About a month ago, I started playing kickball in a co-ed recreational league. My team consists of about half guys and half girls. They are all pretty close with each other so I’ve always been sort of the outsider, the new girl. After our first game, I can’t remember exactly how long after, one of the guys started chatting with me on FB (not private messaging, just the regular chat). From here on out, he shall be named "Left Field". It was totally innocent, just chatting about the game and if I was having fun. It happened a couple of times during that week and I just assumed he was a nice guy or that he was designated to reach out to me to make sure I felt included. It is important to note that this particular guy is very recently engaged to his girlfriend of three years (he is 25, she is 28) who happens to also play on the kickball team. By recently engaged I mean three weeks ago.
So, a couple of weekends ago I participated in a charity walk with some friends and who do I see at the walk but Left Field and his fiancé. I ignored him and just chatted with the friends I came with. One of the friends I was with at the race knows Left Field and eventually he came over to chat with us. I didn’t initiate any conversation with him but he did ask me a couple of benign questions, which I answered. He also said something sort of strange. He made a comment that I thought another guy on our kickball team was hot (a feeling I had shared with another guy on the team who is close friends with Left Field). It wasn’t the fact that he made the comment that was so weird, it was his tone. He sounded jealous and irritated. After that, he went back to his group of friends but I noticed him looking our way A LOT. I decided to mention to my friend that knows Left Field that he had been chatting me up a little bit on FB and that I wasn’t sure what to think of it but that I assumed it was innocent. She proceeded to tell me to be careful because apparently Left Field had, a week prior, sent a private message to one of her friends on FB telling her that he had always wanted to sleep with her and that he was going to get married soon and suggested they make that happen before his wedding date. I can’t say I was shocked but I was definitely surprised and told her thanks for giving me the heads up. Apparently, Left Field has regularly been unfaithful to his fiancé but has never been caught. I guess putting the ring on her finger has only served to intensify his desire to sew his wild oats.
Fast forward to that night and we all end up a bar together – including Left Field and some other people from the kickball team (I found out later that Left Field had texted our mutual friend to ask where we were going out because he wanted to come). His fiancé wasn’t there at first and he was just sort of standing by the bar talking to some of his friends. I sat down on a barstool next to where he was standing, this was not done on purpose as this particular bar is really tiny and bar seats are at a premium. I just wanted a place to sit and that happened to be my only option. I socialized with the friends I came with and made an actual effort not to pay attention to Left Field. At some point, his fiancé came and hung out with everyone for awhile. A few times I left my seat to go mingle and every time I did, Left Field would make a point to walk by where I was and find a way to flirt with me like an elementary school boy. He kept poking me on the shoulder and walking away, pulling my hair, etc. You get the drift. Here’s where the story really gets interesting. Left Field’s fiancé left the bar after about an hour. I was back sitting on my barstool, talking to a girl in the seat next to me with my back to Left Field and my legs crossed. Next thing I know, I feel someone tickling the bottom of my foot (I was wearing flip flops). I ignored it at first but eventually turned around and realized it was Left Field. He then said to me, “Are your ticklish?” I told him I was but that my feet were not, he continued to tickle them. I turned back to continue talking with my friend, assuming he would stop, but the tickling continued. I could tell he was drunk at this point so I thought ignoring it was the best way to go. Then Left Field stops with the foot molestation and decides to start talking to me about another guy on our team (the one I think is hot) and why he is dating the girl he is dating – they are an extremely mismatched couple in case you’re curious. That conversation was totally innocent and probably lasted 10 minutes.
My friends and I left the bar not long after that. It’s also important to note that the friends I left with included the mutual friend of Left Field and her boyfriend – her boyfriend is the person who told Left Field that I thought our other teammate was hot and is also close friends with Left Field– I know, it gets confusing. As soon as we get in the car, my friend says to her boyfriend, “Show Gwyn the text that Tony sent you.” Tony is the guy on the team that I think is hot and was also at the bar with us that night. The text said “Left Field is over there rubbing all over Gwyn’s feet right now. I think you need to go help her.” My friend’s boyfriend then told me that Left Field has a foot fetish. Perfect. So not only was the foot rubbing clearly not innocent, it was noticed by other people.
Ever since then, Left Field has continued to IM me on FB pretty much every day. It’s all innocent, to the point that chatting with an engaged man is innocent. He does sometimes ask me about my plans for the night or the weekend and a couple of times has suggested ‘we all hang out’. But that’s as far as it goes. At our kickball games, he does flirt with me (at least I think that is what is going on) a little but in a very elementary fashion – he throws the kickball at me when I’m not looking, trips me when I walk by, etc.
This whole situation has spurred lots of questions in my head. First, I can’t help but wonder why this guy is engaged in the first place? Second, it’s yet another instance of how Facebook (and the like) has made it so much easier for people to cheat and/or participate in activities that their significant other would not approve of without getting caught. Is the Internet the problem or is it just a tool for people who would cheat anyways? Who is at fault when it comes to infidelity and dishonesty in intimate relationships? If you know someone is being cheated on, are you supposed to tell that person? To take it one step further, is infidelity inevitable in modern relationships? Is it realistic to ask someone to be with one person for the rest of their lives? Is the statement “Only girls with low self esteem or no respect for themselves would be ok being the other woman” really true? Or could it be that women who accept infidelity as part of their relationship are just being realistic? Has cheating always been this prevalent but just not talked about as openly? Is it wrong to enjoy the attention of another man or woman if that man or woman is not your husband/wife? Am I right in thinking that being someone’s girlfriend is a complete waste of time and doesn’t guarantee anything except that you will wait around for the man to pop the question? I could go on and on….
I’m working on another post to address some of these questions but would love to hear your opinion on any or all of them.