the water got high and she never got dry

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

redefine you now for only me

you should know by now
that someone's always been there
long before you

you're never going to be the only one

From the first Mason Jennings song I ever heard, it’s a good one. I’m a bit of a schmoop and an inveterate believer in and user of romantic clichés. But there’s one particular schmaltzy line I have no use for. The whole idea of “I loved you before I met you.” I didn’t love Husband to Be before I met him. I loved other guys, I loved being single, I loved the idea of the "him" I’d end up with.

Once comfortably ensconced in a new love, it does become pretty easy to forget life pre-them. HTB has become an integral part of my life and my identity but it doesn’t mean that the lives we led before meeting each other aren’t relevant. The past is always relevant.

I’m still friends with my first boyfriend. Unlike my other ex, my regard for him hasn’t declined over time. He’s a good guy, happily married, we keep in touch sporadically and I’ve met his wife and liked her. They were invited to our wedding. I wasn’t expecting them to make the expensive trek down to St. Thomas but it was a matter of courtesy and my fondness for him. Did HTB care? No. But the reason I’ve heard for them not coming isn’t time or money, it’s the fact that I’m an ex-girlfriend. On what level someone he dated a decade ago getting married to someone else is threatening, I am completely unclear.

The other week I read a woman’s post about how while in the process of moving, she and her FI came across his old pictures and memorabilia from past relationships and how she totally lost it and got hysterical and without being asked, her FI just threw everything away. The best part is that the woman confessed to keeping all of her past relationship detritus for no particular reason.

honey I’m sure
that you’ve been in love before
plenty of men have held high places in your eyes
jealousy has got no use for me
the past is beautiful like the darkness between fireflies

I guess I just don’t get it. I’m not immune to jealousy, I understand it, and it’s not that I would want to spend hours thinking about or picturing HTB head over heels in love with other women, but what’s the point of being threatened by the fact that he has been? The cliché is true, neither of us would be the people we are and fell in love with without the people we’ve loved and lost.

HTB moved to Europe because he fell in love with someone he met while traveling, which is a perfect example of the passionate and adventurous spirit that makes him so attractive and so him. And I’ve learned so much about myself from every mistake I’ve ever made, from every failure that existed in my last relationship and I know HTB is the same way. How glad am I that if things had to be royally fucked up, it was with some other guy instead of this guy and that I got to bring my best self to the table this time around?

I know some people happily end up with their first and only loves, but I’m glad that HTB and I got kicked around a little before we met, it’s all our little dents and dings that help us to fit as well as we do.

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