Category: first love


An Old Love Resurfaces

December 28th, 2009 — 11:08pm


As I mentioned a few days ago, California-based ex Mark (a.k.a Sparky) recently posted a comment here for the first time. Our resulting online exchange and phone conversation got me to thinking about closure and how it’s often a lengthy, multi-step process when it comes to a big love.

Sparky and I hadn’t communicated since June, when work led him to cancel a visit to New York — the day before he was due to arrive. The episode confirmed for me that, though we once shared something special, it was well past time to let go.

Still, given our long history, I couldn’t help wondering — Did he regret standing me up last summer? Had he seen what I’ve written about him here on the blog? It turns out the answer to both questions is yes.

Mark apologized profusely for bailing on his scheduled visit, reiterating the remorse he expressed in his comments.

“I think I made the biggest mistake of my life,” he said.

Eventually, we moved onto other, less complicated subjects.

As we filled each other in about career, life, etc., it occurred to me that Mark and I have finally come full circle. After 15 years, we’re where we’re supposed to be — two people who once shared a great love bonded now by friendship.

No matter how long it takes to get there, closure is always worth the wait.

| catching up with old flames, first love, Moving On From An Ex

Opening The Vault: Part Forty Five

August 8th, 2009 — 12:57am

Regardless of time and distance, there are some old loves that linger long after a relationship formally ends. For me, that’s never been the case more than it was with my California-based ex Mark (a.k.a Sparky).

After breaking up with Sparky in June of 1995, we remained in touch. Six months later, he flew to New York for the holidays — an encounter that confirmed both our lingering feelings and the explosive differences that made me walk away.

About a year later and just days after my breakup with subsequent boyfriend Larry, Sparky found himself in New York again, this time on business. I now Open The Vault and take you back to November of ‘96…

New York, NY
November 2, 1996

Dear Diary,

Sparky and I were reunited tonight — and, amazingly so, that old magic is still there between us.

When he arrived at my place, I gave him a quick hug and peck on the cheek, uncertain of how affectionate to be. Then, in my room, Sparky beckoned–

“Come here — I need a better hug,” and we embraced gain.

As I squeezed him tightly, all those familiar warm feelings flooded every part of me. And he noticed how I looked — several times.

“I never think you can get more beautiful,” he murmured. “But you always do.”

Girafe: Sparky and I reunited over dinner at this fabulous (and now, sadly, long gone) UES restaurant

Sparky pulled me close to him and held my hand as we walked to Girafe restaurant for dinner. He complimented me again and then we finally kissed, a brief but loving kiss.

Our conversation was full of reminiscing and references to what we’ve experienced separately since seeing each other last Christmas. Sparky mentioned his new live-in girlfriend. I filled him in on romantic and career events of the past year, unable to resist dredging up the problems we’ve had. He wistfully observed that I only seem to remember the “bad stuff.”

Attempting to justify some of the conflict between us, he reiterated his frustration about our geographically and age challenged situation.

“I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you,” he said tenderly. “I would have married you — I still would.”

We kissed again, a passionate kiss that felt so much like years ago, and Sparky quipped that we should leave everything behind and fly to Fiji.

Back at my place, we fell onto the bed, hugging and kissing again and again.

“So what else do you have to tell me?” I asked.

“Just I love you,” he said, reading my mind.

“I love you too,” I said.

* * *

Yes, the first night of a reunion with Sparky never failed to be blissful. The problem was we couldn’t seem to maintain that high — a fact of which I was painfully reminded the next day.

| catching up with old flames, first love, Girafe restaurant, long-distance relationships, Opening The Vault

Opening The Vault: Part Twenty One

January 2nd, 2009 — 4:20pm

There’s nothing quite like falling in love for the first time. Every cheesy song suddenly has great personal resonance and yet, you feel paradoxically like no one has ever felt the same way.

For me, that intensity was heightened considerably by the fact that my first love was 3,000 miles away. California native Mark (a.k.a Sparky) swept into my life during a chance encounter at an “NYPD Blue” shoot and continued to sweep me off my feet when I finally made my first trip out West.

