It was just another Christmas party and I wasn't even sure why I had come. Probably just tired of sitting at home and watching the TV. I hadn't expected her to be there and truth be told I wouldn't have come had I known she would be around. Our eyes meet across the room and she quickly turned away and I thought fleetingly of "The Road Not Taken."
It was my junior year in high school when Sandra moved into the neighborhood. We met and introduced ourselves at the buss stop and from then on we were almost inseparable. She gave me her virginity on prom night and everyone in our circle of friends knew we would be getting married eventually. We graduated and moved on to college were we rented an apartment and lived together. Nothing was said of marriage; there was an unspoken agreement that college had to be finished first. No relationship is perfect and we had our ups and downs. A couple of times we fought and she moved out; we made up and she moved back in. I never knew for sure, but I thought it likely that during our separations she went to bed with other guys, but so what, my bed didn't stay empty either.
In our last year Sandy started making marriage noises. What kind of wedding should we have, should we keep it small, would it be best to wait until we were established in our new careers and stuff like that. I don't know if Sandy noticed my silence on the subject or not, but the truth was that I really wasn't ready for marriage. I'd seen what had happened to a lot of my friends who had tied the knot early and I did not want that for myself. I didn't want to be tied down with a wife and kids by the time I was twenty-five. I wanted to experience some things, enjoy myself, go places and do things before taking on the responsibility of a family. So I made appropriate noises when Sandy talked, but I never committed to a thing. Senior year flew by and suddenly there I was, sheepskin in hand, and Sandy was starting to press me on the wedding plans issue.
"I think we need to wait until we get established honey. Let's give it a year or so."
We both found work in our career fields and the marriage talk was forgotten as we submerged ourselves in our new jobs. Some things didn't change just because we were no longer in school. We still had arguments and Sandy would move out and then we would make up and she would move back in. We both developed new interests and did a lot of new things without the other being involved, but we stayed together. Two years went by and then the wedding talk started again, but I was no more ready to commit then than I had been in college. This time however Sandy picked up on my reticence and after a couple of months she said, "What's the matter Paul, you don't want to marry me?"
The truth was that I didn't want to marry anybody, at least not at that time, but how to put it off gracefully? I decided to tell Sandy the truth and surprisingly she seemed to understand.
"It isn't me, right? You just want to wait?"
"Yes honey, I just want to wait."
Another year went by and then one night at dinner Sandy hit me with, "It is time to shit or get off the pot Paul. I want babies, but I don't want to be the forty year old mother of a two year old and looking to go to the kid's high school graduation looking like a grandmother."
I still didn't want to get married and I knew that it wouldn't be until I was in my thirties that I would be. I decided that it wasn't fair to Sandy to keep her hanging around especially now that she had told me how she felt. It was time for me to bail out, but I didn't want to be the one who broke us up so I gave her what I thought she could use to put an end to our relationship.
"Sandy, you are a beautiful woman and a lovely person, and you know how much I care for you, but I don't think that we are right for each other. The woman I spend the rest of my life with has to have just a touch of the slut in her."
"You are shitting me. You want a slut for a wife?"
"No, not a slut, just a woman with a touch of slutishness. I don't want someone with round heels, but I do want someone who will cut loose once in a while, let it all hang out."
"Oh wow Paul, I never knew that about you."
And that is as far as it went. I had expected Sandy to pack up and go storming out, but all I got was an, "Oh wow."
.... There is more of this story ...