I know this was a super long time ago, and he was basically one of my first “boyfriends” back when the term didn’t really mean anything except that you’d hang out between classes and maybe once or twice on the weekend, but I still don’t appreciate what you did to me over the summer after he and I started “going out.” You may argue it was just a prank, but it was still fucked up in its own right. Boys and girls in middle school are dumb, and do and say dumb things (exhibit A: i.e., you) but you still hurt my feelings, like woah, f’sho. I’m sure you’ve moved on from your girl-crushing, boyfriend-stealing days (at least I hope so), and it’s been so long I guess it’s only fair I forgive your 13-year-old self. I still find it very strange though that, years later, you went on to date my ex-boyfriend, and that you also ditched the bimbo cheerleader look for an outdated punk rock version of me as I was years earlier. Were you simply trying to be just like me? Cause you can have all the losers I’ve dated since then, if you really want. Be my guest.
We’d been friends since high school but Love and Dating unfortunately got in the way of our friendship. When we were young dumb kids you probably had real feelings for me and things might have worked out for us. But we were young dumb kids so of course they didn’t. I still remember that first summer after college when I came home and hung out with you for days, driving those back Pennsylvania roads, scared and thrilled all at the same time as your little car hugged those tight curves, your reckless speeding threatening to throw us off those cliffs down into the trees below. I remember playing hide and seek tag at night, at your friend’s house, you giving me a piggyback ride, running around trying not to get caught, slipping on the fresh wet ground after a light summer rain, sliding head first into a tree and just laughing and laughing. The stuff of movies. The stuff of young love. The stuff that never lasts. I know fate would have it that we both ended up in another state, the same state, than where we grew up, but it didn’t seem to make a difference. Being in the same town again didn’t seem to change the fact that we were finished before we could start. In fact, if anything, time and the distance seemed to harden you, and when I met you again when we were older, I barely recognized you. You weren’t the same kid I spent my last summer at home working with, laughing at stupid stuff over the watering of plants. You weren’t the same boy who smiled at me over everyone else at graduation, sharing some secret inside joke, waiting for the spectacle to end so we could just hang out again and be normal. When you told me on the phone sophomore year of college you were getting married, a small piece of me fell apart. I guess I always secretly wished you’d never give up on me. That somehow, we’d be one of those couples who knew each other for years and then somehow ended up crazy, stupid happy together. So when I had a second chance with you years later, I guess I kind of thought that part of me was finally getting what it wanted, was finally getting a real chance with you. But as it turns out I was just another someone for you to fuck and forget. Guess that’s what you get for living in a high school dream.
I’m kind of disappointed that things didn’t work out between us, even though technically we only hung out that one time and it wasn’t really a date, it was more of just an “I want to meet you and know that you’re a real person because you sound really awesome on paper” type of hangout. I would still lump you into my dating category because there was the potential for dating. I think we both felt it and we both wanted it, and I think that if I had stayed in California, we probably would have dated and it would have been awesome and magical, and who knows, we’d probably still be together to this day. But sadly, things don’t always work out the way you want them to and we only had the chance to hang out that one time. I regret not being able to spend more time with you, because you were really awesome and I know you thought I was awesome, because you told me all the time, which was awesome. I liked the fact that you didn’t try and hide that you thought I was really rad and that you told me how you felt often. I’d also like to point out how freaking awesome and rare it is to stumble across somebody, on Instagram no less, and they turn out to be pretty much what you’ve been looking for all along. It just sort of stinks that life worked out the way it did, because I moved back to Florida and, even though we continued to talk and entertain the daydream of an “us,” sadly all good things must come to an end (or so they say). So of course you have a girlfriend now (who seems perfect for you, by the way, so I’m happy for you) and I’m basically just as lonely as I’ve ever been, if not lonelier, because now I don’t have you to talk to anymore and brighten my day by telling me how awesome I am. Cause let’s face it, that should be reserved exclusively for girlfriends, anyway. It just would have been awesome if I could have been your girlfriend. It’s also awesome that I can get away with saying awesome this many times in one paragraph and you probably wouldn’t think I’m any less awesome because of it.
