Wednesday, 19 May 2010

In which I ponder the one that got away

I should know better than to watch Grey’s Anatomy. Especially on my own. There’s almost nothing I can do to stop the uncontrollable bawling, and I inevitably end up with eyeliner streaked down my face like a hooker caught in the rain.

That was precisely the case one recent Sunday evening as I sat curled on the sofa, watching two fictional patients who’d not seen each other in 50 years happily reunited in that way that only Hollywood can muster.

The ‘one that got away’ is a rich seam for screenwriters to mine by sheer fact of its universality.

Everyone’s got one: that one person who, in an idle moment, you think about; wonder whether, if things had been different, you might be together now. It could be the person you spent years with; it might be the short but intense fling. Regardless of how or why it ended, and even the person you’re currently with, they’re the one who occasionally wanders around your consciousness.

Mine’s Long Term Ex (frankly, when a chap’s family has a castle, that’s pretty much always going to be the case). We’ve not spoken now in several months, but that doesn’t stop him crossing my mind every so often - usually when I hear a mutually beloved song, or catch a trace of his aftershave when some brushes past me in the street. Even the debacles that ensue when we’ve talked about getting back together haven’t been enough to quell the thoughts.

Of course, when you’re deep in reminiscence, the rose-tinted specs sit firmly on the nose. You remember the day messing about on the boat in the sunshine; the spontaneous diamonds; the in-jokes and daft messages left on post-its in the most peculiar places. You reflect on how happy you were, and how fabulous things would surely be now you’re both a bit wiser.

Of course, back in reality, you know better than to think that’s how it was all the time. You know that were you to get back together, you’d be irritated by his bizarre taste in shoes; that even your not-inconsiderable embarrassment threshold wouldn’t take too many more instances of some frankly mortifying attempts to attract the waiters’ attention in the Salt Yard; that his penchant for total uselessness would get very tiring, very quickly.

But that doesn’t change the fact that, no matter who I’m dating - and probably, whomsoever I end up with - I’ll always have a soft spot for LTE. Human nature dictates that we’ll always wonder about the path not taken; whether the devil we knew is better than those we’re yet to meet.
And, of course, the prospect of our own Hollywood ending is a daydream too tempting to give up on too easily.


Kirses said...

Weirdly i've started seeing one who I 'gave away' 14 years ago. I's strange, like being in a timewarp - jury's out on where it will go..

Salt yard is one of my favourite restaurants..

HC said...

Quite right, harmless cogitating is everyone's secret pleasure.

It's going to be very interesting to see who you ultimately end up with.

Helen said...

Every woman has one that they never quite get over. It's our cross to bear. Sigh. I'm currently berating the fact that it's almost summer as barbecues and evenings spent laughing in the park remind me of my one that got away.

Helena Halme said...

I never let go of the one that might have got away, I'm the stubborn sort.

Helena xx

Blonde said...

Kirses: Huh, that must be weird. Nice, though, in some familiar ways...

HC: Hah. Interesting is probably the word, yes.

Helen: I would argue that it's a phenomenon that afflicts the boys too.

HH: In which case, you might just be in a unique position.

Zstep said...

We boys have this as well. I still think about mine from time to time, haven't seen or spoken to her in close to 16 years.

Emily said...

I recently completely got over my "one who got away." We tried getting back together several times and he acted like a complete jerk. I finally realized what I imagined him to be in my mind wasn't who he truly is. And the spell broke!

jman said...

Nostalgia can be a deadly thing especially when contemplating having a castle to play with. It's fine for reunions and the occasional day dream, but its shelf life in the real world is very short indeed.

nuttycow said...

I sometimes think about the one who got away and what it might have been like but I then realised, there's no point crying over it... I'd rather go out and see whether there's anyone better out there :)

Rose said...

found you via Knightley or Elton! it's true- in my case there is one that I hadn't thought about in years and he just popped up in a dream and saved me from something horrid- I woke up with such a start

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