I haven’t had that many near misses in life. Even though I can think of a handful of times where I made very reckless decisions, which potentially had me moments away from many near misses. I don’t overly feel like making a list of all the shitty decisions I’ve made though and can’t imagine it would make for fun reading. Which left me with a predicament in terms of what to share for this week’s Food for Thought Friday.
I can’t quite remember how this train of thought started, but between Twitter and reading a couple of blog posts as I lay in bed still bleary-eyed and only half awake, I got to thinking about those relationships that I nearly had.
When I was 15 I did my work experience in a bookstore. Which I absolutely loved and I got my first part-time job there too. Whilst working there I met a chap called David. We became great friends, he was one of those people that I just instantly clicked with and I loved talking to him. He was a little bit older than me, I think perhaps 18/19 and by sheer coincidence, his half-sister was in my class at school.
We would chat early in the morning as I walked to school and he got ready for work. We would send texts throughout the day and everything about our interactions felt lovely and effortless. I hadn’t really contemplated whether or not we would begin dating, but I suspect had we been left to our own devices we may have got there eventually.
Teenage girls can be cruel though and his sister was a prize bitch. She knew I was friends with her brother, but as she and I weren’t close or even friends as such, I never once spoke to her about him. She, however, took it upon herself to phone him and let him know that I’d been telling everyone he was my boyfriend. He was not impressed.
Despite my best efforts to explain politely that she was, in fact, a mad liar and that I had done no such thing, he felt like he couldn’t trust me anymore. He explained that those sorts of things need to be discussed and you can’t just go making decisions by yourself. I was mortified that he thought that’s what I had done and I was absolutely furious with his sister. I remember she brought him up the following week at school and when I explained that we were no longer friends because of the information she passed on to him, she managed to look both surprised and pleased with herself all at once, which is quite an achievement.
The following summer after my friendship with David ended I helped out at my school’s summer school programme for the kids who were moving up into secondary school but were a little behind on their maths and English. Whilst there I became friends with a girl from another class, who just after my 16th birthday became my first sexual encounter, my first experience of love and ultimately my first experience of getting my heart broken.
This particular young lady wasn’t a near miss but had I not missed out on my chance with David then I likely wouldn’t have been in a position to be with her. She cost me endless tears during the summer after I left school, but I wouldn’t trade my time with her for anything. I have such fond memories of her and even now, 18 years later I think of her often and hope she is doing well.
Once she had smashed my heart into a million pieces, I then had to deal with seeing her at college. This was undeniably brutal and she made some great choices that made my situation a whole lot worse. However, I moved on and started to mingle with some new ladies. Two of which became my next near misses.
One likely would have been incredibly controlling and the other I suspect would have driven me insane. It’s the second one though that I got as far as arranging a date with, having already made out with her at the Christmas party. She didn’t show up on that date. She didn’t text to cancel or text an apology any time over the Christmas holidays. Turned out she’d started dating someone else who lived nearer and that was that.
In honesty, I wasn’t overly concerned about missing out on those two chances and being single meant I was in a position to go out with a girl in the year above me, who I end up dating for nearly two years. This relationship taught me a lot about the dynamics between lesbian friendship groups and how lesbians tend to navigate their relationships. That is probably all a much larger post for another day. What I will say though is there are a lot of stereotypes out there about lesbians and she fell into every single one of them.
Again she wasn’t a near miss, we had some fun, we had some nightmare moments but by the time our relationship ended I was well and truly checked out and had been for a little while. At this point, I was 19, and it was the winter of 2003. I’d been through some ups and downs and was at that time attending a different college doing a different course. In part related to the fact she hadn’t liked the idea of me remaining at our previous college once she had left.
The college course I was on had a really mixed group of people and our ages spanned from 17 to 36. One chap there was Australian, 23 and had trouble written all over him. I watched him flirting with all the young girls and warned them in my wisdom to be careful of him. He was undoubtedly an absolutely player and I could see no good coming from him fucking his way around their friendship group. To my amazement, they all resisted his charms, good on them I say. Me though? Not so much, he ended up being the first guy I fucked and it perhaps wasn’t one of my finest moves.
On the plus side, I was getting to see what it was like to have sex with a guy and that was okay, although slightly underwhelming. On the downside, he used phrases like ‘any girl of mine has to give blowjobs’. Er … how about no! I didn’t ever give him a blowjob. Having spent the first three years of my sex life solidly fucking ladies, I needed some time to get the hang of cocks and him pressuring me didn’t overly endear me to his dick. Thankfully the government stepped in and saved me from him. He was deported, quite quickly and I never saw him again. This was probably the most important near miss of my life.
He left in March 2004, in April I accompanied my Mum to a wedding. It was a last minute decision based on her not feeling up to driving due to a bad back and me saying she could not miss the celebration of one of her oldest friends finally finding happiness. She relented and let me drive her. We only stayed for an hour or two but that was all it took for me to be noticed by the son of the groom.
The next day matchmaking was well underway between my Mum and his Step-Mum. My number was passed along and two days later we were on our first date. When his Step-Mum and Dad returned from their honeymoon two weeks later we were most definitely a couple. Six weeks later he’d pretty much started living at mine. Three years later we got married and eight years later we had a baby.
Sadly fifteen years later we are no longer together, a tale that I have discussed on the blog a few times. That man though is still one of the most wonderful people in my life. I love him dearly and he is the best co-parent a girl could ask for and truly one of my best friends. There is nothing anyone could say or do to make me wish I hadn’t met him. All those near misses that meant I was free and single on the day are all missed opportunities that I am very grateful I didn’t get to experience.
When my marriage ended and I found myself looking for new folks to get to know. I had a whole host of near misses that are definitely in the reckless and OMFG that could have gone very wrong category. Some near missed though were just connections that fell through or didn’t engage me despite the fact the other party was interested.
In one case someone whose company I did enjoy for a fair while found themselves having to make a decision between myself and another person. If I’m honest I didn’t want them to pick me. It was have been a huge decision and a massive shift in what I saw as a casual relationship and sexy friendship. Had they felt the need to end their other dynamic though and continue with ours, I know I would have felt obliged to offer them more than I had initially wanted to. Through tears and some sadness they did, in fact, declare that we could only be friends and that all out other interactions needed to stop.
It was at that moment that I realised I needed to find a larger group of friends and that meeting folk on a one by one basis wasn’t working out for me. That near miss led me to my local kink community, which ultimately led me to Bakji. I bloody love Bakji. His face, his kinks, his kind heart and generous spirit. Meeting him and spending the last 4 years with him is another one of the highlights of my life.
When I look back on all the near misses and how they put me in a position where I was open to welcoming Bakji into my life, I am delighted and grateful for the things that didn’t transpire. The moments we’ve shared, the friends we’ve made, our hopes for the future, the podcast, the blog none of it would exist if I hadn’t narrowly escaped following other paths in life. I don’t know If I believe in fate, or things that were meant to be but when I look back over the ways the important people have landed in my life I definitely do start to wonder.