Laugh Lines: Ditching the Spirit of Boyfriends Past

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There are plenty of headlines these days about women who’ve found old boyfriends on Facebook, reconnected, and dumped their husbands to run off with “the love of their life.”

After checking out my old boyfriends – and there weren’t that many, frankly — I’ll be hanging with my husband, thank you very much.

It’s not that I went out with uggos, or losers, or guys who got ickier (insert any adjective here) with age, it’s just that, well, sometimes you make the right choices, without much of a plan.

Take my first real boyfriend, a great guy named Pete, who I went to the senior prom with. Pete was a very nice guy, a soccer player. I never did understand soccer, but since it’s a fall sport and fall is my best season hair-wise (don’t laugh – good hair days are hard to come by) I went to a lot of games, so I was bound to find at least one cute soccer guy.

Pete was great, but it wasn’t meant to be. He may have had great legs, but he was lacking in the brains department. And while men don’t seem to think that’s a problem, like most women, I figure you’ve got to have a conversation at some point, right?

In college, I went out with Mitch, who was a football player (again, a fall sport). Mitch wasn’t that bright either, but he thought I was hot, and at the time, that meant a lot, because I really wasn’t. Who cares if the only in-depth conversations we had were about why some beers are twist off and some required a bottle opener? He was cute, and as I said, he thought I was, too.

After Mitch, I went out with Eric, and it was pretty serious. He was a baseball player (humid spring days meant frizzy hair, but I was in love) and very smart. We went out until graduation, and he moved out of state to his dream job. The long distance thing worked for a while, until he informed me his roommate was cheating on his fiancé with the girl next door. Horrible, right? More horrible was his next admission: HE was cheating on ME with the girl next door’s roommate. See ya, Eric.

What followed was a succession of interim boyfriends. I dated one incredibly handsome guy who was terrific, but it was like dating my brother. No reaction on the Cate-o-Meter. Then the blind date who brought a date to the blind date in case I was a dog . . . the married guy who denied he was married despite the ring and the car seat in his Volvo . . . the college buddy who showed up naked at my front door one night . . . and the list goes on.

I recently checked out a few of these guys on Facebook one night, when I was sure everyone in the house – yes, including the dogs – were asleep. What did I find? That I had dodged more than a few bullets. Eric never married, is totally bald and lives alone with his cat. Mitch is in California, where he’s gained a couple hundred pounds and has become the only unfit beach bum in the Golden State. Peter is an insurance salesman and line dances on weekends.

How did I end up with Matt? Could be luck, fate, kismet. Whatever it is, it’ll last forever. How do I know? We’re in love, and most important, Matt is not on Facebook.

Never has been, never will be.

About Cate Drew

I’m on the high side of 40, with three dogs, two teens and one husband, living in a small New England town in a house that’s never quiet. Ever. It’s not that I have a really colorful life – I just tend to write colorfully about it. And there’s plenty of material: marriage to the Man of a Thousand Bad Ideas,.. my mom, who moved Dad’s coffin closer to the street six months after he died so she could visit his grave as a kind of drive-up window…our dog posse…our kids…lots of siblings and in-laws, former co-workers, old boyfriends -- they’re all here. Toss in 14 years of Catholic school and you’ve got a lot of guilt, too. Which reminds me: forget “high side of 40.” I’m 51, damnit.

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