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A perhaps silly and random bit of happiness

January 26th, 2011 (04:26 am)

You know how there are breakups, bad breakups, and then breakups that are so catastrophic to your nervous system that you wonder if you'll actually survive?

I've had only one of those Category 3 breakups, and I remember a lot of being led around by other people in the aftermath. I made some dreadful decisions and choices and failed to do a lot of right things. But I did survive, and it was all so long ago that I rarely think about it anymore. I've had a lot of wonderful, intense life in the interim, and at some point everyone deserves to forgive herself for her stupidity and bad judgment.

Tuesday I discovered a certain TV show thanks to Netflix and while watching an episode or two of it, one of the actors kept tickling my memory banks. Then a name came to me, a name I hadn't thought of in years and probably couldn't have remembered if I'd tried. The actor in this show reminded me of a person I met during the post-Category 3 period.

One night friends took me to a bar--in Auburn, Alabama, of all places; boy, was I out of my territory--and I kept catching a tall, somewhat lanky guy watching me. He was cute and looked good leaning against the wall of the bar, beer in hand. Considering the breakup I'd just been through, however, my reaction was to ask my friends if we could leave. Immediately. Instead, they invited him to join us. And he was a super, super nice guy. Smart. In graduate school in one of the more mathematical/scientific fields. (I was a graduate student in English at the time--rival university, of course.) Anyway, we went out a few times, and there was no way he could avoid hearing some of my shell-shocked back story. And it was fine, because he was recently divorced. He hadn't wanted the divorce. It was obvious he was still in love with her.

In time, he suggested that I might be getting too serious about him, and geography and where we both were in our lives made that not such a great idea. I could have laughed and told him there was no danger of that; I was still way too emotionally invested in the relationship I'd so recently lost. But sometimes it's better just to go with grace; not all truths have to be told. So it ended gently, no hard feelings, not even a Category 1. I doubt that I've thought of him more than half a dozen times in the years since, and then always with gratitude that he was a gentleman who never said or did an unkind thing to me. He was a reminder that men of his caliber existed at a time when I needed to believe it.

When his name came to mind because of the TV show, on a whim, I googled him. It's not an uncommon name, so I wasn't too hopeful. But I found him almost instantly, including photos, because he's part of a group of people drawn together by a somewhat adventurous, outdoorsy pastime, and one of those people blogs. And I was THRILLED when this blogger also mentioned Mr. Gentleman's wife's name--because hers IS an unusual name, and it lets me know that he and his ex got back together.

She must have realized he's a keeper. I hope they've had years and years of happiness with each other.


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