Of all we can offer

Let me tell you about the boy who broke my heart.

(Hey, why not? It’s not awkward at all sharing my inner most thoughts on someone else’s blog. No way. But when HBM asks, I answer.)

You might think I’m referring to the storied “one that got away“ that everyone seems to have, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He didn’t get away. Well, he did but then he came back and helped repair my broken heart, then set me free again.

Let me explain.

We met as teenagers, this boy and me, children playing grownup games. We were casual friends, at best, for a couple of years until the late spring evening I finally ended a volatile relationship and went searching for the safety of friends. He came to sit near me next to a bonfire, we struck up a conversation, and when my ex-boyfriend came to find me – as I knew he would – the boy stood up in front of me and kept the craziness of the past few years away. And then he saw to it that I made it home safely and stood up for me again when my ex was there waiting.

That boy was already a fixer of broken things; animals, cars, houses, things discarded. I didn’t know until much later that he was also a fixer of broken people. The damaged seemed drawn to him, and I was no exception. After the night at the bonfire we started a minor flirtation that led to a short but intense romance. Our mutual friends definitely approved of our relationship but then, as young men often are (and I can say now that I’m wiser and… cough older cough – I don’t hold it against him) he was tempted by… How do I say this nicely?

A bleached blonde with a big rack. Damn him. Seventeen years later and that still chaps my ass.

But I digress.

My heart was broken. He betrayed me in the worst way, going for such an obvious tramp when anyone could see I was so much better for him. I spent the rest of the summer listening to sad music and driving by his house at odd hours.

I’m not proud of that last fact. So cliché.

Then, trying to repair the shredded pieces of my poor heart, I met my next big relationship. And don’t you know that boy realized the error of his ways and tried to come back to me, only to find out I was already with another. Too little, too late. I took a sort of perverse pleasure in that. Still do, but I’m a small person.

The summer was over and I went back to college. That seemed like the end of my relationship with that boy, romantic or otherwise. But fate has a funny way of bringing two people back together who are meant to be together, as we obviously were. I’d come home on weekends and somehow we would meet up.

(We still ran in the same circles, it wasn’t hard)

He’d call me at school, we’d get together when I had the time. Eventually, we rekindled our friendship and we became very good friends. That’s what we were meant to be all along. Just good friends.

You don’t believe that either, do you?

You would think that being the reasonably intelligent woman that I am I would have noticed the signs, but apparently I was not reasonably intelligent way back then. There were big neon signs that blinked different colored lights, pointing out the fact I spoke more highly of him than I did of the man I “loved” at the time. No, I didn’t notice. Or I wouldn’t. Good friends commented on it, how my eyes lit up when I talked about this boy, and I dismissed it offhandedly.

This went on for years, far past the point of lust or infatuation. Actually to even mention lust makes it seem so cheap. I relied on him emotionally and I believe he felt the same way. I’d be lying if I said there was no physical connection, because there was. Phew. The boy had a body chiseled from stone. But I can say with all the wisdom of my years that our relationship went so far beyond the physical that it never interfered.


We started meeting in private, away from prying eyes that wouldn’t understand the depths of our relationship. We were friends. Good friends but just friends, we couldn’t understand why people didn’t understand that. We were innocents, whispering secrets under the cover of darkness. We could go for months without seeing each other, but if I needed him I could find him and he would be there for me no matter what.

All the while I was miserable and becoming more so by the day but never while with him. I had gotten in so far over my head that I couldn’t claw my way out, except when I was with this boy. When things got desperate I could slip away and know that I would find safe harbor with him, in his little house, and in his arms.

(You’d like to know how innocent we weren’t, don’t you? Too bad. I will tell you this, there‘s a song from the 90‘s by a very popular southern band that sums up our relationship perfectly. It could have been written for us. You figure it out.)

Right about now you might be wondering why we weren’t a couple, this boy and me, why I didn’t just chuck it all to be with him. It sounds kind of strange but our relationship wasn’t like that, it was too fragile for every day life, and it wouldn’t have been able to survive the harsh light of day. Everyday obligations would have destroyed us. And though we loved each other, and here’s the really trite part, we weren’t in love with each other. In real life, away from our safe cocoon, we were much too different to make it work.

