Ghosts of Boyfriends Past

The New York Times Magazine includes a personal essay on the last page. On a good Sunday, I’m able to read that, a few headlines and discuss the Ethicist question with my husband. This Sunday’s essay was written by a new mom who, upon giving birth, began obsessing about old boyfriends. It was so on target, I could have written it myself.

Only the author accidentally calls her ex-boyfriend and bursts into tears. I have googled my previous crush, checking registries to monitor for any change in his status. While I have not almost called him or almost emailed him, the thought has crossed my mind. Multiple times. I thought about pretending to reach out to him accidentally, letting my fingers mistype an email address and being certain to include some information about me and the family.

The author suggests keeping your contact list current. Only, I am not ready to delete this former flame’s number just yet. I’m not sure what I am waiting for or what I would want to accomplish by talking to him, but I think I like knowing there is a way for us to reconnect. He is a writer and appeals to me in a very distinct way than my husband.

The former flame, and a few guys that came before and after him, share the same name. The exact name of my husband. So, when I go through my contact list to call my husband at his new office number or look up his fax number, I see the ghosts of boyfriends past. So to solve the situation, I switched a letter in his name, reducing the likelihood of an accidental dial. Maybe after the next kid I will be able to delete the information.

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