How to Exorcise the Ghosts of Your (many) Exes

If you want to get married, you must make it happen.
If you want to get married, you must make it happen.

I have invented a new day, it’s called “Oh! C’mon day” and it happens every time I feel like it. Especially on Mondays. And today I feel like it’s Monday even though it’s Tuesday. So, it’s Oh! C’mon day. It’s raining hard in Rome and the air smells like it should while you are on vacation and keen on reading some fantasy. I wish I could share this with the woman of my life, whom – however – is nowhere to be found. She has taken many shapes and forms throughout the ages of my existence, but she has always been elusive, beautiful but mysterious. At first, she was a petite ten-year-old countess, cute as a button: green eyes, raven-haired, freckles and broken promises; and a tendency to disappear quite often that made me feel like I was walking on egg shells. Her name was Erika. She’s now married with children and refused my Facebook friendship. I like to think that’s because she still attaches some emotional value to my face.

Then there was a long pause, as the age of innocence waived goodbye to my cynical hormones and the word “love” lost its poetic touch in my vocabulary. At that point, she became a skinny, red-haired Lithuanian named Wilma(!), whose virginity went lost, together with mine, in a legendary Catholic summer camp of Southern France. I lost her forever a few days later. I still remember the day this huge blue bus carried her so far away from all my dreams of becoming a Lithuanian nobleman! My tears on the ground… I went back to that camp one year later like a good old bear would go back to the tree in which he found honey only to repeat the same process, hopefully over and over again. But even though that happened, disappointment also happened and I found out that, honey is only to be found where bees are.

Saada was by far the most beautiful girl in town… actually, I should say France. Half-Ethiopian, Half-Egyptian, she landed on this planet to show us the stuff of miracles. I was only able to pull the legendary rabbit from the hat with her thanks to my irresistible Magnetic Glancetm. But unfortunately, I could not hold on her, because I lacked experience at that time (I was nineteen) and she soon got bored with my empty and redundant promises of a better life. I will forever remember the summer night we spent laying on the green, humid grass of Taizé, kissing each other (her lips were this big and so tasty that snapped), and laughing at the cows from the other side of a verdant hill. I haven’t really lost Saada because she’s still my friend, but Lady romance never came back between us.

Next stop is Spain and another wonderful looking girl named Lucia, whom I met at a common friends’ place. That’s when I realized you can actually meet girls through friends. She was a tall, skinny and fiercely independent brunette. Although she was also sweet the way only Spanish girls can be sweet. Her pensive eyes the color of chestnuts reminded me of a deer, and she always had a way to make you feel guilty even though you hadn’t done anything wrong. She looked like a solitary Autumn. I didn’t really like her Italian father, but I did like the kisses she gave me on the backseat of my Honda Civic! And that’s probably why it all finished in the space of just one, very romantic, year. Oh! Lucia! Why did you end up marrying him, instead of me?

Seli was another sweet little cutie pie with more than a pinch of South American blood in her veins. Pepper for thoughts. Her mother came from Ecuador. Seli was young and passionate, fun to be around and more positive than anyone I have ever dated before. I went to Ecuador on vacation with her, and her family. It was like: meet my South-American extended family. I’ve learned Spanish for her and her socialist Grandfather and I also fell out of love with her, for no rational reason whatsoever. I guess I was still in love with love at that time. Hasta la vista!

But the biggest, most passionate, most romantic (we used to sleep hugging each other) love story I’ve ever lived had the face of a wonderful looking, delightfully depressed Jewish New Yorker named Blythe, however. Her cerulean eyes were so beautiful at times I suspected she wore colored contact lenses. But that wasn’t the case, she only wore contact lenses. I loved her like you could love an enchanting dream that might end anytime soon or an obscure nymph of the forest. The passion between us lasted for a while and was as intense as Shakespeare’s sonnet 130, or Wuthering Heights. Actually, it really never ended: we exchanged our best kiss the night we broke up. Unfortunately, her ghost is still haunting my dreams from time to time, as well as my waking life. I still love her dearly and wish the best for her, even though I hate her. Our wonderful love story ended the way only wonderful love stories can end: unreservedly, horribly, desperately badly.

But by the time we broke up, the word “love” lost its meaning completely for me. Then came the Age of Guilt. And a period of time in which I’ve dated furiously, with the same attitude the Great White Shark adopts to scan the waters for prey: is the victim worth my effort in calories? It never was, actually.

The conclusion of this story should serve as an example of how, to everything, there is indeed a season. Don’t ask Maria Grazia, Maria Paola, Olivia, Marieke, Lena, Lauren, Milena, Sara, Alexandra, Ambra, Ylenia, Andreina or Whatsherface about the reason why things never worked out between me and them: it’s not their fault, it’s mainly mine. The most effective method to exorcise your exes is simple: prevention. Don’t start the evocation in the first place! Don’t go look for a girlfriend, because you will find a girlfriend and girlfriends are not wives. Girlfriends are meant to stay at the Elementary School. If you don’t want your life to be haunted by the ghosts of your exes, do not indulge in pointless relationships. Only enter into a relationship if you have an objective first and never without one. Don’t move in the same apartment with your girlfriends, like I did, because most of the times the “Let’s Play the Married Couple” game ends abruptly and almost never at the altar. The reason is simple: couples are problematic and if you test their resilience by stressing them, you will find out that they all have a breaking point, it’s called break-up. It’s easier to quit a relationship if it doesn’t work, it’s less easy to quit a marriage. If you took a solemn vow in front of your relatives, parents, community and God to love and honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives, chickening out tends to be a bit more complicated, in fact. This forces you to work on your marriage, which is what you should do anyway.

Trust me guys, what I’m going to say might sound crazy in this day and age, but don’t have sex every time you can! Having sex with someone creates spiritual bonds, believe it or not. Every time you have sex with someone, you give away a tiny little bit of yourself to that person. And by the time you are in your thirties, you wonder why you don’t feel as a complete human being anymore. The idea is simple and counterintuitive: it has been suggested to you a thousand times via magazines, TV shows, movies, comic books and novels that you should have sex with as many girls as you can, otherwise, you are a nothing but a loser. Basically, they have been trying to sell the idea according to which quantity is better than quality. The reality is that the more women you bring in your bed, the more comparisons your next sweetheart will have to win in order to become “the one”. If you meet a girl in your thirties and you have already gotten laid with thirty other girls, guess who’s going to pay for all that? Bravo, you won a cigar: your next potential-fiancée. But she’s never going to be able to stand the test. No one could.

Will I ever have a Family? Mhhhhhh, I don’t’ know. I’m not into positive thinking as much as I am into positive acting. The Addams Family maybe? Better than nothing, at least they used to love each other, weird as they were. Trust me: loneliness doesn’t work. Sometimes I feel in great company with my solitude, but it has to be a question of choice, not of necessity. I gave up basically everything: cigarettes, drugs, beer, self-whipping, self-loathing, my collections of G.I. Joes, Atheism and even self-improvement. But don’t ask me to do without a family, please. No man is an island. If you don’t want to end up alone, do the right thing: go out and search for a wife, not a girlfriend. Don’t waste your energy with strange women. Don’t go around spraying your seed everywhere you can. This, believe it or not, will greatly improve your chances of reproduction. Your genes will thank you for that. And the ghost of your exes will finally stop haunting your memories once and for all.

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Andrea Loquenzi Holzer

The truth will set you free

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