Reconnecting with an Old Flame
Alma Gill | 11/13/2013, 11:02 a.m.
I’m a 60-year-old man, married to the same woman for 33 years. I recently reconnected with my high school girlfriend on Facebook. It now turns out that she will soon be visiting in my area, and we are planning to meet at a restaurant we used to go to when we were teenagers. It will be in a public place, and the owners know my wife (who won’t be there). This is not a real “date,” but it’s more than a business lunch or meal with casual friends. My ex-girlfriend is not married, and I’m not likely to leave my wife. My long-term objective is friendship. Obviously, this reunion calls for more than a hearty handshake, but how much more? A hug seems inevitable. But what kind of kiss? A Hollywood-style air kiss? A peck on the cheek? A quick kiss on the lips? Or something longer? I assume we’ll figure it out, but how do I start?
Signed, can’t wait
Dear can’t wait,
Ok, I just slapped you upside the back of your head. Did you feel it? What’s up with you? Are you having a mid-life crisis? Why are you plotting to jump headfirst into the lake of natural-born fools?
You’ve been married for more than 30 years. What an amazing blessing. You’ve both worked hard to maintain and establish this life-long commitment. Now you want to destroy it?
Although you didn’t say how the conversation went with your wife, I assume you told her about this reconnect and upcoming lunch, since you’re planning to meet your old girlfriend at a local restaurant where the owners know your wife. Trust me, you’ve hurt your wife’s feelings. And if you didn’t tell her, when she finds out her feelings will be hurt.
This reconnect is wrong on so many levels, and worse, it’s disrespectful to your mate. You are not available to meet your old girlfriend for lunch, breakfast, brunch or dinner. You have nothing to offer her that doesn’t also involve your wife, so don’t try.
Forget the kiss. I hope you will rethink this MLC. Stop emailing this woman and cancel the lunch. The love and magic you’ve shared with your wife is far more amazing than what’s over the fence – or what would be sitting across from you at that lunch table.
Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans over 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.