Wednesday, June 04, 2008

old loves

I have been married for over thirteen years now. I am thirty-three and much of the angst and emotional freewheeling of my young adulthood is settled and controlled (I'm still a basket case, just a slightly better-controlled basket case). And yet nothing has the ability to bring back the memories of that time like reminders of old boyfriends - or guys I wanted to be my boyfriends but were 100% not interested in me. In the past few months, I have seen one ex-boyfriend in person, and a photograph of possibly the most painful unrequited crush I ever had.

To see the ex after thirteen years was shocking. Gads, he was handsome - a clever, winking, potential heart-breaker. It was a first-sight type thing for both of us and we dated for over a year. I sabotaged it, as I was prone to doing at that time in my life. We both said and didn't say important things, broke up and got back together, broke up and got together, and then I re-met Daniel and I had to nail the coffin shut. Even though I did everything as honorably as I could, I always felt lingering guilt. Daniel and I got engaged very quickly (we only dated for two weeks) and I always felt like that looked bad. See, old emotions come back so quickly. I ended up dropping in at a church activity for the ward he's in now and saw him there. I don't know that he saw me; I made no effort to talk to him.

And then there was the crush. Oh, the crush. I finally understood why it was called a crush, as I was crushed by it. There were several instances in my dating years when I was really pathetic (oh, Trisha, remember Mr. Limpett?), but this was only mildly pathetic, as Mr. SuperCrush was very kind to me. My friends and I had a code name for him - Sam Brown - as we saw him all the time at the Institute of Religion at Mt. SAC and couldn't very well discuss him by his real name. It was one of those impossible matches that you see in the movies, but this was real life. Oh, Sam. He was about as Mormon as Mormon could get - wanted ten kids, avoided caffeinated drinks, thought PG movies were too racy, no style. I was an 18-year-old purple-haired anarchist Mormon, prone to internal spiritual philosophizing, full of justifications and limit-pushing (BYU's rejection of me was probably one of their better choices - for starters, my essay was hideous). But gads, I wanted him to like me. He was so darned nice, and so darned happy, and just radiated goodness. I was a moth to his flame. I made a few very tentative attempts to go on group dates with him, but whether by fate or by his tactful awareness they never quite happened. He's married now, with seven or so kids. I'm sure he's an awesome Dad.

Now for the gooey part. I'm glad for all of these experiences, because they led me to Dan. Only a man of his monumental patience could put up with me. And we have two rockin' kids and are still open to adding more through foster care (if we can ever get into a 4-bedroom house without bankrupting ourselves). And he's secretly as crazy as me and lets me talk him into loony schemes like flying to Phoenix to buy a rusty old Suburban to run on vegetable oil, and someday escaping to the country to build a house out of straw bales, and our plan to raft the entire length of the Grand Canyon as a family, and to let the kids learn Spanish and Mandarin when they're young and not go the traditional compulsory education route... and i think that's enough sap. My point is that it's awesome to look back at past phases and not feel any regrets, to feel that everything shook out for the best. To be very content with how everything has gone so far.


Ken said...

Though I mostly hung out with the other Danny, your Danny was always cool with me too. Crazy to think I've known you guys before you were "you guys". I'm old.
ps- I was just thinking about Scott recently too. Weird.

colleeeen said...

ha, we're all old now. but it is funny that you knew us both before we were "Dan & Colleen." not to get too sappy, but it is really cool to be back in touch with you.

I didn't want to name names, but Scott was (and probably still is) a great guy. he's in Ontario now.

Stephanie said...

Dan makes you happier than anyone I have known you date. That's how I knew you two were meant for each other.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, Scott! He was the tall, dark, and lanky one, right? Didn't he also drive a VW bug? Man, it seems so looooong ago.

Who was the other BF in the blog? I couldn't place him.......

Yeah, Mr. Limpett. Ug. Gah. Eeek. What were we thinking????

I didn't really see you much when you and Dan were dating. I think it was because your relaionship with him moved so very fast. Y'all were married about two months after you met, right?

I still would like to see how our dear old James turned out. I read your blog where you mentioned him a while back.



colleeeen said...

ha-ha, you mean who was Sam Brown? i only let a few people in on that crush. it was very top-secret. i'm not sure you ever even met him. honestly, of the people i'm in touch with these days there are only two, maybe three who might know who he was.

D and i got engaged very quickly, but didn't get married for another six months.

cyn the win said...

i am almost positive i wouldn't know the names of either of these boyfriens/crushes, but i sure wish you had typed their names so maybe i could google them or something.

you would've been awesome here in BYU land. we need more social liberals here. i mean that sincerely and in the most complimentary way. i shoul write the same may have inspired me.

James said...
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James said...

Satoko told me that you had a blog, and I enjoyed reading this post. Blogging can be great. I used to do one about BYU sports ( and one discussing my views on myself and religion (, but I have discontinued them in favor of other priorities. I hear you're coming through (or to) Utah shortly. I hope you stop in to see us. I loved being yours and Dan's home teacher. I looked forward each month to the discussions we would have. And Paul was a cute little guy. I never got to see your second son--looking forward to that--but I'm sure he's cute too. And those cats were great. Did Satoko mention we have a rabbit? We're in pet heaven. And I'm becoming a farmer--or so it seems by the passion with which I am tackling vegetable gardening.