Valentine’s Day: an Aside

This story has nothing to do with my GAD. It does, however, have to do with the struggles I faced with my sexuality.

Uh-oh, I used the s-word. Don’t worry, this posting isn’t NC-17, or even R. This is a post about my first love. And I figure nothing fits the sentimentality of Valentine’s Day (no scoffing–I am sure that somewhere, the holiday still has some sentimental value) than a story of sexuality and first love.

This isn’t your traditional first love story. I didn’t date someone at a young age, fall madly in love, and then have my heart broken when reality set in. It isn’t A Walk to Remember or any such nonsense. Not even close to The Notebook. If it were related to any teenaged romantic film, it would probably be But I’m a Cheerleader, and not even in the ways you think.

I didn’t even know I loved her until it was far too late–and yes, I am aware that is a cliche, but it’s true. I lost my best friend because I was in love with her and I didn’t know how to deal with it.

This girl, let’s call her Monica, was my best friend growing up. There were countless sleepovers where we talked about boys, played MASH, held seances and watched scary movies. She was present at the majority (if not all) of my birthday parties from age seven to fourteen.

Monica even joined us on our family vacations. Twice she came to Hawaii with my family and I, and both times were a lot of fun (minus the second trip when my dad’s first break with sanity caused him to leave a week early, hug all of us except my oldest brother Justin, and bolt–but even then, his early departure allowed us to have the fun we wouldn’t have had if he stayed). The first time she came with us, it was the summer before seventh grade. We would IM for hours, planning how we would  meet cute guys. We met no guys, unless you count my brothers. And they sure as hell weren’t cute.

I remember the second time I called her to ask if she wanted to come to Hawaii.


“Hey, Whit.”

“Hey! I have a question for you.”


I took a deep breath, making the exchange as dramatic as I possibly could, “Would you,” long pause–


Long pause, “like to…” long pause.


“Come to…” long pause.


“HAWAIIWITHUSAGAIN??” and we squealed in excitement. I stopped spinning in the chair at my mom’s desk long enough to scream even more. I hung up the phone, and regained my composure.

That was the summer before our freshman year in high school. At that point, my family and I had conspired to set her up with Justin. That way she could marry into the family and come with us on all vacations! He would take her to his senior prom, of course, and start dating from there. We teased him mercilessly, constantly, and of course nothing ever happened between the two of them.

But Monica had lots of other friends. It was easy to see why. She was (and is) one of the funniest people I ever met. People gravitate towards her theatricality, her friendliness, and her sarcasm. She is one for adventure and humor, and she is quite talented at both.

I, on the other hand, didn’t really have a “group” of friends. I had about four or five close friends, but they each belonged to their own group. Monica had a huge groups of friends, within and outside of our small school. I was not a part of any of them, and as she spent time with them more and more, I grew increasingly jealous. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t hang out with all of them, why she didn’t include me. I was so furious at being left behind, after all, I took her to Hawaii! Twice! Why didn’t she invite me to hang out more often? (Probably because I was annoyingly clingy and jealous… in other words, stupid)

I remember the tipping point. I wrote her an email. I talked about my feelings and how hurt I was that I was never included and we had been through so much together. I was mean, I was harsh, I was cruel. But, damnit, she didn’t hang out with me as often and why couldn’t she see how great I was and how much that hurt me?

Of course, after she read the email, we were no longer friends. And I can’t blame Monica for it, not at all, because the email was completely and utterly immature, emotional nonsense that targeted her for having friends other  than me.

A year and a half later, I came out as bisexual. I had a girlfriend. And I realized one day, while writing competing romantic (aka shitty) poems for my girlfriend, that the reason I had been so insane towards Monica was because I had loved her so much. Not best friend love. Love love.

I’m sorry, Monica. I should have told you. Not that it would’ve changed anything, actually it probably would have made things really weird, but to be brave for once in my life (at least, once in my life before I was medicated).

And this isn’t even brave. I turned it into a story and changed your name, but it’s still written and not spoken. Oh, well. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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