I fucking love to reminisce. If someone lets me, I’ll talk about stuff that happened 10 years ago for hours, especially if I’ve got a beer or 6 in me. Which is why watching Definitely, Maybe the other night was like watching porn for me. While it’s a pretty lame dramedy (rom-com?), it has Ryan Reynolds’ character interacting with 3 different women over a number of years, but he’s telling the stories to his daughter years after the fact, so it’s just like, 4 layers of nostalgia all wrapped up in one movie. It’s great. And it got me thinking about all the people I would talk about if my kiddo was like, “Tell me about The Main Men who were in your life because I would like a neat and easy to follow story!”
If that were to happen, and if I had to narrow it down to 3, I have no idea who I would tell my kid about. It’s impossible to try and figure out who in my life, ex-wise, has meant the most to me over the years. Does it default to the ones I still find myself thinking about to this day, or is it just human nature to wonder about past relationships? Would I talk about my first boyfriend?
With certain guys I dated, I wonder what would have happened if I could have just squashed my feelings of unhappiness a little longer or worked out the fight that sent me over the edge. Like, I doubt we’d be married now (any of us), but could we still be together? In reality, we might have had a little bit more time to make out, drive around, fall asleep on our parents’ couches together, but that’s it. Stuff that I wouldn’t remember now anyway. If you asked me what I remember about the time I spent with my last boyfriend, I could boil it down to maybe two things. One of the only things I specifically and consistently remember when I think about him and I together is something he said right after we first started dating. He told me that we liked each other so much, we should have our own TV show. It was cute. I’m pretty sure we were sitting in this big scoop chair in my teenage bedroom when he said it, under my stupid pastel drawings of The Beatles, and it’s just one of those things I knew I’d always remember. Like if I had a diary, I would have written that in with a big heart scribbled around it. Because it was cute. The other thing I remember is when we finally broke up. I don’t remember details about that, just how sad I felt about it all.
So, it’s funny. I can have certain moments with certain people that will be more memorable to me than anything else, but there’s no grand, overarching story to those moments. They’re just things that happened with someone I used to know. Like how the first boyfriend I made out with way back when barely registers as a memory now. (Well, okay, I’m totally lying because I totally remember we were dancing to Dave Matthews Band “The Space Between” when he kissed me and I screamed internally, but other than that I literally remember nothing about this dude.) (Okay, he had really blue eyes, but that is all I remember, I swear.) Does it mean my “TV show” dude would get a mention to my hypothetical kid, whereas my first kiss dude wouldn’t? Are relationships only meaningful for a certain amount of time? Would my first boyfriend mean more to me if it hadn’t been 10+ years ago? Is there a shelf-life for nostalgia?
It’s hard to get out of the movie-plot way of thinking. You know, the chain of “if THIS happens then THIS will happen.” In movies, after all is said and done, there’s supposed to come the “A-HA!” moment, when the main character (me) figures everything out. When really, sometimes, most of the time, there will be no “A-HA!” moment, and I’ll have a hard time even figuring out who I would tell my hypothetical child about, and even what I would tell them about.
Maybe I’ll figure it out eventually.
Most likely I’ll just keep watching rom-coms. Who wants kids, anyway?
Katie is a 25-year-old blogger who lives in Philadelphia, PA. In her free time you can usually find her sobbing over mid-'90s teenage dramas or writing for Winebibber.wordpress.com. Add her on Twitter @KTGL.
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