There but for the grace…

"There but for the grace of God go I" ~A phrase attributed to sixteenth century writer John Bradford. Defined as recognition that others' misfortune could be one's own, if it weren't for the blessing/kindness/luck bestowed by fate or the Divine.

I talked to a friend of mine today. We were coworkers for about two years and stayed in touch. Ironically, she married a guy I dated on-again, off-again (mostly off) for a year. He and I grew up in the same "circle" and if you can believe this, his bouge was bigger than mine. My parents knew his parents and a bunch of bougie friends were encouraging the match. On a very superficial level, we matched. He was in medical school, I was beginning my climb up the corporate ladder.

I realized very early on that he was not the brightest bulb in the lamp. I'm serious, he wasn't a smart guy. Sort of sweet in a simple adoring way but not smart. Like not smart enough to date me and not grab other women's asses and think I wouldn't find out about it. Not smart enough to realize that he left me a voice message meant for another woman (wrong name and all). He wanted to be a player and wanted a woman to either not recognize it or look the other way. He had the wrong one. We parted ways no harm, no foul. I moved to California.

I recall that he came out the Bay Area for a convention and asked to see me. I offered to pick him up from the airport and take him to his hotel (thinking that would fulfill my obligation). Somehow that translated for him into "Come stay with me while you're in town." When I picked him up from the airport and asked him where he was staying, he replied, "With you." I tried (unsuccessfully) to get him into a hotel that he could afford near his convention site. I got him into one for the next night and agreed that he could stay in my guest room. We met my older brother (who was also in town) for dinner and that two-hour time period cemented our incompatibility (if I had any doubts). BougieOlderBro and I chatted, bantered and played our usual game of conversational tennis. Dude never even got a racquet in his hand.

Back at my place, I reiterated my "we're just friends, enjoy the guest room" speech and retired for the evening. Please tell me why this ninja tried the midnight tiptoe, sliding into bed move? I never moved but whispered to him what might happen to some of his extremities if he didn't slide on out the way he rolled in. We never spoke of it and I dropped him at his hotel early the next morning.

Fast forward to present day, close to a decade later. My friend is a quite a few years into her marriage with him (turns out they were dating when he tried the midnight creep) and has two kids. He's on the creep again and not doing a good job of hiding it. For reasons unknown, he is not practicing medicine but working in hospital administration which he apparently hates. He's miserable and making her miserable on top of her misery. By the way, I never told her that I used to date her husband. I just told her we were friends from childhood, which was true. So it was a little jarring when she asked me what I would do in her position. I opted out of answering by using my no motherhood-never married card.

I couldn't help but thank my lucky stars that I bailed when I did. It's one thing to be miserable with a shady dude in a casual dating relationship. It's a whole other thing when it's the father of your kids that you promised to have and to hold forever and ever.

Anyway, I know this was kind of random. But I was talking to ASmith86 about the show Snapped and why it's crazily addictive. I said it was a case of "there but for the grace of God…" and somehow the phrase fit this situation as well.

So Bougieland – ever feel like you definitely dodged a bullet? Watched someone going through something and though you empathized "there but for the grace" popped into your head? Random thoughts on exes you don't miss AT ALL? Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours…