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The Column

For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls
12/28/03

My ex-girlfriend is getting married.

People I know have been getting married for the last few years. 2003 even featured the un-singlehood of two of my fraternity brothers. Thankfully, one eloped and one limited his wedding to family, so I have yet to see any friends fall in person.

My oldest sister got married when I was still in high school. It was 1994; I remember that because her wedding coincided with the Rangers and the Knicks both making the finals of their respective sports (which, for Rangers and Knicks fans, have not been respected since). While my brother-in-law's family was ethnically dancing, I was crouched in the coatroom with a walkman, listening to John Starks miss the three-pointer that would have given the Knicks their first NBA championship since 1973. That's the year my sister was born. I still say it's her fault.

My brother got married a few years later. I was a senior in high school, and tux-clad Steve decided to take his yearbook picture at the wedding. But we had a wedding photographer, so my classmates will remember me looking like Al Gore: a fake smile while leaning slightly to the left.

This year, two girls I went out with got married. Not to each other though, cause that'd be even weirder to deal with.

Sarah was a rebound date a few years ago; we went out a week after a girlfriend and I broke up. Despite our distinct lack of anything in common, I still had a wonderful time. But to be fair, at the times I'd have had a wonderful time with anyone who didn't just break up with me. She, on the other hand, having been single longer than six days, didn't think it was anything special.

Tammy was a fix up. I was friends with a number of her sorority sisters, and one of them decided we'd be good together. But not in the "you'd be good together" sort of way. More in the "you're both single and I want to live vicariously through you" sort of way. My friend was trying to help us, but Tammy and I just didn't gel. We ended up friends, and I was happy to hear she eventually found someone much more gelatinous than I.

Sarah and I, on the other hand, completely lost touch, and somehow didn't run into each other for two years. A week before graduation, I stopped to say hi to a friend who was talking with her. Neither Sarah nor I even recognized each other until we were "introduced." Now that's awkward.

"Oh, you two know each other?"

"Yeah, we went out once. But we forgot."

As odd as it was to have girls I'd gone out with get married, I never saw myself ending up with either, so it wasn't such a big deal. Also, I wouldn't want to be any grooms' tuxedo shoes.

I see what my brother and sister have, and there's a part of me that's jealous. But there's a much larger part of me that is way too young to worry about a mortgage. There's plenty of time for that later; according to the census, I've got 47.68 years left if I stay in New York, or just over 50 if I move to North Dakota. The life expectancy for a guy in North Dakota is pretty high, which is surprising since it you have to factor in all the people that die of boredom. The longest average lifespan in America actually belongs to Hawaiian women. So if you're into beaches and old chicks, there's your place.

I'm dealing with my ex-girlfriend getting married the same way I deal with everything: by making jokes and avoiding the issue. The issue being that a part of me wonders how things would have been different if we ended up together.

We dated for nine months, but had a nasty breakup. A very nasty breakup. But I'd still like to take this opportunity to wish her the best of luck in her new life. She will always be my first love. Unless I get my hands on a time machine so I can date Bridgette Wilson before she got famous. (Take that, Sampras!)

Kim, may you find happiness, and prosperity, and a low-interest rate mortgage. And may you do it all in Hawaii, where you will be able to live the longest life possible - very, very far away from mine.

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