Friday, December 18, 2009


I went to Costco tonight after work, because I needed to pick up just one item that I always buy there. After I walked in, I thought, "What are you doing??? It's not going to be worth waiting in Costco-at-Christmas lines just to buy some cheese!" But this thought came at exactly the time when I could see past all the entryway promotional stuff over to the cash registers. The lines were SHORT, so I stayed.

I said hi to the high school friend of my daughter's who works at Costco and who I haven't seen there in months, but I didn't linger for fear that all the other shoppers would beat me to the registers. Instead, I made a bee-line for that room in the back where they keep the fruit and lettuce, the room that's about a hundred thousand degrees below zero and even a parka isn't enough to keep you warm while you look at the grapes.

Before I got there, though, when I was near the high-density food sample area, I saw a familiar face. It was HIM, the guy who broke my heart a couple years after my divorce. But before he did that, he helped me remember what romance feels like. All that stuff I said in my Romance post about what you miss if you take things too fast, that's what I went through when I dated this guy. It was wonderful.

And then it hurt like hell, even though I didn't love him. But I got over him a long time ago, and I haven't seen him at all for a couple years.

Tonight at Costco when I saw him, there were no stomach flips or any sudden pounding of my heart. I simply recognized him and realized that, yeah, he's still around. He's still as tall and good-looking as ever, but I glanced at his hand and saw that he's married now. After all the other women with broken hearts after mine, he finally picked someone and settled down. Naturally, I kept my eyes open to see who she was.

I didn't know her, assuming his wife is the woman whose back he touched. She's unattractive and looks older than he does, with mousey brown hair pulled back into a pony tail, and frumpy clothes that Stacy and Clinton would definitely not approve of.

He could have had a beauty, with his looks, and his third broken heart (counting mine) belonged to an adorable woman with an incredible personality and joie de vivre. But he didn't want her either. Instead, he seems to have settled, and that's a little sad.

There was one night when we were dating when he took me to a dance at somebody's house, and I could tell he was head-over-heels about me (I was the same way about him), but the next time we went out, he started backing off. I always had the impression after that that he was afraid to let himself feel too much about a woman, for fear that she'd leave him devastated the way his first wife had. And he seemed to repeat that closeness followed by break-up over and over. Now it looks like he found someone who he doesn't have to worry that she'll be stolen away from him.

Life is too short to make all your decisions based on fear. That's not living, that's just existing, and if that's the case for him, it's his loss.

I walked tall and pushed my cart toward the ice-box room without saying anything to him, and he didn't say anything to me either.

The grapes looked lousy, so I went over and got my cheese and headed for the checkout stands, where there was NO LINE AT ALL!

Some days give you a big surprise. Today gave me two.


The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Interesting story, Skye Puppy.

I sometimes wonder how I'd react should I run into an ex, unexpectedly.

Tsofah said...


I'm proud of you! You realize what a prize YOU are, right? The dude didn't pass up one beauty after you - he passed up one beauty BEFORE that one...YOU.