I just finished watching an episode of Gilmore Girls that always makes me a little sad. It reminds me of missed opportunities, and I inevitably start thinking about the way my life could have been. How melancholy.
In “Chicken or Beef?” (Episode 4:4), Rory is home from Yale or the weekend, and is unexpectedly invited to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding. This guy was her first love; they met when they were teenagers, and she traded him in for a guy who turned out to be a bit of a jerk.
Years ago, I dated a guy; we were very young, and at one time I believed we’d be together forever. He was a good guy. On our first date, we weren’t allowed into the movie we wanted to see because we were too young; so he took me to see some random film that was utterly boring except for one uncomfortably saucy scene. We shared popcorn and held hands, and after we left the cinema we walked about in the snow for hours, still holding hands. He walked me home and kissed me.
I went away to finish high school in another city, because I wanted to get into a good university. We stayed in touch, and he promised to visit me. School was so busy, my classes were super-hard, I was on the track team, and as a senior, was doing plenty of volunteer work to occupy my time. We still saw each other at holidays, but by the time it can to sending off my university applications, we didn’t decide to factor each other in. He’d never considered leaving the city to study, and I had my heart set on going somewhere thousands of miles away. I don’t know if he was upset by this, but he never let on. By the time I left for college, we’d split up.
When Rory looked wistfully on at the wedding, from a safe distance, I couldn’t help thinking about the-one-from-way-back-when.
Memories are strange; some moments appear so clear and precise, whilst others linger as such hazy recollections you begin to wonder whether they ever happened at all.