I know everyone’s a virgin to start with, so it’s not like I’m giving you flack for being what everyone, by birth, starts out as, but I really didn’t want to be the one to pop your cherry (can you call it that if it’s a guy who’s being devirginized?). So it really would have been nice to know what I was dealing with beforehand, not after the fact. Especially since I had to find out first from someone else, not you. I don’t think I was equipped to handle a virgin, especially after you were no longer a virgin. I’m not really sure which was worse, the virgin version of you or the devirginized version (try saying that five times fast). It just became very overwhelming very fast. I guess you, like basically all young ladies after their first time, became under the impression that because I slept with you (which I suppose you took to mean more than it did, because it was your first time), we were going to be together forever. And maybe we would have, if I had been as love struck (more like dumb struck) as you had been, but we were young and I’d only just gotten to college. There were way too many awesome (and by awesome I mean drunken) things going on around me that I couldn’t contend missing out on because I had a boyfriend or some nonsense like that. So I broke your heart and, in my typical young, flighty fashion, fled the scene as fast as I could. You were just too needy and I wasn’t ready to be needed. So, while I don’t necessarily regret sleeping with you (although I wish you could have magically known what you were doing, but I guess most people don’t for their first time), I do regret how things went down afterwards. I’m sorry I crushed your poor little college freshman heart, but I’m sure you got over me (and under someone else) fairly quickly, so I guess in a way, you should be thanking me. For helping you get that “non-Virgin” status. Because no girl really wants a guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing (even if she tells you it’s cute, because it isn’t). So I guess what I’m trying to say is, you’re welcome.
I’ll start off with props right away before I get into the horrid bits. You were definitely better-looking than your brother (at least in my opinion, anyway) and I probably would have enjoyed dating you. If you hadn’t been so crazy, that is. You were incredibly into me (obvious to anyone with two eyes in their skull. Or one eye, for that matter) and showered me with the kind of affection any girl would want from a guy she’s into, too. But it’s probably best for everyone involved if you keep the affection to a minimum at first. Nothing scares a young lady just getting to know a new guy more than talking about your future together (unless she’s on the same page, then by all means, go for it). But as a rule, it’s probably best to keep those thoughts to yourself until you feel the situation out and determine that yes, she is ready to have your babies, too. I realize some of your psychotic behavior is probably largely due to your ex-marine status; I’ve heard people can get real fucked in the head from serving in the military, and you were clearly no exception. Your brother was normal, so I’m not really sure what happened to you, so for all intents and purposes, let’s run with the military theory, shall we? It helps me sleep better at night knowing there’s a reason behind the madness that made you believe spending the night at a motel was acceptable for a second date. Not that I lose any sleep whatsoever over you because, what was your name again?
I can still remember to this day sitting in class with you (although I can’t recall the class, obvi) and talking about the movie Sleepy Hollow. For some unknown reason, our middle school selves thought it was cool to talk about the ending and all the nasty shit and blood that came out of that stupid tree when the headless horseman got sucked back into hell (of course we didn’t use words like shit or hell, probably “stuff” and “heck”). I don’t know what told our tiny, underdeveloped brains this was flirting, but I think we thought it was. It was cute at the time, and even looking back on it now it’s still sort of adorable, in a sad, sorry way. Because you and I went on to participate in the same school musical, where we continued to be young, dumb kids who didn’t know how to flirt or knew what dating was or even how to kiss a person that wasn’t their grandmother. I know I always liked you and, even though I had a thing for your best friend, too, when you sent “the messengers” to me that fateful afternoon after dress rehearsal, I couldn’t refuse your offer to make me your girlfriend. Even though it was incredibly awkward kissing you for the first time in front of your friends (especially after I’d kissed a total of one boys before then), we quickly got the hang of dating (i.e., I’d hug you when we passed in the hallways, you’d call me after school and I’d see you maybe once on the weekend). I’ll admit now (because I was too “tuff” to do so back then) that it destroyed me when you fake broke up with me. Or really broke up with me, I’m still not entirely sure what that prank was supposed to accomplish. Even though you weren’t my first choice of boyfriends (I was still harboring an undying love for your BFF), I had grown to really like you and when you “dumped” me, my heart was definitely broken for about .5 seconds. As fate would have it, we ended up rekindling an old flame once I joined you in high school, but I think by that point we’d both grown apart so much (and I’d grown too much into a little punk rock pain in the ass) that it just wasn’t meant to be. In an alternate universe that I created in my twisted mind, we had just one more chance, a “third time’s the charm” moment, in which we made it work, got married, had babies and told and retold the fabulous “story of us” at our high school reunions, a story which no one ever got tired of hearing over and over because it was just so romantic. I know now (at least most days) that this shall never come to pass, as I’m sure you have a girlfriend/fiancée/wife by now, but who knows. Our 10-year reunion is only a few years away.
