This morning I stumbled on a cache of old “love” letters, if you will, from high school.  Reading them wasn’t so much nostalgic as it was amusing (and somewhat cringe-worthy).  They are filled with corny endearments, from “honey bunny” to “smoochie wookums,” with a healthy smattering of “darlings” thrown in.  This is only made funnier by the fact that my “ex” and I are currently great friends, and I can no longer imagine him uttering the phrase “dearest Joanne” unless it was dripping with sarcasm and followed by some cheeky insult.  Yet I have, in my possession, a reminder of his “whipped-ness,” once upon a time.

But on a sentimental note, the letters chronicle our adolescent angst and fears during a transformative period where both of us were navigating our transition into college while trying to cling onto each other.  So eager to leave our suburban childhood and yet wholly unprepared to give up on this relationship.  Funny how life seemed so much more simple and dramatic, at the same time, when you’re only 17.  By golly, that was six years ago!  To think that I was a nerdy, naive college freshman, walking around campus with my dorm key hanging on a lanyard around my neck (oh God, how did I ever think that was COOL?)  Religiously attending every 8 AM lecture and fantasizing about marrying my high school sweetheart.  Can you imagine?

There is not a drop of regret or wistfulness when I read those letters from the “yonder days of youth” (oh gawd, I crack myself up).  I still remember the sense of freedom and peace when I realized that we had come to the end of our story, but not of our friendship.  A revelation that was tinged with satisfaction and not resignation; gratitude, not bitterness.  I could not have asked for a better person to share in the excitement of adolescent romance.  And it was with excitement that I greeted our new friendship, which I can say with the utmost certainty, would last for a lifetime.

These days I make a point to catch up with him every few weeks.  Occasionally he picks up the phone to my mournful wailing.  You know, the usual “My life is in shambles!” call.  But I think we have been truly blessed to watch each other over the years, as we find our callings, pursue our passions, and slowly grow into the kind of person we always wanted to be.  And D—, if you’re reading this, you can be sure that “honey bunny” is forever eliminated from my vocabulary.  I doubt it would ever make its appearance again in my future relationships.  Because seriously, wtf were we smoking?

Yours truly,

“Honey bunny”

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust from Cook & Be Merry