When Dylan chose Kelly over longtime girlfriend Brenda on 90210, the woman scorned shut herself in her bedroom and put REM's "Losing My Religion" on repeat. Tired of hearing Michael Stipe's whining every minute of the day, Brenda's twin, Brandon asked his sister why she insisted on playing that particular song over and over and over again. Brenda explained to him that that was the song playing in Dylan's car the first time they broke up two summers ago. At the time, she thought nothing would ever hurt that badly. Unfortunately, this new pain cut deeper, burned hotter, and hurt a thousand times more. So she listened to that song hoping to feel the way she did back then, because that pain was more bearable than the one she currently felt. Damn, that Brenda was a GENIUS!
In high school, no one did unrequited love better than me. Hell, even Angela Chase managed to get her lips on Jordan Catalano a few times in the boiler room before he dumped her for not putting out then boned her best friend Rayanne Graff (FYI: I am still campaigning for the return of My So Called Life). But me, I never had that kind of luck. So I yearned and pined for boys who either didn't notice me or didn't want me. I built big dreams in my head and let my heart ache for them to come true. I vented, I stalked, I cried. Oh, it was all so deliciously dramatic. In high school, love is drama, evidenced by the proverbial lunch room break ups and school dance meltdowns complete with all the melodrama a teenager can muster. I figured if I couldn't be part of a real drama, I could always be the star of the theatrics in my head. And what a star I was! Sitting in my room, listening to a pathetic soundtrack that include such maudlin classics as "Glycerin," "You Were Meant For Me" and my absolute fave "How Do I Live," I swore that wanting someone who didn't want me back was the worst pain known to man.
Turns out, I was wrong. Wanting someone who used to want you back, but doesn't anymore is a thousand times worse. I've always said that finding someone you like at the same time they like you is almost an impossible feat. One party usually misses the boat. A few years ago, I thought I managed to accomplish this impossible task for the first time in my life. He liked me, I genuinely liked him. All was swell until he changed his mind. Words cannot describe how badly it hurt. For the first time in my life, tears weren't enough. My heart broke, and I felt it fall apart piece by painful piece. Confusion, lonliness, anger, and an overwhelming desire to forgive converged on me like a tidal wave and the only person who could stop the onslaught was the one who caused it in the first place. At that time, I wished I was still in high school. I wanted to trade the current anguish for the past drama. Compared to the new grief, high school's trials were easy and I desperately needed an easy way out.
It's been almost a decade since I've done the unrequited thing. I don't have the energy to sustain a one sided romance. I'm an adult and adult heartbreak involves real loss. Sometimes they don't love me anymore. Other times I don't love them anymore. And oftentimes love just isn't enough. I can't decide which is worse. But I do know that missing what I never had was more of a sweet agony. And when I'm missing something that I once had, all I want is to feel that way again.