My good friend is dating a new guy. Well, technically, he's a man, as he's 35 - 11 years her senior.
She is adorably gushing to me about him over our favorite snack - popcorn and red wine- specifically his maturity, confidence, and ability to articulate his feelings for her so boldly and honestly.
I make a face.
"You know," I say, "I'm sure he is WONDERFUL, don't get me wrong. But, do you think that maybe part of the reason he's so great...is that he's 35? Like, he was probably a complete idiot when he was in his early twenties like all the other guys we've dated, you know?"
"OH," she says wide eyed, "I KNOW. That's so true."
"I mean, give our ex-boyfriends until 35 and I am sure they'll somehow end up as perfectly functioning, respectful, restrained, smarter men... at least, I certainly HOPE they'll have their acts together by then."
"No, you're right." She continues, "He has even said, 'I want my future wife to be able to write my ex-girlfriends a Thank You letter, eventually, since they've absolutely made me the man I am today.' and if it's me, I am totally going to do it."
I shake my head, with a tired smile.
"I better be getting a BIG thank you letter...maybe a giant cardboard check, too, since basically I feel like what I've got right now is a t-shirt that says 'I Made ____ a great boyfriend for someone else and all I got was this stupid therapy bill.'"
We have a good laugh about it, and then I add, "You know what, though? No. If I was that ex-girlfriend getting that letter, I would be PISSED."
We finish our glasses, and lick the bowl clean, and hug goodbye.
While falling asleep, I think about what that letter would look like, what it would say. Whose handwriting it would be in, or if it would be a Facebook message, full of exclamation points and little smiley faces.
"Thank u sooo much for being such a good sport for all those years and taking all the crap that ___ gave u. I think he really learned how to be a kind, loving, honest person from u and I can't thank u enough. All ur tears were totally worth it!! LOL We r sooooo happy :) and it wouldntve happened without u! Love u :) :) :) P.S. U are coming to the wedding, rite?!?"
I stifle the urge to throw up, and just decide if I ever get a letter like that, someone's getting anthrax for a wedding present.
Hypothetically, speaking, of course.
But seriously: fair warning.