The One Who Got Away by
(305 Stories)

Prompted By Dating

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The One Who Got Away

Like all red-bloodied,  pubescent American girls of the 50s I certainly did my share of dating.

In junior high school we started to pair off and with little information and probably more mis-information about the birds and the bees,  we experimented.   (My cowardly parents,   rather than having that embarrassing conversation,   gave me a not very graphic and not very helpful book entitled  From Little Acorns.)

But I guess we figured it out,  and we fooled around in cars and on couches,  although I don’t remember any of those junior high school boys taking me on any movie dates or to any restaurant dinners.

It was in high school that we girls finally got taken out,  and it was usually on a double date when invariably the two girls went to the ladies room together to talk about the two guys,  giggling through adjacent toilet stalls.   And I remember dates at dimly lit Bronx restaurants,  eating baked ziti while candle wax dripped onto checkered tablecloths.

I did date one college guy while I was in high school – he had a car,  was tall and lanky,  and had to bend down awkwardly to kiss me good-night.   Years later I heard he served some time for a white collar crime.   (I always knew he was a bit shady,)

Then in college the dating got serious and there were a few good men in and out of my life.  (See Cherry Coke,  Playing with Fire).  And then after college,  a marriage or two.   (See My Snowy Year in Buffalo,  Bed and Breakfast,  Valentine’s Day in Foggytown)

And now for many years with the same guy.   (See New Leaf)

But at times,  looking back I find myself thinking about the one I let slip through my fingers,  the one I let get away.

And I ask myself,  What if?

– Dana Susan Lehrman 

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Dating
Characterizations: moving, well written


  1. Khati Hendry says:

    Okay to wonder “what if”, but do hold onto a good thing! You capture some great details—loved the part about double dating and chatting through the toilet stalls, and the cheap Italian restaurant description. Easy to see there are lots of memories embedded in this story, and your life has been full. Cheers!

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    You have lots of good memories there, Dana. But knowing Danny as I do, it is OK to wonder, but I know that’s all it is. You’ve got a good man there and I know you know it.

  3. Marian says:

    Great emotions conveyed in few words, Dana, and I agree that sometimes you can’t help but wonder what if … I am glad, as Betsy points out, that you found such a wonderful guy.

  4. Suzy says:

    This is tantalizing, Dana. Now we need a story about that guy – the one who got away! With names changed to protect the innocent (or the guilty).

  5. John Shutkin says:

    As Suzy says, Dana, now you have tantalized us to hear more about the other guy. So c’mon!

    That said, as I have mentioned myself in some stories — though not about my wives — Sir Mick and Sir Keith had some great advice in that regard. It goes something like this: “You can’t always get what you want, but…..”

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    That “what if” question is a powerful one, Dana. But after such a long, happy marriage, I don’t think about it too much. After checking Facebook and a few Google searches, I have lost interest in what happened to my college boyfriend prior to meeting Fred and my high school best friend/sort of boyfriend. I guess 53 years of marriage can do that to a girl!

  7. Ah, yes, the cars and couches, the double dates, the candle wax on checkered tablecloths! Priceless memories…even the “what ifs.” Wouldn’t change a thing! Thanks, Dee!

  8. Susan Bennet says:

    An eternal concept, Dana, the one who got away. I agree with Laurie: contemporary means of “looking up” people (not to mention college reunion book entries) can bring one back to reality, but also to gratitude. When my sweetheart comes home with a wildflower; when he picks up a little gift he thinks I’ll like; when he calls in the middle of the day to discuss some new bit of research he’s excited about; when we dissolve in laughter, I know I have a treasure. He’s the one I know will never want to “get away.” Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Dave Ventre says:

    For me, “what if” is often a manifestation of my unfortunate tendency to run a lifetime of mistakes and failures through my mind until I seem to have no room for anything new. Funny how bad memories seem to outshine the good.

    Truth be told, none of the “what ifs’ can hold a candle to the one that didn’t get away!

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