1000 WORDS ON…THE OTHER WOMEN
[This chapter kicks off with the poem “Serviettes” which I published yesterday. I presume it goes without saying that the names in this chapter have been heavily compromised to hide identities.]
The more I read that poem now the more I see how much it encapsulates the nature of my relationships with the opposite sex over the years. It was actually written about a girl called Cathy Nelson, who I dated for a few months soon before meeting MyX. Looking at it now it illustrates an insecurity from which I still suffer today to some degree.
Although I can’t count my tryst with first snog Máire Nelligan as a relationship, it was because of her I met Cathy, under pretty shameful circumstances. I brought Máire to my “debs” as I really had no one else to ask, being a single bloke at the time. We went to my friend Mike Portugal’s house for aperitifs before the event, and, you guessed it, Cathy was his date.
I had no intentions of dating Máire, but when it came to the slow set on the night I thought at least a mooch may well be on the cards. It was only at this stage she proceeded to tell me she had a boyfriend; I can’t blame her really, as the “Rock debs” was and no doubt still is valuable social currency. Nonetheless I was a tad miffed, and proceeded to turn to the bar for comfort.
A few quick pints later, I returned to our table and threw out the question “Does anyone wanna dance?” at which behest Cathy rose from her seat, with Mike off networking somewhere.
The rest is history. I shamelessly snogged the face off her for all to see for the rest of the night. Had I a bit more experience in social circles, I would have taken her outside. Had I a bit more morals, I would have done nothing!
Though Cathy was beautiful and an accomplished violinist, she had many troubles of her own, and with her in Trinity and me in UCD it was never going to last. As a point of information, I first met my good friend Kevin Shanley at her debs a few weeks after mine. It wasn’t long before I was going after another mate’s girl, one MyX.
Next up for honourable mention is Maggie Donovan. She was a waitress in Glennon’s, and lived two doors away from the pub. Her parents were regulars and I knew them well, as well as her older sister. Maggie had a boyfriend Thomas, I had a girlfriend MyX. Glennon’s was however a completely different world in which we and our complicated relationship existed. Many who knew me then still question what it was I saw in her, and to be honest I can’t really explain it other that there was a indescribable spark between us. Despite this, when it came down to the final crunch, I chose MyX, and broke the news to Maggie. The last time I saw her was in Glennons a few years later, ironically the very night my daughter RA was born.
Then there was Molly. At the risk of sounding remarkably arrogant, looking back I could have done a lot better in being unfaithful during my stint at the sports company, as opportunities were presented to me more than once. I deal with this relationship more fully in “1000 Words On...The Airport Incident”, but she also deserves a mention here.
Teri will also only get few words, mainly because I am relieved I managed to prise myself away from her and her troubled existence. Since this book is for my kids, I should probably limit my account of the reasons I stayed with her to just saying that she was at her best after dark and leave it at that. By day it was sheer hell, and I was a fool for staying with it so long.
Finally there is Sarah Devitt. I should have known she’d be trouble when I discovered soon after meeting her that she was Maggie’s first cousin! Well that and the fact that she was a mega-babe; it was like she was sent from heaven! We hit it off from my very first day working together. However, not only did our two ships pass each other in the night, they would keep turning around and passing each other again and again over the years.
My marriage was already well and truly doomed when I eventually did snog her for the first time, while down in Kilkenny for my friend’s stag weekend. She happened to be in the exact same bar on a hen night of all things. Even though I was rightly considered a disgrace by my peers on the night, I knew this would be the only chance I would have to make a move. With that we hooked up, though I scared her off at the end of the evening by going a bit over the top in drunkenly declaring my feelings for her!!!
We have since both made attempts to get things going, but each time the other one of us has been involved, and seeing as how I’m engaged to the wonderful Sandra at the time of writing, one must assume she will go down as The One That Got Away. No doubt we all have our Sarah’s, even Sandra - the words “if only” are great for reflecting, though pointless for regretting!!!
© JL Pagano 2004
NEXT, #38 : 1000 WORDS ON…MELDREW MOMENTS