As Valentine's Day looms, I (perhaps stupidly) was inspired to write a memo to all of the dudes who I've loved and left or those who broke my heart. Or those many I didn't love, but certainly had an affect on me. I'm 27 now -- ready to get hitched and have myself a kid -- and yet I'm planning a Valentine's Day with ice cream, a bottle of wine and a chick flick to share with myself. Sure, I'm annoyed, but, really, when aren't I, right?
* I know that at least two of you read this. But it's probably nothing I haven't already said to you, so you'll probably get over it pretty easily. And it's not like I used your name, anyway, even if I described you in a completely obvious way.
In no particular order...
The Jock: You were so cute and so cool and so didn't know I was alive for a really long time. But I have volumes upon volumes of diary entries about the way you looked when you shot a free-throw.
The One I Couldn't Have: You reminded me that no matter how secure one feels, there's always someone out there who can still make your heart race. When you kissed me, you took my face in your hands and I melted. There I am, in a puddle on the floor.
The High School Sweetheart: First real love; first real heartbreak. We talked about everything, you remembered my favorite things; I wore your shirts; we talked on the phone, hiding under the covers so our parents wouldn't catch us, until 2am. But then we broke up (wow, I even forget why now) and you asked your ex-girlfriend to the prom. But then we made out on your graduation day.
The One From Chem: You took me on my first real date, even if it was just to the mall. I was utterly infatuated with the idea of someone liking me -- really liking me -- until you threw a basketball at my head. Game over.
The Hipster: Within a month or two of our meeting, I told people I was going to marry you. You both opened me up -- to things I wouldn't have seen, listened to, or thought otherwise -- and closed me off to where there was only you, me and our fictional but possible son in my mind. You made awesome mashed potatoes. I remember first thinking we were actually compatible when we built our first piece of Ikea furniture together and didn't argue. It was what I pictured married life to be with you. But then I left. And came back. And then you left. And didn't.
The Married One: If I was one of upstanding moral code, I would label you The Mistake. But I won't because I am not. No, I just wasn't then. I wouldn't make the same choices now. But back to you... You paid attention to me in a way no one ever has. You made me feel, for lack of a better word, sexy for the first (and maybe last) time in my life. The air was always hot and even pumping gas seemed like a deviant act. I changed after you.
The Tortured Artist: You were smoldering hot and a ridiculously good kisser. I certainly wasn't in love with you, but I could have made out with you, quite happily, for much longer than we did, even if you did like stupid movies.
The Comedian: You changed me, too. For a few moments, with you, I thought I just might end up with everything I wanted. You made it seem so possible. So real. But the scar on my stomach is a reminder that while we will certainly care about one another, love isn't in the plan. You get the one I/we call "Sarah."
The One Who Gave Me Pot: You made me laugh, and I made you cry. You had a warm, inviting smile. You played with my hair. You were the kind of supportive partner that I may never have again -- you were so generous and caring; thoughtful and encouraging. And I broke up with you on Superbowl Sunday for someone who was, ultimately, very wrong for me.
The Type-A: You pushed me to be a better student, and a more articulate person. You let me hit you when you were being a douchebag. I remember some of your little quirks -- the way you'd pull on your hair or the way you said my name -- like they were yesterday. But what sticks out most, now, is your selfishness -- like when you left me at the hospital to go home and write a paper. Douchebag.
Well, that was therapeutic.