Tuesday, June 27, 2023

My Ex-Boyfriend Died

 If you have ever wondered if you should tell someone's ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend that their former boyfriend/girlfriend has died, the answer is yes. Do it carefully with some tact. 

 A girl from my early college years contacted me to let me know a boy from our old university space club circles went into cardiac arrest suddenly and was on life support. She said things did not look good. 

This boy - who was unbelievably 50 now - was quite honestly one of the most brilliant people I have ever met. His intellectual prowess was only matched by his equally inversed lack of social skills. You know the type - a rocket scientist with food stuck on his chin.

I remember the shouting matches he would engage in with other senior engineers in our space club. They made me so uncomfortable. He was the first person who showed me how to row in a 2-man crew boat. I still have a piece of scrap paper from 1995 where he scribbled his name and phone number and the words "crew and SEDS" on it. (SEDS is the acronym for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.) We went out a few times. Things were innocent and then awkward and he hurt my feelings bad enough I cried at least twice in front of him. Hard, eye-stinging ugly cries. It was humiliating, and I really had no control over it. 

A couple of years after he gave me his number, after he graduated and after he got engaged to someone else and after he moved to California, I became the President of that collegiate SEDS club. 

I did see him again. Years later, we actually worked at the same tiny aerospace company for a while. He was in a top management position, and I ...was not. He seemed to be very savvy with money and taxes and insurance. He drove a nerdy little car, presumably because he had gotten it on the cheap. He had a kid in day care that he had to pick up every day because his wife refused to do it, even though she worked at home and we often had meetings that ran past 5:00 and he couldn't attend them. (His wife has never liked me. Go figure.) 

He told me once, "Life isn't fair." I was aware of how much money he made a year, and I thought, "What the HELL are YOU talking about??" He also told me once, ironically, cruelly, that if you could survive to age 65, you'd probably make it to your 90s. Now I wonder if he had some underlying health problems. He allegedly caught covid during the pandemic - maybe that did that damage his heart? He was always fit; he always played some type of sport. I remember sitting on the edge of the sand volleyball court and watching him play in college. 

He left two teenage boys behind. I really feel sorry for them. My Dad was here until I was nearly 40, and that wasn't long enough.