Not A Fellini Film

Did you do your homework? Just kidding.

In another life I would be your girl
We keep all our promises be us against the world
In another life I would make you stay
So I don't have to say you were the one that got away

For now, unlike Katy Perry in this song, I don't need another life where I would "make [him] stay," because I'm in the relationship-continues-to-exist universe. Hear that, honey? Our relationship continues to exist. In a good way!

There's been an awful lot of Katy Perry playing on Pandora in the kitchen where I work. And I'm okay with that, okay, because sometimes, Katy Perry is great. And by sometimes, I mean usually, especially if it's "Teenage Dream." I agree one hundred percent with what this Hairpin writer has to say about "Teenage Dream" in this incredibly long but interesting post about Marilyn Monroe:
Niagra [sic] also has an amazing scene where, when asked why she put on a particular song, Monroe replies “There are no other songs.” I know the feeling, Marilyn. That’s how I responded when people asked me why I listened to Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” for five weeks straight.
Except five weeks? I think it was longer for me. The release of "Teenage Dream" as a single coincided with the first month of our relationship being official, as well the first month of my living independently again after a summer with my parents, which made things less teenagery and much better. Anyway, the sentiment fit and it was SO CATCHY. Finding "Teenage Dream" on the radio was often my primary form of entertainment on the drive from Ann Arbor to Detroit on Friday nights.

But I'm not writing about "Teenage Dream," because there isn't much to say about that. "Teenage Dream" is straightforward. Love, happiness, skin-tight jeans. "The One That Got Away" is a fraction less obvious. Oh god, I just watched the video. Katy Perry in old-person makeup. Death. Did not interpret that song the way the video did. Did not interpret it very much at all. See, it's less obvious than "Teenage Dream," because there are multiple interpretations. You can lose someone to your being a bitch, to another woman, or to death. What's even less obvious is why I'm using a song about losing the love of your life to write about my current relationship. But it made me think about it, so you're gonna have to deal.

The thing is, we dated before. We dated for a couple months in our final year as teenagers, at the dangerous age of nineteen. Uh oh, I promise I didn't see another song coming, but this one is unavoidable in my personal mythology. And the Old 97's are great.

Nineteen is not the age of reason
I didn't have a reason for setting you free
I've seen a lot of love go sour
But that's not our love, you see the problem was
I was only nineteen

He was at the end of nineteen, I was at the beginning, and we'd both been dating other people, long-distance, the first year of our friendship. That detail isn't really relevant, that we'd met each other while attached. I guess it's relevant in that those broken friendships continued to affect us after we got together. I'd been dating my first boyfriend, my high school boyfriend, up until two weeks before we suddenly but also not-so suddenly leapt into a relationship and proceeded to float on the surface for a little while, before he called it quits and I acquiesced, quietly, then finished falling apart on my own. Nineteen was hard. Most of my friends agree that sophomore year of college was something like torture (except maybe Andrew in some random Facebook outburst where he declared he wanted to go back to sophomore year, but even he does agree with me when in the right frame of mind, and maybe he was being a masochist, anyway). There were money problems, and future problems, and friend problems, and no-longer-boyfriend problems, and those in turn led to sleep problems, and that's no good. (For my pride, which still exists even though I at one point declared that "I won!", I would like to state here that the insomnia preceded the breakup. If anyone's counting.)

It had started on the internet in the agony of the summer that preceded sophomore year, when we lived with our parents again. It started sitting next to each other on the impressively wooden-looking dorm room floor with an illicit bottle of wine, only two wine glasses, and several more people. It started sitting on my new couch, probability says it was after a Fellini film but I'm guessing that wasn't true in this case, with that request that guys usually only have to make to girls who are scared of their first kiss, or in this case, scared of their first kiss with not their first boyfriend. I'd really like to kiss you. I was a bundle of nerves, for one reason or another, for at least six months, not that the relationship lasted anywhere near that long.

My friends told me that we might get back together. We'd probably get back together. Then it was that we would never get back together and even if he wanted to, we shouldn't, and I had to forget and move on and give up. He left for South America, I for Europe. I let go, I even forgot the feelings I had had, but not entirely. There were too many words I could remember if I tried.

You should come over in a little while, otherwise I might take a nap. I might just fall asleep too. That's why we go so well together.

Ali, endless romantic, never really lost hope. She'd send me love stories from blogs whose entire archives I later read. But the first posts I read by those bloggers were about meeting his now-wife sophomore year before leaving to study abroad; her then-boyfriend, years before they dated, with years of an ocean and other boyfriends and girlfriends between them. Proof, that it could happen and did happen and would happen.

And somehow, she was right. He didn't get away, not yet. Eventually, we were done with college, we were both single, and we weren't being too crazy. We were living in different cities when it started, and I proceeded to move to his city as he was moving closer to mine. But it happened.

P.S. Maybe Emma should help me do a post about our favorite Emma-developed cocktail, the "Teenage Dream." It's a variation on the Fountain of Youth, and so delicious. It may involve juice with corn syrup, though. Sometimes, that's all Meijer will give you.

P.P.S. So the Katy Perry tie-in was weak one. Let's be honest. I just have "The One That Got Away" stuck in my head, and I wanted to talk about my boyfriend.

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