Category: catching up with old flames


Return To Toronto: Part One

January 29th, 2014 — 10:08pm

Ever since my family lived there when I was a teenager, Toronto has had a special place in my heart. So it was with great anticipation that I returned last weekend — for the first time in 8 years– to my former hometown.

After checking in to the Sheraton Centre hotel on Thursday, I bundled up and headed out on a nostalgic tour of my old neighborhood.

My home from 1985-1989: 70 Rosehill Avenue

My home from 1985-1989: 70 Rosehill Avenue

As I approached 70 Rosehill Avenue, I  was flooded with happy memories. Recollections of living there with my beloved late parents and grandfather, of slumber parties and first kisses.

Old times also resurfaced during a walk through of Deer Park Public School. Crowding by the lockers (still a hideous shade of blue!) before and after class, adolescent angst about unrequited crushes.

IMG_20140123_154941_726

Where I spent 7th and 8th grades in Toronto

Speaking of crushes, I had the pleasure of catching up with one from high school, Oliver. It had been more than two decades (and at the prom, I think) since Oliver and I had last seen each other. The years quickly fell away, though, as we reminisced and caught up as old friends.

Oliver and me

Oliver and me

Over a delightful dinner at the Sheraton’s BNB Restaurant (roasted tomato soup, chicken quesadillas and – who knew? – Canadian Shiraz), we had the kind of conversation that felt so fitting on the heels of turning 40. Oliver and I talked about the comparatively kinder, gentler times of the 80’s, the enlightening joys of travel and the journey of finding the right relationship.

After we said goodnight, it hit me that the dread of entering this new decade was disproportional to how it feels now that I’m in it. I’m beginning to appreciate why the fortysomethings I know have raved so much about this era. You’re old enough to have accrued some wisdom and strength yet still young enough to make new discoveries. Or, in this case, be reminded of comforting truths—namely that time and distance are no match for good friends.

Comment » | catching up with old flames, catching up with old friends, Toronto, travel, turning 40

Madrid: Day One

October 6th, 2010 — 5:25pm

My first afternoon in Madrid found me sleepy from an early-morning flight. After settling into Hotel Opera, I decided to rest up so I would look fresh and fabulous for my evening with old flame Fabian.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Fabian and I hadn’t seen each other since a romantic encounter nearly 15 years ago in New York. Since then, we’ve remained in touch as friends, and Fabian is now married with three kids.

We met up in the hotel lobby and my first thought was that the years have been kind to Fabian and he still looked handsome and fit. It didn’t take much time for us to fall into the easy conversation that only happens when you have a long history with someone.

While we walked past Madrid’s Palacio real and Plaza Mayor, I was saddened to learn that Fabian’s father passed away in January. This led to us talking about what it’s like to lose a parent, which we continued to reflect on over tapas at Lateral restaurant.

Lateral: This Madrid restaurant chain serves up delicious tapas

“You don’t have a safety net anymore,” Fabian said knowingly of me no longer having either of my parents.

“Exactly,” I said.

Fabian spoke with great affection about my mom and dad, having met them both during his December ‘95 visit to NYC. It meant a lot to reminisce with him, especially since most of my friends at home never knew them.

We eventually moved on to the subject of relationships and the search for lasting love. Curious about Single Gal In The City, Fabian asked if I wanted to stay single and was only looking for blog material — a question that reminded me of the downside to publicly sharing dating adventures.

He also admitted to becoming more intolerant over the years and wondered if I have too, and it’s hindered me in finding Mr. Right. I admitted that I think the opposite is true, and I’ve tried to avoid the trap of being inflexible that tends to accompany thirtysomething singlehood.

After dinner, we headed over to La Terraza, a cozy rooftop bar at Hotel Urban. I was struck by how easy it felt to be with Fabian again, how it didn’t seem that 15 years had passed since we’d last seen each other. I felt thankful that our friendship has endured, and to have reconnected with him and all of the other important people from my stint as a London university student.

Coming up…the details about my London return and a preview of SingleEdition’s upcoming Live The Life You Love event!

1 comment » | catching up with old flames, Madrid, The European Dating Blitz

Mystery Destination Revealed

September 22nd, 2010 — 10:37am

I’m happy to finally reveal the final stop on my European Dating Blitz — Madrid! As I write this, I’ve just arrived in Spain’s beautiful capital city, to my room at the centrally located Hotel Opera.

Many people have asked why I chose Madrid over Barcelona. Of both cities, Barcelona is definitely the one I’ve heard more about. But the art lover in me couldn’t help selecting Madrid, and neither could the sentimental part of me. One of my favorite old flames and longtime friends, Fabian, happens to reside here.

Coming up…how a date in Rome both confirmed and refuted stereotypes about Italian men and a return to my favorite European destination, London!

Comment » | catching up with old flames, Madrid, The European Dating Blitz

Reconnecting With An Old Flame Abroad

July 28th, 2010 — 9:49pm

Not too long ago, I blogged about the downside of recycling old flames. The upside to reconnecting with one — when you can revisit old times as old friends.

