Missed Opportunity, Pt 2 – An Open Letter to the (Other) Men Who Got Away
In Part 1 of this post, I wrote to Mr. Missed Opportunity 1 and 2, who just didn’t work out. Part of the reason was poor timing; another was personal choices. These last two (and the bonus man) were simply circumstance. And those can be the worst missed opportunities of all.
To Mr. Your-Hugs-Are-Awesome-But-My-Friend-Likes-You-Too
I’m not even sure if you were ever attracted to me.
But I will cherish that time when our eyes locked through a crowd of acquaintances, and you seemed to light up with a hope that I was not used to seeing on men who made me want to giggle.
You parted the crowd with your shoulders, leaning forward and extending your hands before you had a clean path to me. Your eyes never left mine, not until your cheek passed my eye line, and I felt the warmth of your neck.
The hug was all-encompassing, full-pressed and revealing. I recall thinking, “Good lord, does he hug every woman like this?”
Even when you pulled back, you stayed close, and I forced myself not to think about how easy it would have been to pop up on my toes and peck the underside of your bottom lip. I tried not to think of the conversations we could have had, the fact that I’d overheard you weeks ago talk about out-of-body experiences and chakras and that you kinda knew what you were talking about.
I tried not to think about the way I’d caught you looking at me sometimes, and convinced myself I was merely feeding some narcissistic fantasy. I mean, let’s be honest–I probably was.
Instead, I stored that epic hug in my starved memory banks to remind myself in times of settling that that–that is how a hug should be.
To Mr. Almost-Kissed-Me-By-the-Copier
Yes, I ultimately realized what you were about to do that fateful day. It only took me three years and a thorough re-read of the journal I kept at the time, but I figured it out.
I think I regret my missed opportunity with you more than any of the others. I liked you a lot, from the first time I met you and listened as you rejected me outright on multiple standings. Despite our crappy start (which seriously played like the perfect opening for a rom-com), our chemistry was magnetic. Your attraction to me wasn’t nearly as obtuse or vague as I imagined it to be. The signs were very much there–and if I hadn’t been so naive or obsessed with seeing what I thought mattered, I would have seen the biggest sign of all that said, “I WANT YOU.”
The one you held right in front of my eyes.
Every Woman Wanted You
Every woman wanted you, even the ones who complained about your brusqueness or your arrogance. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t believe you went out of your way to help me, even when it attracted the disbelief and sarcasm of our colleagues.
Besides, when you tell a woman, “I don’t want to get to know you,” they will turn off any type of charm they may have been trying to build as ammo against your defenses.
Thinking back, I’m a little flattered at how hard you ultimately worked to flip that circuit breaker back in the ON position.
And then, there was that dinner party you didn’t know I attended. I was bored within ten minutes of arriving (it’s tough being a 20-something in the land of 40- and 50-somethings) and sipped my wine as I contemplated how much time was appropriate to say I’d successfully networked. I’d seen you come in with your then-girlfriend–it was my first time seeing her; I was immediately humbled. Out of respect, I kept my distance, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw you glance my way.
I saw you double-take. No one had ever “double-taked” at me before.
I tried to hide my pleasure as you hurried over to express your mild surprise, to introduce me to your date, to invite me to sit next to you at our select table.
The Last Time I Saw You
About 8 months later, the first words out of your mouth after greeting me were, “I broke up with my girlfriend.” Then, you glanced at me in as much anticipation as you could while navigating traffic on our way to a casual lunch.
I absorbed what you were telling me, registered why you brought it up. I was strangely calm that day, for I was in love and knew what I wanted. I planned my response carefully. I opened my mouth.
“I’ve decided to get serious with this guy I’ve been seeing,” I said.
You didn’t answer. I noticed that your driving aggression doubled almost immediately. I jumped as we popped over several traffic cones.
After lunch, we agreed to stay in touch–but there was never any real intention to, I think. At the time, I believed that I had found The One, someone who I was closer to in many areas. If it’s any consolation, he and I didn’t even last another six months.
But then, what else would you expect from a Mr. You-Weren’t-Mine-So-I-Never-Cried-For-You?
Someone Like You
I imagine, a couple times per year, what our relationship may have been like. Yours was the slow, sweet burn of getting to know someone for who they were, winks and warts alike. It was awkward, rude, hurtful, inspiring, warming, painful, and wonderful. Nevertheless, despite my levels of regret, I think I know that we wouldn’t have worked out. I was much too much of a mess in my 20s and wouldn’t start un-messing until, oh…three years ago.
Be grateful you dodged an emotional bullet. But also, know that I’m grateful for my time with you. It set a bar in my dating world. I will be very lucky to meet someone like you now–someone who will make me feel the way you made me feel, and more.
BONUS: To Mr. Celebrity-Who-Possibly-Internet-Searched-Me-But-Probably-Didn’t
I’ve admired you since childhood. When I met you last year and received your autograph, I mentally fist-pumped when you called me cute.
I actually tweeted about it later. Sorry about that. I’m not the kinda girl who gets celebrity-obsessed, you know?
By the way–if you use the internet in the middle of the night, I recommend–don’t. You’ll end up on some crazy sites.
Like that one where you can see people who performed Google searches on you? It sounds awesome at first, but honestly? I think it’s rigged.
I don’t know how or why your first initial and last name came up as someone who searched for my name. Maybe I was half-asleep. Maybe I need to get a life, and you have no idea what I’m talking about.
Actual details are cloudy. Don’t care.
The point is…I’ll take it.
So thanks. 🙂
What would you say to the Mr. (or Miss) Missed Opportunity who got away?