Though I can count the number of official relationships I’ve been in on one hand, I’ve been in enough romantic entanglements to have favorites. In my junior year of high school, I had the pleasure of dating my favorite boyfriend for three glorious months.
Though he broke up with me the summer before he headed to college, we continued to flirt with each other for weeks after, entertaining the thought of sneaking out to hook up. I even visited him at school during Labor Day weekend that fall, where we did, in fact, fool around a bit in his dorm room.
In short, I really liked him. All things considered, I still really like him as a person — there’s a reason he’s remained my favorite ex. However, a few holiday seasons ago, I screwed up with him big time.
I present this story as a cautionary tale: do not be naive. Do not assume that just because your ex wanted to hook up in September, they’ll be available again over Thanksgiving and winter break. You will be embarrassed, and you may even wish you were dead for a few hours.
As I briefly acknowledged earlier, my ex is a year older than I am. So, during my senior year of high school, I seized the opportunity to hit him up when I saw all of his fellow state school attendees come home for break.
It started with a cheeky face picture on Snapchat. No text yet, just an image to remind him how much cuter I’d gotten over the summer. As expected, he responded with a face snap of his own. It seemed like the game was on: we were officially flirting.
After his initial response, I began to search for something to comment on. From his surroundings, it was evident that he was sitting in his living room — I still remembered his house well. Coming up empty, I shamefully sent an even cuter face snap. Knowing myself, there was probably some cleavage in it for good measure.
As if he knew I was grasping at straws, he responded with yet another face snap. This time, he was wearing glasses. Thus, a conversation topic was born.
I sent another cute face snap, this time with the text, “omg, glasses?” No point in being coy, right?
My ex-man responded a few minutes later. “Lol yeah,” he sent.
I swooned. How to respond to a man of such few words? I went with a cheeky, “did you always wear them? Bc I’ve never seen you wear glasses before.”
Another few minutes went by before his response came. “Nah, they’re new,” he replied, the glasses sitting lower on his nose than before. Surely, this new placement was inherently sexual.
When flirting with your hometown hottie, it’s essential to know when to put the heavy moves on. At that moment, the timing seemed nothing short of perfect. I tapped on my phone screen, taking dozens of selfies before I landed on the perfect one. Haphazardly, I sent, “I think they’re super cute.”
Waiting for a response was painful; I distinctly remember screaming into my pillow. I texted all of my friends that I had finally done it. By texting my ex that I liked his glasses, I basically asked him to have copious amounts of sex with me. Just as I started to picture how poetic and beautiful it would be to lose my virginity in his bedroom, my phone buzzed.
He responded. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t even wait a minute to open it.
My jaw dropped when I saw his response. Sure, it was another face snap, but the text was what got me.
“Thanks, my girlfriend thinks so too.”
Girlfriend? How could my favorite ex possibly have one of those? He couldn’t have gotten into a serious, monogamous relationship between Labor Day and Thanksgiving — it seemed impossible to fathom. He was reserved for me! I had my name written on him in permanent marker!
Obviously, I’d been mistaken. It wasn’t a total loss, though. Years later, he’s still in the same relationship, so whoop-dee-doo for him. I’m happy that he’s happy, solely because he’s a great guy and deserves it. However, I’m still embarrassed, and I think I would shrivel up and die if I ever saw him again. I do not expect an invite to their wedding — it will probably happen within the next two years.
All of this goes to show: the worst thing you can be this holiday season is presumptuous. Don’t assume that your high school ex, fling, hookup or whoever is available when you head home for the break — you’ll save yourself from a world of embarrassment.
Virginia Snatch is a student at Cornell University. Comments can be sent to [email protected]. The Slip ‘N Slide runs during alternate Sex on Thursdays this semester.