It’s after dinner and I’m online sipping my glass of wine. The day is winding down, but I’m just getting starting; socializing with my virtual friends. Just for fun, I do a search for an old boyfriend on Facebook, and OMG, there he is. I send a friend request and receive his reply immediately. OK, that was way too fast. Was he looking for me, too? And before I know it, we are connected – again.
Thirty-five years ago we were literally connected at the hip (and other places) for two years. A hot and heavy romance that started when I was a junior in high school and were the best two years of my life (or so I thought at the time) My parents loved this guy. He was the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome and full of life. A year older than me, he left for college but came home on weekends and took me to his Homecoming dance and spent the entire summer after my senior year with me. I dreaded going away to school and leaving him. I was convinced we would get married.
Fast forward to four years later, and, to my surprise, one day I was walking back to my apartment off campus, and there he was. Taller and more handsome than ever with his wide toothy grin and arms open. It didn’t take long for us to make our way directly to my bed and spend the next few days rekindling our romance. But, as great as the sex was, we had grown up and had different lives. I was a senior and had already accepted a job in the Midwest and he was going to law school. The relationship ended, with lots of tears and a broken heart (mine.)
Until he friended me on Facebook. We communicated via chat. Small stuff mostly. Catching up, reminiscing about our pasts, telling each other about our spouse and children. Our innocent chats became more personal and way more frequent. Like every night. Suggestive remarks were made, flirtatious goings-on, protected by the miles between us. My second glass of wine led to my third and some nights we got carried away, talking more about our body parts than our teenagers. My addiction to chatting with him was so severe, I even checked on weekends to see if he was online.
One night, I mentioned my daughter was looking at colleges and considering a university in the city in which he lived. He said I should come out and visit the campus and have lunch with him. I was excited beyond reason. I told my daughter I was booking a flight for us. She looked at me and replied, “Why are you more excited to go than I am, Mom?” Wow. Why was I more excited? What did I think would really happen? I’d drop her off for the campus tour and I would rendezvous with my old boyfriend at a hotel, picking up exactly where we left off?
That’s when it hit me. I was the victim of a virtual affair of the mind. I am happily married, would never leave my husband and certainly would not cheat on him. Except I already had cheated. Fantasizing about how wonderful it would be to have sex with this guy who I remember as a young, handsome, horny, single man. Not good. Very bad.
Oh, why was Facebook invented, I thought to myself. Whose idea was it to put a private chat window on, Mark Zuckerberg? To tempt a middle-aged woman into getting hot and heavy with someone I used to sleep with years ago?