Aren’t We Supposed to Learn from History?

Somehow, inexplicably, I’m still alive.  Obviously it’s because I’m meant to return to the activist ways of my youth and go storming the halls of Congress to make sure McCain doesn’t succeed in getting the healthcare reform bill repealed, but I can barely follow the debate as it is (and I have a Masters degree… no wonder this country is so screwed up).

Instead, I’ll probably just keep fondling my UK-issued NHS card, absentmindedly reminiscing about my time in London when it took a mere 24 hours to schedule an appointment, when I could pee into a cup without forking over a week’s pay for the privilege of doing so, and when I could actually afford the pills that keep me from blacking out during “that time of the month.”

Or I could stop blogging about my bodily functions already and just get on with the gossip.

Sadly, I’ve little to report on the eHarmony front.  PSM#4, as far as I know, is still in India.  Although he’s scheduled to return soon (and I’ve told him to get in touch when he does) I’m not holding my breath.  All things considered, I’m not having very good luck with eHarmony and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this is not good.

In fact, I feel myself getting… desperate.

Not desperate enough to call up PSM#3 and demand to know why exactly he left me standing on the street corner to hail my own cab (it’s still only January, after all).  Nor do I find myself entertaining thoughts of a reunion with Date #17 or the ill-fated Man from Marshalls (okay, actually I do, but only when I’m stuck on a very long bus ride surrounded by undesirable characters of the malodorous variety; I have no intention of acting on these thoughts).

Instead I find myself reaching further back—into the vault, if you will: the vault of boyfriends past.  Of course, this is a very dangerous road to go down.  Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship knows how easy it is to forget all the very reasons you ended the relationship in question and to instead to focus on the what-ifs.

What if I had slept with my first boyfriend?

What if I’d been content to marry the man I dated in college, instead of moving to London and back again?

And what if I’d stayed in London?  Would I be sharing that tiny flat in Hammersmith with my ex-boyfriend and his fundamentalist Christian sister-in-law?

Of course the obvious answer to these questions is that I wouldn’t be the person I am today: 25, single and free to date whomever I damn well please.  (And I’m reasonably certain I’d have never survived the flat in Hammersmith, lovely though it was at the time.)  But this knowledge is of little comfort when the storefronts are filling their windows with heart shaped boxes and I know I’ll be lucky to get a few Sesame Street coloring book pages from my preschoolers and a bag of pink and red peanut M&Ms from my parents (hint, hint: I’m counting on you guys.  Heart-shaped Peppermint Patties would be nice too).

And so why is it, I wonder (imagine my very best Sarah Jessica Parker voice now) that we feel compelled to revisit the past when we ought to be focusing on the future?

I might blame the fact that I majored in history as an undergraduate, but I’m reasonably certain that there are plenty of non-history majors out there who subject themselves to this very same foolishness when February 14th looms in the not so distant future.

6 Responses to “Aren’t We Supposed to Learn from History?”

  1. jswesner

    It is hard to dwell on the unknown. Just keep telling yourself you are better off because you are!

  2. Zak

    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t! I have committed to focusing on the future and I’m in discussions with Cupcake Queen – she thinks I’m not interested in the past, but really I’m just more interested in the future.

    Kat, I’m afraid both of us may be single for Valentine’s Day 😦

    Also, I already had a clue about your political leanings, but you just won my heart with that little bit about McCain. He’s gone from somewhat relevant presidential candidate to Angry-Guy-Who-Yells-at-People-to-Get-Off-His-Lawn in just a few short years.

    • Your Landlord

      Yeah, even as progressive as I am, I actually used to be okay w/McCain, but wow, what a difference a few years made with him, I keep thinking there HAS to be some kind of neurological thing going on–

      Anyway Valentine’s Day is just another excuse to date and dress up–nothing more, you could always celebrate that other well known February holiday as we do in our neighborhood, “Ground Hog Day” complete with carols, brown alcoholic refreshments and brown foodstuffs. Now that’s a date night!

  3. Jess Killmenow

    No one is surprised when I say that while we tend to regret the past and hold anxiety for the future, the only time we actually own is… now.

    Health care will be fixed, I have all faith. We are not evil, as a people. We do not wish to make money from the suffering of others, most of us. It is not balanced, therefore it must change, and it will.


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