Category: catching up with old flames


Dinner With A British Old Flame

September 29th, 2009 — 11:09pm

Last week, I met up with E, a British old flame from my college days.

E resurfaced out of the blue in a Facebook email. I couldn’t help appreciating the irony of this, given that he was one of the reasons I hesitated to join Facebook in the first place.

During my junior year in London, E and I were good friends who ended up crossing the platonic line while he was on the rebound. One morning, I woke up to find a troubled look on E’s face. When I asked what was wrong, he responded–

“I don’t know…I just feel less for you than I did before.”

Ouch.

Bar Italia: E and I caught up over dinner at this fabulous UES wine bar and restaurant

Thankfully, it felt like a lifetime had passed since all of this unpleasantness as I approached E at Bar Italia.

Over a delicious dinner al fresco (including a heavenly plate of fettucini amatriciana), we talked about life, love and work. A film editor, E was in town working on the movie “Kick-Ass,” due out next spring. Now married with kids, he was quite inquisitive about why I’m still single, whether I’ve ever been in love, etc. By choice and yes, I answered, adding wryly that he’ll have to wait for my book to find out more.

E thanked me for agreeing to meet him, observing that I had every reason not to. Laughing, I admitted my initial inclination was to say no but then I figured, why not?

I’m glad I indulged my curiosity. Seeing E again put an important period on a brief but seminal chapter in my young adulthood.

As I walked away from him, I thought to myself — he’s just an ordinary guy, one who happened to teach me the value of proceeding with caution when it comes to romance. And who, by extension, made me appreciate how great it feels to throw caution to the wind whenever you meet someone who warrants it.

Comment » | Bar Italia, brief flings, catching up with old flames, college romances, junior year abroad, London, Upper East Side restaurants, wine bars

Dinner With A British Old Flame

September 29th, 2009 — 6:09pm

Last week, I met up with E, a British old flame from my college days.

E resurfaced out of the blue in a Facebook email. I couldn’t help appreciating the irony of this, given that he was one of the reasons I hesitated to join Facebook in the first place.

During my junior year in London, E and I were good friends who ended up crossing the platonic line while he was on the rebound. One morning, I woke up to find a troubled look on E’s face. When I asked what was wrong, he responded–

“I don’t know…I just feel less for you than I did before.”

Ouch.

Bar Italia: E and I caught up over dinner at this fabulous UES wine bar and restaurant

Thankfully, it felt like a lifetime had passed since all of this unpleasantness as I approached E at Bar Italia.

Over a delicious dinner al fresco (including a heavenly plate of fettucini amatriciana), we talked about life, love and work. A film editor, E was in town working on the movie “Kick-Ass,” due out next spring. Now married with kids, he was quite inquisitive about why I’m still single, whether I’ve ever been in love, etc. By choice and yes, I answered, adding wryly that he’ll have to wait for my book to find out more.

E thanked me for agreeing to meet him, observing that I had every reason not to. Laughing, I admitted my initial inclination was to say no but then I figured, why not?

I’m glad I indulged my curiosity. Seeing E again put an important period on a brief but seminal chapter in my young adulthood.

As I walked away from him, I thought to myself — he’s just an ordinary guy, one who happened to teach me the value of proceeding with caution when it comes to romance. And who, by extension, made me appreciate how great it feels to throw caution to the wind whenever you meet someone who warrants it.

Comment » | Bar Italia, brief flings, catching up with old flames, college romances, junior year abroad, London, Upper East Side restaurants, wine bars

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty One

September 26th, 2009 — 3:10pm

When it comes to breakups, some are truly final while others simply begin a new chapter in your relationship. For long distance love Mark (a.k.a. Sparky) and I, it was a case of the latter.

After our rocky bicoastal romance ended in 1995, Sparky and I continued seeing each other periodically when business brought him to New York. Each time, the powerful chemistry between us would resurface. I now Open The Vault and take you back to March of ‘97…

March 31st, 1997
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

I saw Sparky tonight for what was the briefest encounter we’ve had in the three years we’ve known each other. Amazingly enough, in the space of just a few hours, my feelings for him resurfaced with an intensity that had me in tears just a moment ago.

