Monday, September 1, 2008

My Other Life as Brangelina

Once upon a time in a land far, far away (gotta love the New Jersey Turnpike!) I fell in love with a boy. He had golden hair and green eyes and a French/British accent. He reminded me of every classic arrogant heartthrob in the tradition of great English European literature. He was Goldmund, Dorian Gray and Mr. Rochester all rolled into one silk scarf wearing French accent having piano playing philosophy reading wine drinking hunk of a Euro-snob who would haunt my dreams for the next 9 years until therapy FINALLY started to take.

I loved him past the point of ridiculousness and excruciating humiliation. Of course, the whole time he happened to have a girlfriend who happened to be a model and work for the UN and be 6 feet tall and all that but I was much more concerned about what was wrong with me than what was right with her. Anyway, it was tragic. Yeah. I cried a lot and made a generous and abundant ass of myself. So of course, at the end of our freshman year, Golden-Boy came to stay with me at my lovely home in the suburbs of Richmond. He stayed in the Button Room by night (my mom's a button maker- professionally!) and we toured cemeteries and drank coffee at Steak N' Egg Kitchen by day. One of the high-lites of our trip was when I couldn't take it another second and said: "I love you ****" and he said , "You have a shitty car!"

Needless to say, that wasn't the end of our "relationship." It continued for 3 more years, but got a little bit less romantic as time went on. The last semester of our Senior year we didn't talk at all. After we graduated he called me a few times from overseas- once when I was playing scrabble with my then boyfriend, now husband. And more recently to tell me he'd married the UN model and that they'd had a 3 year old- a girl (the same age as mine- a boy) and another one on the way. I cried for 2 days straight after that- releasing him from my entire nervous/limbic/endocrine system- once, I think, and for all.

But alas, that's not the end of it! A few weeks ago, while vacationing with my in-laws at sunny Lake Norman (conveniently located on the outskirts of a nuclear power plant) I happened to indulge in a certain decadence normally reserved for dentist's: PEOPLE Magazine. Imagine my chagrin when I recognized the name of a particular Chateau in the South of France where Brad and Angelina decided to move and raise their small clan of natives. It was the very Chateau he had grown up in, that I'd heard stories about and seen pictures of. That I'd imagined I'd visit one day, if he had fallen madly in love with me and we had run off together and gotten married. Or if I was hitchhiking homeless thru France and one of his maids let me crash in the vineyard. Or in the chapel. Or in the recording studio located somewhere on those thousand acres. But that was not to be.
Instead, I was to read about the leasing of his family home in the tabloids, across an ocean and a continent and a sound barrier and a solar system. Across my own lifetime and much of his, still loosely bound by myth and legend and language, even if my name never was Jane Eyre.


  1. well, if the flames of romance can't be kindled over coffee at the Steak N'Egg Kitchen, they can't be kindled. God knows we tried....

  2. Oh my gosh. I remember you telling me about that guy.

    Unrequited love is a bitch.

  3. Get out! Small world. Ah, the tenacious vines of unrequited obsession. Life is so much better now, yes? XOXO, ESL