Front of card: I want a sensitive man.
I spend a lot of time on this blog thinking about what I said and did and wishing I might have said or did something a little different. I also spend a lot of time trying to decide what I’d say now if I had the chance, and what better chance than Valentine’s Day? In honor of the occasion, here are the Valentine cards I wish I could send my exes.
When I was about 11, I was absolutely convinced that I should have had an older brother. I needed one. He would protect me from all the evils of the world and I would not be the oldest (and, to my mind, most neglected) child in the family anymore. Of course I knew it was impossible, but I wished really hard for an older brother. Prayed for one even.
I’m usually not all that impressed with pick-up lines. It’s not that I haven’t gotten many. I’ve had my fair share. The one that comes most quickly to mind came from a painfully nerdy fellow who was in all-state chorus with me one summer. Just before our concert, he said, “Oh, I like your sweater. Could I see the tag?” Read More
I’d been thinking about dumping Shane. Read More
I read romance novels. Disparage if you like, but really, what’s not to love about romance novels? You get to experience the joy of falling in love, the pain of heartbreak, the many facets of love and you’re guaranteed an ending that will not make you want to drown yourself in the nearest body of water… Read More
“Fail quickly.” Have you heard this new entrepreneurship buzzphrase? The idea is that you try something, and if it works, good on ya, and if it fails, you figure it out quick, let it go quick, and move on to the next thing quick.
I’m so not good at it.
I can’t claim to have any misgivings about hindsight, really. This entire blog is written in hindsight. I know that, necessarily, as you age and grow, you learn things either from an experience, or from navel-gazing about that experience very thoroughly. (No one’s ever accused me of not being thorough enough.)
But sometimes I wish I hadn’t learned some things.
I wish I hadn’t learned about negging. It colors my memories of so many of my interactions with Shane. Was he a pick-up artist? I highly doubt it, (1) because that was in like 1996 and it wasn’t even a thing yet, and (2) because I think he was a good guy and wouldn’t have done that on purpose even if he knew it was a thing… but now I have a label for it.
I wish I’d never experienced a hurt so complete that I never want to talk to an ex again. (Looking at you, Matt.) I especially wish it when I realize that’s how Luke and Shane must have felt about me on the few occasions when I tried to rekindle a friendship. Double hurt for the price of one.
I wish I’d never known that Joe thought of me as a passing fascination.
In some ways, I even wish away the wisdom of my older years, because it leaves my memories of my “firsts” (first love, first kiss, first time) muddied, confused, and a little yucky.
So sometimes I pretend that I don’t know things.
I pretend I don’t know that Matt was manipulative and narcissistic– it makes those memories seem charming rather than scary.
I pretend I don’t know that Joe wasn’t really that into me– it makes my first love seem worthy of the depth of feeling I gave to it.
I pretend I don’t know that I hurt Luke and Shane, probably deeply enough that they’re completely done with me, in the sense that they don’t even devote a second of their time to remembering me fondly (or at all)– because then I don’t have to feel hurt that they’re lost to me, or guilty that I did that.
I met Shane before I actually met him.
Of course you already know that’s true in one sense– We met online (in a role-playing game chat room, though I am loath to reveal this, and thus the extent of my geekery) and were long distance for a long time before we ever met in person.
But I saw him.
I was dreaming.
I’ve had the odd prophetic dream before, but this one… When I saw a picture of Shane, months later, I sucked in a shocked breath. I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream. Yep. That.
Of course, not all the details were right. For some reason, in my dream he was a bicyclist.
But the hair, the eyes, the body– it was all there. The sweetness? Yeah, that was there, too. And the touch– I have to just guess about that because we kissed in that dream, and never again, in a dream or not… but oh what a kiss.
Because of that dream, we were connected in my mind before I even knew his real name– when he was still just a puppeteer behind a character in a game.
I’m Team Edward, for you Twilight fans. For the Buffyverse, I am totally, totally Team Riley. (Go ahead and hate if you must.) And, surprisingly, I’m Team Gale in the Hunger Games… Guess that’s my violent streak coming out. And if you’re into Veronica Mars, I’m Team Dick, just because. (Really, I’m Team Anybody Who Isn’t Piz.)
I hate love triangles, actually. I’m an avid reader, but I tend to avoid Young Adult novels because of the love triangles. They make me uncomfortable.
“Come on. Don’t you remember what it’s like to be a teenager and want everything?” asked a friend of mine a few weeks ago when this discussion came up. Her argument has always been that humans’ natural state of being is to appreciate the sex appeal of lots of people at once.
“I remember undying devotion to my One True Love,” I responded, only a little bit sarcastically.
My M.O. was always full-on devoted monogamy. That’s partly due to my upbringing, partly due to my personality (a little shy, quiet, and secretive– and thus incapable of flirting in any real capacity), and partly due to the fact that I just didn’t have a bunch of different guys to choose between all the time.
Did I ever feel a pull in two different directions? Yeah. But nothing good ever came of that. And back then, I never, never would have admitted that I was attracted to two men at once because quelle sin, duh. I just ended up with two pissed off guys and a grapefruit-sized ball of guilt in my guts– and nothing even happened.
And so, natural state of being or not, I can’t ever be ok with not being able to choose between two men. Whether that’s because I can’t imagine it, or because I can imagine it, and it’s the most horrible thing ever, I can’t quite decide.
When you break up with someone, everyone wants to focus on the heartbreak– you know, the despair over losing your best friend or partner in crime or whatever, all the implications of going to every social event for the rest of your life all alone (because obviously you will never find anyone else), the endless hours of weeping into a half-eaten gallon of rocky road ice cream. Read More