X Marks The Spot: Sparky and I reunited here at a now-defunct restaurant on 58th Street and First Avenue

After our tumultuous reunion last fall, I felt certain — or as close to being certain as I can ever be about what Sparky and I have (i.e. not very) — that each subsequent encounter would diminish his place in my heart. But it was the exact opposite that happened tonight.

I could feel the deepest emotional parts of me responding to his closeness. We lingered in one another’s arms every time we embraced. And it felt so wonderful, like it always does, when Sparky finally pulled me into a long kiss. Only one thing was missing — those three little words.

It never really occurred to me that that would happen because, no matter what, we’ve always said “I love you” when we’re together. As if, in the middle of our overwhelming differences and impossible situation, that was the one thing I could always count on. Until tonight.

Sparky told me several times how happy he was to see me, and he was the one who initiated most of our hugs. Maybe I’m being unfair, expecting him to pick up where we left off, but he makes me believe that’s possible every time we’re together. He’s the one who reiterates how we’re at the same point in our lives, and how I should remember him in the future.

He didn’t say “I love you,” and yet he seemed truly delighted to be with me again. They say silence speaks volumes and he didn’t mention a word about his live-in girlfriend. Can I assume this means his heart still belongs to me? More importantly, why does that even matter anymore?

* * *

The question of Mark’s feelings would be answered soon after our brief reunion — though it wasn’t enough to ward off a painful revisiting of where we’d gone so horribly wrong in the first place.

3 comments » | catching up with old flames, ex boyfriends, First Avenue, long-distance relationships, saying I love you

Blast From The Past

September 24th, 2009 — 1:46am


When it comes to old flames, I’ve experienced my fair share of those inclined to make unusual requests.

One married ex suggested we go on a double date with his wife and my then-boyfriend. Another insisted I meet his live-in love — the morning after he and I had shared a few passionate kisses. The most unexpected request, though, happened yesterday with E, an old flame from my college days.

E and I were good friends until a disastrous brief fling. In a Facebook email aptly titled “Blast From The Past,” he informed me that he was coming to New York today.

I was more than a little surprised to hear from E given that we hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in more than a decade. And even more surprised about what prompted his email — a need for last-minute accommodations.

“If not you,” he asked, “Do you have any friends I might be able to stay with?”

He tempered this “super-cheeky” request by suggesting we catch up during his short visit. Here, I opted to oblige him.

Coming up…celebrating National Singles Week and, at long last, U2!

2 comments » | being single in New York, catching up with old flames, ex boyfriends, Facebook, National Singles Week, U2

Blast From The Past

September 23rd, 2009 — 8:46pm


When it comes to old flames, I’ve experienced my fair share of those inclined to make unusual requests.

One married ex suggested we go on a double date with his wife and my then-boyfriend. Another insisted I meet his live-in love — the morning after he and I had shared a few passionate kisses. The most unexpected request, though, happened yesterday with E, an old flame from my college days.

E and I were good friends until a disastrous brief fling. In a Facebook email aptly titled “Blast From The Past,” he informed me that he was coming to New York today.

I was more than a little surprised to hear from E given that we hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in more than a decade. And even more surprised about what prompted his email — a need for last-minute accommodations.

“If not you,” he asked, “Do you have any friends I might be able to stay with?”

He tempered this “super-cheeky” request by suggesting we catch up during his short visit. Here, I opted to oblige him.

Coming up…celebrating National Singles Week and, at long last, U2!

2 comments » | being single in New York, catching up with old flames, ex boyfriends, Facebook, National Singles Week, U2

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty

September 19th, 2009 — 4:51pm

When it comes to high school sweethearts, there’s good reason for the nostalgia associated with them. Years ago, I had the chance to rediscover why during a reunion with my prom date Hogan.