Behind The Scenes: My first visit to see Sparky included a stop at Universal Studios, where he worked as a sound editor for “Law & Order,” August 1994

Sparky once said he was in a magical funk thinking of us. During our first night together in California, I felt exactly the same way. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of ‘94…

Granada Hills, CA
August 26th, 1994

Dear Diary,

You’d think that all of the unbridled passion and ecstasy of being in Sparky’s arms again would have been enough to stave any estrogen-induced moodiness. No such luck last night.

PMS kicked in and I began to worry that I’d made a mistake in deciding to stay with Sparky. I was afraid that seeing me day and night would make him tired of me. Some of my anxiety stemmed from residual guilt, of course, about going against Mom’s advice.

I admitted my concern. Pulling me close to him, Sparky took my hand and looked right at me as he said–

“You’re just not used to someone wanting you as much as I want you.”

He was right. Not only did he understand perfectly the daunting newness of our intensifying closeness, but he managed to sweep me off my feet in the same breath.

I called my friend Li-Shean and the sound of her voice calmed me considerably. She made me laugh about overreacting to Sparky’s furnishings when she guessed right off the bat that he has black leather couches! My insecurities faded and I concentrated on savoring my first night with the man I adore.

Not surprisingly, we got little sleep.

“I want to make you my wife,” Sparky murmured in my ear before kissing my cheek.

Later, after we managed to briefly doze off, I woke up to feel his arms holding me tightly, and to the sound of Sparky whispering —

“I love you.”

“I love you too,” I said, feeling like the words couldn’t come out quickly enough.

We kissed yet again, but this time it felt different. This time, we were affirming both those three little words and our mutual desire. And I knew it was only the beginning.

* * *

Passion wasn’t the only thing on the itinerary during my first trip to Sparky’s neck of the woods. We ended up taking in some of California’s top sights — and along the way, I discovered how hard it was to hold back, despite the very real obstacles facing us.

Coming up…a look at two of Broadway’s hottest departing shows and the Australia countdown continues.

| Australia, first love, long-distance relationships, NYPD Blue, Universal Studios

Opening The Vault: Part Sixteen

November 22nd, 2008 — 1:25am

When you’re in the throes of new romance, life’s trials and tribulations invariably feel much more manageable. During the summer of 1994, my budding romance with California native Mark (a.k.a Sparky) offered a much-needed distraction from the letdown that accompanied returning to New York after my junior year in London.

My reunion with Sparky in NYC following our blissful week together in England’s capital confirmed absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Despite three months apart, the chemistry between us was palpable, as we enjoyed local delights ranging from dessert at the Plaza Hotel to corn dogs and rides at Coney Island.

Romance at Astroland: Sparky took this picture of me during our visit to Coney Island, August 1994

There was no questioning our feelings for each other. Other doubts, however, began to surface during our first summer rendez-vous. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of ‘94…

New York, NY
July 31st, 1994

Dear Diary,

Today was divine — one of the best days I’ve had since my tumultuous return home. Things between Sparky and me are more wonderful than ever, and now I have the added security of knowing that my family really likes him too.

One thing concerns me, though, and that is the intensity of Sparky’s feelings for me. He’s so certain that I’m the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. I love him too, but I’m very far away from being ready to settle down.

* * *

August 1st, 1994

I came to a difficult conclusion today — I don’t think Sparky is the one for me. We come from two different worlds. This realization is one of the reasons tonight was such a downer (that, and the fact that Sparky didn’t wear a tie to dinner).

This whole thing with Sparky is so overwhelming. The week we had in London was essentially a honeymoon. During this second go-round, the circumstances are different. Our lives have witnessed a lot of changes since those carefree seven days in May and so, we’re suddenly having to confront issues that seemed much more peripheral a few months ago.

“That’s what a real relationship is,” Sparky told me back in London, when the subject of weathering up’s and down’s as a couple first came up.

Until he came along, I never really knew what a real relationship was.

