Revenge of the Nerd Ch. 37byrpsuch©
Just like Jeff I am a very smart person.
Alright, not just like Jeff, but I am very smart. But just like Jeff that doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to think things through before I say them or rely on them.
Jeff kept pressing to join my birthday drinking celebration. I kept refusing. I was driven by emotion. He limited his arguments to logic.
"I recall hearing on the news that something like fourteen hundred college-age kids die each year due to alcohol. If you need the citation, I can Google it.
"Some die directly from alcohol poisoning. They flat out drink so much it kills them. I know you won't do that. The rest die from accidents, primarily vehicle accidents.
"You don't have a designated driver. Everybody with you is probably going to drink too much to drive safely. I just want to be there to drive."
"You're just being controlling. You're around me all the time. You don't even give me a chance to breathe. I've always been an independent person but you seem to want to take that away from me."
I threw that together on the spur of the moment because I just wanted a night out with my friends, my older-than-Jeff friends. I probably should have tried that but it didn't seem equal to the weight of trying to control me.
"Would you like to change your, argument, before I get my opportunity? I'm giving you a freebie here," said Jeff.
"See. This is so typical. It's completely patronizing."
I was ready to make it worse, but Jeff jumped in.
"I'm around you all the time? I work five days out of the seven. My hours are long enough that I rarely get to see you before seven, usually later.
"Rather that rent a summer place, which either of us could easily afford, you live at your parents' house so we don't see each other late at night.
"I still do some family stuff on weekends, and we invite you because all of us think of you as family.
"You've been home a little over a week from a one-month vacation where I didn't see you at all. You got angry on Friday so we saw each other less than three hours.
"I'm not complaining about that time we haven't spent together. It's been entirely appropriate. But explain to me how the few hours we've spent together this week amount to smothering you. And when you finish that, please recall for me a single instance where my behavior impinged upon your independence."
Firm and to the point. Not angry, but not disengaged either.
Impinged? Humans might have said "intruded on" or "took away" or even "made you less independent."
As to the first part, that has to be the stupidest argument I ever made in my life. To characterize seeing me every night I wanted him to see me as controlling was, well, embarrassingly absurd.
As to the second part, I couldn't think of a single thing he'd done either. I had to make a decision immediately.
Did I look thoughtful or angry? If I looked thoughtful it was because I was thinking about the way to best articulate my counterargument.
The problem with that was I couldn't wait until one of us died to avoid answering. If I was angry, it must be because his arguments are so irrelevant I won't dignify them with a response.
Wait, there was a much better solution. I'm a woman. The Official Rules of Engagement for arguments between the sexes clearly state that I can ignore any statement he makes without even giving a reason, as long as I supply another issue, relevant or not.
"This is a rite of passage. When you reach the age of twenty-one, you can go out drinking with your peers who have also reached the legal drinking age to celebrate the birthday and the fact that you can legally drink.
"Not to mention it would be illegal for you to come with us."
A stellar performance, if I do say so myself.
"I'm not asking to tag along. I wouldn't want to demean the sacred rite of passage. I just want to drive you home so nobody gets hurt."
"Poor little Ashley can't take care of herself," I said. "She has to have her boyfriend chase after her to make sure she doesn't meet any bad men."
I was impressed that my voice didn't show how embarrassed I was at the mocking tone I used for "boyfriend" and the use of "bad men" instead of "get hurt."
It wasn't fair, but the Rules allowed it.
They may have allowed it, but Jeff didn't care much for that. He shook his head in annoyance. But he hadn't won the argument.
We settled into an uneasy truce. It didn't include spending a lot of time with each other for the remainder of the party.
We went back to my house after the party and I took his hand to lead him up to my bedroom for sex. I didn't expect it to be making love.
Jeff didn't expect it to happen at all.
"I can't. I'm exhausted. I can't think about an erection let alone get one."
"I'm sure I can change your mind." I could certainly play the coquette.
I reached toward his crotch.
He grabbed my hand.
"Do you plan to force me?"
"Oh, you find it so distasteful to have sex with me?" I was furious.
"At the moment."
"Well, I'm sure there are lots of guys who would be thrilled to."
"As you wish." He said it quietly, without inflection.
"I'll take you home," I said.
All my anger was gone. He was quoting Wesley from The Princess Bride.
I had not crossed a line. I had gone so far past the line I no longer had any idea if there was a line.
I was too embarrassed to apologize. If I had been less embarrassed I would have been able to. But "sorry" wouldn't excuse my disgraceful behavior.
We didn't say a word on the drive to his house.
"Thank you," he said when he got out of the car.
I didn't answer.
I moped around the house on Sunday. I didn't call him.
He didn't call me.
It got so bad I considered talking to one of my parents, God forbid. If this was winning the argument, I wasn't sure I wanted to win any more.
Monday: no contact.
I shouldn't have been surprised. When I demanded he give me that first kiss so I could evaluate his skill, he had turned and walked away.
Each time I did something completely unreasonable he turned and walked away.
And each time, I had to ask him to excuse my behavior.
Shouldn't he cut me more slack given the wonderful relationship we were in? I could answer that one for him.
"So you're saying that because we love each other, I should be willing to put up with any misbehavior you choose?" he would ask.
"And the better our relationship, the more you should be allowed to take advantage of me? I thought you're supposed to think about how it affects the other person before you do something."
He'd have lots more to say. And he would be right.
I could hold out until Thursday. Then I would be very contrite and it would all blow over.
Why was I really so resistant to his offer of help?
The end of infatuation and the start of the hard work of maintaining a relationship?