Ellis Island: Hogan and I shared a romantic afternoon here during his ’97 visit to NYC

It was Valentine’s Day of ’97. Hogey and I had reconnected months before in Toronto (where I spent part of my high school years). The chemistry between us had only deepened, so I was over the moon that he was finally coming to see me in New York. I now Open The Vault and take you back to February 1997…

New York, NY
February 7th, 2009


Dear Diary,

I can’t wait to see Hogan…Hogey has a sweetness and honesty that’s unlike any of the other men who have drifted in and out of my life. He’s driving down next weekend — a 12-hour trek! — and we’ll have our first opportunity ever to spend more than a night together.

Being with him will be the perfect cure for my winter blues.

* * *

February 15th, 1997

Even more so than during our reunion back in October, I adore what makes Hogan who he is. There is no pretense or game playing with him because it simply doesn’t occur to him be that way.

As we cuddled by candlelight just now, I basked in the delight of our evolving closeness. We confide so easily in each other, invariably resuming without effort wherever we left off before.

Hogey himself mentioned how things between us continue to change each time we’re together.

“We never go backward,” he said. “We only move forward.”

He leaned over and nuzzled my nose before adding–

“I feel more and more passionate toward you.”

Indeed, the physical chemistry between us on this go-round has been very different from what it was in the past. It’s like the attraction between us has matured as we’ve come to know each other more completely. It felt so exhilarating to be with him.

Hogan’s tenderness has soothed away my recent romantic angst by reminding me that some connections only get better with the passing of time. We don’t have to complicate things by worrying about what comes next because the here and now is fulfilling enough.

Mmmm.

* * *

It would be more than a year before Hogey and I were reunited again. In the meantime, another old flame paid me a visit — Sparky.

Comment » | catching up with old flames, Ellis Island, high school crush, Opening The Vault, Valentine's Day

Dinner With A Sweetheart From Long Ago

September 18th, 2009 — 12:38am

Thursday, after my action-packed experience at Fashion Week, I met up for dinner with my old flame Alain.

Like many blasts from the past these days, this one came about through Facebook. Now married and living in Helsinki, Alain reached out and I was excited to hear from him. Fifteen years my senior, he was my first experience of May-December romance back in the day.

It had been well over a decade since we’d last seen each other, so we had lots to talk about over dinner at Accademia di Vino.

Accademia di Vino: Alain and I talked about life, love and tennis over dinner at this UES hotspot

We talked about timing and the role it plays in finding happily ever after. Alain said it was when he decided he was going to take a break from the New York dating scene that the tide turned. Alain started hearing from several old girlfriends, but it was on the tennis court where he met his match.

Months later, when his Finnish-born sweetheart proposed by declaring they were getting married in her hometown, he was more than happy to say yes. As he shared this, I couldn’t help thinking that, when you find your life’s partner, the semantics of how you wind up together don’t seem to matter so much.

As he did many so years ago, Alain demonstrated that he’s one of the good guys.

“I couldn’t leave this earth,” he told me, “without telling you how sweet you are.”

Wow.

Coming up…a new author’s delectable approach to dating and a look at how to break up without being mean.

Comment » | Accademia di Vino, catching up with old flames, happily ever after, May-December romance, Upper East Side, wine bars

Dinner With A Sweetheart From Long Ago

September 17th, 2009 — 7:38pm

Thursday, after my action-packed experience at Fashion Week, I met up for dinner with my old flame Alain.

Like many blasts from the past these days, this one came about through Facebook. Now married and living in Helsinki, Alain reached out and I was excited to hear from him. Fifteen years my senior, he was my first experience of May-December romance back in the day.

It had been well over a decade since we’d last seen each other, so we had lots to talk about over dinner at Accademia di Vino.

Accademia di Vino: Alain and I talked about life, love and tennis over dinner at this UES hotspot

We talked about timing and the role it plays in finding happily ever after. Alain said it was when he decided he was going to take a break from the New York dating scene that the tide turned. Alain started hearing from several old girlfriends, but it was on the tennis court where he met his match.

Months later, when his Finnish-born sweetheart proposed by declaring they were getting married in her hometown, he was more than happy to say yes. As he shared this, I couldn’t help thinking that, when you find your life’s partner, the semantics of how you wind up together don’t seem to matter so much.

