I’m going to go with an ex-boyfriend. I could talk about friends who punked out or a whole episode with my family in my late teens, but the first thing that popped into my head was the first boyfriend I ever had.
I was not much of a dater, so this is a bigger deal than it seems.
It was summertime, I was juuuuuuust barely into high school. I fell head over heels into my first fo-real luv-fest. At that age (and with my parents), there was no hanky-panky. All we did was sit around while I talked and he pretended to listen. Sometimes we would listen to CDs (a novelty for me). Every once in a while we would sneak somewhere and smoke cigarettes.
But guys, seriously, I was IN LUV.
At the end of the summer, he went back to live with his family, wherever they were. And we promised to write to each other and all that. And call every day. And visit on holidays. And someday be togetha’ fo’eva’.
I wrote and mailed letters to him for like three months after he left. They went somewhere, and someone probably read them (his mom, maybe), but I never ever got a reply. EVER. Not one stinking postcard.
Anyways, once I realized that this guy was a total jerk, it took me a long time to get over the shame and humiliation of being so enamored that I overlooked the glaring holes in his personality. Like the one where he ignored people. Among others (MANY others, it turned out, once I started thinking about it).
I can say two things about that experience (which still pisses me off). The first is that I was able to look back on it from Epiphany-day1 and see how shitty I’d allowed myself be treated. And I could look forward and say “that’s not ever happening again.” The second thing is that I’m really glad it happened. That guy was a jerk, and because of him I learned how to spot and avoid jerks, and find the good guys.
Can’t make an omelette (ie: fabulous marriage) without breaking a few eggs (ie: prior heartaches).
Takes the stink of the fertilizer to appreciate the smell of the roses.
A good man is hard to find.