The other day, I had the opportunity to do just that when I reached out to one of my favorite beaus of yesteryear, Fabian. Fabian and I had an on-again/off-again romance during my junior year in London. Months later, we shared three heavenly days together here in New York.

Over dinner at a cozy Italian bistro, Fabian apologized for his uneven behavior during our involvement. Taking my face in his hands, he said–

“I think we missed a great chance together….I think I missed a great chance.”

That was almost 15 years ago.

Since then, Fabian and I have kept in touch sporadically. I emailed him the other day to inform him I’ll be in his neck of the woods — the mystery city where I’ll wrap up my European Dating Blitz — in September. We have a date.

I’m looking forward to catching up with him. And I’m also looking forward to meeting the “eligible bachelor” he plans to set me up with!

2 comments » | catching up with old flames, junior year abroad, London, old flames, The European Dating Blitz

Kansas City: Day Four Part Two

March 21st, 2010 — 2:15pm

Thursday night, I headed over to the Intercontinental for a happy hour with KC galpals Lisa and Stephanie (a.k.a Queen Of Quirky) and their friends.

Very Happy Hour: (from left) Stephanie, me, Adrienne and Ginger

Single gals Ginger and Adrienne shared their experiences of singlehood here. Ginger says it’s hard to go out alone to bars because people tend to stick to their own groups. Adrienne raved about the familiarity of places that goes along with being in a small big city, but said the downside is it gets monotonous. 

Fun and fabulous Kansas City Star dating columnist Pamela Spencer was also part of the fun. I thanked her for writing up my Great Dating Blitz in her Kiss & Tell column. Of all the media coverage I’ve received so far, Pamela’s is far and away my favorite. Especially since she included a photo taken on my best date so far.

Local bachelor Nicholas joined the group and talked about the Midwest mentality here.  

“People are programmed to get married,” he said. “College and then get married by 25.”  

Also chiming in on the conversation – old flame and good friend Steve.  

In between weighing in on starter marriages and the perils of texting, Steve and I had the opportunity to catch up on more personal subjects. We talked about his recent recovery from health issues and what a whirlwind my Great Dating Blitz has been so far.  

Steve was floored to hear me say that the end of this adventure could find me living somewhere other than New York.  

I told him what I’ve told many others – that when you embark on a journey like this, you have to be open to wherever it may take you. And if Mr. Right happens to reside somewhere outside of the Big Apple, then I will happily pack my bags. Because, even when it’s a plane, train or car ride away, New York is always a part of me. That’s just how it is with your first love.

6 comments » | catching up with old flames, The Great Dating Blitz

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.

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

Reconnecting at Christmastime

December 25th, 2009 — 5:07pm

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is reconnecting with loved ones who, for whatever reason, I’ve fallen out of touch with. This year, I’ve been blessed to do that with three men who each hold a special place in my heart.

BFFs: Morty and me at our friend Cristina’s wedding in Boston

The bonding began at my friend Cristina’s fabulous recent wedding, where I caught up with former work husband and dear friend Morty. We hadn’t seen each other in months, but quickly picked up right where we left off — talking about life, love and the pursuit of professional bliss.

Earlier this week, old flame Steve comforted me with a thoughtful email on the anniversary of my beloved dad’s passing. And made me smile when he asked if my diary entries from our time together will make it onto the blog.

“Do you think you will ever let some of that out of ‘The Vault?’ ” he wrote. “I will always cherish those memories.”

The feeling is mutual.

Speaking of past loves, the most surprising reconnection happened with California-based ex Mark (a.k.a Sparky). For the first time ever, he posted a comment on Single Gal In The City (click here and scroll down to see our exchange) — which led to our first conversation in many months.

Up next…more about this latest chapter in the Sparky saga and a festive night out in the Flatiron District.

Merry Christmas All!

Comment » | BFF, catching up with old flames, catching up with old friends, reconnecting at Christmastime, Single Gal In The City

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Eight

December 13th, 2009 — 6:33pm

If you still have feelings for an ex, does that mean you’re not really in love with your new significant other? That weighty question was on my mind during an intense encounter with California-based old flame Mark (a.k.a Sparky) back in 1998.

Le Parker Meridien: Sparky and I caught up at this Midtown hotel back in ‘98

Sparky’s visit came at a time when I was at my most vulnerable — a little more than a month after losing my mom. Up in his hotel room, the connection between us resurfaced. I now Open The Vault and take you back to November of ’98…

November 21, 1998 – Volume 70
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

As Sparky and I embraced, I could feel his face turning toward mine. I made sure to keep only my cheek next to him.

He suggested I come out to Arizona.

“You could be the other woman,” he said. “Okay, let’s have a fling.”

I wasn’t entirely sure he was joking, but we both grew serious and Sparky said he has too much respect for his wife (as do I for David) to do that.

Suddenly, I could feel myself getting emotional and nostalgic about us. I struggled with the words. Finally, they came.

“When we were together, I was completely certain I loved you,” I admitted. “I haven’t had that certainty since.”

“Wow,” he said, clearly taken aback. “That’s really nice of you to say.”

