Laurie got me thinking about boyfriends past. I've had a fair few of them, most not very acceptable. But some made more of an impact than others.
There was my College Boyfriend (CB). I met him on a night out with girlfriends when I was 17 and a freshman. He was 21, with wiry, prematurely gray hair and a mustache (I had a thing for facial hair when I was younger). I was very drunk. He took my number and I really didn't think I'd hear from him.
He did call, two days later. I was completely infatuated and started spending lots of time at his (unheated and this was December) apartment in the student ghetto. He was funny. He was smart. He also had another girlfriend in West Virginia. She was in law school. He was studying political science. He came into my life at that stage when I was a sponge, soaking up as much knowledge as possible.
But he was Catholic, from a large family with an alcoholic father and lovely mother. Though he didn't practice his Catholicism anymore, he retained the guilt. And he felt very guilty about the other girlfriend, who knew nothing about me. He would make comments about me, comparing my body, my mind, my whatever to her. The Christmas break came, and I went to visit my mother in Wyoming, where I met a gorgeous cowboy. We had a fling, but I couldn't get CB out of my head.
After the Christmas break, he moved and broke off contact with me. I got the flu really bad and couldn't get out of bed for a week. Then the depression hit me. I looked for him everywhere on campus but never ran into him. Till it was almost Spring Break. I saw him or he saw me walking. We spoke. He took me back to his new apartment and introduced me to his new roommates. We resumed our relationship. His girlfriend still didn't know about me. I stayed on at college that summer to be with him. Gainesville, Fla., is not where you want to be in the summer. Except I wanted to be with him.
I went to my dad's for the break till the next term started. In that time CB moved again. He was supposed to call, but never did. Finally, I tracked him down. His old girlfriend had been visiting, and his new roommates thought she was fantastic. Still, we didn't break up. He introduced me to his new roommates, who never did take to me. Neither did his family.
The longer we were together, the more determined I was to be the girlfriend who won. It took me over a year. No one I knew liked CB. Not my family. Not my roommates. Not my friends. I didn't care. I wanted him. Finally, I wrote him a letter telling him that I couldn't take being second in line anymore. That did it. He broke up with the other woman.
And he turned into a possessive maniac. He didn't like me to wear makeup. Or revealing clothes. Or to talk to any other guy. We had a huge fight in McDonald's once because he'd seen me talking to a guy in one of my classes. He made me cry. In public. He also cheated on me at least once. And I cheated on him. We broke up once. I lost loads of weight. Then we got back together. I needed him. Somehow he was my security blanket. He disliked the major I chose, journalism, because he had contempt for all journalists.
Finally, he graduated and went to another university to get a master's in public policy. I drove two hours every weekend to see him. But I was starting to feel my independence. I got an internship at a paper. I started to work at the college newspaper. Other guys showed interest in me, and I was interested in them. I had a fling with one of the reporters on the college newspaper. When I graduated, I got a job at a newspaper in Fort Myers, on the copy desk. I lost loads of weight again and got loads of male attention. Finally, I could no longer keep up the double life.
CB and I had talked about getting married, but had never officially become engaged. It was just an understanding. I broke up with him on the phone. Cowardly, I know. He said lots of mean things to me, which I shrugged off. It didn't matter because I'd met someone new.
I moved on with my life. A few years passed, and in the middle of the night the phone rang. It was CB. He'd been drinking with his dad and got nostalgic and tracked me down somehow. My then-husband was not pleased. He had nothing to worry about. The next day I called CB. Was he OK? Yes, but his mother had been killed by a robber at the convenience store she'd had to get a job at. He'd married his next-door neighbour, a nurse. They raised dobermans and had a couple of kids. He worked as a rep for a drug company, never using the master's he had completed.
And that was the last I heard of him. I wish him well, but he's not someone I would want back in my life. Unlike the next boyfriend.