Anniversary: n, the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event, such as the date of one's birth.
Today is someone's birthday. Specifically, it's Kyle's birthday - the guy whom one could technically consider my first boyfriend. I'm kind of surprised I remember that . . . I haven't seen or spoken to him in years, haven't even thought of him in quite a while either. But for some reason, looking at a calender yesterday that little piece of trivia popped up in my head, and over the course of the last 24 hours or so has brought with it a bunch of memories.
It's kind of a long story, so I'll abbreviate some and forgive anyone for skimming. Kyle was my completely platonic date to the junior prom. He played the bass, and joined youth symphony our senior year, so I saw him six days a week. Even so, he developed the habit of calling me on Sunday nights - the one day we didn't see each other, but even then our wards met in the same building so sometimes we did - and we'd talk for hours. Until we both had parents standing over us telling us to hang up the phone. My mom highly approved of this development, so much so that no one was allowed to use the internet after dinner Sunday (this was back in the days before ubiquitous cell phones and crappy dial-up) so that "Lacey's phone call" would be sure to get through. He was my date to Senior Hop right before graduation. We went on symphony tour to Hawaii together, literally spent almost every waking moment together, and on the last night before we went home, we were each others' first kiss.
Summer came, and although we were both working and didn't see each other, the Sunday night calls continued. He made a lot of promises - he'd come to Cedar to visit me, especially if I got into a play (this is when I was considering a theater minor), we'd talk all the time, we'd get together on every school break, etc. And being the thoroughly indoctrinated Molly Mormon and too-romantic-for-my-own-good 18-year-old I was at the time, it seemed to me there were a few other promises implied. (Yes, my best friend and I were planning our double wedding for after both our guys got off their missions. Go ahead and laugh. I do, now.) Then one Sunday in July Kyle told me he and his family were going on vacation to visit his brother in Michigan or Minnesota or somewhere . . . one of those states in the middle/top . . . so he wouldn't be calling for the next couple of weeks, but he already couldn't wait to get back and see me again. So those two weeks went by . . . but the calls never resumed afterward. And then it got really awkward when mom started asking questions I couldn't answer.
I had a farewell party a few days before I left for Cedar, probably the most well attended party I ever threw. Kyle showed up late - very late - because he'd been at a party with the people he worked with at some science day camp thing in Ogden. He also didn't stay long because, as he said, he needed to catch up on sleep before he went back to Ogden the next night for the last week of camps. The next night, Sunday, he finally called again. It was a short conversation that he concluded by saying something like "I just wanted to say have a nice life and maybe I'll see you at Christmas." Obviously, I was a little puzzled by all of this but didn't have the guts to say anything.
So two days later I go to Cedar and get moved in to the uber-ghetto dorms and get started living the college life. Never hear from Kyle once. I go home for a long weekend at the end of October and hang out with a high school friend who has the same major as Kyle and a new friend of hers, both of whom see him a lot. And find out he's been hooking up with (in the Mormon sense) a new girl almost every week. They start going off and ranting about how annoying it is when he makes out with the current girl while everyone is eating lunch together and I can only sit in shock wondering if they're talking about "my" Kyle or another one. Then she remembers (I imagine she saw the look on my face) and apologizes profusely for the fact that I found out that way, but reaffirms the story's accuracy. I go home again at Christmas, and as it happens one week we do sort of cross paths at church. Kyle pretends I'm not there. His mother, on the other hand, gives me a very warm hug (both our mothers were really pulling for this match, if you couldn't tell).
Then in March there was the first wedding of a friend from high school. Naturally, I had to go home for the reception. Now, all this time I've been alternating between the crushing pain of one's first broken heart, and just plain numbness. At the reception I'm thoroughly enjoying myself hanging with a bunch of high school friends, not thinking about Kyle at all for once, when he comes strolling in wrapped around the NCMO-partner that became a girlfriend somewhere along the way (side note: we were never "official," although there was one "neither-of-us-know-how-to-do-this-but" attempt at a DTR by email shortly after we got back from Hawaii). Again, for him it was like I didn't exist as they breezed in and out in only a few minutes, but for me . . . well, I'm pretty sure I might have had a mild panic attack. Thankfully, I was with some great friends who all knew the story and were on my side, and basically surrounded me so we couldn't see each other at all until I got a grip again. A few of them actually chewed him out pretty thoroughly (again, via email, this is way back in the day when email was still cool), but I never got up the guts to say anything.
