Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stalking my old crushes...

I really need to find something to do with my extra free time.  I suppose I could do some reading or write some fiction.  Maybe I could learn a new skill, like car repair.  Unfortunately, I was blessed with a very curious mind and a long memory.

When I was growing up, I had an enormous crush on this guy.  I'll call him Wes.  It's not his name, although there was a Wes in my high school class.  A lot of people liked *that* Wes.  I didn't.  Always thought he had unattractively big lips.  Also, he was really mean to me when we were kids and that permanently turned me off of him.

The guy I'm calling "Wes" was not actually a Wes.  He went by his middle name, which was a popular name in the 70s and 80s.  He now goes by his formal given name and is a doctor in a state far from where we grew up.  I haven't seen or talked to him in years.

Sometimes, as is my habit, I read the obituaries in the newspaper where I grew up.  Today, I saw that Wes's father recently died.  I wouldn't have necessarily known it was his dad, except for the last name.  It happens to be a fairly common last name in that part of Virginia.  Hell, there's even a famous 70s and 80s era drama bearing his last name.  I'm not sure why he decided to eschew his former nickname.  Maybe it's because it kind of went out of style.

Anyway, when I first laid eyes on this guy, I had a huge crush on him.  He had beautiful reddish chestnut hair and big brown eyes.  He was always dressed in style-- for the 80s, anyway.  I later found out I wasn't the only one who thought he was really cute.

My ex best friend also liked Wes, but later stopped liking him in favor of another cute, shy, very thin dude who eventually did time for drug dealing.  Actually, that guy, who was very smart and had parents who were pillars of the community, was selling marijuana.  He probably did it for the money, but there's no denying pot improves the lives of many.  I may have thought he was a loser for going to prison, but now that I'm older and wiser, I think he might have been ahead of his time.  But enough about him.  That's for another blog post.

So anyway... about Wes.  We spent about eight years in the same classes with each other.  I distinctly remember one time, Wes told me he would never be "caught dead" with me.  That memory never left me.  Nor did another one three years later, when he made his disdain for me cruelly obvious.  As we got older, he got nicer.  By the time we were seniors, he was actually friendly.  I remember we took a speech class together and he told me he hoped to become an eye doctor someday.  He was also in the high school choir, which he admitted he had joined simply to buff his high school record.  The funny thing is, I wasn't involved in music in high school at all.  Music later became a huge part of my life and is undeniably one of my gifts.

I remember coming home from college once or twice and running into him at the "wellness center", which was a gym that opened in 1989.  Everybody who was anyone was a member.  My family was among the first to sign up.  I remember seeing him as a college freshman and thinking he was quite the hottie.  He went to the university where I had wanted to go-- albeit for admittedly stupid reasons.  I probably would have liked going to that school, but fate has shown that it wasn't the place for me.  Had I gone to his school, I probably wouldn't have developed my gifts for music.  I needed to go to a small, nurturing school to accomplish that previously unknown life goal, and Wes's school was not the place to do it (although they do have a fantastic music program-- I doubt they would have given me the time of day, despite my natural talent for music).

Years later, I saw Wes on Facebook and noticed that he had gone to medical school at the University of South Carolina, which is where I earned my advanced degrees.  We had a brief private chat on Facebook and that was basically it.  He kind of dropped off the face of the Earth.  I later found out that he had become a gerontologist and moved to a state far from Virginia.

So... today I saw his dad's obit, just a few weeks after another school friend lost her dad.  I noticed he had a wife and two kids, as well as another on the way.  I know how old he is because we're the same age.  And, thanks to my ridiculous long memory, I even remember his birthday.  His kids are really young... and it looks like his wife is, too.

It didn't take much to find her.  When I looked at her picture, I thought to myself, "She's got to be at least ten years younger than he is."  Sure enough, I was right.  She's ten years his junior, very pretty, looks like a southern bell-- actually, she looks every bit the respectable southern doctor's wife, although I don't think they live in the South right now.  I look at him and he still has those big brown eyes.  But he's grown a beard and has a lot of wrinkles and grey hair.  He looks older than I do-- indeed, one person commented that he was looking "healthier".  That comment makes me wonder.  He and his wife look happy, though, and they have cute kids.  Good for them.

I looked at his picture for a long while and realized that Wes was right.  He shouldn't have been caught dead with me.  I'm a whole lot better off with Bill, who not only appreciates and loves me for who I am, but is much more attractive to me on many different levels.  Also, we get to live in Europe.

I love it when this happens, by the way.  When I look up guys I used to have a crush on, 99.9% of the time, I'm delighted I didn't end up with them.  I'm sure Wes is a good guy.  He's probably a decent doctor, especially since I know he was in his mid 30s when he went to medical school.  He had the benefit of maturity when he was in school and he must have really wanted to go.  Med school is not for the faint of heart.  I knew some med school students when I was at USC.  It's not an easy gig, even when you're in your 20s and full of energy.

My ex bestie, who used to crush on him as hard as I did, declared her disdain for him because she claimed he had done some cheating in their English class.  I don't know if that's true.  I wasn't there.  I also know that my ex bestie talks shit about anyone who rejects her.  My guess is that she hates me now, which is fine with me.  I never had any reason to believe he ever cheated, although I do know that he became very ambitious when we were in high school.  He made it known when we were 17 that he wanted to be a doctor and, by God, twenty years later, he became one.

It's amazing what happens when you get older.  I think you become a lot more interesting.  When we were kids, I thought Wes was so gorgeous.  He's still reasonably good looking, although I don't feel the old familiar pangs of lust I used to when I see his picture today.  I'm glad for that.  I don't know if this happens for everyone, but somehow I ended up with the person I should have been with all along.  It's as if fates aligned for us.  Maybe it was dumb luck, but I am delighted that I ran into Bill out there on the Information Superhighway... while I was at USC, of all places.  I am glad Bill is my husband and not Wes.

Wes probably had some dealings with people I used to work with when I was in school a few years before he went to USC.  There may come a day when we run into each other again, since I have a knack for that kind of thing.  I seem to have odd connections with people.  Or maybe I'm just more aware of them than other people are.

By the way, I'm about 85% recovered from my sickness.  Just some residual coughing now.  I should be fine by Saturday.      


4 comments:

  1. I would suggest that maybe you could rent or purchase a harp and learn to play it, as the harp seems like such a cool instrument, except that I see nothing wrong with stalking old crushes.

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    Replies
    1. I should probably quit reading obituaries.

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    2. Obituaries are much like trainwrecks.

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    3. I will admit that sometimes I am inspired by obits, though.

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