By Julie Bergher
I can’t be the only person this happens to.
You may recall, a year and a half ago I wrote about an ex-fiancé who asked to meet with me after 20 years. He confessed that he’d made the biggest mistake of his life by walking out on our engagement. I was actually insulted by this statement. He is married with three children and I felt he had no right to say these things. At the same time, however, I got an ego boost. That feeling quickly disappeared. The realization that he was probably looking for his carefree youth reflected in my eyes reduced the swelling in my ego-inflated head.
Since June, three ex’s have returned. Three. Pump. Pump. Pump. Inflate ego. Head growing too large to get through doorways. Not to worry. It never lasts long, does it? There’s something so humbling when the “deflation” occurs.
The first gentleman was from five years ago. We liked each other very much, but he allowed someone to get in our way, so it ended. A year and a half ago we met up again, but the timing was wrong. A couple of months ago, he wrote, he called, and we arranged a visit (he lives out of state). Through our extensive phone conversations, although he swore that the previous problem had been resolved, I found that nothing had changed. We canceled his visit, but his last words were, “I contacted you again with marriage on my mind.” At first my heart raced. Wow, I thought, me? You want to marry me? Then I became very, very concerned. Why, with such a long absence from each other, would he want to marry me? I’m really not that amazing, or that wonderful – truly. The two attributes I believe I possess that I would consider different from others might be that I have a genuine zest for life, and that I’m a bit more reflective than most. In fact, one ex, as he left me, stated that I “think too much” and asked me why I was always thinking? Of course, I had to think about that one.
The second gentleman was a bit less forward, but the impact was the same. He left a three-page letter on my car letting me know how he was and that he has been thinking about me since the first day we met… eight years ago! I haven’t seen or spoken to him in years, although he’s left a few messages on my machine that I haven’t returned. That one is a bit unnerving. I’ll let you ponder its significance.
Finally, an email from the third gentleman just last week. Are you the same Julie who….? I responded that, indeed, I was. I hadn’t seen or heard from him since (drum roll, please) 1986!
So the question becomes, why? If, as previously stated, I’m not that amazing then what exactly do I and all ex’s (that can boast amicable endings) represent? And why do we go out of our way to reconnect with the past. Is the present just not that fulfilling? Is the uncertainty of the future too daunting?
Of course, I’m still thinking about it.
New Year’s Resolution #537 – Make Today Better Than Yesterday.