Contrary to what you may think, this is not the real “Harry and Sally.”
At least, that’s what my best friend in high school and I have always believed. Seriously – “best friends” not “This guy I’ve got a big crush on but he’s not interested.”
He was the tall and handsome basketball jock that every girl wanted to go out with. I was the totally non-athletic brainy-girl. Guys standing in line to go out with me? Not so much.
I don’t remember what brought us together. We had mutual friends. We were in the same year—a small graduating class. I think maybe he was dating one of my friends.
Anyway, whatever the reason, we started talking. In study hall, at his house or mine, on the telephone (the “old fashioned” kind that hung on the wall and if you were talking nobody else in the house could get or make calls). I have a clear picture (and somewhere a photograph) of me lying on the living room floor in my pj’s, the phone glued to my ear.
We talked about everything. He says I kept him sane, I will tell you the same about him. I called him the “big brother” I’d always wished I had.
My mom would have a fit when I’d announce I was going to his house.
“Is his mother home?”
“Why does that matter? He’s not my boyfriend.”
“But he’s a boy! It doesn’t look good!”
Now really—have I ever cared how things “look”?
For nearly two years we were sidekicks, always together. Then came graduation, college. We went off in different directions. After that I rarely saw him…we drifted apart.
Two years later, I got married. A couple of years after that, so did he. We both had careers, children, and eventually retirement. He is a successful artist and retired college professor. I…well, I’ve done a lot of things. In the almost fifty years that have followed, I’ve seen him maybe three or four times. The last time was almost thirty years ago. But in the last year or two we’ve made contact through social media. We chat for a minute or two, reminisce, and then sign off. And every time, the old “Harry and Sally” thing pops up.
“I tell my class about us,” he says, “how we were Harry and Sally before ‘Harry and Sally.’”
When I look back I sometimes ask myself, “Be honest, now. Would you have dated him if you had the chance?” And I think long and hard, trying to imagine us as a couple.
Nope. That’s not who we are. I love you, “Harry”, but not like that. Uh…you just aren’t my type.
I can say that, because we’re “buds.” And buds can say anything to one another, right, Harry?