Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Old heartthrob at Legoland

I never became the real girlfriend

At Legoland, Brian smiled his old sardonic smile. - Image by From VisitCarlsbad
At Legoland, Brian smiled his old sardonic smile.

On my 12th anniversary, I ran into an old friend. Sitting on a low wall at Legoland waiting for three of my five children to emerge from an exhibit, I saw Brian walk past. He was pushing a stroller. He was walking with his wife Olivia and a little boy with a head full of soft, brown curls. Brian looked older, but I would have known him anywhere.

Half a lifetime ago, when I was in college, Brian was a medical student at UCSD. I met him at a party at a friend’s house in South Mission Beach. I liked him right away. Brian moved toward me on the dance floor and said he liked my shoes. He had a head full of soft, brown curls, deep-set brown eyes, and an air of intelligent mischief about him. I remember leaving the party to walk down to the beach with Brian. We talked and kissed. We drove to Denny’s and ate breakfast at three in the morning. He drove me back to my friend’s house, and we watched the winter sun rise over Mission Bay.

Not long after I met Brian, I found out he had a girlfriend. A real girlfriend named Olivia who was going to law school in Berkeley. They had been college sweethearts. They intended to stay together. I was disappointed, naturally. Brian was Jewish, which at the time seemed exotic and mysterious to me. I grew up in Mammoth, where everyone was a WASP or a redneck. He was as smart as anyone I’d ever met. He treated me like I was smart. We talked about books and music and movies. Brian had money, which I did not. For college graduation, his father, a doctor, had given him a brand-new silver Mazda RX7. I didn’t have a car. I rode the bus or walked to school, to my job, to my little apartment in Pacific Beach.

Early on in our relationship, when we had determined that I wasn’t willing to sleep with Brian without being his girlfriend, we decided to become friends. For the next two years, we were “friends.” We went to movies together. We went skiing together. We went out to eat. We shopped. We hung out together at many, many parties and danced and drank the way you can when you’re in your early 20s and you have no real responsibilities. Underneath our friendship ran a deep, strong current of sexual tension. I knew that Brian was mostly faithful to Olivia. But I couldn’t help but hope day after day after day that he would someday dump her and I would move from “auxiliary girlfriend” to “real girlfriend.”

The irony of this hope was not lost on me the many times Brian let me drive him to the airport so he could fly to Berkeley to spend the weekend with Olivia. He left the RX7 with me so I could pick him up on Sunday night. I remember driving alone in Brian’s car down toward La Jolla Shores late on a winter afternoon. The eucalyptus trees looked black against an orange sky and the deep blue water. I blasted “Missing You” by John Waite on the stereo and breathed deep Brian’s smell. I took the corners a little too fast.

Brian and I only slept together once — a drunken, awkward groping late in my senior year. I honestly don’t remember exactly what happened that night. We played pool at a bar in Leucadia until the place closed. We went back to Brian’s house on the beach in Del Mar. I do remember the horrible silence when he drove me to work the next morning. I knew nothing would change. I knew a single night’s indiscretion wouldn’t elevate me to real girlfriend status. But when someone told me later in the morning that a man was on the phone for me, my heart leapt. Maybe it was Brian. Maybe he would say he’d had a good time. “Anne,” an unfamiliar voice came over the line. “This is Professor G. The faculty in the history department has voted you the most outstanding student. You’ll be getting an award at graduation.”

I should have been ecstatic. Instead, I was disappointed.

Brian graduated from med school. He married Olivia. They live in Los Angeles. She’s a lawyer. I went to law school. I am happy to stay home with my kids.

At Legoland, Brian smiled his old sardonic smile. Olivia said, “You have five children?”

I wanted to say a lot of things. I wanted to tell Olivia, “I’m sorry I was so stupid and selfish. I should have respected your relationship more. I shouldn’t have spent so much time and energy trying to take him away from you.” I wanted to tell Brian, “I should have respected myself more and not settled for always playing second string.”

Instead I said, “This is Angela and Lucy and Johnny. Jack is over on the airplane ride with Rebecca and Ben.”

“What’s the age range?” Olivia asked. “My oldest is almost 11, and my baby just turned 3.”

“Wow.”

A few minutes later after a few more pleasantries, I hugged Brian good-bye. The sun was almost down, and the trees looked black against a pearl blue sky. I gathered Johnny and Lucy and Angela around me and headed off to find Jack.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Mainly Mozart does drive-up at Del Mar Fairgrounds

Fiddle music, Billy Joel, and Purcell trumpet sonata
Next Article

Unexpendable Rambo

The first and fourth foray
At Legoland, Brian smiled his old sardonic smile. - Image by From VisitCarlsbad
At Legoland, Brian smiled his old sardonic smile.

