Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another annoying, non-quilty post

I have not been quilting or sewing at all in the past week or so because I am on deadline and have two articles for QH to complete. But I can't sit at the computer all day (well, I can, and I often do, but I really shouldn't), so I try to distract myself and move around a bit by  cleaning something. Our laundry room and a storage area in the basement tend to get piled up with junk that needs to be sorted and thrown out or donated, so I headed there yesterday. In rifling through several boxes, I discovered all my letters from my college boyfriend. I didn't think I had kept them, assumed I had tossed them out at some point, but there they all were, tied together with a red ribbon that had once adorned a small bouquet of flowers he had given me.

Naturally, I sat down and read them all, and cried so much that I was unable and unwilling to watch any of the Chilean mine rescue later that day. Emotions were too close to the surface, and each miner that arose from the depths would have sent me into more convulsive tears. I do go on sometimes.

Reading them and remembering him made me sorry that we lost touch so long ago, though I know we really needed to in order to completely let go of each other. It would be nice to know how he's doing, where he's working, if he has kids now. It made me wonder what would happen if I were to discover him on Facebook one day, an utter impossibility since he - and I am still certain of this aspect of his personality even 20 years later - would never spend a moment of time on a computer that wasn't required of his work or in some other way vital to his physical survival.

And, I'm glad of that, because were he to somehow appear there, I would be helpless against my own compulsion to do the Facebook Apology/Confessional thing. I'm sure there's a common name for it. Where you discover someone from long ago on FB and you have some unresolved thing in your past with them and you can't be content to just friend them and read the occasional status update. No, you have to do the private message, "Hey, remember when I totally dicked you around that one time? Boy was I a bitch, or what? So sorry! Forgivsies?" I have been on both ends of this, so I understand the compulsion to do it, and I also understand how uncomfortable it can make the person on the other end. It's truly just as well that he's a techno-phobe.

Naturally, a walk down College Boyfriend Memory Lane led to walks along High School Boyfriend Boulevard and the Incidental Boyfriend Pathway. My romantic history can be divided into three main relationships and about five minor ones. The main ones are predictable:

1. The High School Boyfriend. He was an aspiring poet, and used to bind all his poetry in his dad's print shop and leave it in the school library for anyone who was so inclined to read. He was tall and really skinny and had terrible acne and ended up on Accutane to control it. He took me to prom, and then he attended the Pennsylvania Governor's School of the Arts that following summer. He wasn't much interested in me after he returned - it was apparently one of those "you just can't understand me anymore; I'VE CHANGED - CAN'T YOU SEE I'VE CHANGED" kind of experiences. Naturally, I was bereft.

2. The College Boyfriend. Sweet, unassuming boy meets tries-to-look-and-act-intimidating-but-is-really-insecure girl and they fall in love. They are totally wrong for each other and break up a lot, but they both mean well. Remind me to someday tell you the story of our Camping Trip From Hell. It's very funny and involves cops.

3. The "Adult" Boyfriend. I say "adult" in quotation marks, because I was still little more than a kid when I started dating him. I broke up with him once because he was such an annoying, self-involved little turd. Then, several months later, after I had returned to and broken up with the College Boyfriend one last time, he confessed his love for me and his sincere desire to no longer be an annoying, self-involved little turd. And he meant it. Three years later, I married him.

Then there were the Incidentals, who were, sadly, just kind of little stops in between the Big Three. Some of them I wish I had stayed with longer. One of them I always felt should have been The College Boyfriend, but he had a girlfriend Back Home, to whom he was devoted, and despite the depths of his affections for me, he was unswervingly loyal to her. We tried hard to be friends for many years, but it turns out to be incredibly difficult to be friends with someone you are in love with and whom you cannot have. Ever. Stupid loyalty.

Oh! And then there was the in-between-breaking-up-with-College-Boyfriend-and-starting-to-date-the-Adult-Boyfriend-boyfriend. Except I didn't want him to be my boyfriend. I wanted him to get in my bed and shut up. And one day, as we were walking back from a party (that was at my future Adult Boyfriend's house!), he decided we needed to have A Talk, and he told me he didn't want to be my boyfriend (because, apparently, our walk indicated to him that I was Looking for a Relationship, when in reality it indicated that I Wanted to Get Laid) and I responded that, dude, I don't want you to be my boyfriend, and then he got all upset because I didn't want him to be my boyfriend, and I finally just threw up my hands and went home alone. Never saw him again.

