By K.M.P, August 9, 2008
Two years ago, I made the biggest mistake probably of my life by not making banana pancakes with a wonderful guy.
I had just gotten out of the most serious relationship I had ever been in my life, including a whirlwind and exceptionally short engagement.
My ex was the most amazing man I had ever met and after the explosive break-up, my lenses were fogged to what could be a better man. He had dirty blond hair, and a warm smile. His somewhat alcoholic tendencies were masked by the convenient and overused term, “college fraternity boy” and at that time that was all that mattered.
We first met at a celebration of my and my six other sorority sisters’ inception into our organization, and his fraternity took the liberty of housing the party. Looking back on it, years later, I would claim that it was love at first sight- either an accurate depiction of a pure love story gone wrong or the term used most carelessly by a hopeless romantic motivated by the ephemeral world of romance. Either way, our eyes caught, we introduced ourselves somewhat hastily- me being a shy girl not exactly knowing her place in the collegiate world and him an experienced, world-traveling Prince in disguise. He literally danced circles around me the entire night, cascading himself deeply into my heart with every spastic and chaotic expressive dance move. He danced right into my soul.
The dating was just as chaotic as the dancing- another whirlwind of expressive love making, random excursions to even more random places, movie nights, and a dancing explosion to banana pancakes performed by yours truly on the pillows of his couch. He looked at me appreciative, and somewhat intimidated by my drunken motivation to do for him what he had done for me- transformed my life through a few simple steps, slurs, and smiles.
It ended, of course, like all good things. However, we mustn’t be overwhelmed by disappointment in my shoulda-woulda-coulda love story for it was I that called things off. I wore the “scorned-woman” title like a badge instead of my heart on my sleeve. It was almost as though I wore it proudly, even though if you ask me I will probably say that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I was hurt by the past, by my hopeless and unrelenting love life and more than anything afraid it could happen again. Vulnerability was the force that drove me away from him, and many other guys to follow, for fear that I would ever wear that broken heart on my clothes again. I wish I would have known that he could have been the guy to patch it up, as those who patch up clothing after falling down and hurting oneselves. The shoulda-woulda-coulda love story.
Before I knew it, it was the same back and forth rope pulling that I had experienced in my last relationship possibly because of the imprint we left in each other either with the swift, passionate moves in the bedroom or on the dance floor. Either usually works, however the outcome is a bit more prolonged depending on the way it has been etched into the body.
I think I tried first, but he could have made an attempt that I missed. I attempted to hang out, he avoided the possibility. Then, he attempted to hang out, I had moved on to another miserably unsuccessful contender. Then, I tried, as I paced back and forth in the library wishing the Wizard would give me the beloved courage so often sought. I was shy, and scared, and vulnerable. Vulnerability passed through me with every step toward him and the most I could say was a mere hello. He had me, and I knew it.
This summer I fostered this madness, watering the seed of desire he had planted in me years previous. He was always in my thoughts and conversations. The first thing I thought of when I awoke and the last image imprinted in my mind before bed, his careless appearance and drunken expressions that had transformed themselves into something more desirable than all of the riches in the world. I felt as though I loved him, shattered that possibility at the mere thought of love, and then went right back all over again. It was a vicious cycle he had somehow caused and what’s worse, is to this day he still probably has no idea.
I may try to lay the moves on him again, crossing the wooden dance floor with an artistic shift in my body and a devilishly enticing smile on my face. I could just walk straight up to him and say how I feel. I could try the characteristic flirt that I am most accustomed to. I could say some lame pick up line to relieve the tension or I could make him banana pancakes. It’s the shoulda-woulda-coulda love story entwined around a Jack Johnson song and an impressively and uncharacteristically pure desire to “wake up slow”.