Thursday, August 1, 2013

"What If?" & the BLOW OFF

Loneliness is a funny and dangerous thing, it's the moment when your mind goes into the "what ifs". You suddenly start to remember every guy who used to make you laugh and what the hell happened to them and why it didn't work out.  It's usually on slow days or early in the mornings when I'm getting ready for work that I catch myself thinking of past loves...which sadly leads to thumbing/stalking through old photos of "us". I'm guilty of over exaggerating the good times versus the bad times after I've had one too many glasses of wine. (I'm also guilty of being a sentimental drunk.)

 My ex-boyfriend used to hate it when I overplayed Fleetwood Mac. He couldn't understand my obsession with their first true album (Mr. Wonderful), how Stevie Nicks really is the perfect woman or how perfect everything is when Gypsy comes on when you're waiting in line to pay for your groceries.  In fact, I remember a distinct memory where he actually got upset when he climbed into my car and heard Second Hand News playing in my stereo (for the hundredth time). If I can recall correctly.... he said something to the effect of, "Would you please change the fucking music!"

To say that Fleetwood Mac broke us up is an overstatement - there were plenty of other problems, but that one stuck out the most. When we broke up, I played Little Lies on repeat for a month straight - I couldn't tell if it was a homage to our relationship or a big 'fuck you' to it.

Fast forward a few years later, I'm a bit older and yet none the wiser. I'm on a second date at a dive bar and we were talking about our High-Fidelity-Desert-Island-Top-5-Bands and I mention that Fleetwood Mac comes a close second. He made a face and said, "Typical."  For some reason in that moment, I could see my brain creating fake memories on my behalf without my permission - never mind that my ex never made me laugh or was an eternal deadbeat. My brain literally went warp speed and said, "To hell with this guy! My ex loved Fleetwood! We were simpatico in that regard!" I immediately wrote the poor guy off because he couldn't compare (even though my ex was an idiot), downed another old-fashioned and we never saw each other again.

It was the hammer of the What-If and I let it take control of me. Why is it that we become overly nostalgic and can't seem to let go of the past?

Commitment issues? Insecurities? Our cats? Bitterness? Bueller? Bueller?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's what we're all aiming for, right? To turn our nostalgic "what-ifs" into reality.  I spend a disconcerting amount of time thinking about my previous relationships - so much that it often hinders my current "maybes." It's moments like that that make me wish there really was a way for me to "Eternal Sunshine" my memories of past trysts away and just focus on the now.

But of course, these things take time - or so I've been told when it come to maturity. The best advice that I've been given to handle these moments is to just try to remember that you'd rather live a life of "oh wells" than "what ifs". Don't forget that the next time you're sitting across the table from a cute guy at a coffee shop.

And also, don't ever trust a guy who doesn't like Fleetwood Mac... it's just not right.                             


  1. Circumnavigation

  2. This is so true and such a good post. I used to force myself to remember all the worst moments about a relationship to remind myself I was better off. I think the harder ones to forget are the ones that don't last long and end abruptly cause there's not enough bad to dwell on.

  3. Ugh....I've been needing to have this conversation with my British ex who I have an inappropriate sexting/Skype relationship with. I mean, we're both single so it's not THAT inappropriate, but if we're just going to be friends, there should be no sex involved. And since there's "sex" involved, it makes me what if. When we were together, I definitely thought he was the one. And we clicked so well and to this day he says shit to me like, you're still the only person who truly knows me. Then I don't hear from him for two months and I'm like, why the hell do you let your mind wander into the what ifs with him?!