He's on Facebook. He and David went to graduate school together. I have not friended him. (And remind me to tell you the story of how my future husband crashed my first date with him. It is very funny, and involves beer.)

So, yeah. that's what happens when you are 41 and you stumble across a ribbon-festooned packet of old love letters. Lots of silly navel-gazing. But I think it's fun to go back over all those old loves and lovers, just because I'm so happy about where I ended up, and even though I have regrets about certain events, I kind of have to believe that everything went the way it was supposed to because it led me here. I'm glad I have a romantic history, however limited, to sit back and remember. And I'm glad that remembering doesn't make me wistful or wish that I was back there with one of them instead of here, now.

In fact, it just makes me look forward to seeing David when he comes home tonight.







crowefan0517 said...

Awwww, amazing, the Bitchy Stitcher can actually be kinda sweet :)

-debby, chester,ny

Sequana said...

I love your stories. *S* And this one has reminded me of something I'd almost forgotten, so if you will, I will try to shorten it.

Between HS and college I had a really *hot* relationship with a David (too) that I remember so well - I even named my 2nd son after him.

Years go by and I wonder how he's doing. I hear that he is on his 2nd wife and drinks too much, but I think I'd still like to see him sometime. Maybe at a HS reunion?

Well.......the last reunion we had (I never go to these) someone in my class send me on the puter some pics of the festivities. He asked me to see if I could ID people. It was very hard to do. But I finally manged to get most of them. The ONE person I could not even make a guess on........was who? *L* Even when I was told it was David G., I couldn't believe it. I looked and looked at that pic and couldn't see a thing that reminded me.....not even his eyes.

So much for that, huh? I think I'll keep my memory pic in my mind...that turns out to be so much better.

Thx for letting me ramble.

Beth said...

I'm not supposed to LOL while proctoring a midterm. Remind me not to read your blog during quiet times.

Sarah Craig said...

It's ok to be non-quilty if you're funny! I about busted a gut trying not to laugh out loud and wake up my granddaughter from her nap!!

Megan said...

I have to be funny, too? Geez, you're so demanding!

Michele said...

Loved the post, and adored the last photo the most! The HAIR on that little bundle of joy...........WOW. Nice to have some backstory on the Bitchy Stitcher. Michele

Sew Loquacious Angela said...

Very funny...and totally understood story. I've been there and done far as feeling the compulsion on Facebook..I've ended up de-friending #1 and "Incidental."
Can't wait to read the story involving the cops :)!

Vicki W said...

Old letters, Oh God! I've destroyed EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. I even destroyed the ones from my husband when he was in the Navy and at sea. I had a very healthy fear that someone would find them and read them. In the trash they went and I don't regret it one bit!

Kit Lang said...

lovely lovely memories..

Wilma NC said...

Enjoyed reading that.

Jandi said...

My high school boyfriend found me on facebook. He wanted to know if he was a jerk to me and how he could have done it better because his current girlfriend was complaining. Seriously. Let us all just agree to pretend to forget, quietly stalk those we can't, and never ever ask for the relationship postmortem.

Peggi said...

I don't have letters, but I do have a stack of lovely, silly, sweet, mushy post-it notes that boyfriend #2 would post all around my apartment for me to find when he was gone. They were just little snippets of "I love your hair" and "You have the most beautiful eyes" and "Your gorgeous smile makes me happy" etc. It's obvious why I keep them!

Ok, first picture, your legs look soooo skinny! And I like your longer hair in 2002.

Helen said...

Loved your post. Keep them coming.
Funny which emotions pop-up when looking in your past.

Tsigeyusv said...

I'm a bit envious. I have kept old letters, but have no desire to read any of them right now.
I think when one is comfortable in a loving relationship, reading those letters can be fun, but my marriage ended a few years ago, and I have yet to want a new relationship. Someday someone will adore me, but I have to be ready for that.

Scarlett said...

There's that baby with the hair. Adorable!

Liz said...

My God! The hair on that kid! I am so two were bald until they were 3!!!! And now one of them is bald at 39! LOL. Wonderful post.