Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

One of my best friend’s turns forty today. He’s just broken up with someone – the right way – and she’s giving him all kinds of grief. Phone calling non-stop, showing up at his house, texting at all hours. I totally feel for her, but I can’t relate to her, at all. I mean, I get it, but I would never, ever say the things she’s saying:

“How could you throw what we have away?”

Well, Honey, if he’s breaking up with you, it’s probably not all you thought it was.

“If you’d just let me talk with you about this, you’ll see why we belong together.”

Really? Seems to me, he’d have come to that conclusion on his own after spending three months in your loving embrace.

That reads cold, I know, especially when I am such a mess over something that should be so obvious to me. You can see things so much clearer when you’re not going through it. Even without all the facts, the minutiae of a relationship, I truly believe that a relationship comes down to both people wanting it.

What he tells me next gives me pause.

“You know, Paige,” he says to me, “if she’d just back off and let me miss her, maybe things would work out.”


I tell him about my situation.

“He’s an idiot,” is all he says.

I love this guy. He’s always been my fallback. He’s the guy I always figured I’d marry if nothing else worked out.

We met in Hawaii about 17 years ago. He married a girl I used to live with in the 90’s, and they had three kids together before it ended.

“She’s an idiot,” is what I told him at the time.

So, basically, we both date morons.

We hung out a couple of times before they actually got married. She had moved away, but they were still involved. My fiancé, at that time, had moved home to Florida, where I was shortly to join him.

The few times he and I went out were nice, but there were no fireworks. I mean, how could there be? We were both promised to other people. A romance with him was the furthest thing from my mind. One night, he’d come over to my place to watch a movie. I’d fallen asleep on the couch using his leg as a pillow. I woke up as the credits were rolling, looked up at him, and, just like that, he’d leaned down and kissed me.

I thought he was awesome, but I hadn’t ever thought of him as anyone but her guy and a great friend. Nothing ever came of it, and he married her within the year. I moved on from my fiancé shortly before the wedding.

Now we’re in the same place, free, but on opposite sides of the country. Figures.

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