I dated the same guy through most of college and for a year or so after. For the sake of today's post let's call him Big Weenie. On occasion Big Weenie and I would break-up and date others, but for over five years he was pretty much the man in my life. (And yes, it makes me cringe now to think I wasted all my college years on ONE person!)
Although? Big Weenie.
Nonetheless, at the time Big Weenie and I were close and we got to know each other's families quite well. His family took me along on vacations and my family took him on trips too. I think a lot of people figured Big Weenie and I were destined to end up married someday.
Alas, it was not meant to be. My feelings changed significantly once I got involved in my career. I was living in my own apartment, supporting myself, trying to climb the corporate ladder and suddenly … I didn't feel the same. Big Weenie was busy with law school and still in student mode and we drifted apart.
Eventually, Big Weenie and I broke up.
I moved on.
Shortly after, I began dating someone new. (No, not Briefcase … he came along later in my life.) Big Weenie would still call and sometimes we would meet "just for coffee" or "just to talk" but our lives were separating more and more. I became quite infatuated with Mr. Electric. We had electric (hot, magnetic, amazing, sweltering!) chemistry together.
At the time this was all taking place, I temporarily lived in Sacramento. I had a favorite, very authentic, Chinese restaurant I loved near my apartment. One night I suggested to Mr. Electric he would also love the food there and we decided to stop in for dinner.
We walked into the very tiny, one room, restaurant and the hostess pointed us to a table. To my surprise, and embarrassment, Big Weenie's family was seated at the next table. The entire Weenie family was apparently in town visiting.
Can you say awkward?
I said hello to everyone. The Weenie parents were confused and thought I'd been invited to join them and chosen to bring along a "friend." My new flame, Mr. Electric, looked puzzled and then gradually the realization of who these people were began to sink in.
After saying hello to everyone and explaining to the confused Weenie parents that no, sorry we won't be able to join you tonight I announced, "We were just leaving."
Never mind that we had just arrived.
I grabbed Mr. Electric's arm and we turned and walked right back out of that restaurant.
It's a scene I've never forgotten.
I think a tear might have dripped out of Big Weenie.
** Ahem **
Maybe that didn't sound quite how I intended it?
It's a scene that was brought back to me in vivid detail recently. My daughter was home from college a few weeks ago. We decided to take our family, and her new boyfriend, out to dinner. We walked into a restaurant and were seated at the table next to her high school boyfriend of three years and his family. She broke up with Boyfriend #1 a few months back.
Boyfriend #1 used to practically live at our house for the three years they dated. He is far from over her. He followed her to the same college. He's renting a house only a few buildings down from hers. Everyone who knows him has told us he "can't" get over her. When she broke up with him, he reacted in anger and quite honestly it got a little scary for a brief period until he seemed to collect himself. They run into each other at college once in awhile, but not often.
As in my situation, our families had become friends too. We greeted each other with hellos and hugs and then sat back at our separate tables right next to each other. It was made more awkward by the fact that Boyfriend #1 is so dejected. My heart went out to him. How terrible to have to sit through a meal and watch the love of your life at the next table with your replacement?
Later, after we left for the evening, we realized something even worse. It had been Boyfriend #1's birthday. He was out with his family for his birthday dinner celebration when we arrived.
How terrible is that? We ruined his 20th birthday.
I can't get over the pain in his eyes. I can't get over the tremor in his voice when he hugged me and told me he misses our family. I know everyone gets their heart broken eventually, but it doesn't make me feel any better for the poor guy.
Have you been in a situation like this too? What's the most awkward new flame/old flame situation you've found yourself in?
** As an addendum to this post. I've decided to leave the anonymous comment entered this morning calling me a California whore. Initially I was going to delete it, but I figure you should have the opportunity to witness the negative side of Internet writing too. Still wondering how a California whore is different from a Florida whore though. What do you think? **
© Twenty Four At Heart