What's interesting is that our story could have ended so differently if the man Taylor, who I mentioned previously, had been more assertive and made his true feelings known to me. I met Taylor (not his real name, but a close approximation) because he had visited Russia the year before and had met Irina and wanted to correspond with her but didn't speak Russian. The university where I was a student put us in contact with each other. I was 21 and Taylor was 42 but we got along well. We started hanging out sometimes. He took me to this cool park in a different state on a one-day road trip. I thought it was admirable that he did volunteer work helping people who needed assistance heating their homes. I automatically assumed we were just friends because I knew he liked Irina AND he had a female lover-- a married woman. He told me that the woman's husband knew about the arrangement and was OK with it. The whole thing was odd to me but I was like, "Whatever consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is no one else's business." I remember one time he showed me the Woody Allen movie, "Manhattan"-- you know, the one about a 42-year old dating a 17-year old. I remember him saying something like age doesn't matter when people are in love but I never made the connection that he might like me in any way other than as a friend. The day before I left for Russia I visited with him to get the gifts that he wanted to send to Irina. I helped him with the translation of a letter to her. When it was time to go he leaned on his elbows against my open car window and talked to me for a minute. Suddenly he pulled my head close to his and kissed me passionately. Like, it was a really, really good kiss. And completely unexpected. I remember thinking, "Oh-- I guess likes me in a romantic way." But seriously-- why in the hell did he wait until I was leaving the country for THREE months to spring this on me? As fate would have it, within days of my arrival in Moscow I met The Russian at Pizza Hut. If I had been dating Taylor before I left the States, I don't know if I would have pursued a relationship with The Russian. Who knows. When my son is older, I am going to tell him that it a freaking MIRACLE that he is alive. If I had been like two minutes late to Pizza Hut, I wouldn't have met The Russian and my son wouldn't have been born. If Taylor had been more upfront with me earlier on, we would have probably dated, and again, my son wouldn't have been born. If my body (for reasons unknown) hadn't finally cooperated after five miscarriages, my son wouldn't have been born. This kid has won the proverbial golden ticket. He's still too little to understand these things, but when he's older you can bet I'll be reminding him of this ALL THE TIME. He'll probably be sick of this story and groan whenever I bring it up. That won't stop me though. I love to annoy him.
OK, I hope this post didn't bore you to tears. I'll be returning to my usual irrevant topics in the future. I'm already thinking about a future post that discusses condoms-- or rather, coupons for condoms. Those really exist. Coupons. Not condoms. I know that you know that condoms exist.