On my 12th anniversary, I ran into an old friend. Sitting on a low wall at Legoland waiting for three of my five children to emerge from an exhibit, I saw Brian walk past. He was pushing a stroller. He was walking with his wife Olivia and a little boy with a head full of soft, brown curls. Brian looked older, but I would have known him anywhere.

Half a lifetime ago, when I was in college, Brian was a medical student at UCSD. I met him at a party at a friend’s house in South Mission Beach. I liked him right away. Brian moved toward me on the dance floor and said he liked my shoes. He had a head full of soft, brown curls, deep-set brown eyes, and an air of intelligent mischief about him. I remember leaving the party to walk down to the beach with Brian. We talked and kissed. We drove to Denny’s and ate breakfast at three in the morning. He drove me back to my friend’s house, and we watched the winter sun rise over Mission Bay.

Not long after I met Brian, I found out he had a girlfriend. A real girlfriend named Olivia who was going to law school in Berkeley. They had been college sweethearts. They intended to stay together. I was disappointed, naturally. Brian was Jewish, which at the time seemed exotic and mysterious to me. I grew up in Mammoth, where everyone was a WASP or a redneck. He was as smart as anyone I’d ever met. He treated me like I was smart. We talked about books and music and movies. Brian had money, which I did not. For college graduation, his father, a doctor, had given him a brand-new silver Mazda RX7. I didn’t have a car. I rode the bus or walked to school, to my job, to my little apartment in Pacific Beach.

Early on in our relationship, when we had determined that I wasn’t willing to sleep with Brian without being his girlfriend, we decided to become friends. For the next two years, we were “friends.” We went to movies together. We went skiing together. We went out to eat. We shopped. We hung out together at many, many parties and danced and drank the way you can when you’re in your early 20s and you have no real responsibilities. Underneath our friendship ran a deep, strong current of sexual tension. I knew that Brian was mostly faithful to Olivia. But I couldn’t help but hope day after day after day that he would someday dump her and I would move from “auxiliary girlfriend” to “real girlfriend.”

The irony of this hope was not lost on me the many times Brian let me drive him to the airport so he could fly to Berkeley to spend the weekend with Olivia. He left the RX7 with me so I could pick him up on Sunday night. I remember driving alone in Brian’s car down toward La Jolla Shores late on a winter afternoon. The eucalyptus trees looked black against an orange sky and the deep blue water. I blasted “Missing You” by John Waite on the stereo and breathed deep Brian’s smell. I took the corners a little too fast.

Brian and I only slept together once — a drunken, awkward groping late in my senior year. I honestly don’t remember exactly what happened that night. We played pool at a bar in Leucadia until the place closed. We went back to Brian’s house on the beach in Del Mar. I do remember the horrible silence when he drove me to work the next morning. I knew nothing would change. I knew a single night’s indiscretion wouldn’t elevate me to real girlfriend status. But when someone told me later in the morning that a man was on the phone for me, my heart leapt. Maybe it was Brian. Maybe he would say he’d had a good time. “Anne,” an unfamiliar voice came over the line. “This is Professor G. The faculty in the history department has voted you the most outstanding student. You’ll be getting an award at graduation.”

I should have been ecstatic. Instead, I was disappointed.

Brian graduated from med school. He married Olivia. They live in Los Angeles. She’s a lawyer. I went to law school. I am happy to stay home with my kids.

At Legoland, Brian smiled his old sardonic smile. Olivia said, “You have five children?”

I wanted to say a lot of things. I wanted to tell Olivia, “I’m sorry I was so stupid and selfish. I should have respected your relationship more. I shouldn’t have spent so much time and energy trying to take him away from you.” I wanted to tell Brian, “I should have respected myself more and not settled for always playing second string.”

Instead I said, “This is Angela and Lucy and Johnny. Jack is over on the airplane ride with Rebecca and Ben.”

“What’s the age range?” Olivia asked. “My oldest is almost 11, and my baby just turned 3.”

“Wow.”

A few minutes later after a few more pleasantries, I hugged Brian good-bye. The sun was almost down, and the trees looked black against a pearl blue sky. I gathered Johnny and Lucy and Angela around me and headed off to find Jack.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Lydia Loveless, Frazey Ford Live From The Commodore Ballroom, Conquer Your Fear Of Snakes

Events September 24-September 26, 2020
Next Article

Protestors accuse Trump Boat Parade of trading in racist stereotypes

White Suprema-sea?
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close