I did eventually find the pieces of myself that I had lost, or maybe I never had them to begin with, and I believe to this day that it was because of that boy, the fixer of all broken things, that I was healed. He helped to put me back together again. And then, through a series of small but unfortunate events, our friendship ended. It was time.

I often wonder what it would be like to talk with him again now that our lives have changed so much, but it would probably be awkward. You can’t go back I guess. Not that I wouldn’t take the chance if it were presented to me – are you kidding? I’d jump all over that – because I’d like to thank him and tell him I’m happy today because of him. He’s married now to a local girl and he lives obscenely close to a relative of mine, but if fate has not yet brought us together then it’s not the right time.

Until the time comes I’ll close the chapter on that part of my life – it seems appropriate since he brought me here to this new one – but I’ll always remember him fondly. And not just because of his six pack abs.



Mrs. Chicky has a problem telling Her Bad Mother’s blog and the Basement apart but is very happy that HBM gave her the opportunity to use her blog as a place to vent her innermost thoughts. HBM will be happy to know that Mrs. C only ate one pint of her hidden Haagen Dazs stash while writing this (hey, you go away on vacation and people are bound to raid your freezer), as ice cream, like writing, is very therapeutic for healing old wounds.


40 Responses to “Of all we can offer”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Awww. What a great story. Now I’m gonna be racking my brain all day for that 90’s song you hinted at! 😉

  2. Nancy Says:

    I had one like that. We were not quite friends, not quite more than friends. It was strange but fulfilling.

    I wonder where he (your “he”) is now.

  3. Lawyer Mama Says:

    Great story, Mrs. C! I should have known that great pain and longing lurked behind your snarky exterior.

    Seriously though, I had one of those guys too. We’re still good friends and there is, thankfully, no attraction, but he was my rock for quite some time in college and afterwards.

  4. Tere Says:

    Great story! I don’t have a guy like that in my past, but my heart has been broken a-plenty.

  5. slouching mom Says:

    Such a story. Makes one wonder what might have happened if the timing of events had been different, even very slightly.

  6. Kyla Says:

    We need more details on that song!

    Great story.

  7. Lori at Spinning Yellow Says:

    Oh I have one of those old boyfriends. I am so glad I didn’t marry him, we’d be miserable, but he helped me be ready for the right guy.

    This line: “I spent the rest of the summer listening to sad music and driving by his house at odd hours” and Oh the Joys reminiscing about “the mix tape phase of a relationship” brings back lots of memories!

  8. Redneck Mommy Says:

    I’m much too perverted for that story…I just keep imagining you and the sixpacked boy steaming up the windows of his daddy’s car….

    Thanks for sharing.

    I’d be bitter over the bleached blonde with the big rack too.

  9. petite mommy Says:

    I think so many of us can relate to stories like this. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  10. Emily Says:

    THose relationships are too sweet to last, I suppose…

  11. Avalon Says:

    For me, it was the hair. Forget the abs…….it was the lustrous, dark, soft curls that killed me. I bet he’s completely bald now.

  12. BOSSY Says:

    Wait – Bossy saw this movie: it stars Julia Roberts, right?

  13. Miguelina. Says:


    I get this story at so many levels – seems so many of us have boys like this in our past.

    (But now I’m dying to figure out what song you’re talking about!)

  14. Alex Elliot Says:

    I’m trying to figure out that song too! That’s a wonderful story. I got the same choked up feeling I get when I watch Lifetime movies. Did I just admit that I watch that channel?

  15. Mrs. Chicky Says:

    RM – He had his own car. A truck, actually. A big one. *wink*

    AE – I’m more concerned that you’re comparing my life to a Lifetime movie. Who would play me? Valerie Bertinelli?

  16. Major Bedhead Says:

    What a great story. I love a bittersweet ending, although I love them more when they’re not happening to me.

    I can’t figure out the song either.

    Valerie Bertinelli is too short (and too plump) and too dark-haired. Mary Stuart Masterson.

  17. motherbumper Says:

    What is it about those bleached blondes with big racks? Wonderful story Mrs. Chicky for more reasons than I could cram in this comment.

  18. carrie Says:

    Beautiful. And yes, I think I’m one of those who can relate — almost down to the little details. Mine was too sweet to last too.

    Thanks for sharing. *sigh*

  19. Amanda Says:

    I don’t think it’ll be long before Mira Sorvino hits the Lifetime circuit, there could be worse people playing you, right?

