To the ones who got away…
So, there we were, sitting in Mrs. West’s first grade class. You walked in, with your long hair parted down the center. You had long legs, a perfect smile, cute little dimples, and although I had never even thought about it before, you were everything I had ever wanted in a woman. Your laugh was infectious, and I remember planning our future out before we ever spoke. Well, that’s probably because we never really did speak that much. Probably why SHE got away. But I digress…
My first grade crush had a couple of friends that were actually pretty dang cute too. I had no choice, but to like them a little bit too. They all had long hair, all of them were taller than me, they could run faster than me, and I figure they never even knew they had got away. Oh, but they did.
My only “girlfriend” in elementary school got away before two weeks into our relationship. I hardly knew anything about her except her name and her smile. I also knew it took an army of friends to convince her to be my girlfriend. We had one, yes ONE conversation on the phone that lasted about oh, I don’t know, two minutes maybe. I’m sure to her it felt like an eternity. Her friend (yes, one of the ones from the paragraph before) informed me of the break-up. But after SHE spoke to me (even if it was to break up with me for her friend), I have fond memories of kicking the back of her chair in sixth grade. You know, to let her know I was *wink wink, interested. Yeah, SHE got away too.
There was the girl who lived right next to the elementary school and the sisters who lived a couple of blocks away. All of ’em got away.
There was the girl named after a month of the year, that I always fancied a little bit. As I got into middle school, there was a plethora of young women that got away. There was the one I sat next to in English who I thought never noticed me. She ended up marrying a MLB pitcher. Can you believe that? Well, she got away too.
There was the one who I accidentally made cry by laughing at her when her KEDs got stolen. I really didn’t think it was funny, but I was always a little nervous and indecisive when it came to talking to the ladies. So yeah, she got away too.
I had a couple of young ladies get away from me in band class, and we all played the saxaphone. One of them was mentioned up there a few paragraphs ago, and yes, she was the one who could run faster than me. The other one stuck her knee so hard into my private area after band one day, she single-handedly took away every chance I ever had at having a boy. ;-)
There was my first grade crush again in my ninth grade English class. We graded each other’s papers sometimes, and I talked more to her then than my whole entire Elementary career. As I sat with a back brace on for scoliosis underneath my shirt, braces on my teeth, and a face full of craters, however, it was no wonder she got away again.
The next year, although I never told her, there was the principal’s daughter. By my sophomore year, I had definitely moved into the “friend zone” as I tried to figure out how to talk to women.
There was the girl from my typing class who looked like a grown 25 year-old woman that got away. There was another girl from typing who worked at Pizza Hut, and I used to beg my dad to take me there so I could see her. Totally not creepy. Not at all.
As I got a little older, the braces came off, my back brace came off, and I got a job. Right about this time I thought I’d send flowers to a young lady I was rather fond of. Thanks to a friend of mine, he got her address for me. Not creepy at all. Yeah, she got away too. There was the young lady who used to write hundreds of notes to me, and her mom was my preschool teacher. She was the one I actually dated the longest, and I was pretty devastated when she got away.
There was the gym coach’s daughter, a couple of other ladies from my old Youth Group. There was a couple of ladies I met because of Kentucky Fried Chicken (my first job).
As I went through high school, and memorized just about every pick-up line in the book, I realized I had let so many people get away.
So many women, too little time. Maybe it was a lack of commitment on my part, maybe I wasn’t cute enough. Maybe I lacked ambition, maybe it was just the wrong time.
Years have passed, “actual” relationships have passed, and I’ve grown up. As I’ve grown up, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve learned some very hard lessons. I’m not the only one though. Thanks to Facebook’s popularity, I’m able to keep in touch with some of the ones who’ve gotten away. I’ve got married three times. Twice to the same woman. I guess one of the biggest things I’ve learned over the years, watching my life pass me by, watching my kids grow up, is I don’t want to let anyone get away now.
I don’t want to nonchalantly watch as someone I care about goes off in their own direction, and leave me to fend for myself. I text my wife the other day because I had a random thought pop into my head. It just made me happy when I thought it, and I needed to share it with her.
I asked if she remembered when we got divorced and we were both single again. I told her I realized something about her. That she was damn near irreplaceable as a mother to my kids. And that I couldn’t let her get away.
So, to the one(s) who got away, I wish you all the best in your lives. Thanks for the memories.