One summer during my late teens/early twenties, I had a very brief romance with a boy I’d known since childhood. It was doomed from the start, though not for all the typical reasons you might suspect.
Oh all of those reasons were there, of course. I liked him a lot, which in my life always equated to an emotional power imbalance wherein I somehow ended up on the low end of the seesaw. He was also extremely smart and analytical, so ditto the previous explanation, with the ultimate outcome that this person would find a way to make me very sad. Or more accurately, that I would find a way to make myself very sad in the wake of his inevitable rejection of me. So all of that was there, and predictably came to pass in a matter of weeks.
But there was an additional problem.
His father was a beloved physician, and I’d been to see him as a patient for some serious stomach issues many years earlier. I should have remembered this detail before I allowed my heart to open up on this one. Because when you think about it, if you’re dating a guy and his dad has an intimate knowledge of your rectal vault and tendencies toward constipation, it’s not exactly a good omen. Indeed I might go so far as to call it a pretty bad omen at worst, and awkward at best.
So. What can we learn from this?
Well, if I’m ever lucky enough to have a close relationship with my teenage daughter someday, I’ll give her the same advice I wish someone had given to me: Never fall for a guy whose dad is a doctor who knows exactly how constipated you are. That’s just an inauspicious start to any new relationship. You can ignore this advice, I’ll tell her. But do so at your peril, because you can count on this liaison being just one more milepost on the unpaved, pot-hole-riddled highway to becoming a bitter, cynical, emotionally-damaged old hag wholly incapable of true vulnerability and non-ambivalent intimacy.
Not that I would know anything about that.