Ghosts of Boyfriends Past (Part 2)
Last time, I told you about some of the first guys I ever dated. Catch up here if you haven’t already. Now, it’s time to get back to my quick recaps of all the guys I’ve ever dated (don’t worry, there aren’t many):
My One High School Boyfriend – I met My One High School Boyfriend when I was telemarketing at MCI, so honestly, I never actually dated someone from high school that I met at high school. HS Boyfriend was a cute guy, super nice, but had some family issues that were a bit much to handle at times. He also didn’t have much direction for after high school (and I was certain I wanted to go to college). We met when we worked together, but at some point he stopped working at MCI (I can’t seem to remember if he got fired or what), and then we only saw each other at school. I was basically working 25 hours a week, going to high school full-time and preparing for college. One day, HS Boyfriend broke up with me via a note on college rule notebook paper that he handed to me in the hallway between classes. He claimed I didn’t spend enough time with him, but I suspected there were other reasons (like I didn’t want to sleep with him. I was really sticking to my guns here). I was a little pissed that his delivery was via a note, but strangely, I didn’t care all that much. I was excited about college and didn’t see how the relationship would have lasted anyway. But, it was fun, for one brief moment in time, to have a boyfriend in high school that actually went to my school.
The One Who Got Away (TOWGA) – The real reason for these posts, if I’m honest, is to tell you about The One Who Got Away. TOWGA holds a very special place in my heart, and I call him The One Who Got Away, because, well, he literally got away. Despite my very best efforts. I probably came close to kidnapping him, I liked him so much.
I met TOWGA at the gym as well (hmm, note to self: the gym is a good place to meet men). He was … beautiful. I don’t have any other words for him. He was physically attractive but also had this amazing personality that radiated from him. I saw him at the gym one day, walked up to him and made my attempt at a pick up line:
ME: Are you married?
ME: Are you gay?
ME: Are you busy tonight?
TOWGA: No …
ME: My name is Catherine.
I was quite proud of that effort and have been looking to repeat it ever since. TOWGA went out with my best friend and me that night. TOWGA was a Marine, and I distinctly remember bringing him to my father’s house one day while my Dad was at work. When my father got wind of that, he said (being a retired ARMY man), “Don’t you EVER bring another Marine in my house. EVER!” He was pissed, livid. But that made me want TOWGA even more. It was like a forbidden romance, a la Romeo and Juliet. Only I had no intentions of killing myself.
Here’s the rub though: TOWGA had a girlfriend in Mississippi. And he didn’t want to cheat on her. So we went out several times as friends, and it was like a perfect romance movie. We completed each other’s sentences, immediately had inside jokes and every single time he touched me, I felt this incredible electricity. I remember one time, he came to the lake with some friends and me and we had the most amazing weekend. It was rainy, so we had to find things to do to entertain ourselves. We ended up walking through abandoned houses, hoping they were haunted. Turns out they were just crack houses. But it was fun anyway. Then, we came back to our camper, and I remember being chilly from the rain, and leaning back into his arms. My friends were talking, but all I could feel were his arms around me, his breath on my neck. Nothing else mattered. I probably didn’t talk for an hour (which is rare for me, considering my nickname growing up was Motor Mouth), because I was so content in his arms.
I eventually told TOWGA I thought we had a connection, and that he was only 19 and how could he have such a serious girlfriend that lived so far away? He should live a little (aka, live a little with me!). He wasn’t buying it. We fooled around one night, but that was about the extent of our romance. I was heartbroken when he wouldn’t give me a chance, and we lost touch shortly before he went to Afghanistan.
A few years ago, TOWGA contacted me on MySpace (oh, MySpace. How I miss you. Simpler times.). When I saw his message, I was dating my ex fiancée (but we weren’t engaged yet). My heart stopped. I had been searching for him online for years, wondering what had happened to him, worried that he had gotten hurt, or worse, died in Afghanistan or Iraq. But here he was, contacting me on MySpace. I called my friend to tell her about it, and found myself crying tears of joy that he had found me. Tears, people. How could a man I knew so briefly affect me in such a way? I wrote him back, and … never heard from him again. True story. That is why he’s the one who got away.
For years, I wondered what I could have done differently. I had acted a little (read: a lot) crazy for a bit, trying to convince him that I was his soul mate, and this included a few tears and me asking him, “Don’t you feel this connection? This is something special!” But at the end of the day, I put everything I had into making him want me. Maybe he just didn’t feel it. Maybe he felt it, but with his girlfriend in Mississippi. Or maybe he was gay, which is what a lot of my friends said later, because he did have some effeminate characteristics. But I’ll tell you this: If my life were a romantic comedy, he’d come strolling back into my life. Right about … NOW. But alas, my life is not a movie.
Short Guy – Short Guy was super nice (and hence the name, the only guy I’ve ever dated that is pretty close to shorter than me), but not really ambitious enough for me. For example, he had been working on his associate’s degree for years and years and years. He did finally get his associate’s, but he’s still working on his bachelor’s (and we’re seven years later now) and living with his mom. So I guess my first impressions about his ambitions (or lack thereof) were correct. Anyway, Short Guy and I dated for a couple of months. It was with Short Guy that I committed my worst ever dating act (yes, worse than dating brothers).
I was at a graduation party for Short Guy’s associate’s degree, I believe, at my sister’s house. While Short Guy and I had been seeing each other for a few months, we had never declared we were in a serious relationship. Short Guy had too much to drink, and passed out in a back room. I was still awake, and as the party thinned out, ended up hanging out with the man who ultimately became my ex fiancée. Well, me and my ex fiancée shared our first kiss that night, really our first make out session, on my sister’s couch while watching When Harry Met Sally. Short Guy awoke from his drunken slumber, and went to find me. And walked in on me making out with my ex fiancée (his friend). I’m such an asshole. So that was the end of me and Short Guy.
And that concludes the story. After making out with my ex fiancée that night, we began dating and ended up together for seven years. Almost got married. Almost did a lot of things – including babies and till death do us part. And I’m back in the dating world again. I started dating at 16, now I’m almost 26, and it’s amazing how many things have changed (remember my comparison of dating in 2003 to 2010? An oldie but a goodie). But, it’s also amazing how some things have really remained the same. I still love attention. I still love kissing. I still love recklessly flirting. I still want to track down Nice Hair Guy and ask him what kind of shampoo/conditioner he used. And I still, about every year or so, try to find and reconnect with The One Who Got Away.
Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that in attendance at my high school graduation party were: Ex Fiancée, HOT Gym Guy and My One High School Boyfriend. It was a lot of fun juggling those three romantic interests in one night – not being committed to any one of them. And that was my last significant single moment, because a few weeks later, my ex fiancée texted me, in the back of my Dad’s car, “Will you be my girlfriend?” To which I replied, “Yes. I will be your girlfriend. On a 30-day trial basis.” Wow, that was a long 30 days.