Soap Opera Sunday: The Memory of a Triangle

I had the same boyfriend for almost three years in high school. But not three years straight. Since I would break up with him every now and again, then miss him terribly, then ask for him back. We'll call him Jim. Just for kicks.

We were more than smitten with each other, so Jim would always give in when I asked for him back. Except for once our senior year when I really had to fight to get him back. I learned that the world didn't revolve around me (gasp!), and realized that there were other girls out there that might enjoy his company. One of them happened to be cute, smart, kind and a friend of mine. We will call her Talia.

Now most of the time it would be considered totally against the unspoken rules for a friend to start dating someone you just broke up with. But in our school, that couldn't really be a rule because there weren't enough really great guys to go around. (Only 113 people in our class.) I'm sure it had something to do with Jim and Talia's chemistry as well, and many times, you just can't stop the heart-racing power of chemistry.

Talia and Jim hit it off when they realized they could be more than friends, and I was completely heart-broken. So I selfishly started working plans to steal him back. Of course I did. We were in high school, a great place to make a fool of yourself.

There were notes passed and bathroom meetings, where Talia and I would try to work through our feelings and be really mature about things. But away from school I was a wreck, imagining them together and driving by Jim's house, trying to make sure Talia's car wasn't there. (Stalk much?) I called him a lot and wrote long love letters making promises and begging for another chance.

In the end, he chose me. But you know what? In hindsight, I wish he hadn't. He could have taught me a valuable lesson, and maybe he should have. Because I fought for him for all the wrong reasons. Sure I was attached to him, shared a million memories with him, and didn't want him out of my life. But I think more than anything I was fighting simply to win. For my pride. To be the "better" girl. But I wasn't the better girl. I could have just let him go, let life happen. But I refused to do that for the sake of being stubborn and wanting to win. And what's worse is that it didn't take long for me to change my mind and break up with him again. For the last time. Such a selfish little girl I was. And still can be, I suppose.

It's funny how long a person can carry memories and feelings with them, wishing to change something. Even feeling guilty. Maybe it's still a pride issue, not wanting to be remembered that way. But more than that, I just think I could have treated these two people with more respect.

Today Talia and Jim are both married (no, not to each other but that would make for a really great story), with families of their own. I haven't spoken to Jim since right after we graduated, when I broke his heart for the last time.

But my favorite part of this story is that Talia is still my friend. We joke about our love triangle every now and again, laughing about how dramatic it all was way back then. We laugh at how Talia realized she had to let Jim go back to me after hearing the song, I Can't Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt, while lying in the tanning booth. Or was that me? Too many years have gone by to be sure.

One of the many beauties of friendship is that no matter how life changes or what bumps there are in the road, most of the time, it remains. At least that has been the case for me. I have been blessed with knowing and loving some exceptional women, putting up with me for many years now. We may not see each other or talk much with busy lives these days, but we still pick up where we left off, comfortable and at ease in each other's company.
These are a few girls from my graduating class who I still call friend.
Yes, T is in the photo, but I won't point her out. Have fun guessing!

*This post is my submission to Soap Opera Sundays for the month of September. The theme is "Three's Company, or Three's a Crowd." Please share your stories too! Remember, you don't have to stick tightly to the theme, it's just there to get your ideas flowing. You have all of September, and you can add your post anytime, it doesn't have to be a Sunday :)
Once you've written your post, you can add it to Mr. Linky on
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*If you'd like to read more SOS entries, head over to the Mr. Linky post, click on Mr. Linky, and you'll be given a list of names. Happy reading!

18 clicked right here to comment:

Lisa said...

Great story and reflections on high school choices. Isn't it weird how sometimes looking back you feel like, "could that really have been me? The same me I think I am today?" I guess the fact is that we aren't the same today as we were then. Probably due in great part to the fact that we DID have those experiences and make those choices.

Shellie said...

I liked that honest open post, and if it makes you feel any better, about a gazillion high school girls do something like that and hopefully grow up to wish they hadn't. Glad you're still friends and "jim" found someone else!

Minnesota Matron said...

Super sweet story! And I adore how the girl love endures!

Cutler's said...

Hi Heather, I'm visiting you from the mama's. Thank you for your insightfulness. Us mother's sure can be hard on ourselves. My friends blog is:
She has an amazing blog, it wouldn't surprise me if you have seen it before. Have a great weekend.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I loved the line about the tanning bed. HYSTERICAL!

I only have one friend who has been with me since junior high. We're practically sisters at this point. There is nothing like that friendship.

Kimberly said...

Love this story...instructive and grin worthy. I think many of us can relate to those sorts of feelings, that looking back and wincing a bit...

Brillig said...

So great! My love-triangle friends are also still my best friends too! Oh, and I DIED over the tanning bed bit. Hahaha. That's awesome.

MoziEsmé said...

Great post! And boy am I glad I'm not in high school anymore.

Laurie said...

My favorite part is the Bonnie Raitt tanning booth epiphany. Great story!

Anonymous said...

Was your photo taken recently? I was really hoping for a shot with big-hair back in the high school days. I don't know when you went to high school, but I know my hair was he-UGE back then. I was hoping for some mile-high bangs or something.

Seriously, though, very cute story. I had a friend that I "traded" boyfriends with in high school. Good times! :)

Heather of the EO said...

The photo wasn't taken in high school. It was taken about four years ago. IF it were taken in high school, you definitely would have seen big bangs and bad perms. :)

Adventures In Babywearing said...

This was a great story, and you know what? I have a friend like Talia, too! I am so thankful that our friendship lasted over a boy- quite the soap opera if I ever could tell it but it's just a bit too juicy!


joolee said...

Ah, i totally played those juvenile games too. Soooo long ago, yet the memories are so vivid.

Becky said...

Poor Jim! I was talking to some friends recently and we all decided that both in high school and college, we were all pretty crappy girlfriends. Sometimes it takes a few years to figure out that maybe you could have handled things a little better. Glad to hear you and "Talia" are still pals!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I was getting all angsty just reading that! Something that is great about this story is that probably everyone who's read it can relate to some degree.

charrette said...

Nice reflection. The most amazing part is that you and Talia are still friends. Most triangles are more disastrous –– seems like somebody always ends up getting hurt in a threesome.

MommasWorld said...

Funny how you can get together with your girlfriends after a year or 15 years and it is just like you saw each other yesterday. The Angels and I are like that. When we get together it is just like when we were in high school but we have better lives.

Nice to "meet" you too Heather

Signed Heather

Peanut said...

Ugh! Highschool... I do not miss that girl one bit! It is hard to believe that there ever was a time when we let silly boys get in the way of our true friendships with our lifelong girlfriends!

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