I’m hanging out in one of my favorite coffee shops this afternoon, having just finished a conversation with a good friend, and I pulled out my laptop to get my blog on for a bit. I’m typing away on a big announcement (which has been preempted by the next part of this story) when I look up to see the couple who has walked in the door.
And see the man I broke up with 10 years ago – the man I thought 10 years ago I was going to marry – walking past my table to the restroom.
He didn’t see me. And he was with a woman. (A woman whom the junior-high girl in me noted was significantly shorter and less pretty than I am.)
So, what do you think a mature, experienced woman – one who is quite happy with her life and her choices up to this point, who has had a wealth of fantastic life experiences, education, friends and travel – did in this scenario?
Slammed her laptop shut and ran for the door?
You would be right.
Why did I respond this way? It’s not like I needed to avoid him out of embarrassment – I ended the relationship, for a whole host of very good reasons. And it’s not like this is the only time I’ve seen him since our relationship ended – I managed, about four months after we broke up, to sit in the same row as his family at the local movie theater. He was friendly and gracious on that occasion, and I’m sure would have been the same this time (were he able to recognize me through the trail of dust left behind me in the coffee shop). So why?
I think it’s because I’m still (still!) fighting the embarrassment that I’m single at age 34. I’m buying into the lie that I’m somehow less because I’m still single, that I’m unworthy or unwanted because I’m unmarried. I know – I know – that this isn’t true. And I know that I’m making the right choices, the choices that are honoring God and working out for my best in the eternal scope of things.
But sometimes, on a Monday afternoon in a random coffee shop, when the past walks in right in front of you, it feels true.