Dear Phil Zepeda,
Hey there! Perhaps you remember me, the girl you went on a couple of unfortunate dates with back in the late 1990s. I actually just wanted to reach out and say congratulations on a nice television appearance the other week.
The Boy and I just got Direct TV, which is kind of exciting--it's actually the first time I've had pay TV since, well, since the apartment I was in when the two of us went out. This past Friday it got hooked up. I was flipping through the channels when the Boy came home from work and saw that I could catch a repeat of "Celebrity Apprentice" on CNBC. I clicked on the channel, and there you were, accepting a check for your organization!
I gasped and said, "I dated that guy!"
The Boy took a look at you. "Is that Phil? Of 'Phil and Jill'?" he asked.
"Yes. Yes it is."
And by now you must realize that this isn't quite just a congratulations. It's also a thank you for giving me one of the better "bad date stories" in my small repertoire of dating stories. You may not remember that date, but it's emblazoned in my head. A graduation picnic for some people in your Master's program way out in B.F.E. St. Charles, IL. I was wearing a white polo and khaki shorts that was literally the only clothes in my closet that were clean. When I opened the door to greet you, you were wearing the exact same outfit, which threw me into a bit of a panic, but you assured me that it would be OK.
Thank goodness I happened to know one of your classmates, since I wasn't very good at small talk, especially when almost everyone at the party told me some form of, "Jill? You're with Phil? That rhymes! And you're wearing the same outfit!" What do you say to that, when you're not the one who just got a fancy communication degree and can talk that off?
While there were many reassurances of how cute it was that we were wearing the same outfit, the only other thing I remember from the day was that at some point I slinked off into the living room and ended up engaging in a bunch of Holocaust talk with some of the older crowd. What a way to remember a picnic, right? Rhyming names, matching outfits, and Holocaust talk!
After that, we didn't go out again. Actually, I'm not sure we ever talked either--played a little phone tag maybe, but ultimately, everything just faded away, to be filed in the "If We Ignore It, It'll Disappear" category. Which it did. Which was good. Better to end this mismatch quickly, than prolong something that wasn't right.
At least I got an excellent story out of it. And I've learned to never wear a white polo and khakis ever again.
Thanks again--and congratulations once more on your television appearance. It blew my mind to see you on my TV screen.