Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm going to the Carnival (I hope)

Well well well. The Carnival of the Mundane is back, this time with a theme that I simply can't resist.

"The Ones That Got Away (or alternately, The Ones That Ran For Their Lives…)"

Oh.BOY! A post that writes itself! The instructions were to write a story or post regarding an old flame, a lost love, a crush gone bad. Sure, I can do that. I can do THAT many times over. Which old boyfriend story should I pick?

Let's run down the list of old flames and the reasons the relationships went DOWN in flams first, shall we?

  • 1) CM - dumped me for a tall blonde after one date. I was freshman in HS.
  • 2) MK - dumped me for a tall blonde after 2 weeks. I was a freshman in college.
  • 3) CA - I dumped him after 4 months of dating, so I could date #4.
  • 4) SM - who I had lusted after for a whole year and who flabbergasted me by asking me to be his girlfriend. Gave up what small portion of virginity I had left to him, and three months later he dumped me. I was a jealous wreck, and probably no fun to be around. I was a sophomore in college, and heartbroken for the first time.
  • 5) BS - dated him for a year, and enjoyed the heck out of it. Nice guy, wanted to marry me. I ran. I was a junior in college, and just.not.ready.
  • 6) JG - what can I say? Lust happens. For three months we raised the temperature of whatever room we were in together. He dumped me for a cute little violin player. I mocked him when he wound up in the infirmary with a testicular infection because she wouldn't put out. To his face. Yes, I can be that mean.
  • 7) MR - dated him for OVER a year. My first "living with a guy" experience, during which we shared space with a 7-foot-long boa constrictor and a 6-foot-long python, then became involved with starting a life science museum on campus. Turns out in the end that I wasn't Catholic enough for his family (or seomthing). The relationship fizzled out. I was a senior in college, and deeply disappointed. So, I started up with #8.
  • 8) SM - smoking hot meat cutter and musician. Had a "relationship" for several months that was supposed to be all about the physical and NONE of the emotional. You can imagine how well that worked. We had a great time, but dood was like a puff of smoke if you tried to hold onto him. He drifted off after about 6 months, leaving me wondering "what the hell just happened?"
  • 9) BM - he was cute, my type, and available. I learned to smoke weed like a pro because of him. He dumped me for a hippie chick after about 4 months. We worked in the same place afterward, and I was glad the relationship didn't last. Had my first "on air" experience with him, as a Swedish housemaid named Ursula. Oh yeah, he was a DJ at the local 101 rock station too.
  • 10) CR - my first "interracial" experience. Was SM's best friend, met while out with SM on a platonic date and CR threw a beer at SM, hitting me. What better way to start a relationship? We dated for several months, but it didn't go anywhere. Fizzled after about 3 months. I don't really remember HOW it ended.
  • 11) JE - hippie dude. Kissed him on purpose at a house party, and we slept on the floor of his new cabin that night. Nice as all get out, environmentally aware, introduced me to mountain biking and vegetarianism, but the chemistry wasn't there. We dumped each other after 5 months in the weirdest breakup ever, while lying in BED, talking. Came to it very logically, then dated for another month. I then dumped him for #12.
  • 12) DG - hothothothothot computer geek with lots of money. I thought it would last forever. I was totally into this guy, thought he was everything I ever wanted. It lasted 4 months, he dumped me, we got back together, dated for another three months, then it fizzled out. I was 26.

Then I got married.

There were others, I'm pretty sure, but these guys are the ones that I remember. I'm fairly certain I have them in the right order.

Only a couple of thses relationships caused any huge grief when they ended - I stayed friends with the majority of guys (given enough recuperation time after the dumping), I went to the wedding of at least ONE of them (CA), one of them came to my wedding (SM), and have seen a couple of them in the years and years since we were together. By and large they've matured into wonderful men.


I've written about a lot of them before, in one way or another. I've written about heart-wrenching breakups (BM and DG, I'm looking at YOU), wonderful memories (thanks SM and BS), recognizing my violent streak (JG), and confusion (CM) and so much more, that telling any of these stories again would be reiterative.

I loved them all as best I could when I was the person I was dating them. Some of them loved me back, at least for a little while. If I had to ask myself what I was looking for in each of them, I'd have to say "someone with whom I could just be myself," and if I was truthful, I'd also have to say that I never was really myself with any of them, thinking that it wasn't going to be perfect enough if I was.

Now that I'm ever so much older, I realize that some of them might have loved me more if I had been more me. Funny how all that works, isn't it, how the ones that got away teach us in slow lessons how being ourselves is the best way to be? How taking on a personna to suit to partner is a dangerous business, because part of who you are is necessarily subsumed for the sake of maintaining a relationship.

I'm here to tell you that THAT will never happen again.

So, "the one that got away" turns into "the dozen that changed my life." I hope it's good enough for inclusion in the carnival.

What about y'all? Do you have any good breakup stories that truly stand out? Anything you'd like to share? Do tell, please.

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