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Panty Banter
by Karen Russo

Part 1: Bathroom Notes

Last week I was returning home after watching the season finale of a favorite reality show at my cousin's when my friends, Kaz and Sassa, rang and invited me for drinks. The invitation came shortly after I had left a voicemail for The Man who had recently taken my heart, thrown it on the ground, then drove over with his BMW.
When I arrived at the restaurant, my friends introduced me to a man they had mentioned a few weeks earlier. He sat down next to me and promptly drank an entire bottle of Chianti. I sat, slowly sipping my Maker's and Coke (which my friends had promptly shoved into my hand) when I suffered a lightning bolt to the brain: This was a set up. Sure enough, my friends left and I was alone with the guy.
He was very funny. Laugh Out Loud Funny. So funny that I thought I would wet my pants if we did not leave the bar and get to my apartment as soon as possible, which is what we did because the bathroom in the bar is disgusting. Plus, my apartment building was next door so the walk to my own private thrown was only a few extra steps.

So we enter my apartment, but instead of me rushing to use the toilet, I listened to my answering machine messages and he used the bathroom. Then he walked out. And then I walked in. And then I shrieked. I had completely forgotten the self-affirming notes that I had written on pieces of colored paper and duct-taped to my mirror so I was forced to see them and get over The Man.
These notes contained embarrassing feelings that were expressed only to my therapist. Phrases too embarrassing to admit existed. "Fuck him!" "Have some integrity!" and, my most humiliating, "What are my needs, wants and desired?" covered my bathroom mirrors. All of these were placed next to my favorite greeting card that illustrated two women standing next to a doghouse with the word "Fuckface" written above the dog. "I named him after my ex-boyfriend" one woman said to the other.

These were phrases that I was embarrassed to read and think, never mind share with a man that I had invited up to my apartment.

I walked out of the bathroom, repeating "OMIGOD!" and apologizing, trying to explain. He laughed at me. "I wasn't going to say anything…"

For some reason, he still wanted to mess around. Probably because he knew I was damaged goods and easy prey. He even offered to play the three-minute game, in which both parties get undressed and if, after three minutes, no one's interested in sex, he'd leave. I declined the offer. I couldn't believe it; if I were him, I would've run like hell. Or so I'd like to think. According to my affirming notes, I need some integrity.

stay tuned for more next month.....


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