Our time together was so fleeting that it barely registered as a blip on my dating radar and doesn’t even serve as a memory in my brain (which is good for me, and probably irrelevant to you). I literally wasted 5 minutes of my life (okay, maybe 10) racking my brain trying to remember who you even were as a person, let alone why I was ever even attracted to you. Maybe it was the fact that it was the first week of college, and the idea of living “on our own” (that is, no longer under the same roof as our parents, anyway) was exotic and exciting and slightly euphoric. Maybe it was the convenience of the situation (you did, after all, live directly across the hall from me). Maybe it was just sheer stupidity (obviously, on my part at least). Maybe it was a combination of all three (the most likely of the choices). Whatever the reason, I spent one freedom-drunk night in your twin-sized dorm bed, furiously making out until we passed out, only to be woken shortly thereafter by your roommates, who bluntly reminded me (in the form of disgusted looks) why it was never a good idea to hook up with someone (especially someone you just met, on one of your first nights in college) who lived in your dorm. Because after I shuffled back to my own room, and faced my new roommates (who probably just assumed I was a hoe and had slept with you, which thank god I had not), I had to endure seeing you basically every day for the remainder of the year. An obvious reminder of my own disgusting stupidity. Not to mention seeing you come and go with actual hoes, and having to lump myself in with those girls as your “conquests.” Although I’m going to pretend that, because there was no penetration involved, it doesn’t actually count as a conquest. I’m also going to pretend I didn’t just use the word ‘penetration.’ Gross.
Anyway, let’s just say it was not a very strong kick-off to the new college version of myself. At the very least, I know I went on to do bigger and better things than you. Pun intended.
I hate to put you on blast, because you were, overall, a sweet guy who just wanted to be loved. So let me start by apologizing in advance for sending my letter; you probably don’t deserve it. More than anything, I’m annoyed with myself for having pursued a guy who wasn’t my type. You were too country for me, too brass-belt-buckle and cowboy-hat-wearing hillbilly for me to digest. You were skinnier than me, and I swear just laying on top of you made me worry I’d snap you in half. You always wore your class ring like it was made out of real gold (which I’m sure it wasn’t) and you styled your hair, which was short and thinning already (considering your young age) in the spikiest fashion. I’m talking, used-half-a-bottle-of-gel-to-get-it-to-stand-up spiky. Like, so rock hard spiky to the point that I think I actually rolled over one night in bed and got stabbed in the face with the daggers coming off the top of your head. I hope you realize I could have lost an eye, and have been traumatized ever since. And I know you got married, and had a kid, so good for you really, because I’m in no way shape or form married with kids (or even close). I’m just glad it wasn’t me you married. Because I don’t think I could spend the rest of my life afraid of your hair. That’s just not a healthy way to live.
I hope this letter finds you well (probably at the top of a mountain or in a tent at some obscure campground, since those seem to be the only things you care about, besides hooking up, of course). I’m sure you really did have good intentions from the get-go. I’m sure, like most guys your age, you couldn’t help yourself once the door to sexual innuendos was opened. I have a problem with opening that door, I’m aware, but that doesn’t mean you need to bust down the frame getting inside and making yourself comfortable. This isn’t one of your camping trips, where you can just pitch a tent, hang out for a while and then move on in a hustle and bustle of flannel shirts and beanie hats (which are so out of style, really, what is this, the 90s? c’mon). This is my love life (or lack thereof, anyway), and I’d appreciate a little more respect in the future. I do realize I just made several innuendos in the last few sentences, but let’s pretend that never happened. Wouldn’t want to get your hopes up again. While I have your attention, I’d also like to point out how, before, on and directly after Date 1, you were nothing short of charming, handsome, funny and nice. I’m not really sure what happened between then and Date 2. I understand, the innuendo thing. But just because I SEEM like I want to sleep with you doesn’t mean you should metamorphose into an asshole. Unless that’s really who you were all along? And the “nice guy” bit was just for shits and giggles? To lure me in? I don’t really know. It was only a few dates anyway, so who really cares? Anyway, I wish you all the best in finding your hiker soul mate and only hope I never have to endure another awkward dinner with you again. Especially one in which your ex-girlfriend and your best friend come over and say hi. Could have done without that.