As he did many so years ago, Alain demonstrated that he’s one of the good guys.

“I couldn’t leave this earth,” he told me, “without telling you how sweet you are.”

Wow.

Coming up…a new author’s delectable approach to dating and a look at how to break up without being mean.

Comment » | Accademia di Vino, catching up with old flames, happily ever after, May-December romance, Upper East Side, wine bars

The Inevitable Reprise

September 13th, 2009 — 4:55pm

After you break up with someone, it often happens that — voluntarily or not — your paths end up crossing again.
One of my favorite books, The Heartbreak Handbook, refers to this as the inevitable reprise. I’ve been down that road many times, reconciling with an ex-boyfriend or briefly revisiting the spark that ignited in the first place. When I caught up with a summer fling for drinks this weekend, I couldn’t help thinking about the allure of the old flame — and how fleeting it is.
He said he’s missed me since I broke it off between us three weeks ago. Though the chemistry between us was still there, so were the reasons I chose to walk away. As he spoke of his difficult work schedule and inability to express his feelings, I found myself feeling very grateful that I’m no longer dealing with either anymore.
Like the other exes I’ve reconnected with, my fling reminded me how fortunate I am to still be single and not have settled for less than what I’ve deserve. Closure is a wonderful thing.

3 comments » | catching up with old flames, ex boyfriends, Moving on after a breakup, summer flings, The Heartbreak Handbook

Opening The Vault: Part Forty Seven

August 22nd, 2009 — 6:46pm

Sometimes it takes revisiting your past to appreciate what you have in the present. That’s what happened after my rocky reunion back in ‘96 with California-based ex Mark (a.k.a. Sparky).

Our tumultuous two days together found me reevaluating the relationship I had just exited, with captivating but complicated teddy bear Larry. Sure enough, I found my way back to Larry, albeit with very specific restrictions about what might (and might not) be in store for us. I now Open The Vault and take you back to November of 1996…

November 11th, 1996
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

I think I’m becoming a pretty fickle woman when it comes to romantic entanglements. Today, Larry and I got back together — just one day after a hot and heavy makeout session with my hairdresser and less than a week after my reunion with Mark. My emotions are all over the place these days.

After Mark left, for the first time, I started wondering if Mom was right when she once surmised that I’m “in love with love” rather than still smitten with my on-again/off-again. I also found myself comparing Mark to Larry and feeling that Larry is unquestionably the better man.

Last Thursday, Larry had been on my mind quite a bit so I was surprised to come home and find a card from him — with the most beautiful words a man has ever articulated to me.

He wrote at great length about how I’ve changed his life and how much he regrets not being there for me when Mom first got sick. I knew we needed to see each other again, if only so I could say a lot of what I failed to during our “Last Supper,” as he called it.

Nobu: A delicious lunch here with Larry led to a reprise for us

Well, what was intended to be a farewell lunch turned into a stroll down memory lane. Eventually, Larry took my hand and we were in each other’s arms. All of the old feelings were there, and every part of me melted as he squeezed me tightly.

I reiterated my inability to make a commitment and, as always, Larry listened and heard me. What impressed me most, though, was the soul searching he’s done during our 3 weeks apart. He seems committed to leaving his emotional baggage in the past.

No matter how many times I kept coming back to my restrictions, he insisted he can accept them.

“I just want it to be as good as it can be,” he said, hastening to add, “Until we’re done.”

“No strings?” I replied cautiously.

“None,” he said.

Things are different this time. I’ve indicated we should date other people and we’re not going to see each other as much as we did before. But that doesn’t mean we can’t add to one another’s lives. There is a level of affection and understanding between Larry and I that I’ve had with no other man.

And now that I’ve shelved most of my wistfulness about Mark, I feel freer to enjoy Larry without any baggage of my own. Here’s hoping the second time around for us is as good as the first.

* * *

Larry and I managed to fall back into a nice groove with each other, one that would continue for a couple of months. Much like what happened with Mark, though, the age gap between us would become impossible to overcome.

Comment » | catching up with old flames, long-distance relationships, Nobu, reconciling with an ex

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