What is it about finding out an ex-boyfriend is engaged?
Your stomach drops. Palms sweat.
The fact that he's your ex-boyfriend no longer matters. Not for the moment.
You can't believe he didn't let you know before you just happened to come across it on Facebook.
And for some utterly mystifying and completely unreasonable reason, you can't believe it wasn't you he picked.
This happened to me about five minutes ago, for the first time.
Never before has "gobsmacked" been a more appropriate way to describe me.
This is a boy who slept on a top bunk in his tube socks, who bought freezers full of White Castle sliders, whose sideburns were never quite even, who was deathly afraid of the dentist.
Who decided one day he was going to move to Los Angeles after we'd started to sketch out our life plan. At 21.
After we broke up for the last time, he met this girl. And now they're engaged.
And I want to be happy for him, but it's hard to shake the "I wasn't good enough."
Even though I know, at my most lucid, that we just weren't right. From the start, we weren't meant to be.
We had fun, yes. From our first Thursday night closing down a Lawrence dive bar with the rest of the newsroom staff — him with a huge schooner of cheap beer, me with a Skyy and cranberry — to the time his friend walked in on us on said top bunk, despite the repeated grunts of "Not now! Not now!"
Yes, we had fun.
But I grew up a lot faster than him. I was 30 in my head before we'd even turned 21. And he was one of those project boyfriends, a fixer-upper; he knew it, and I knew it. I wasn't up to the task — I'm only one woman! — and he didn't want to be fixed up.
He didn't want to grow up, even though he loved me. Nothing was going to change that.
To this new girl, he wasn't even a little broken, didn't need to be fixed. And that must have been it.
Really? I am happy for him.
Because I'm in a good place. And anyway, "Knight in Rusty, Ghetto Volvo Station Wagon" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
But did it have to be the one right after me? This is almost as bad as "turning a guy gay." which my mom managed to do more than a few times before she settled down.
Only it's actually worse for me: I turned him monogamous.