A carnival has rides and strange people like fire-eaters and palm readers. I had my palm read and what she said was not what I wanted to hear. I wonder if every choice I made in the past had to do with what her future telling abilities. As you all well know, my track record with men has been a roller coaster ride, with many sharp turns, deep plunges and dips that threw me right out of my seat. When I look back at all the boys and men in my life, I wonder when I will meet the one that will hold my hand on that carnival ride.
My first boyfriend was in kindergarten, according to my Mom. His name was Ralph, a German boy living in Lahr while my family and I were stationed there. My father signed up to be a high school teacher for the army brats on the base, a good gig considering the vacation time and you're smack dab in the middle of Europe! We all got to travel Europe every vacation, from the British Isles to Cypress! Ralph was in my grade and used to tell me of his dreams of visiting Canada. If I had a picture of him I would remember what he looked like but it seems that most of my memory of that time has been lost in the subconscious mind of my dreams.
My next actual boyfriend, after a million crushes, was Teddy in grade 12. Yes I was a late bloomer when it came to boyfriends. This relationship was a bit forced as all my friends were hooking up in our final year and one night he kissed me, or rather slobbered all over me, so I guessed it was as good a time as ever. This relationship didn't last as we were pals really and nothing much more. I don't remember if it ended badly or if it even lasted very long.
After that came my clubbing years where I met many guys. My first sexual experience was with a guy in a truck. The cops even knocked on the window in the middle of the act and told us to move along. It was not that great and I did it to get it over with. I guess Walt Disney never embedded in my mind that the first time would be the most magical moment with bluebirds and shining stars floating around, my feet always firmly planted on the ground. Why wait for my Knight in Shining Armour? What a waste of a perfectly good time! Then there was Bill, a Hispanic guy I met in the dance club I frequented. He followed me around like a puppy dog until I gave in and patted his head. Next thing you know a little affection ended in a relationship! Not too long, about 4 months, until he got quite possessive. I sent him on his way. Then there was a guy from Somalia, Ahmed I think, and he was nice. We hung out a bit...nothing to write home about. This is when my parents started to think I was part of the UN.
Then there was Danny. A younger guy who, again, stalked me in a way, like Bill. He worked in the market where I worked and drove the Aquabus. Again I petted his head, and told him of how I liked my freedom and meeting many guys. This was to deter him but it didn't work and we were a couple soon enough. Four years younger than me, and underage at the time we started going out, Danny was quite the gentleman. He was very well behaved, cute and I actually fell in love with this guy for awhile. We moved in together and moved to 3 different apartments. We worked together in Granville Island Market, so we saw each other constantly. Eventually that broke down after 4 years and I caught him cheating on me, well potentially cheating on me--letters from a an admirer, not well hidden while he was away for a weekend, in the midst of moving again. I called my friend and he helped me move my stuff back home before Danny got home.
Now this friend that helped me has been my Harry, while I am Sally. We had known each other for years and the sexual tension was there through college and after, although, like the movie, either he was in a relationship, or I was and there never was a time where we could explore our feelings. Mark, was the crush of a lifetime I guess. After I moved back home, we went out on one date, and the pressure was so intense we both stumbled over ourselves. It never worked, sad to say, and now he is married with kids. I have to say I was heartbroken when I saw him and his fiancee in the mall selecting items for their wedding registry. I knew my chance for happiness had been lost forever.
After Danny, were few guys. One that broke up a friendship, as one of my friends slept with the guy of the season. Another, Adrian, wasn't so much a lover, but rather a chance meeting. He was a British bloke from Reading, England, and I met him in the local pub one day. We clicked in a second and hung out every single day of his stay in Vancouver. He was here for a month, and we met 2 weeks in. I ended up letting him stay in my apartment for the last 4 days so he didn't have to pay for the crappy hotel he was in. We snuggled a bit and "snogged" but that was it. I took him to the airport and our goodbye was like any you see on TV or in the movies. We wrote back and forth for months. Then it just dwindled out, like a candle burnt down to the end of the wick.
George, was my next endeavour and probably the biggest wrong turn I could have ever made. He was a big guy, 6'4", 280lbs, and he never had a steady job. He was one of the guys that hung out at the pub, playing pool, watching the game, etc. We got along like brother and sister until one day when we were drunk, it went too far. We were a couple and it was fun but not for my wallet as I was always out of money. Paid for the bill many times and realized too far in that his money was going up his nose--NOTE: coke is a bad thing everyone. He even proposed to me and I said I'm not sure. He had a job offer in Winnipeg, went to check it out. I was seriously considering moving there (remember I was not high!), when he called me collect to say he met someone else! I was devastated, not by his infidelity, but by the sudden abandonment. The stuff he had stored at my apartment, was instantly thrown down the garbage chute.
Then there was the bartender, Jim I think? He was also and powder addicted creep. He insisted at one point that I had given him chlamydia. I got tested immediately to prove it wasn't me, which I threw in his face....he was cheating on me! So that ended quickly. Then I met Ed, another British-accented bloke, from the Isle of Man. He was an ex-Rugby player, now a forensic accountant for Price-Waterhouse, Coopers. A catch you think, as did I. He was hilarious, loud, crazy, fun, exciting, and and alcoholic if you ever saw one. He made these excuses that sounded like fun stories. In London, you had to be able to hold your own during a business meeting, drinking profusely the whole time. If you didn't have the stamina, you didn't fit the mold. He was a lot of fun, and very intelligent, but unfortunately not the greatest lover. A bit boring at times, enjoying the History channel a bit too much, where if the movie was about pirates, he would make rum his theme drink of the evening. He did show me that I could mingle with the richest of them, like at his Christmas staff party at the Pan Pacific. I small talked with the best of them....We end it amicably and he disappeared probably off to another city to work.
Then a few more guys before my 6 year relationship with Peter. My next love of my life so far. He would just sit next to me after work and hardly talk until finally he asked me out. I said yes....and the rest is kinda history in my past blogs.
Just recently single again, and looking back on all of these men in my life, I wonder if I have ever really have a fully passionate, intensely deep and meaningful relationship. Those steep hills that I climbed after the previous dip in my love life, seem to be endless at times and why do I ride the same ride, over and over again? My most recent experience was almost identical to the powdered-George relationship, only more condensed. Yes, I saw the signs earlier and quickly jumped out of the coaster car leaving pieces of me still in the car. I know I should be single for awhile now just to get to know me again, the Jen not attached to one person. The Jen of the Granville Island days, where I enjoyed the entourage of guys and played hard to get just for fun. Riding the roller coaster alone is no fun though. I guess I will always want to hold the hand of another while twisting and turning through the ups and downs of my love life. I still curse that palm reader 20 years ago. She looked at my palm and said I would never be married, and have no children. I would live a long life with many men in my life. Looks like she was right?