Old Love . . .

I want to talk to you, dear reader, about something serious and important in life. I know, I know . . . I usually stick to things like my favorite words, why I hate the NFL, and other things that no one could, would, or should ever care about.

But today (TODAY?) will be a little different.

I want to talk to you about old love - specifically some of MY old loves. Now I know, I know - I've done that before but not like this. No-no. Not. Like. This.

I want to acknowledge something very specific in my views on and approach to "love". I want to be ENTIRELY genuine and sincere (which is something I do about 9% of the time in this forum). So we're going to do that today but - first - hit "play" on this . . .

Seriously. Do it. Hit play. It is okay. Nothing "bad" is going to happen to you if you play John Mayer in the background while reading this post. It might even make the moment all the more special. Okay - last joke of the post. You still with me? How's John sounding? You enjoying him?

So here we go. I've loved exactly eight women in my life (familial love (mothers, aunts, grandmothers, daughters, etc.) don't count - I'm talking the sorta love that makes you want to be naked with someone). If you factor that I'm nearly 40 and that I had my first "love attack" when I was 13 (late bloomer in every way) that is six women in 27 years - or about one every 3.3 years. It is worth noting that - with the exception of the first two - I've never only "loved" one woman at a time. Let me clarify.

  1. My First Crush - Unlike the one Mr. Mayer is lamenting as we "speak", my first love was an tween/early teen crushed. Dawn was bright, and funny, and warm in nature. ALL the boys in my class "loved" her so I felt some pseudo obligation to "love" her, too. That lasted for about six weeks. She, you see, had NO interest in loving me. I am not so dense as to fall in the "unrequited" trope of teen angst.
  2. My First Love - I never officially "dated" my first "girlfriend". It is complicated but I spent almost the entirety of my high school/adolescent experience with Melissa. We were always "together" and we went to dances (proms, homecomings, semi-formals, etc.) as dates and we went on dates and held hands. I even kissed her a handful of times. I truly loved her. I think she loved me. But it was not meant to be - we were teens and had different life paths ahead.
  3. My College Love - My very best friends in college were Chris, Bruce, Tom, and Mike. My other best friend was Danielle. My college "love" was Kris(tine). I can't really tell you how or why I "loved" her but I did. Much. We met while in a school play and were in a few other casts together and we hung out and we would occasionally "cuddle" when the cheap beer or bad pot kicked in. She was an actual Connecticut WASP. I was, well, not. 
  4. My First Adult Love - A friend of mine was going to get her masters at Rutgers and we had a going away evening for her. I saw this splendid thing at the far end of the table and could not speak to her. We dated for three months. I could barely speak to her. She was an actual adult - she knew wine and foreign films and loved my puppy-dog-ways. I loved her and she loved that I loved her. She moved to New York City. I spent nearly five more years trying to let her go.
  5. My First Real Love - I dated a woman for a few years who was, all kidding aside, part of an American Dynasty. One of those families that is just rich and you're not entirely sure why or how but you presume that Thurston III (who goes by Russ (or whatever)) was an oil baron. She was unbelievably bright and loving. She was successful on her own. She loved me. She wanted to have a family with me. I was so scared of alllllll that. I broke her heart a little, I regret.
  6. My First Wife - I've talked almost too much about her here (and in every other crevice of my life and communications) but I would be remiss to not point out that there was once a great deal of real and active and powerful love between "her" and "me". I don't know if I ever really "knew" her. I think we were both stretching our legs and selves in our shared time. Maybe if just one of us was going through that we'd have been fine. Alas, we both had to grow and go.
  7. My First Rebound - I have not made any secret of the fact that I dated a wee bit between divorce and debash (following my first stint with debash). It was a splendid and scary time. I was, in many ways, having the "phase" most men go through sometime between the ages of 12 and 25 but I was doing it in my mid-30s and with a job, a car, and a kid. I was blessed to shared that time and be inspired - and renewed. If not for the rebound, there would be no debash.
  8. My Debash - I can't even begin to tell you how much this one means to me. There is no real similarity between her and the others (other than ample bosom - they ALL had the ample bosoms) and that is maybe the point. In her I see everything that I didn't see in her predecessors and everything I was hoping I might find ahead. She is not "better" than the others but she is different and that is, in all honesty, the best part about her (other than her bosom).
So here's the thing . . . eight women. And many of them have stayed with me. I'm still "friends" with almost all of them and I can tell you (relatively) how all of them are doing and what they are up to at this moment in time. The ones I can't tell you about are that way at their request/decision. I get that. I like that they've stayed with me. I like that they've left their mark on me. I like that I still carry feelings and memories and emotions and good tidings. I like that everyone of them still holds a piece of my heart and I hope (truly) that I'm still in their hearts. Love, you see, is forever - even if the number of loves you rack up implies otherwise.