My First Time

by mssinglemama on August 2, 2009

I met the first boy who would break my heart at a party.

My legs were crossed and I had a pillow on my lap, my back leaning into the corner of the sofa. Working three jobs over my summer break between my freshman and sophomore years of college I liked this spot in the corner,   far enough removed from the party that I wasn’t expected to chime in but close enough to hear the conversations and the laughter. I wanted to hide my exhaustion and my fat thighs. A hot summer day in Athens, the windows of my friend’s house were open and the light breeze was pulling her curtains and then pushing them back ever so softly.

My father would be dead one year from now. Ignorance, I realized later, truly was bliss but I couldn’t appreciate this yet. I did know he had seemed tired lately, more tired than usual and that he’d been complaining of headaches. I wasn’t thinking about this though, I was thinking about the boy who had just walked in and taken a seat on the couch across from my corner. “This is Mike,” said the hostess.

We exchanged our hellos and then started talking about majors, our apartments for next year, our hopes, our dreams. We were clicking. A few weeks later I took him home to meet my family. We even told each other we were “in love.” I thought we would be together well into the fall quarter, if not for the entire year. But after he’d been giving me a perturbing cold shoulder for days I walked into his apartment unannounced and demanded an answer. “Why?” I asked, “Why have you been so mean lately? What is going on? Do you not want to be with me anymore?”

“No,” he said, “No, I don’t.”

We had only been going out for a month and a half but I felt like my heart had just been ripped out, stomped on and then shoved back into my chest cavity. After the words left his mouth I turned around and walked out of his apartment quietly, refusing to give him any more pieces of my heart. I spent the next two days in my dorm room, crying my eyes out and wondering why. Without e-mail and cell phones it was easier to not obsessively stalk someone, instead I was just left alone with my thoughts and my tears. And in one of these moments I heard a knock on my door.

“Who is it?” I snapped.

“It’s your Dad.”

I opened the door and there he was, tall and dutiful. His hands were holding a small bouquet of flowers he had picked from the garden at the house. I would save these flowers for years until one year they came crashing down onto the floor, breaking into dozens of pieces. Until then I had tried to smell them, wishing to feel – if even for a second – like he was still there in that room with me.

“Your Mom called me,” he said, “She told me to come by. So you got dumped, huh?”

“Yes,” my voice broke and I started sobbing and sat on the top of my desk, burying my face in my hands, trying to hide these embarrassing tears.

He pulled up my desk chair, took a seat and crossed one leg over the other. He didn’t like seeing me this way so he let out a sigh and then said, “Listen, Alaina. There’s something you should know about yourself and about men. Not very many of them will be able to handle you. You’re just like my mother.”

His mother, my grandmother, had died when he was 18, also from cancer. A single mother, she had raised my father and his three brothers with the help of their grandmother, who was a single widowed mother.

“You’re like she was,” he went on, “You’re passionate, intelligent and beautiful. But because of that most of these guys, especially these college guys just won’t understand you.”

“You think so? Really?”

“Absolutely.” He gave me a hug and then left but his words stayed with me forever.

Now I’m sharing them with you because he wasn’t just talking about me. Since then I have met other women like me… Mia is just one them. So strong, passionate and beautiful. You are a lot to handle but if he can’t appreciate who you are than, trust me, you’re better off without him. Don’t stop until you find a man who isn’t intimidated by your passion, but fosters it and a man who isn’t threatened by your intelligence but attracted to it.

In the meantime, the only thing we can do is pick up the slack and become one with ourselves because that guy – if he does come along – will like you just the way you are supposed to be… happy, content and comfortable in your own skin.


P.S. I think my father would have adored John Bear.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

tina August 2, 2009 at 7:49 pm

love this post, your words are so very truthful and real and I have felt this way for awhile now… comfortable in my single mama skin. keep sharing!!! thanks!!


Janet August 2, 2009 at 7:52 pm

I love this post. Thank you.


Sara August 2, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Very very true. Thank you…


Andrea August 2, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Ahh. this is so sweet. Your father seemed to be a lovely and caring man and being remembered with things like this are sure comforting him wherever he is watching you.
I wish I had at least one sweet dad like this. Mine is not a bad person, but he is emotionally a big zero. With this sort of situations is more ” I told you I didn´t like him, you should…..” nothing positive. And thanx for sharing those nice words, if somebody (not to mention my father) had ever told me I was intelligent, passionate and beautiful, now I would totally believe it. Thanx for sharing this.


Christina August 2, 2009 at 8:18 pm

This is exactly what I needed to hear at the moment. Thank you.


MindyMom August 2, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Beautiful post, Alaina. I had to wipe away my tears almost the entire time as I read it.

You are blesssed to have had such a wonderful father and you obviously know that. Those of us who weren’t so lucky sure do.


Alicia August 2, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Such a sweet post! I only wish I had such an amazing father!!


Heather August 2, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Amen to all of this. What a beautiful post!


jlh August 3, 2009 at 4:28 am

I m with Christina this is exaclty what i needed to hear at this moment
I feel the same way,… heart ripped out and stomped on and put back…


jlh August 3, 2009 at 4:28 am

and this really helps me! thanks for sharing
i feel stronger already!


