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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The One That Got Away

Have you ever had that moment where you catch yourself off guard? You pride yourself in knowing exactly that -- yourself. But you're sitting there at work, of all places, and something unexpected happens, causing your stomach to turn followed by a wave of emotion that you didn't realize was there.

Let's just say, for example, that since your divorce there had been one relationship that stuck out in your mind as somewhat ideal, a model relationship of sorts. It was a relationship with an individual whose strength, confidence, and independence equaled your own -- intellectually a match, emotionally a match, and in terms of mutual respect everything seemed to be a match. But something went wrong somewhere along the way; some sort of disagreement, or what appeared to be an irreconcilable difference, reared its ugly head. And for the first time in two years a series of insults and cut downs spewed forth from both your mouths until ultimately a mutual agreement to part ways, along with a promise to remain friends, was set into motion.

And let's just say that for the two years that followed you did remain friends, as promised (and wasn't it like the two of you to follow through with your promises). Sure, you mostly emailed, talked on the phone once a month, and got together for dinner and drinks once every two to three months, but it was always good, always free, always conversation and good times. And of course you weren't shocked the day a third party was introduced -- the new special someone that was inevitable and you knew it. And you can honestly say that you were happy because you've been content as friends and this person deserves someone special. But on this day that you sit in your office, you receive that somehow expected yet unexpected phone call that fills you in on the exciting news and how your honored presence is requested at the upcoming wedding.

After doing your best to smile, because they can hear the smile through the phone, you offer your congratulations and make yet another promise...which is to be there. But hanging up is when your stomach turns and you start to wonder why you feel this way when you knew this person wasn't truly meant for you...right?

So you sit and recall all the things that were good and do your best to recall the irreconcilable difference and you suddenly hear the words that escaped your lips just moments before the shouting had started: it was something along the lines of, "I'm sorry times are hard for you right now, but I have my own things to take care of and I can't be burdened with yours."

Funny... It seemed so wise at the time. But now you sit, knowing, that despite your own strong independent facade, you've had many nights since then where you wished you had someone to share burdens with.

No matter... You shake it off, and, like a hero suffering a moment of hubris, you will clothe yourself with your graceful demeanor and take your place as an honored guest with pride. And you will listen to their vows and you will wish them well, reminding yourself that this is life, this is experience, your mistake is someone else's gain, so roll with it...

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