Dream Team

I’d like to say I mirrored the Celtics in 2008 and had a banner year. I certainly had my share of trades; some of whom I thought would be franchise players who would help me create my very own dream team but alas, that pipe-dream ended abruptly in the very beginnings of the post season, the Holidays, with my exceedingly high hopes, of each player throughout the year, deflated with disappointment.

As I reflect back on my relationships gone bad, I’ve noticed another common theme. The ones I tell everyone about, that have the most promise of being part of my “dream team” are the ones that hurt the most when they end. I think I know why…

It’s like when you slip and fall on ice in private vs. public. If I’m going to fall, which I rarely do, btw, I would prefer 100% of the time there be no witnesses. Less embarrassment. Unless I hit my head but, even that’s questionable. (I fell off a moped once, in Santorini, Greece and hit my head on a rock. I saw stars and went cross-eyed for a second but, for the most part, I was fine.) Anyway, the relationships that have produced the most heartache, post-breakup, are the ones I was so excited to share with friends and loved ones.

One of my saddest breakups was with the Elvis impersonator. His whole story tickled me every time I told it so; I told it as often as I could. (Sometimes multiple times to the same people… Frankly, I think it tickled them just as much because I often heard “Tell it again! What does he do?!”)

The worst are the ones who make it to a family event. Elvis made it to dinner with my mom and step-dad. I’ll never forget the look on his face when my step-dad elbowed him at dinner and said, “You know, we don’t care about a wedding anymore. We just want grandchildren.” Then he proceeded to give him a “you-know-what-I-mean” wink. Elvis’ face turned white, mine turned scarlet. That was our last date. (Which is really too bad because I thoroughly enjoyed going to his shows, polyester and fake sideburns didn’t horrify me as much as one would think…)

Anyway, everyone knows that bringing a date to a family affair is a statement. Oftentimes, the consequences are overlooked in the planning. It always sounds like a swell idea but when the date nears, all of a sudden, it becomes a heart attack waiting to happen. Anxiety levels rise as both parties wonder, “Is this a statement I want to make? Am I secure enough with this relationship to share this person with the people I love the most? Are we to the couple stage yet or are we still flirting with just friends? Will they like him? Will he like them? Will he form an opinion of me based on them?” And, seriously, who is kidding who? You can’t help but think, “Is this a person I could spend every holiday with? Forever?”

Then, if it doesn’t work out, who is to blame? Family? You? Him? And, don’t forget, EVERYONE has to know, “What happened?” So, as if the original embarrassment (that it didn’t work out after you sparkled telling everyone about the highlights) isn’t enough, the wound has to be opened every time you see a family member that met the offending party. Ugh.

So, what is the lesson? 1) Don’t introduce a significant other to family until the engagement party. Who cares what they think, you’re the one that has to live with him. 2) No more dating stories until they’ve run their course and ONLY if there’s a comedy of events to share or a lesson to impart.

If my family is lucky, maybe the next dating story will start with the line, “Can I just tell you? I’m engaged!” Besides, the Celtics stunk in 2007. Perhaps, I’m just a year behind…