Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Secret Little Space

Hi, I am Grumblebum and I am new around these particular parts. I am humbled to be included here and I do hope you enjoy my first offering......

‘Oh no,’ they said, ‘don’t tell your husband. He has no need to know. It didn’t mean anything to you, so why make him feel bad?’ The problem being, it did mean something to me.

One idle Tuesday afternoon, an obviously bored colleague decided to tell me that someone we used to work with had been rather in love with me. ‘Half your luck!’you might think. I would have indeed been flattered if Mr Meddlesome had relayed it as a diverting crush. I would have laughed, blushed and stroked my ego for a while.

But alas, this was a love of epic proportions. The devoted party would get to work early as to arrive before me. He would seek the advice of others in the office as what to do about his terrible predicament. Terrible being that I was about to be married, terrible because he had a gorgeous Nordic girlfriend who he was willing to give up. I held great affection for this young gentleman - as much affection as is appropriate when one is affianced. For me there was no bolt of lightning from the sky. Had I been single? Had he been single? Asked me for coffee? I do suppose I would have said yes. But that is another sliding door.

All of this raging, wailing, rending of shirts and gnashing of teeth was going on while I flitted around all casual and friendly like, being all insufferably me. You know how it can be – all smiles and innocuous flirting, while not having a single clue you are ripping out someone’s intestines with the batter of an eyelash. I often put great stock in my people radar. I am like a bat. Wait – that is sonar. But never you mind, in this case, Oblivious was my middle name. Why didn’t the colleague who loves to play tricks on me, say anything? He was supposedly a confidante of Mr Lovelorn. In two years worth of opportunity, he said not a word and I found that hard to believe. Mr Meddlesome was adamant, ‘oh – it was just too sad, too horrible, he never would have told.’

Wait! Mr Meddlesome has more, if I didn’t feel terrible enough you hussy, you callow Jezebel. Not only did my would-be suitor stop his gym membership so that there would be no chance of bumping into me there, he left our job. I will have you know that our job is a career – it is not something that you flit into like a pollen drunk butterfly. You get in and hang on for grim death. And he left. Not just because of me, granted - but it was a large factor, or so I am told. I do hope I do not sound too dim, nor give you the impression that I believe I am all that and a bag of crisps. I am only of average looks, intelligence and personality. And I do realize that to some this tale is banality of the most inane kind. I didn’t exactly get bent over the photocopier, did I?

There was a large dash of salt to be taken with all of this news because Mr Meddlesome is prone to exaggeration, and this story had not issued forth from the horse’s mouth. And even though I told myself all of this, I was shell shocked. Blind sided. I wished I could have provided the young man with comfort and closure instead of flash my wedded bliss in his face. It did explain to me why he ignores me on a certain social network. I had been miffed, disappointed he thought of ours as a work friendship, rather than something that transcended it.

From the long way around, I return; I felt it a betrayal to not tell my husband. Not so much the letting him know about the undying love of a man who had been to our house bit, but rather the way it unsettled me, made me feel shaken up, anxious and sad; withdrawing into my own head. However, I took the advice of others and sat upon the knowledge. The crawling around in my head space reiterated the idea that you don’t have to share everything with your partner. Often I expect to give and receive and know all in my relationships, but I realized there is a secret life of me – a pocket, a corner that doesn’t need the inspection of others. I always thought as every emotion as being connected to my partner and our love. But in this secret, it was only about me; scary, liberating and maybe a little bit dangerous.


  1. I call them bubbles. Tiny spaces in my life that are mine and mine only.

    A girl's gotta get through her day, no?

    Nice to meet you

  2. Man, I tell everybody goddamn everything. I'm full of so many fucking secrets that aren't mine that I have to just keep all my shit out in the open, free for berating and criticism. It's just easier that way.

    From what I've seen and heard that women are supposed to do in relationships, I would be a horrible girlfriend/wife. It never occurs to me that telling everyone every detail of how I feel about everything could make someone uncomfortable.

  3. I'm like you Rossi, I tell my husband everything. If a coworker was in love with me, I would tell him, not because I would feel bad or dishonest keeping it to myself but because he's the person I tell stuff to. Not that I don't totally understand the desire or need to have something separate. I have struggled with losing parts of myself little by little as a necessary adapting to wifedom, motherhood. I'm still me but so much of myself is meshed with others. Writing for me is the inner life, the thing that at least in part, is apart from the family stuff.

  4. I'm too sick to keep secrets about myself. Even the good ones end up being all twisted.
    Plus, I would have to tell about my secret admirers anyway. The two serious ones I'm aware of in my lifetime have been so fuckin' weird that I thought someone should know in case I was found stabbed to death and stuffed in a drain pipe or something.

  5. And, welcome Grumblebum. Nice post.

  6. Like Rassles and Ruby, I tend to be an open book. I have secrets from my two closest: my mom and my husband. They (the secrets) can't be contained though. Others play my sounding board when/where appropriate. Nice to see a new name.

  7. Thing is - I am normally so open it isn't funny. (As you can probably tell, I told half a dozen ppl so that my head didn't explode)

    My husband is the person I tell all these things to but this time it just didn't happen. Ppl said, 'oh well - if it could come up in a casual, contextual conversation where you could downplay it a bit - sure, tell him!' Ugh.

  8. I'd probably make a shitty wife too, because I'm horrible at keeping secrets, my own and everyone else's.

    One time I mentioned to a friend that when he and his boyfriend had broken up for 6 months (2 years prior), his boyfriend made out with someone else. I assumed he already knew, and it caused a huge blow out fight between them and I never heard from either of them again.

  9. There is a fine line, between honesty and trying to keep a semblance of a sense of self.

  10. Welcome Grumblebum! Are you, by any chance, a character in the Harry Potter series? Grumblebum, doesn't it just scream the Queen's English? So very happy to have you here. I found your first contribution to be perfect for this forum. So many times, it's the every day subtleties of our lives that cause us the most damn grief.

    This post was thought provoking in that we have ALL experienced some form of truth or dare with the ones we love the most.

    With all that said - I'm not going near sharing a similar story, or offering an opinion on the right or wrong of it all. Like Mongo - my paths are jagged and shifty. But I will share my gut instinct with you, which is this. You followed your instincts so I'm with you. Don't let your own neuroses/worries/anxieties ever outweigh the gut. And also, don't let the gut ever outweigh all that other stuff or we will find you on a reality TV show where you have decided to hoard chickens and goats.

  11. see, now i am still in contact with someone whom i was once in love with. of course, i'm not any more, i'm actually now better friends with his partner, and (most importantly), he was never in love with me.

    why would he or i say anything to my husband or his partner? it would only cause them needless hurt or awkwardness. so yeah, there's something to be said for letting sleeping dogs lie.

    and also: other people have a way of popping a bubble you didn't even know you felt protective of.