I see it, I was the one who prepared them to take the final step. You know the one who helped them grow up juuuust enough to make a proper commitment. So I'm kinda proud of that. Luckily they hadn't matured enough to get married to me, ‘cause now I won't go near them with a ten foot pole.

Mmm... I'm quite proud of the fact that my sweetheart(s) left me for THE ONE and not just any other guy. Some respect in that. Oh and of course I’m extremely proud to know I was the last decent man they dated. Yeeha!

No worries Jenn. They're the ones missing out. When you see them in a few years time you'll see the regret in their eyes. Guaranteed.

Warren Wallace said...

Been there and done that! I've was a fluffer for two girls that I dated, and I suspect a third one. I'm not sure how or why it worked out that way, but at some point I just accepted that these types of things happen in life. Really it's kind of funny that it's happened to me multiple times. Anyway, good to know I'm not the only one out here who thought "Good Luck Chuck" was their life story!

KSimpson7 said...

Love it. You just put a lot of my thoughts into words, and explained everything so perfectly. So thank you.