  20. jen Says:

    i loved this, chicky.

  21. Julie Pippert Says:

    Don’t we all have this boy in our past?


    Just you? And me?

    Mine’s an actor in LA now. 😉

    What song? Which part of the 90s? The part where I was young and carefree in my 20s or the part where I was a boring old married working person?

    Must say…loved your confession. Loved the last bit about mistaking the blog for basement. You crack up.

    No, I meant you mean mean mean girl. 😉

    Ravin’ Picture Maven

  22. The Chick Says:

    I needs to know the name of that song! I can’t figure it out!

  23. Mrs. Chicky Says:

    If someone can figure out the song I’ll make the winner an extra special mix CD.

  24. Mrs. Mustard Says:

    I love this post. I lived this post.

  25. Karen MEG Says:

    Thanks for that great post – I was riveted, really enjoyed it. Brought back a lot of young love angst to me too.

  26. Queeny Says:

    S’cuse me while I run and get a box of tissues. Reminds me of a love lost long ago (not quite that romantic, though).

  27. FENICLE Says:

    I SOOOO needed this today 🙂 Thank you!!!!

  28. creative-type dad Says:

    Sounds like a movie.

    driving by his house?? Did you call his house and hang up too?

  29. ~JJ! Says:

    Damn girl. Juicy.

    One day, I’ll get juicy too…you inspired me..Maybe in the basement.

  30. Pinks & Blues Girls Says:

    Oh yes, the ol’ drive-by… why did we always resort to that?

    Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

  31. notamommy Says:

    what an amazing story, my eyes where glued to the computer screen and lets just say that I never read blogs…thanks for changing that mrs. chicky.

  32. Sarah Says:

    I did the “drive-bys”. That made it so much worse when I could see the other girl’s car in the driveway with my own eyes and know for sure.

  33. Binky Says:

    This makes me realize that my life pre-baby really lacked introspection. I have no stories like this. I mean, there were incidents, but nothing I bothered to reflect on the next day, or ever. I was like “la la la” through a life of questionable decisions. You, on the other hand, seem much more in tune with yourself and the world around you.

  34. Jenifer Says:

    I have a guy I think of similarly. We were always just friends, but would get together when one or the other needed a shoulder, or a cuddle…or ….ahem. Anyways, he still works very close to me and I have many friends that still see him regularly, but I am now married with kids and he just had his bachelor party last week. While listening to some of the stories, it warmed my heart because i know he truly loves the girl he is marrying and she is good for him, however I can’t help but think that if I ran into him today I might actually have the guts to tell him that there is a small part of my heart that will always belong to him and be grateful for the friendship he gave me.

    It si odd to have someone that I feel that way about. Most “loves” have ended badly and leave a sour taste in my mouth. But he never was a “love” so there never was anything to lose, we just grew our separate ways and found our “true loves”. I can truly say his “relationship” is one of the only ones in my past that I have ONLY fond memories of. And that’s what makes him so special.

  35. Fairly Odd Mother Says:

    REM’s Losing my Religion? Not really ‘southern’ as in ‘country’ BUT they are from Georgia.

    And, your boy sounds lovely.

  36. Ruth Dynamite Says:

    There’s this Garth Brooks song (just hear me out here, OK?) where he and his wife run into the girl who broke his heart years before, and he remembers (in lovely melodic verse, mind you) how beautiful she was, and how his heart yearned for her and so on, but then…side by side with his wife many years later, he wouldn’t change a thing.

    When you do run into this guy, I suspect you’ll finally have some closure and you’ll squeeze Mr. C just a little bit tighter.

  37. Pinks and Blues Says:

    Ah… I know this fixer-of-broken-things’name. I know his little house. I know his arms. His lips. His abs (although we didn’t call them that back in 1967)!
    Wonderful post. Wonderful revived memories. Especially as summer winds down like a fading romance.
    Sharon – Pinks & Blues Girls

  38. ewe are here Says:

    I love this story… great post!

  39. Deborah Says:

    This bit about him being a fixer of broken people. I know how it is, when you start to rely on just one people in a relationship. I used to do the same thing with my husband, but we ended up divorced. But this ebook I’m reading got me to rethink my love for him, and now we’re working out our relationship. I wonder if this book might have worked on you, too, way back?

  40. Reen Says:

    Awwwww. I have one of those.

    Great post.

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