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“Don’t date the patients.” “Ever.”  I heard you. When would I have time? I go to school every night after work! Well, not exactly true. The insistent, persistent, persuasive, patients who wanted to ‘sneak-date’ – threatened to stop being patients if I didn’t agree to meet them – at least one time for coffee.

(The dentist would semi- jokingly tell his patients not to date us; in front of us, when he walked with  them up to the front desk to get them to schedule their next procedure) Kind of like black mail. No, just like black mail. But what was the lesser of my two evils? I lost either way. Overcome with temptation, I decided to sneak date.

Once I was guilty. I went out on another date, then another. It was fun.The patients kept slipping me notes on the back of their business cards. When the semester ended, I only enrolled in one on-line course.

Quickly, I became a Binge Dater. It seemed harmless. Why not date a few of them; try some variety. I became a Surplus Dater. I was dating excessively. Seriously, even two dates a night for a short while. I was exhausted. The adrenaline fueled me; but keeping up with logistics; who was who, was hard.

I simplified it. Just date men whose first names started with the same letter. I called all of them “B” – Bryan was B and Brent was B and Barry was B and Ben was B. It was easier that way. They never complained. They all though it was a term of endearment, like it meant Babe or something sexy.

I never frequented the same places with any of them. Bryan liked elegant places. Brent was the one who insisted on the same exact bar every single time (that was easy) Barry always wanted to leave the island and go anywhere on the mainland. Ben just wanted to cook for me at his place.

Though B didn’t stand for boy; it fit. They really were boys at heart. I won’t get into the age thing  but they were all about ten years younger. My last  live-in BF had been 19 years younger. The ten year, decade difference didn’t require as much translation.

Monday and Wednesday guy thought I went to school on Tuesday and Thursday nights. My Tuesday/Thursday guy thought I went to school on Mondays and Wednesday nights.Then there was Mr. Friday, and Mr. Saturday. I religiously took Sundays off.

I had specific outfits that I wore with each B. I wore my hair different; pulled up, pulled back, side part. It was almost like it required four different versions of me. I was a cynic for one, a psychic for one, an adventurer for one, and then a true blend of all three; more the real me.

Valentine’s Day happened when I worked at the Dentist’s office. All four B’s sent me awesome gifts. The dentist didn’t believe that they were from my family. I was going to be officially reprimanded.

Luckily, I’d passed my GRE. It was time for me to go to school Full Time. I tendered my resignation and never saw any of the B’s again. (I made all A’s in grad school except for that one, single B.) I did not get my Masters Degree in writing… LOL.