Fast forward three years - August 2006. Kyle's finished a mission in Paris, which really hurt since, as we apparently weren't even friends anymore, not only did was it that the guy who dumped me was spending two years in my number 1 travel destination, I couldn't even practice my French with lighthearted "just friends" letters. However, by the time I graduated college I'd finally gotten over my freshman year. So I go to the after church dinner party for another friend who'd just gotten home, and as I'm coming out of his sisters' room after changing my clothes, holy crap, who's sitting not five feet away from the door and facing toward me? Yeah, I hadn't seen it coming, but at least there were no panic attacks this time around. And still no acknowledgment from him.
Okay, this is the part where you start actually reading again. :-)
Everything about this whole story hurt a lot for a long time. I'm not kidding when I say it took about two and a half years to completely get over it. (the pathetic lack dates during my college years probably prolonged things, but that's a story for another day. and probably a funnier one.) And it definitely did a real number on my self-esteem, which didn't fully recover until I got to Florida and suddenly was getting hit on by just about every guy I worked with . . . well, except for the one I crushed on a little . . . I was soooooooo disappointed when it was confirmed he was gay! But that was exactly what I needed - male attention, and suddenly I was feeling pretty enough and deserving of male attention. And then a year later . . . well, we all know how the story ends, don't we?
And I'm so glad it did. I think about what I thought I wanted when I was 18 - what I was convinced I was supposed to want, and I really did want it. And I'm so glad it didn't happen. So glad I'll be celebrating my first wedding anniversary this year instead of my fifth. So glad I finished my degree at SUU instead of transferring up here or - horrors!! - not finishing at all for any reason. So glad I"ve only lived in Logan for a year instead of five. So glad I got to go all through college and then go to Florida having fun being single. So glad I married someone who reads and is goofy and dorky sometimes and makes me laugh every single day instead of someone who sings bass and knows how to ballroom dance (those are the only real pluses I can recall about Kyle . . . surely he had more, right? I honestly can't think of any).
Kyle pops up occasionally on my facebook "people you may know page." I haven't added him, and don't intend to, but I also don't delete him so I can facebook stalk him on occasion. Of all the high school friends I have on facebook, we only share three, which I find interesting. Are people still so staunchly Team Lacey that they won't add him? I found out as everything was happening that a few of my friends didn't really like him - is he actually a less pleasant person than I thought when I was blinded by crush-ness? Has he chosen to break away from our old crowd? Or does he see that people are friends with me and choose not to add them because of it? So many questions . . . I don't care either way, but I will admit I'm curious about the answers. He's still single, not even dating anyone apparently, and I can't help but smirk a little at that since everyone seemed certain he would be marrying the girl he brought to the reception as soon as he got home, and apprently there's a bit of Molly Mormon left in me yet. He's here in Logan, and although Ashli sees him every now and then I haven't yet. Sometimes I kind of want to, just to see how he would react - to seeing me, to seeing my left hand . . . would he even recognize me? I've changed a lot, but not that much . . . I don't think.
And in spite of what I'm sure this whole post sounds like, I am fully over him. I'm very, very happy, and hardly ever think about the whole situation. Once in a while I'll see or hear the date and it'll send me back - today was junior prom (March 17) or Senior Hop (May 25), heck the whole second week of June is ripe for Hawaii remembrances. It's not just Kyle-centric dates that take me back. (August 21 - I checked into the college program in Florida. May 6 - college graduation. June 30 - we left Idaho Falls.) But I will admit, I still want to know why. What happened. I would love to have just five minutes either inside his head or an actual conversation where everything is explained. How did things go from seeing each other every day and talking all the time and making promises about the future . . . to no contact, replament girls, and pretending I don't exist? While it doesn't matter to me romantically any more, it's still a little bit of a blow to my ego and self-esteem on the occasions when I do think about it. Just to know what he was thinking that summer, and our freshman year - I think that would bring the little bit of closure that would make my subconcious stop noticing "our" dates.
Completely-unrelated-but-much-more-fun: Experiment number one is a success!!! Root beer cookies are a go!! :-) Granted, they smell a lot more root beer-y than they taste, and the dough was a lot more root beer-y too, but I kind of saw that coming. For one thing, the main character talked about exactly that in Extract, and I always put two or three times the vanilla the recipe calls for in the cookies, but I stuck with the exact amount this time around. But they still tasted sooooooo yummy . . . YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm thinking next up will be maybe banana or lemon cookies. And of course, I'm still taking suggestions. ;-)
P. ost S. cript
Put down the cookies and prepare for cuteness overload. Baby tiger, awwwwwww!!!!!!!! Did anyone else ever play the board game Wildlife? It was kind of Monopoly-ish, but you bought animals and saved them from extinction . . . or something like that. I haven't played in years, but we used to play it all the time when I was a kid. We always fought over the cute animals - it took the longest time to figure out that mom and dad always won because they didn't spend all their money to get the baby panda or something. :-)
Edit: I have no idea why it embedded twice. Or how to make one go away . . .