The perk that came with letting go of an Aidan was the freedom to once again play with Bigs. In the year between my last two relationships, I’d convinced myself that I matured beyond my desire to play with the Bigs of the world. That I no longer had any use for the kind of charismatic slick-talkers who are followed by a trail of drenched panties and broken hearts when they entered a room. Those guys were for 25-year-old SBG. Nice, stable boys who didn’t play games; they were the new sexy for 28-year-old SBG, right?
Eh. Not entirely.
In order for this new narrative about my taste in men to work, I had to convince myself that I fit neatly into what most men consider a “good girl.” That I could exist without the self-affirming rush that accompanies trading barbs with a Big. Singleness reminded me that I’m a charismatic slick-talker in my own rite who occasionally finds kicks in mischievous smiles, poisonous tongues, and eyes that twinkle with the promise of clenched sheets and soft moans. While I enjoy the steadiness of an Aidan, the occasional interaction with a Big keeps life interesting.
I had such an interaction on an evening that could have taken place anytime in the last two and half months that I’ve been single. I was in one of my favorite after-work haunts in the company of one of my favorite Bigs; a man with whom I had a brief and light history that ended in a common understanding: engaging in copious amounts of shit-talking whenever we found ourselves seated at the same bar.
The game was on. Cuervo Silver and lime juice in my glass. Ketel One and cranberry juice in his. The words are lost in my memory behind a haze of tequila, but I vaguely recall the heat of his gaze as he complimented the newly added pounds around my hips, booty, and thigh area. I remember that I smiled, bit my lip, and gave him a few of my patented male ego-stroking, adoring glances. A hand may have landed on my knee once or twice. This back and forth went on for a few hours before there was a walk to my car.
What registers clearly in my mind is the moment our lips met. It was equal parts playful and intense in the way that alcohol-fueled kisses can be. There was a deliberate alternation between lips, tongue, and teeth that sent warm shock waves from my mouth to my toes. And when our lips finally parted, there was a smile, accompanied by a dare. “You better quit playin’ with me.”
On my (solo) drive home, I let those words simmer in my mind. What was the worst that could happen if I indeed stopped “playing” with him? Nothing that I couldn’t get over and move on from. Perhaps it would live up to the delicious tension we’d built up over the years. Perhaps it would fall short.
The fun, however, was in the game. There was a strong possibility that he could deliver on every promise he’d ever whispered in my ear. But the satisfied smile on my face from a night of shit-talking, knowing glances, and a toe-curling kiss was enough.
The trouble with settling down with an Aidan right now is that he wouldn’t understand why a night of grinning and batting my eyelashes at a Big makes me feel like a complete version of myself.
But thank God 28-year-old SBG knows to leave Big at the bar.