The one that got away. Thank God.

lead singer of Bedouin Soundclash
lead singer of Bedouin Soundclash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ladies, do you remember the college crush that eluded you? The lead singer in a band, with long hair, a voice that could set hips afire and a faded jean jacket that he wore better than any other gorgeous man on God’s green earth?

Not that I have anyone in particular in mind. I’m sure you have your own version of the bad boy that gave your mother some sleepless nights.

You might have loved him secretly but you were definitely higher up on the list than his other groupies. Possibly because his band mate, the drummer, had a massive crush on you. A crush you did not return because you, of course, loved the lead singer. Who loved the girl who lived upstairs from you. And she loved someone else entirely. Someone destined to be an accountant or some other sensible professional.

Ah, the tangled webs we weave.

Over the years, you thought only marginally about this lead singer. A song might remind you of his vocals. A glimpse of a long-haired college boy flipping his mane as he walked to class could stir memories.

But, for the most part, you went unscarred through your adult life.

Until Facebook.

When your old college roommate (who also shared your unrequited love for this singer) befriended the man you used to think of as the campus stud muffin, he found you online. And friended you. She told you that you simply HAD to check out his page. That he hadn’t changed a bit. You swore you wouldn’t. And then, you did, in a spineless moment.

Not that you are in any way, shape or form a stalker. But come on. Twenty five years later, you were curious. Understandably so. Who did this handsome god end up with, having foregone the opportunity to ride off into the sunset with little ‘ole you?

As it turns out, no one. Your long-haired stud muffin is balding and looks exactly—and I mean exactly—like a middle-aged version of himself. Except a little more like a weasel. Really. His facial features look like a weasel. How did that small detail elude you years ago?

In every pic, he is still drinking. Partying. Arm around some younger chick, drink in hand.

His posts consist of shots at him at quasi-hip events, usually wearing some sort of black t-shirt and jacket. He post things like: “WOW! As my lips get closer to you, I shake and quiver…. it must be love!” And the “love” is a bottle of double chocolate bourbon.

He is friends with people who sport names like Nifty Driftwood. He still has skinny little legs and plays in a band. He posts moody black and white shots of himself.

What the *^*$* were you thinking twenty five years ago?

Or maybe you weren’t.

Possibly you weren’t.

OK. You definitely weren’t.

You’re happy this one passed you by. And saved your parents the heart palpitations.

And then, one day, you see he now posts pics with a girlfriend. A girlfriend who wears black bustiers and throws overly sultry looks the camera’s way—but she seems a steady. Pic after pic for awhile.

You’re still oh so thankful he got away. But, you’re also happy for him.

Because everyone deserves a miracle now and then–even middle-aged men who won’t grow up deserve a little sunshine.

You move on with your day and on to thinking about other, more important things. Like the chances your sons will go to school with the daughter of Bustier Girl and Skinny Legs. And how you can keep them the *^$#* away from her.  You have a feeling your mother might feel just a tad smug as she sees the frantic ruminations of her formerly impulsive daughter, now a worried mother.

Like I said, everyone deserves a miracle now and then.  Or at least a pass on parental heart palpitations. Because even girls who fall for the wrong guy in college deserve a little sunshine when they become mothers of boys. They at least deserve a tattoo-free daughter-in-law who is a neurosurgeon or Nobel Prize winner.

“The one that got away” usually gets away for a reason. To save us from our younger, stupid selves. Here’s to surviving as a mother until the keepers come for my kids. And yours.

In the meantime, stock up on red wine and chick flicks.


13 Comments Add yours

  1. I laughed out loud while reading this. Can’t think that I have any similar stories…but it amused me!

  2. This was wonderful. I don’t have a bad boy who got away story. I was the one who realized that life with my college love wouldn’t be a forever love. He was a wonderful boyfriend, but I saw some red flags that, thankfully, I listened to. As for my own son, he’s only 10, but he is keenly aware of people and reads them like a book. He is incredibly intuitive. So far, just with his friends (not into girls yet), he definitely steers clear of certain people. I hope his radar works as well for girls when his hormones kick in. We’ll see.

    1. candidkay says:

      Yes. The red flags. Takes some of us awhile to master those:)

  3. I do have “one that got away,” and am similarly grateful he did! He doesn’t look like a ferret though. That honour goes to my ex-husband.

    1. candidkay says:

      A ferret! That’s priceless:)

  4. Karen snyder says:

    Totally related to this one! I found my bad boy who is a professor (of course) of English at a small liberal arts college! He still looks like a better Harrison Ford with beard!
    Oh My ! And not an ounce of fat or big belly! Oh well! I also found the neighbor boy across the street where I grew up,who used to tease me about being fat! He is a bald blob! ha!
    I did make the right choice in husbands though even if he went from the Fonz to. Big belly!!! Karen

    1. candidkay says:

      I can’t imagine anyone ever teasing you about being fat! You’ve always looked gorgeous. The professors definitely were crush-inspiring. I had one from afar on my journalism professor–but alas, he was married . . .

      1. Karen snyder says:

        Oh, I was chubby and he was so cute! But he teased me daily and made my self image dwindle all through junior high and half of high school till Imwent to Mag and dropped twenty pounds! By then, I forgot all about him! I found him in the Rocky River Alumni page and boy is he not at all an attractive older man!

  5. Christine says:

    Hhhhmmmm I believe I may know this fictious boy man????

    1. candidkay says:

      I believe you were the girl upstairs he was in love with:) So you may . . .

  6. Hi! New reader here, and I really enjoyed this. My son’s only 15 months old, but I’m already worrying about who he’ll bring home and how his father and I will react. Maybe I should focus on getting through this tantrummy stage first, huh?

    1. candidkay says:

      Thanks for reading! And getting through the tantrum stage now is PERFECT practice for the tantrums he’ll throw when he realizes you can’t stand his girlfriend:) Ah, the joys of motherhood . . .

      1. It’s always something, right? At least they’re worth it!

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