...but no love of which to speak.
The amazing photographer, Piotr Redlinski (check out his work at http://www.redlinski.net) , sent me a link to the photos he took on my 2-3 and 6th dates, respectively an experience I still can't believe I actually had. (Kudos still to the guys who braved that particular adventure with me, you only live life once right and who can turn down the NYTimes? Not me.) The photos are, of course, bittersweet to look at, as you know nothing has worked out yet with the guys I have seen so far. My first instinct was to delete the link and run away from the thoughts of the dates. I'm trying to be more chill about these things (promise I am) and having photos to look over doesn't necessarily help.
Then I remembered what was, perhaps, the biggest mistake of my life. When I was dating my high school sweetheart, love of my teenage life and now fantastic chef-to-be (maybe) in NYC (seriously, have him over to cook you his homemade mac and cheese, you'll DIE), Jared, digital cameras had not yet been invented (or had not yet reached the masses at least) so the pictures we had were taken by his parents or snapshotted by the two of us when we could get our hands on a camera. My senior year in High School, after we had broken up, his new love (?) told me some upsetting news about the summer before I went to China. I tearfully pulled out our pictures and said "but, doesn't he look like he loved me there?" "No," this unnamed girl told me, "it looks like he loves the camera." (Teenage girls are just so fun aren't they?)
You can guess what I did next, tore up practically every picture I had of the two of us into shreds of tree branches and disembodied eyes. It felt AMAZING at the time, exhilarating and liberating and naughty and wrong but I don't think there are few things I regret more than attempting to erase my past in that way. And there's a difference between letting go and forgetting there was once possibility in the air and that, I hope to never forget. It took me a long long time to get over Jared fully (he's one of my best friends now) but it would have been nice to always have the tangible reminders of the crazy Romeo and Juliet type love I once shared with him nearly a decade ago.
So, lesson of the day? Send all love letters, notes, pictures, etc to friends for safe keeping until you've reached the point of no-hurt-return and they can bring you smiles instead of tears. Oh, or just get a reporter to follow you on the dates so it will be kept in perpetuity until some fancier version of the internet comes along!