* * *

August 6th, 1994

Well, he left yesterday and so far, I’ve thought of him every other minute…I never thought I could have such a complete, fulfilling bond with a man so early on in my adult life.

I don’t know what the future has in store for Sparky and I, but of this much I am sure — I’m going to hold on and enjoy the ride with all my heart while it lasts.

* * *
The roller coaster of long-distance love was just beginning for me and Sparky. And after our reunion in NYC, I was determined not to let another three months pass before we were together again. Before that could happen, though, I would have to overcome some formidable opposition from two important people — my parents.

| Astroland, Coney Island, falling in love, first love, junior year abroad, London, long-distance relationships, The Plaza hotel

A Year Of Firsts

October 15th, 2008 — 5:28pm

My junior year abroad in London brought with it many firsts. First time I fell in love, first time I juggled multiple men, first time I became good friends with someone I met in an elevator.

That someone was my Commonwealth Hall floor mate, Carine. A smart, stunning woman with a big heart and beautiful smile, Carine offered a sympathetic ear during many a late night conversation in her room. I also credit her with introducing me to the remarkably soothing powers of tea.

During our year as neighbors, Carine and I celebrated many milestones, from her 21st birthday to the dissolution of our respective romances du jour.

All smiles: Carine and me in my room at Commie Hall, London, January 1994

My good friend recently marked another milestone — the beginning of a year of firsts. For the next 365 days, Carine is going to try something new every single day. She is chronicling her year of firsts at http://do-you-remember-the-first-time.blogspot.com/

I’m looking forward to following Carine’s exciting journey and maybe even embarking on some firsts of my own.

| Commonwealth Hall, first love, junior year abroad, London, remembering your first time, trying new things

A Year Of Firsts

October 15th, 2008 — 12:28pm

My junior year abroad in London brought with it many firsts. First time I fell in love, first time I juggled multiple men, first time I became good friends with someone I met in an elevator.

That someone was my Commonwealth Hall floor mate, Carine. A smart, stunning woman with a big heart and beautiful smile, Carine offered a sympathetic ear during many a late night conversation in her room. I also credit her with introducing me to the remarkably soothing powers of tea.

During our year as neighbors, Carine and I celebrated many milestones, from her 21st birthday to the dissolution of our respective romances du jour.

All smiles: Carine and me in my room at Commie Hall, London, January 1994

My good friend recently marked another milestone — the beginning of a year of firsts. For the next 365 days, Carine is going to try something new every single day. She is chronicling her year of firsts at http://do-you-remember-the-first-time.blogspot.com/

I’m looking forward to following Carine’s exciting journey and maybe even embarking on some firsts of my own.

| Commonwealth Hall, first love, junior year abroad, London, remembering your first time, trying new things

Opening The Vault: Part Seven

September 10th, 2008 — 12:47am

Every September, I’m always somewhat wistful when that first chill hits the air, signifying the start of fall. The change of season always finds me thinking of new beginnings–like the one that accompanied the arrival of spring years ago when I met my first love.

As I recently mentioned (http://melissa-singlegalinthecity.blogspot.com/2008/08/opening-vault-part-six.html), my first date with California native and “NYPD Blue” sound editor Mark (a.k.a. Sparky) delivered the unanticipated bombshell that he was divorced with a child. Since I was only 20 at the time, I responded to the news by deciding to have fun with him while he was in town and nothing more. Fate, however, had other plans for us.

I now Open The Vault and take you back to 1994…

March 23, 1994
New York City

Dear Diary,

While I was very intrigued with Sparky, his divorced dad status made me more than a little wary. I quickly shrugged it off, though, because the chemistry between us felt so effortless…Upon exiting the restaurant, Sparky turned to me and asked–

“Can I put my arm around you?”

“Sure,” I said, charmed by his tentativeness, and so we strolled with his arm around my waist. During a cab ride uptown, he sat thisclose to me. I could feel the attraction between us intensifying.

It turned out the nightclub I’d chosen was closed. We then ended up at a very different destination–the Plaza Hotel.

