While at a recent group outing with female acquaintances, someone asked what I go out and do with my male friends? I answered, “What male friends?”
This got me to thinking and I really don’t have any local male friends. Everyone I’m friends locally with in real life is female. Any male friendships I have are in different states or countries. I thought about this for a few days and remembered, “Oh yeah… that’s so I don’t get poached or sniped.”
The act of poaching or sniping is when you’ve made your intentions known to your circle of friends/competitors that you have an interest in a specific someone who has caught your attention and you want to be the first to speak to her/him, flirt, engage in the mating ritual dance, and what-not. There is always a distinct possibility that you may strike out, find out you and the person whom you’re interested in just don’t hit it off, et cetera. Unfortunately, that is the way the game is played. No one “owes” anyone anything and this is just a first contact to say, “Hello. I’m [fill-in-the-blank]. How are you doing?” And if that goes well, you move onto a second step, and so on. But during this flirtatious dance, another person pushes themselves into the mix and somehow convinces the one you are interested in to go off with him/her instead of you. Totally sucks but it does happen quite often. I’ve also heard the term, “vulture,” used for persons who do this.
It’s a matter of etiquette. You give a friend/buddy a first chance or dibs on someone and if for one reason or another, nothing materialized from it then it is perfectly acceptable for you to step up and give it your best shot. But being sniped/poached is someone ignoring a basic etiquette and manners. It is an unpleasant experience – a sting to your pride. I cannot speak for other men but I would I never do that to someone else. That’s because I have a modicum of decency, manners, and class; some people do not. But one thing I have observed over and over again is the concept of Karma. It’s a metaphysical balance sheet where whatever you do; good or bad, positive or negative needs to be zeroed out and balanced. It is probably my strongest personal belief. It may take a while to show up but it eventually does.
Quite a few times I know I screwed up my chance at being with someone. Open mouth, insert foot. It happens and is not really worth getting upset over as dating is a learned skill. But to have your shot purposefully cut short or never given a chance to happen… well, that’s some shitty friends/acquaintances you have there. Not one of the ladies I’ve ever flirted with or actively tried to seduce owed me anything nor did I expect them to; but would be honored if they liked or found me charming enough to see where things could have led. In a few cases, it was for the best as the “vulture” ended up with someone who made his/her life miserable. In those instances you have to laugh your ass off when it happens. However, I’m introspective and often wonder what could’ve been if the vultures had been kept out of the picture. Here are the three of my most significant instances where this happened and the aftermath.
“Girl A”: a very nice young lady I knew and I was totally surprised that she expressed a sexual interest in me. But before plans could be finalized, another person swooped in and went off with her to her hotel room. Understandably, I was more than a bit irked by this… Until I found out that the poacher in question had been her fifth lover at that particular event. At this point in my life, I was seeking a companion for some kind of commitment and would have been emotionally hurt by learning I would have just been another notch on her bedpost. So while I was a bit hurt, I wasn’t extremely hurt. I’m still friends with this woman and while I would’ve liked to have been lovers her at some point. I’m kind of glad she and I didn’t hook up. The “vulture” became a non-entity to me as I was apathetic whenever he popped up. And he did pop up from time-to-time and ignored. But age and time gives you a perspective on the crap that went down earlier in your life. When I first met her, she was a total knock-out – still is too – and could have her pick of any guy she chose, mostly the pretty boys, which I have never been. I find it ironic that the man she ultimately ended up falling for and marrying is very drab looking in comparison to those I knew she dated. Nothing spectacular nor flamboyant to his looks; which proved to me that looks aren’t everything and I probably sold myself far short with her.
“Girl B”: I never got a second chance with her as she died in a car accident about a month after I last saw her walk off with a guy I thought of as a friend. She’s one of those people you always think, “So sad. Man, what might have happened…” The guy in question had a well-known habit of poaching ladies from other guys; that I knew nothing about. Once the shit-storm had settled after her death, I made it perfectly clear that I would literally pick him up and body-slam him into the ground with my full force if he ever came near me or anyone I was with again. This was not in jest nor a hyperbole. I am not violent by nature. I’m very much a pacifist in how I approach the world and slow to anger; yet I can fuck someone up if push comes to shove, I just prefer to go with the flow. I’m nice but I’m not stupid and he would NOT get a second opportunity to fuck me over again. That’s not to say he didn’t try to push his luck with but it took one scowl from me to get him to scurry as far away from me as fast as he could. Karma eventually caught up with him; maybe not for what happened to me but perhaps an accumulation of past bad behaviors. He started a relationship with an EMT. To impress her, he also became an EMT. When the enviable break-up happened, he pissed her off enough that she tried to have his EMT certification revoked. I found out about this and asked if I could give her a hug. I still see her from time to time and beam a great big smile at her.
My last one… I thought she was “the one.” My life goal was to hopefully grow old with her. Two decades later, I’m still a bit ticked. Ticked that she still has a piece of my heart that I know I can never get back and that she does not deserve.
We were having relationship problems as many couples do. A guy whom I thought of as a good friend “offered” to help reconcile our problems. Yeah, that infamously did not work. After our very public break-up, I found out she had slept with him behind my back both before our “reconciliation” and immediately afterwards. I was livid… at the both of them. Add to this that I had been manipulated to the point where I thought everything that went wrong and why our relationship failed was Completely. And. Totally. My. Fault. Outside of rape or a completely screwed-up and abusive relationship, it never is just the one person’s fault. But Karma has a way of showing up in unexpected ways.
He worked as a security guard supervisor and absolutely loved his job and career. Shortly after he did this shitty thing to me, a guard he was supervising was caught playing video games on a client's computer during the night-shift so that guard and his supervisor (my former friend) were both fired and stripped of their security bonds. Once you lose your bond, you cannot get it back. He was blacklisted. He had to leave a career field he loved so in a Karmic sense both of us lost something we dearly loved and we balanced with one another. I had nothing personally to do with this series of disastrous events (is it bad that I wish I had?) but I took much Schadefreude (joy in his self-inflicted misery) that I laughed myself sick. Oh, to add insult to injury (or in my case, icing on the cake) he had tried to propose to my ex about a month after our break-up and their hooking up. She flipped out, dumped him on the spot, and left his ass.
But living well is the best revenge. I work for an organization that she went back to school in the hopes of working there. And completely unintentional on my part, too. Her husband, who is an old friend of mine, and I bear a good resemblance to one another. So she wakes up to a guy who looks more and more like me with every passing year. A mutual friend told me that years ago during a movie party at her house, a character came on the screen that looked just like me and she flinched every time she saw the character.
It’s the little things in life that can make you smile