How to Prove You Are Emotionally Stable to an Ex-Boyfriend

So let me tell you a little story.

I went through all of high school and most of college without ever having a boyfriend.  I liked boys.  I liked them a lot.  I wanted a boyfriend, but I had my way of turning most of my flirtations into friendships.  I had a ton of boy friends.  I actually think I had more boy friends than girl friends.  I was (and still am) the type of chick that boys love to hangout with:  I like sports, beer, darts, going with the flow, and I can be ready in the spur of the moment for almost anything.

In my teen years, I felt jealousy because everyone had these really serious relationships, the types of relationships that made the earth spin on its axis.  In my early twenties, I started to feel restless and I became overly self-conscious.  I spent hours staring in the mirror obsessing about every feature.  I had myself convinced that I would always be alone and that no boy would ever want to marry me.  Of course, they wanted to kiss me.  I kissed more boys than most people believe.  (When I was 22, I bartended three nights a week, and my girlfriend and I went out the other four.  We decided one night that we should have a contest.  We decided we should each flirt and kiss a new boy for as many nights in a row as we could.  I made it seventeen straight days!)

Somewhere around 23, boys started to take notice.  I started getting asked out on real dates.  I started going out on multiple dates with the same boy, and I had a few boys I could consider boyfriends for a short time.

My first real boyfriend, the first boy I actually thought I could marry was Tom.  NO.  Not my Tom, the pre-Tom Tom.  He was like my practice Tom.  We dated for about four months and we spent a great deal of time together.  He came to my family’s Easter dinner; I went to a relative’s wedding.  We laughed and played and I thought to myself at one point, “This could be the one.”

Then one day, out of the blue, it ended, or I should say, he ended it.  I was devastated.  How could this end?  I felt so strongly for him.  How could he not reciprocate my feelings?  I was an emotional mess.

(Let me clarify.  For two weeks, I was an emotional mess. Then I went to lunch with my best friend and he told me to stop feeling sorry for myself.  He and I went shopping, I bought myself a little black dress, and I went to see a friend’s band that evening.  I kissed the guitar player for about an hour in the alley.  He asked for my number, and I knew I would be okay.)

Anyway, about three years later, I saw pre-Tom Tom.  I literally ran into him in a crowded bar. I looked him in the face; I felt panic; I blushed, and I ran away. I told my Tom, to whom I was now married, that I wanted to go somewhere new because I was bored with the bar we were in.  I lied to my husband because I did not know what else to do.

I was a coward.  I had fantasized numerous times over the years about what I would say if I ever ran into him.  I  pictured myself offering him a warm hug and a kiss on the cheek.  “Oh my gosh, Tom,” I thought I would say.  “It is so good to see you!  How have you been?”  I expected that he would tell me about his life and then he would ask me about mine.  “Oh me?” I would say in  a very innocent tone.  “Well, I went back to school. I got a master’s degree.  Oh, and I got married in June.”  I pictured myself glowing, oozing with true happiness.  I pictured him alone and upset that he had let me get away.

Instead of living out this fantasy, I ran away.

For weeks, this incident bothered me.  I was bothered by the fact that I felt so much panic.  I had found my one true love, and I knew that my Tom was the Tom.

I decided to do the unthinkable.  I would never be able to live with myself if I did not address him in some way.  I was determined to be the bigger person.  I drove myself to the local Hallmark store, and I bought a card.  It was one of those, “Hey, how’ve you been” cards.  I made sure that nothing about the picture or the greeting could be misconstrued as anything more than a sincere hello.

I opened it up and wrote him a message.  Although I cannot remember what I wrote word-for-word, it said something like this:

Dear Tom,

Hey.  I guess I am the last person in the world you are expecting to hear from.  Well, maybe not the last person, you probably aren’t expecting a letter from Charlie Manson anytime soon.  Anyway, I wanted to apologize for not saying hello when I saw you the other night.  It was childish.  I am sending this note to say that I hope that all is well.  I hope that you are happy in life and love, and I promise, next time I see you, I will say hello.

Sincerely, Cheryl Dworznik Huffer

I was so proud of myself!  I was funny, I was sincere, and I made sure he knew I was married.  I looked up his address, licked a stamp, and sent it on its way.

Since then, I have run into him about a half-dozen times.  And you know what?  Every time I see him, I run!


9 thoughts on “How to Prove You Are Emotionally Stable to an Ex-Boyfriend

  1. *giggles*

    I am soooo sorrrry Chery … but that very last paragraph is making me giggle so much.

    It shouldn’t be funny, but the way you are telling it is just making me all giggly.

    Your Tom … THE Tom … he MUST be the one … as you can tell this story without fear of anything being misconstrued or of your relationship to him being cmpromised. Way to go you two. 🙂

    But…I am still giggling.

  2. . . . Gasp! This is a world-class piece of short writing. It really should be Freshly Pressed. At least.

    It opened a window on a world I knew existed, but now see more clearly.

    I never had a girlfriend until my early 30s. I liked girls, a lot 🙂 The years went downhill from there. I suppose I should write THAT story sometime.

    Kiss a new boy every night for 17 straight nights! Ha ha! It’s poignant in an incomprehensible way. (Even the most handsome men could probably not accomplish such a feat. If they did, they would be condemned as pigs.)

    Understand that I am not criticizing the kisses at all. Such youthful joy and exuberance should be celebrated. What you did was kind and generous. Three or four of those boys no doubt cherish their kisses to this day.

    Intellectually, I know that the world is full of the type of chicks (and also, equally, guys) who go through life knowing they’re desirable to nearly everyone they meet.

    “Of course, they wanted to kiss me.” Oh sure. Of course. Naturally.

    Self-confidence is a grand and mysterious thing. The ability to comprehend such a thing fully, and then write about it lucidly, is a rare talent.

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