Tuesday, June 28, 2005

You had me at "hello"

Yesterday I had a chance to do something that I highly recommend. I spoke to an ex-girlfriend who I haven't seen in 15 years.

Andi and I started dating in 1997/1998. She was beautiful, sensitive, intelligent, and extremely talented. I was exactly the same except for the beautiful, sensitive, intelligent and talented part. Our relationship ended when Andi, suffering through the critical illness of her Mother while trying to launch a career as a singer, eventually realized that she was sailing on the "U.S.S. Narcissistic" with her cruise director Booray.

I really wanted to catch up on Andi's life (something which will take a lot more than a 15-minute phone call while driving home from Dairy Queen). I also wanted to reconnect for a personal, selfish reason. I wanted to apologize for having been so self-centered when we were together. As is usually the case with this sort of thing, you finally get a chance to un-burden yourself of some guilt you've been carrying around your whole life only to find out that the person you feel you've wronged never gave it a second thought. The things we carry around with us are so often unique to just us that it's pointless to bring them up. One thing's for sure, I'm definitely not going to apologize for that hobo I killed back in '95.

Whenever you get the chance to reconnect with someone after a really long time, it's always great. Looking back over 15 years you're able to share the experience like it's this great old movie that you saw together. Since you've both moved so far beyond that time, you're free to just enjoy the memories without any fear of old emotions clouding you up. You're also free to genuinely be interested in the other person's life and happiness without any "What if's." This is an experience that you really have to be older to have. When you're young and it's been a few years you can pretend that you've moved on and you're sooo happy for the other person but there's always a small part that wishes they still loved you. Everybody moves on, but way down deep inside, in a place few of us will admit exists, there is a little part that wants all of our ex's to still hold a flame for us. In a perfect world, every person I've ever dated has never gotten over me and all their attempts at true happiness have just been a ruse as they continually pine for my return year after year. Also, gas is $1.10 a gallon.

As usual, I totally blew all attempts at appearing cool when talking to Andi yesterday. You're supposed to be humble and charming when you talk to an old flame. I tend to talk too fast, interrupt too often and list off my achievements like I'm applying for an award (Best Ex-Boyfriend). I might as well have just repeatedly screamed, "I'm not a loser!" into the phone. Maybe I'll try that next time.

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