My last girlfriend, Michelle, had been suspicious — even after I told her Stacy was engaged.Whenever I talked about her, Michelle’s eyes narrowed, and she looked at me warily, as if she were reading the fine print on a contract that already had her signature.“Stacy wants to sleep with you, you know,” Michelle said.“I don’t think so.”“Why else would she spend so much time with you?
Then I snuck it in at the end, “Oh, and Stacy.”When she didn’t say anything, I got nervous. “She’s practically married.” And then, without even thinking: “Her fiancé thinks she and I are soul mates.”Rachael winced and dropped her pizza on the plate.“. All I wanted to do was text Stacy and tell her about it.
I already knew what she’d text me back: About a year before my second date with Rachael, in June, my 2-year-old, Mason, and I were at the park where we met Stacy and her son Nick.
When it was time to go, Stacy pulled out her phone and said, “We should have a play date. I promise I’m not hitting on you.”Nearly every Monday and Wednesday since, the four of us have met for play dates at the park, the zoo, or each other’s apartments.
The boys play while Stacy and I have the kind of conversations we couldn’t have with our toddlers, about our pasts and presents, our hopes, and our anxieties.
At the time, we were on a date, drinks at “our” bar. A man who was friends with a woman was supposedly friend-zoned, a hopeless romantic waiting for her to come to her senses.
A woman who was friends with a man was supposedly a flirt who liked the attention.
We met on Ok Cupid after I sent her a funny message about how bonobos cope with depression, and here, in this packed pizzeria, we joked as if we’d been dating for years.
That made her laugh so hard she almost choked on a chunk of meatball. I didn’t want to tell Rachael that my best friend was a stay-at-home mom named Stacy.
One night, after we’d been together for a month or so, she got upset that I was texting with Stacy.