posted by Matt W on September 12th, 2012

Everyone has at least one. That person in your life that passes through your brain from time to time, that you think, “if only circumstances had been a little different.” I’m not talking about the guy or girl you dated for months or years, prior to finding your significant other, you had your chance with them, but rather that person who seemed like a great fit but you could never quite get together.

Out on the golf course the other day, I was chatting with my son. These days, the golf course is the only time I have him to myself for 4 hours. We were talking about a friend, a girl, from school. My son talks about this girl with quiet admiration; I can tell he really likes her, but she has a boyfriend. While my son doesn’t think this guy is a complete waste of space on this planet, I know my son doesn’t understand what this girl could possibly see in her boyfriend. She once told my son that she wished her boyfriend was more like him. Ouch! Just dump the sack of dirt and quit breaking my son’s heart.

Anyway, as he was talking, it reminded me of my college days. In a giant dorm at the University of Washington, we had a cool hall director that always tried to get everyone to do things together and suggested ballroom dancing. Well, a friend guilted me into signing up because I would be the only person not doing it. As it turned out, only two people had actually signed up, myself and another girl from my floor named Kim. Kim and I took ballroom dancing lessons together for over half the year. Every Tuesday night, we would walk over to the studio together and dance with mostly older people for a couple of hours. Everyone thought of us as the fun young couple that tried hard, because while Kim was light on her feet, I was… well… not.  We would dance and laugh together for a couple of hours and then walk back to the dorm laughing about that night’s dancing debacle (I was actually passable by the end). It was an awesome experience. We spent three great hours a week together but rarely saw each other outside of our class. She was pretty, smart and very funny, and of course a really good dancer, what more could a guy ask for? Well, she had a boyfriend from high school (I was slowly getting out of a long distance high school relationship as well). He seemed like a jerk but mostly our timing just sucked. When school ended for the year we said our goodbyes, and as I transferred to a different school the next year, I never saw her again. The next year, I ran into someone from my old dorm and he mentioned in passing that Kim was no longer dating that guy, apparently everyone on our floor thought we would get together after she dumped him.

Well I’ve been married for 25 years now and I can honestly say I have never thought, “If only Kim and I had gotten together.”  If I happened to walk by Kim in a grocery store I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize her. Truth be told, I would be just guessing if I wrote her last name.  But every once in a while, when I see someone dancing, or I hear a story about that person that didn’t quite happen the way it might have, I have to admit, I think of Kim. And as with most people who think of that distant someone in their life, it is the experience and not necessarily the person that I remember.

So here’s to all the people in our lives that for some reason or another didn’t quite work out. And here’s to Kim, I had a great time, and I hope your feet have recovered.

File Under Jack of all Trades, Mr. Cool