The other night, I had a wonderfully romantic dream about my high school crush. Though I haven’t thought of the boy in years, he’s always been the one infatuation I’ve regretted not having a chance to explore. Back then, he was popular, studly, too cute for my ugly duckling high school self. For two long, rather ridiculous years, he was the light of my life, the fire of my loins, the name scribbled on the inside of my locker.
In the dream, we were at a reunion, where Crush lamented not having had his act together enough to see how special I was back in school and thus, become mine forever. I woke up in one of those dizzyingly rapturous post-dream spells where, despite everything good awaiting you in real life, you only want to go back to sleep. Already, I’d been having dreams of ex-boyfriends and now here I was dreaming about my very first gut-wrenching love. Obviously, my subconscious had something to tell me.
The next morning, I eagerly fired up Facebook to do a search, and wouldn’t you know, up came Crush’s name. As the page loaded, I was as nervous as I’d been when the two of us were partnered up in an English class reading of Hamlet. What if our destinies were about to become enmeshed?
At first I didn’t recognize the somewhat handsome, though mostly chubby, grey-haired papa bear in the profile pic. Where was the serpentine smirk that used to make me go gaga, the lustful twinkle in the eye that made all the girls go gooey? Maybe this old guy was my Crush’s uncle.
But alas, ‘twas he, the Jake Ryan of my Sixteen Candles-esque high school fantasies. How odd to see a person jump in your imagination from seventeen to near middle age. What a disconcerting way to be reminded of the passage of time.
Equally odd was the life my crush had built for himself. He was an accountant. He and his family were living in some weird town in Texas. He was a raging Conservative.
Strange ‘cause this was a guy who dated foreign exchange students and girls from the other side of the racial divide, he was one of the first kids in our school to dig hip hop, he was popular because he was gorgeous but also because he was ahead of all kinds of cultural curves.
Crush looked happy and I hope he is, yet I still kinda wondered what happened. Mostly, I regretted ever feeling so lousy for not having made it fully onto his radar.
I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in touch with many of my exes and though I admire their lives, I’m glad I’m not in them. I would never want to live in a weird town in Texas and attend Tea Party rallies, just as I’m glad things never worked out with my ex in the clink now for shady ties to the mob. Boy, was that a close one.
Knowing I’ve dodged a bullet would make the whole mourning process easier. Not because my exes lives are terrible, quite the contrary; but because knowing we were on different paths makes the breakup a good and right outcome. I know full well my exes probably check out Facebook and thank their lucky stars they didn’t end up with that goofy writer who spent her twenties gallivanting around Europe rather than paying a mortgage.
So I hereby make the following request to, let’s say, Google: would you guys mind making some kind of application in which one could project ten or twenty years into the future to see what kind of person a current, prospective or ex partner becomes? That way, the poor girl who goes unnoticed by the jock in study hall, the husband who gets dumped by his wife, the crazy-in-love gal whose man suddenly asks for an open relationship, can stop agonizing.
People say ‘everything happens for a reason’ when a relationship goes sour, but we all know that’s a load. Imagine how much better you’d feel if in the midst of a breakup, a quick Google search could assure you, ‘no worries. In ten years, he’ll be living in a trailer park in Kansas.’