Wednesday, September 05, 2007

An Old Flame

My sister called from San Fran tonight around five pm (my time).

Sis: I have a small-world moment for you. Are you sitting?
Me: Yes, I am
Sis: So I have a friend who is the editor of a tech magazine that is, as of today, defunct.
Me: Sucks for him
Sis: Yes, well, I IM'd him today to see when he was free for me to buy him a drink to celebrate his new job that starts Monday.
Me: Yay for him!
Sis: Indeed. So he says, "Well, I'm free, but I will have a friend with me. Is that okay?" "Sure," says I. (okay, I'm paraphrasing). Then he says, "And he's from North Carolina, so you will have something to talk about."
Me: *wondering who the hell from my sister's sordid past this could be*
Sis: THEN he says, "He's from Greensboro." So I say, "So am I!" And of course he says "You probably don't know him." (Because let's face it, San Fran folks are smart... they hear this all the time... OH, You're from San Fran! You must know..." But I digress.) Then he said, "Do you know anyone named (name omitted to protect the innocent)."
Me: Oh my GAWD! (And now I go all Valley Girl... we won't continue the dialog here).

Anyway, my sister explained to the guy that her sister dated him... so he IM's name omitted and asks "Did you ever date someone named Elizabeth MaidenNameOmitted?" And of course HE IM's back that he did.

So now we know that he is, in fact, name omitted. We shall call him "Bill" for the rest of this post. This is partially because his name is, in fact, Bill, but "Bill" is a safe, anonymous name to use because, all tol'd, I dated five of them... four of them consecutively. For those of you in the know... I am referring to Bill the Third.

Anyway, this is all terribly interesting to me for several reasons. The first is that Bill and I only dated for about two weeks between the time we went on our first date and when he left to go to England for a summer study abroad thing. And predictably (well, it's predictable NOW that I'm 36 and know these things happen, anyway), he met the love of his life on this trip, and came home, called me right away, and dumped me... only to want to be friends and introduce me to his new love at a party that everyone we know was attending. Ah, to be 18 again...

So the point is (indeed, there is a point), I'm totally surprised that he even remembered me. Two weeks is, after all, a pretty insignificant amount of your life in the end. So I had one of those little victory moments when you discover you are, despite being dumped quite unceremoniously, memorable over the long haul. (although to his credit, he felt kind of bad about it). It feels good to be memorable. Remember, this was close to twenty years ago (GAH! I'm OLD!)

It's also interesting because totally randomly and for no apparent reason, I happened to think about him just the other day. Haven't thought about him for years, probably, but he suddenly popped into my head as I was driving home from work less than two weeks ago. Weird!

So my sister asked her friend where Bill now resides. Turns out he lives in NYC. I was just there three weeks ago. About one week BEFORE he just popped into my head. Turns out he works for a major newspaper. (Yes, believe it or not, I actually know some writers who are pretty good. Unfortunately, it doesn't help me at all).

As my sister relays this information to me, I realize she is actually IMing her friend as we are speaking, so I ask the question we ALL really want to know.

"So, is he married to LoveOfHisLifeFromEnglandTripWhoHeTotallyDumpedMeFor?"

Since she is more diplomatic than I am, she asks, "Is he married."


Well... how about that! So all that heartbreak (and I really was smitten with this particular Bill... far more so than Bill the First or Bill the Second... not as much as Bill the Fourth or Bill the Fifth, though) was for nothing. Turns out she wasn't "all that and a peanut butter sandwich" after all.

AND... perhaps he's happy. Perhaps he's divorced. Perhaps he's gay. Perhaps he has a job for a really great newspaper. I honestly felt that I truly ended up at the better end of the whole thing.

I may have put on fifty pounds. I may not live in the Big Apple with my Sex and the City girlfriends. But I have a wonderful husband and the two most amazing kids... and I'm not even being full of crap here. I really feel this way. Not even an inkling of wistfulness or "what if."

And that really surprises me. Just because I remember how I felt at the time... and I thought I'd never be the same. And at the time I had no idea it was just one of those life-building moments I had to have in order to become an adult.

Of course, my sister IS having drinks with them tonight and will get me the whole scoop... Hey... I'm not immune to curiosity!


Bern said...

What a small world and its just amazing how paths cross. Like they say.. everything happens for a reason.
Did you really date 4 Bills??? Wow!

My first boyfriend was also named Jason and he dumped me for this girl, married her and I last heard that he divorced her.

eaf said...

Five, actually. The fifth was right before Chris. Seemed like destiny.

And my father's name was Bill as well... we won't get into Freud here, thank you.

Jason said...

I bet you hate hearing that song.

Jessica said...

I recently was looking at a list of popular names from the 70s (the decade of my birth!) and the top ten boys' names was practically a complete list of every guy I've ever dated in life. Very strange.
No Bills though. Lots of Chris and Mike, but no Bill.