I was feeling no pain at my favorite local watering hole the other weekend when my compadre Matt* grabbed me by the arm and informed me that tonight, I am his ex-girlfriend. He told me this as if it made total sense.

“What? Why?” I queried, chewing on the watered-down remnants of my Seven and ginger.

“Well, this girl I’ve been hanging out with wanted to get together, but I told her I was gonna spend time with my ex-girlfriend Jessica, ’cause you were having a bad day.”

Let me preface this by saying Matt and I have never dated, have never gotten our swerve on, have never even kissed. Sure, we’ve been partners in crime for a couple years now, but we both respect our relationship too much to do anything to poison it. While I’m a complete cynic about love secretly hoping to be proven wrong, Matt’s a self-confessed swinging bachelor, always looking to introduce his crotch to another to see if they’ll get along for the night. You would think that would turn me off about him, but hey, at least he’s honest. And he always has the funniest stories about his exploits, which he openly shares with me like I’m one of the guys.

Matt shrugged and lit another Camel. “I figured she would’ve gotten the hint that I didn’t want to see her tonight. I guess I was too subtle.”

“You mean she’s here?”

“Yeah, but it’s cool. I told her there was nothing going on between us anymore. That we’re, like, just best friends and all.”

In an amused daze, I kind of shook my head and walked away. Why, oh, why, did he first of all have to construct a story to get out of seeing this girl tonight, and, secondly, why did he have to get me involved in another mess obviously orchestrated by his libido?

There comes a time in every sexual relationship, no matter how brief, where you want to turn the person and say, “I never liked you. You talk too goddamn much. Now get away from me before I scream ‘Rape!'” But of course, we never want to hurt the person’s feelings. Not necessarily because we care about the person’s feelings, but because Charleston is a small town, and chances are your new fling is an acquaintance of your old fling. You want to ease your potential new lover into your world, whereas a pissed-off ex-girlfriend might not hesitate to blab about your third nipple or how you cry after sex.

All right, that part I get. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I get it. But getting little innocent ol’ me entangled in this web?

“I dunno. I guess it made it more believable,” Matt answered, his eyes darting back and forth like an inbred Chihuahua. The reason he was getting nervous — the jilted flavor of the week stood in the corner staring me down as I continued to drink, laugh, and high five with her man. This girl hated me before she even knew what I looked like, and her loathing was based on a fib.

“You gotta tell her we’ve never dated. I can feel her eyes piercing my spine,” I insisted.

And to his credit, he did. He told her that it was all a tall tale, just because he wanted to hang out with his friends. And after all those hours at the bar that must have been absolutely torturous for her, you know what? She still went home with him.

Some girls never learn. Join the club, sweetheart.

*Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent. Listen to Jessica Chase weekday mornings on 98X.

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