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Men’s Poll Question: Your Wife’s Old ‘Friend’ Calls To Catch Up?

men's poll question

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What’s the best approach is the question of the boomerpdx Men’s Poll Question?


When one of your wife’s college day boyfriends calls to catch up after a couple of decades, and she tells you about it, then what?


MAN #1


I wouldn’t think the question would ever come up since my wife knows how I feel. But if it did and she asked, or said, that she was meeting the old flame for coffee, I’d tell her to pack her things and take it with her.


FOLLOW UP QUESTION: What would you say to the old boyfriend if you had a chance?

Actually I said it. My wife and I were living together before we got married. In her house. Her old boyfriend came by to check it out. I said, “Good-bye,” and he left.


MAN #2


The old boy friend, especially college boyfriend, is such a rich opportunity to mine forgotten memories. If my wife’s former called and wanted to get together with my wife, I’d go.


At the right time I’d ask about his life, his wife, his kids, his job, his travels, his feelings. I’d ask about it all, then ask why in a world of billions would he think to call another man’s wife?


It actually reminded me of a Simon and Garfunkel song. Maybe you’ve heard it?


It’s a still life water color,
Of a now late afternoon,
As the sun shines through the curtained lace
And shadows wash the room.
And we sit and drink our coffee
Couched in our indifference,
Like shells upon the shore
You can hear the ocean roar
In the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs,
The borders of our lives.


So much of life melds into a beautiful surreal wash of color and movement, where looking through a veil is often the best view we’ll get of our lives so many years ago.


We here echoes of long lost voices, our first espresso, and time. There was always so much time back then. Our lives were just beginning, some with more gravity than others to lead a good life no matter what.


Who knew what the future would bring with it, all we needed back then was each other and bean bag chair. It feels like a dream someone told me, not the history of my life, not my precious memories where it was so important to share new feelings about our changing world, and the way it changed us forever.


I remember hearing this song.


And you read your Emily Dickinson,
And I my Robert Frost,
And we note our place with bookmarkers
That measure what we’ve lost.
Like a poem poorly written
We are verses out of rhythm,
Couplets out of rhyme,
In syncopated time
And the dangled conversation
And the superficial sighs,
Are the borders of our lives.


I was twelve years old and some old guy is talking about Emily Who and Robert Winter? And something lost?


Of course now I know what it means. All baby boomers know what it means. Couplets out of rhyme? Maybe that was wife/husband #1. Verses out of rhythm sounds like preliminary verbal abuse. Shakespeare is full of voices out of rhythm, sometimes screaming voices like husband/wife #2.


There’d be so much to Dangling Conversation if a college boyfriend called.


Yes, we speak of things that matter,
With words that must be said,
“Can analysis be worthwhile?”
“Is the theater really dead?”
And how the room is softly faded
And I only kiss your shadow,
I cannot feel your hand,
You’re a stranger now unto me
Lost in the dangling conversation.
And the superficial sighs,
In the borders of our lives.




New Men’s Poll Question: Do you have a dangling conversation you’d like to finish?


MAN #3


I tried to finish a dangling conversation a few times. I even asked my wife for the go ahead to invite an old girl friend to the house when she was in town. So I invited and even heard back.


“You’re inviting me to your house? Is that it? So nice, but why? To show your kids who their momma might have been if you’d had a brain,” she said.


So, that took care of that dangling conversation.


MAN #4


I don’t have any dangling conversations to finish, not with my wife. Like any marriage, the question of old girlfriends and boyfriends has come up. And we put them down. Hard.


Who remembers the advice of burning old girlfriends’ letters and pictures before you get married? Too old fashioned in a digital world?


“Do you remember _____? Do you know why I never met with her to get caught up a few years back?” I asked my wife.


“Because she’s a slut and you’re not a whore monger?” she guessed.


“Real funny. Or because I’ve said all I can think to say to her. That’ll never happen with you.”


“Even with your limited vocabulary?” she said.


“Thank you, dear.”




Do you have a dangling conversation you’d like to finish? Leave it in comments. And don’t worry about anyone finding out about your therapy comment. No one reads boomerpdx anyway, so fuhgettaboutit.


Just you and the writer. What could go wrong with a men’s poll question?
About David Gillaspie


  1. If a man is concerned about an old flame contacting his wife they need to seek counseling. It can be cute and harmless. Turn the tables, is it okay for a man to chat with his old flame?

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Thank you for the comment, newtonbomb, it’s exactly the right question to ask. How stable is the marriage if it can’t take a trip down memory lane.

      Cute and harmless would be the goal of old flames meeting decades later. Disappointed and disillusioned aren’t part of the package, but it slips in there. What if you had such a ‘catch up’ date and came away knowing you are the reason the man/woman is such a loser, that if they hadn’t dumped you they would have such a better life.

      I asked another older man. “My wife remarried and just got divorced. I find no joy in that.”

      Or maybe you’re married to the person who would have had a better life if they hadn’t dumped the old flame. And you didn’t know until they met and you went along.

      On the question of chatting with an old flame? I’m not judging, but it’s quicksand messy. This is where the Dangling Conversation comes in.

      What would you like to say to a former love of your life. I know what I’d say.


  1. […] was so much younger then, I’m older than them now. (Nod to Bob […]

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