As always, there were several horse-drawn carriages nearby. We climbed into one and went for a heavenly ride through Central Park.

Sparky was holding me as we reflected upon what a wonderful time we were both having. Suddenly, the words stopped. I turned my face away from the night sky and toward Sparky, and we kissed. It was a kiss like none I’d ever experienced before, one that ignited every part of me.

* * *

After the carriage ride, Sparky and I sat on the steps of the fountain in front of the Plaza. We couldn’t stop talking. It was like we were trying to tell each other as much about ourselves as possible.

Sparky spoke about how much he wants to share his life with someone, a sentiment that both excited and intimidated me given the 16-year age difference between us.

It was getting late so, hand in hand, we walked back to my building. Sparky asked me what I was doing the following night. Upon informing him that I had plans with my cousin, he declared–

“I don’t care – I’ll take her out too. I just want to spend every minute with you that I can.”

How could I say no to that?

* * *

Sparky and I packed quite a bit into those first couple of days together — from strawberries and whipped cream at NYC’s posh Regency Hotel to a second moonlit carriage ride through Central Park. And before the weekend was over, much to my great surprise, there was a ring on my finger…

Coming up…Sparky’s transatlantic grand gesture and standing up to cancer at a Dave Matthews concert.

| carriage rides, Central Park, Dave Matthews band, first love, NYPD Blue, The Plaza hotel

Opening The Vault: Part Seven

September 9th, 2008 — 7:47pm

Every September, I’m always somewhat wistful when that first chill hits the air, signifying the start of fall. The change of season always finds me thinking of new beginnings–like the one that accompanied the arrival of spring years ago when I met my first love.

As I recently mentioned (http://melissa-singlegalinthecity.blogspot.com/2008/08/opening-vault-part-six.html), my first date with California native and “NYPD Blue” sound editor Mark (a.k.a. Sparky) delivered the unanticipated bombshell that he was divorced with a child. Since I was only 20 at the time, I responded to the news by deciding to have fun with him while he was in town and nothing more. Fate, however, had other plans for us.

I now Open The Vault and take you back to 1994…

March 23, 1994
New York City

Dear Diary,

While I was very intrigued with Sparky, his divorced dad status made me more than a little wary. I quickly shrugged it off, though, because the chemistry between us felt so effortless…
Upon exiting the restaurant, Sparky turned to me and asked–

“Can I put my arm around you?”

“Sure,” I said, charmed by his tentativeness, and so we strolled with his arm around my waist. During a cab ride uptown, he sat thisclose to me. I could feel the attraction between us intensifying.

It turned out the nightclub I’d chosen was closed. We then ended up at a very different destination–the Plaza Hotel.

As always, there were several horse-drawn carriages nearby. We climbed into one and went for a heavenly ride through Central Park.

Sparky was holding me as we reflected upon what a wonderful time we were both having. Suddenly, the words stopped. I turned my face away from the night sky and toward Sparky, and we kissed. It was a kiss like none I’d ever experienced before, one that ignited every part of me.

* * *
After the carriage ride, Sparky and I sat on the steps of the fountain in front of the Plaza. We couldn’t stop talking. It was like we were trying to tell each other as much about ourselves as possible.

Sparky spoke about how much he wants to share his life with someone, a sentiment that both excited and intimidated me given the 16-year age difference between us.

It was getting late so, hand in hand, we walked back to my building. Sparky asked me what I was doing the following night. Upon informing him that I had plans with my cousin, he declared–

“I don’t care – I’ll take her out too. I just want to spend every minute with you that I can.”

How could I say no to that?
* * *

Sparky and I packed quite a bit into those first couple of days together — from strawberries and whipped cream at NYC’s posh Regency Hotel to a second moonlit carriage ride through Central Park. And before the weekend was over, much to my great surprise, there was a ring on my finger…

Coming up…Sparky’s transatlantic grand gesture and standing up to cancer at a Dave Matthews concert.

| carriage rides, Central Park, Dave Matthews band, first love, NYPD Blue, The Plaza hotel

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