Alexis August 3, 2009 at 6:20 am

This story just spoke to my heart…and your father does adore John Bear! He can see you two, he knows.


April August 3, 2009 at 6:24 am

This is so incredibly moving. I think it stopped my heart for just a moment…what an incredible man your father was…absolutely.


Mia August 3, 2009 at 9:57 am

Thank you so much. This post was what I needed after a hard morning.

And thanks for giving me another reason to remember your dad and how wonderful he was. I can still remember advice he gave me as a kid, words I live by to this day (like when he made me use the atlas to navigate back to Athens after picking me up in Columbus to visit you for the weekend — “You can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you are” he said with a smirk.) I can’t imagine the words of wisdom you got over the years.
God he would love Benjamin. And of course, John!


Glenda August 3, 2009 at 10:57 am

Beautiful post! I’m sure he would be so happy that you are so happy!


Bobbi Janay August 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm

This post made me cry.


Meg August 3, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Wow. That was a great post. One that was much needed today!


Sheila August 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm

great post, and SO very true.


T August 3, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Just freakin’ awesome. Love that.

Your dad was a very wise man…


Jenna B. August 3, 2009 at 2:19 pm

I am a new reader to this site, and am not a mama (or anywhere close to being one, someday though), but your post today really made an impact. Your father sounds like he was an incredible man, and reading this brought tears to my eyes.

I went through a similar situation a few months ago when, after over a year, my boyfriend decided he didn’t want to be with me anymore. My dad was the first one to pick me up and hold me tight. The things your dad told you sound very similar to what my dad told me. And hearing them again from you only reiterates that the break up was ultimately for the best. I think we’re both very lucky to have dads like that.

Thank you for sharing this story.


melissa August 3, 2009 at 3:21 pm

It does take a special kinda man to take on a special kinda lady such as yourself and all the rest of us hot mamas! My own dad has been one of the biggest influences in my life also, and I had a similar convo with him after a particular engagament broke off a couple years ago. My dad is always the one to dust me off and make me feel like i’m worthy. We are so lucky to have (had) this!! My very best friend in the world doesn’t know who her father was, but she jokes about my dad adopting her. Live in the moment but relish the memories.


Dee August 3, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Wow…how beautiful and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. This post is exactly what I needed right now. It touched my heart because it hit so close to home. Thank you so much.


Jen August 3, 2009 at 7:53 pm

What a great story. I, too, lost my dad when I was younger. I say younger, I was 23. 13 years later, I find myself thinking of him often and wondering if he is watching over me. I think he would be proud of where I am today, for he is always in my thoughts and decision making. Thank you for the post, it really reasonated with me today.

Also, I know the necklaces are for singles moms, but I have been waiting for the silver as I am not only going to buy one for myself, but for my daughter as well. We have been discussing buying matching jewelry and, I think, that the leaf is for not only turning over a new leaf for single moms but maybe for the daughters involved as well.


Tina August 4, 2009 at 7:10 am

I just finished The Crush from your e-book. Very moving and very honest.
You rule.


BK Mom August 4, 2009 at 7:46 am

Alaina, I feel such a connection to the posts about your dad; my father died tragically and unexpectedly 9 years ago, at age 59. I got pregnant 1 yr. later, almost to the day. My dad was such an amazing individual, almost larger than life. My heart aches every day when I think about the lost opportunities, and the relationship between my son and my father that never was. I feel so lost sometimes without his guidance and wisdom, and fabulous stories, and am regretful that there was so much I would have asked had I known he would be gone so soon. It is painful to acknowledge that not only does my son not have a ‘real’ father (other than a biological one) but he lost such an important link to his past. I don’t think that this feeling ever goes away.


coquiverde August 4, 2009 at 8:06 am

Your description of your dad is wonderful, so much like the shy unassuming man that my dad was when dealing with his daughters’ emotional experiences. Thanks for the memory.


Melissa August 4, 2009 at 8:12 am

This post almost made me cry. It reminded me of my dad saying the same things when my heart was broken. What wonderful memories to hold on to. Thanks for sharing.


April August 4, 2009 at 11:47 am

I’ve already commented once, but O-M-G!!!!!!

I just saw a quote from you in a story on CNN!! ROCK ON!!! 😀


Lanell August 4, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Thank you! a true story of a woman knowing her worth.


Julie August 4, 2009 at 1:39 pm

As “Mamas”, may we all strive to raise our boys to be men like your father. Thank you for sharing!


Janet August 4, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Whoa, just saw your quote on CNN! Too cool!!


amy August 4, 2009 at 8:11 pm

i love this. stumbled upon your blog and just read exactly what i needed to hear today.
thank you for reminding me that a strong, passionate, lovely woman (and single mom) is worth being treated as such…..
thank you, thank you


Hope August 6, 2009 at 7:55 am

Thank you…I was always told I was “too much” over and over and I thought that it was a fault and I tried to change and tone it down…and failed! ha ha…so there are other people like me who are passionate, intelligent and strong willed? You have just made my day!


Elisabeth August 7, 2009 at 9:59 am

Thank you.

For the reminder that it may be me that’s too much to handle but the right guy will.

And for the reminder of the man in our lives who loved us unconditionally and can still comfort even when they are gone.


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