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IN FAVOR OF FANNING AN OLD FLAME

flame

Me: 15, clear braces, Natalie Imbruglia bob, dance team co-captain, all-girls Catholic high school 

Him: 16, no braces, adorable, moppy-haired soccer player, all-boys Catholic high school 

We met Junior year while I was waiting for my mom to pick me up from dance team practice at his school. I had seen him a few times running laps around the field, he had seen me rehearsing a few times and asked for my school photo (which I gave him only after writing something cutesy on the back that probably ended in “xoxo,” of course). He asked me to Homecoming shortly after that, and then we dated for almost three months (an eternity back then), breaking up a few days before Valentine’s Day 2000. At the time, this was the end of all life for me, worse than whatever everyone had predicted Y2K would be and then wasn’t. He was my first kiss, first technical orgasm (over-the-jeans action, but still counts), but all we ever really did was “hand stuff.” Sure, we bounced around the bases a bit, but we were rookies out there, hoping for a homer but barely rounding out third. Remember, we were supposed to be nice Catholic kids, so we were still in that “waiting for marriage” bubble. After the initial shock of my first real-life breakup and my subsequent dating his friend/soccer team mate who shares his name (which was somehow the scandal of our friend group that I still can’t live down to this day), we actually became good friends and kept in touch throughout the rest of high school, college and long after.  

Cut to a decade later and he was in town visiting family, I was just getting over a major breakup. We ended up at the same fundraising gala with all of our old friends, an event that felt less like the grown-up soiree it was supposed to be and more like a high school dance, especially because the guys still hadn’t mastered formalwear. Maybe it was my recent heartbreak or that feeling of nostalgia in the air or the open bar or the fact that we both looked like much hotter versions of our teenage selves, but the ex and I decided to abandon our friends and drive to a park in the dead of night—the very same park where we had gotten caught a lifetime ago by the cops during a heavy petting session in the back of his parents’ Audi 100—and proceed to have a wild romp on the hood of his car (this time a Jeep Cherokee owned by him, thank you very much). It was passionate and fun and we both laughed as he exclaimed in the heat of the moment with total sincerity, “You look so good naked!” Now who am I to pass up such a compliment? But more than that, it was the surreal mutual AH-HA! moment of, “Oh yeah, this is new! We’ve never really seen each other like this!” And when it was all over, as if we were kids again, he dropped me off at my mom’s house, went back to his parents’ house, and we both promptly told our respective guy/girl friends the very next day, even though we swore to each other we would keep it a secret.   

So, I am here as an advocate for the Long-Lost Lay, the Former Flame F*ck, the Bygone Boo Bone (I’m reaching, I know). There is definitely something to be said for having sex with someone you have a history with and feel totally comfortable with, but who you are now experiencing in a more intimate way than when you first knew each other. At least in my case, because so many years had passed and because our relationship never evolved past Zack and Stacey Carosi level, it was easy to keep things light after we went all the way as adults. There is that shared feeling of relief, knowing there isn’t any pressure to figure out “what are we?” because what we are is a couple of old friends who dated a million years ago who just want to get some. If you accept that simple fact, it can be a very fun, sexy experience without worrying about all the loose ends. And with all the insanity in the world nowadays, sometimes you just need something easy. 

Update: The ex and I are still great friends to this day despite our wildly different political views, fashion sense and overall life goals; he is still one of the only people who actually calls me on my birthday every year (a legitimate phone call, people! With dialing digits and hearing voices and everything!)

 

 

Author: Rebecca Duckert
Email: rtducker@gmail.com
Author Bio: New Orleans Lady in New York. Entrepreneur, story-teller, maker, dancer, and proponent of the Oxford Comma.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @duckmeetsworld

 

 

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