the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Connecting in Memphis

Text message to my cousin while Jon and I are at the airport in Memphis on a layover: “I JUST RAN INTO MY BOYFRIEND FROM HIGH SCHOOL.”

Her response: “Of course you would!”

Yes, I even text in all caps, but come on. That one called for it. In fact, I can see a few instances in which an all caps text would be appropriate:

“THE BABY’S HEAD IS CROWNING, COULD YOU PLEASE PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AND COME OUT OF THE BATHROOM.”

“FRAMPTON.”

“TELL ME YOU DID NOT JUST REFER TO SAN FRANCISO AS FRISCO.”

“DOES YOUR MOTHER HAVE A PLUNGER BECAUSE I’M GOING TO NEED ONE IN HERE.”

And my cousin was right, I would totally run into my boyfriend from high school while on an hour layover in an airport. That is the crazy energy I attract, which I guess means that this is the exact kind of energy I’m putting out. This explains the mythical bobcat, the towel the plumber found in our sewer line, that case of SHINGLES! I had when I was breastfeeding Marlo, the fact that when choosing which miniature Australian Shepherd we wanted from the litter we ended up with the one who barks at walls.

So yeah, I was standing in line to buy some lunch, eying the menu from several feet back when out of the corner of my eye I saw someone approaching me and at the same time he was madly pointing at my head. My first thought was, oh right. It’s the South. These people are insane.

Then he called out my name, and when I focused on his face I did not recognize him. So I thought, hmm, maybe he knows me from my website? Maybe he follows me on Twitter? Maybe I slept with him and don’t remember?

And then time did that weird, dizzying thing that causes all the noise in the room to sound like a giant fart underwater. Because then it came to me: OH MY GOD YOU BROKE MY HEART EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO YOU BASTARD.

He did. He broke it right in half, and I did not get over it for a long time. But that was when I was unmedicated, so I did not get over a lot of things including the rapid decline of New Kids on the Block.

I did eventually get over it, but I had convinced myself that I was not going to see this person ever again in my life. It just wasn’t going to happen, the possibilities were too slim. I mean, I haven’t been back to my hometown in almost eight years, and the only reason I was there right then was because of a layover. What are the chances of running into the first person who ever broke your heart on a layover? I mean, disregarding the plot of a hundred romantic comedies.

We hugged and caught up, all while I tried to find my footing because SERIOUSLY? What are the chances? He’s married, has a kid and two dogs. Works for himself. Was perfectly lovely. Except, wow. I did not remember his accent being so thick. Which is not a bad thing, but when you’ve been married to someone for over eight years who has no accent at all, it’s very weird to be reminded that you used to date someone who sounds just as hillbilly as you do.

Since he had the time I walked him over to our gate and introduced him to Jon, who you will note was not one bit surprised that I had returned with my first true love and not that plate of pulled pork he was waiting for. This shit just happens to us. You mean you didn’t run into Jesus and reminisce about all those prayers you used to send up asking for bigger boobs? All you’ve got is your first boyfriend? YOU DO DISAPPOINT.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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