The other night I had dinner with my mom and an ex she had remained friends with over the years. They dated when my mom was my age now, and I was about eight or nine. Back then he was seemingly a good match for her, although significantly older. He was handsome, successful, got along with the family, liked all the same things my mom did, and most of all, was nice to little old me. I had always wondered why they didn’t just get married. Remember, I was barely 10 at the time.
After receiving a birthday greet from him on Facebook I finally asked my mom what happened. It was obvious that he still had a thing for her. But her initial answer was simple and short: he as a womanizer. Of course he was. She then told me *smh* worthy stories similar to ones I’d hear from girlfriends of mine. Which is why dinner was interesting to say the least.
Nearly 20 years later, I’m sitting at the dinner table with both of them, eating my chicken adobo and pancit while they reminisce about the past. Bar hopping in Mexico, drives to various Napa wineries, and watching the Laker game in Phoenix. They laughed, and smiled, and had awkward but short lived moments of silence after certain memories were brought up. Their relationship reminded me a lot of me and “him.” And hearing his stories of visiting Mykonos during the summer when there was nothing but beautiful Italian women there, and eating tapas until 9am in Spain reminded me a lot of another him.
It gave me a lot to think about.
You see, somewhere after he began to gain a little weight, a few white hairs, and past his mid-life crisis, which is I’m sure around the same time women stopped throwing themselves at him – he realized that he was in love with my mom. He actually never stopped loving her. He just stopped wanting to see other women at the same time. It made me wonder about “him.” Was it going to take him 20 years, and losing his ridiculously good looks before he finally settled down? And what about him? My mom’s old flame’s life paralleled his at that age; coming and goes as he pleased, and having the time of his life.
I’m still not sure how I feel about all of it. On one hand I feel discouraged knowing that it took this man so long to grow up. On the other hand I feel optimistic knowing that there is such a thing as redemption aka karma. Oh, I forgot to mention that for the past maybe five years or so, this dude’s been trying to marry my mom. Too bad he’s only about 15 years too late.
What I do know now more than ever is when it comes to most men, the right time always trumps the right girl. I’m not saying my mom is the perfect specimen of a woman, but she was perfect for him. Yet, it was only until he got everything out of his system that it became perfect timing for him. It sounds selfish and fucked up, but it would’ve been even more selfish and fucked up had he married my mom then cheated on her.
I think that if more women were able to grasp the concept of “right time > right man,” there would be a lot less of us heartbroken. Alas we are two different creatures, we make time when we think it’s the right man. Fortunately, time also helps us realize that you weren’t the right man for us afterall. I tease my mom every now and then and tell her that she should just marry this guy. Today she replied with a wistful smile, “Too late. He should’ve had me, when he had me.”