I also told Sparky how upset I was to learn of his marriage. Though, I said, I never expected him to wait for me–

“I always thought we’d get back together someday.”

“Now you tell me!” he said with a laugh.

Later, Sparky reassured me that I will be okay, and reiterated how sorry he is about mom’s passing.

We hugged again. He squeezed my hand as he told me–

“I’ll always be here for you.”

He said not seeing me had been gnawing away at him since Mom’s passing in September, that he wanted to just jump on a plane.

“I still care about you — I think about you all the time.”

About David, he said he was 99 and 1/10 percent happy for me, but also a little jealous.

“Because I wish it was me.”

So, what does all of this mean for my relationship with David?

I don’t know.

* * *

David and I managed to survive Hurricane Sparky. And a happy milestone for us as a couple would prompt David to execute one of the greatest grand gestures I’ve ever received.

4 comments » | catching up with old flames, Le Parker Meridien, long-distance relationships, losing a parent, Midtown NYC hotels

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Seven

December 5th, 2009 — 5:30pm

When it comes to love, there are moments where you find yourself at a crossroad between past and present. That complicated juncture is where I found myself back in the fall of 1998.

At the time, I was about four months into my relationship with dashing, noble Brit David — and six weeks into dealing with my beloved mother’s passing from breast cancer. It was during this emotional maelstrom that first love and California native Mark (a.k.a Sparky) came into town. I now Open The Vault and take you back to November ‘98…

November 21, 1998
New York, NY

Dear Diary,
I just spent a couple of hours with Sparky. It was an emotional, revelatory encounter — in some ways I hadn’t anticipated.

Le Parker Meridien: Sparky and I shared an intense encounter at this Midtown NYC hotel

I got to his hotel and was about to get on the elevator when the doors opened and he was there. We hugged and he immediately told me how great and thin I looked (always nice to hear from an ex).

As he usually does, he crammed into the revolving door next to me. Then, he extended his arm. I put mine through his but then felt awkward — which I admitted — and pulled away. Still, Sparky kept putting his hand on my back, shielding me from traffic.

We walked to Times Square, during which I spoke a lot about Mom. Bless him, he managed to say all of the wrong things — asking me if I’m thinking about my career or a retirement community for Dad now. I found myself thinking a lot about David, how much more understanding and sensitive he is.

After lunch at a diner, we walked back uptown and I told Sparky about David.

“I’m glad you have a good boyfriend,” he said.

“I’ve had one or two before,” I said pointedly.

Later, I told Sparky I was glad we could still laugh together.

“We just can’t do the physical stuff,” he interjected.

Nevertheless, back in Sparky’s room, he beckoned me toward him.

“You know, I’ve been waiting for a big hug,” he said.

So I went over to him and we embraced. And I felt a rush of the warm feelings I’ve always felt for him.

* * *
Before the afternoon was over, Sparky would make an unexpected proposition — and I would admit something I had never told him before.

Comment » | being torn between old and new loves, catching up with old flames, Le Parker Meridien, losing a parent, Opening The Vault

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Two

October 3rd, 2009 — 3:07pm

When you still have feelings for each other, remaining friends with an ex can be tricky — as I discovered time and again with California native Mark (a.k.a. Sparky).

Nearly two years after we broke up in 1995, I was crushed when a dinner encounter in NYC failed to produce those three little words from him. Oddly, I’d grown accustomed to hearing it in our post-breakup relationship. I soon found out the reason Sparky was tight lipped. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the spring of ‘97.…

April 4th, 1997
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

Sparky called me today. I knew he’d eventually call, but didn’t expect to hear his voice at work this afternoon. I could feel my heart beating rapidly and the effort it took not to be tongue tied.

1 State Street Plaza: I was at my desk here at Thomson Financial when Sparky called

As if he’d read my mind, he told me what was going through his Monday night.

“I didn’t want to get too crazy,” he said.

“Meaning what?” I asked, wanting him to spell it out.

“I didn’t want to make it any harder than it had to be since I knew my visit was going to be short,” he said.

I told him I was surprised he’d been in such a hurry to leave, and wondered if it was because of me. Sparky insisted he was tired from his journey — and that he’d held back because “there’s a lot of etiquette” to our relationship.

“I didn’t want to degrade what we have,” he said firmly.

Sparky admitted that he thought about asking me to come back with him to his hotel.

“It wasn’t that I didn’t want you to,” he told me, to which I responded that I had considered asking him to spend the night.

“I miss you,” I said finally.

“I miss you too,” he said — in that warm tone of voice that indicates he thinks of me often.

It meant so much that he called just to tell me, albeit without those three little words, that his feelings haven’t changed. All my doubts were laid to rest — our love is still alive.

We’ve spent more time being officially split up than we have as a couple and yet, we can’t seem to let go. Is it so wrong to hope that, someday, all of this what if-ing will lead us to a second chance together?

* * *
Though Sparky and I remained connected, we also continued to move forward in our separate lives. An unexpected twist of fate in his life would force us to do what we had been unable to when I first walked away.

Comment » | being friends with an ex, catching up with old flames, ex boyfriends, long-distance relationships, saying I love you

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