Addicted To Love: When I was 17

People often assume I began accumulating insane stories (romantic or otherwise) once I entered my twenties. Here’s one from when I was 17.

During my teens I was always urgently trying to be cool, and this often resulted in my hanging out with people way older than I was. One time I went to a party hoping to run into the object of my affection who happened to be five years older than me, and who I haphazardly lost my virginity to about two months before. I had no idea whether or not he’d actually be there, and since this was a time before you were issued a cell phone at birth I’m pretty confident I didn’t have the means to find out whether or not he would be showing up. I was standing in the kitchen with about 8 people anywhere from 5 to 10 years older than I was. I’m not sure if I truly wanted to be friends with any of these people, or if I was just terrified of them. He was the only person missing. One of the guys in his band cryptically asked where the “old man” was, and whether he was bringing his “old lady”. Since he was the only person not in attendance, I knew who they must have been referring to while simultaneously praying there was a mysterious other human that could have been the subject of discussion. Did he have a new girlfriend that I was unaware of? My stomach instantly felt like it was going to fall out of my vagina. After a few more ambiguous comments about old men and old ladies, he showed up, and he wasn’t alone.

On his arm was the most ridiculous person I had ever met. She was gorgeous and had a perfect body. She was towering over him and almost everyone else in the room with her 7-inch stilettoes; she had the trendiest haircut I had ever seen on anyone in real life; almost her entire visible body from the neck down was covered in perfectly executed tattoos, while her viciously ripped jeans and crop top didn’t require me to assume the rest of her was covered in them as well. She was everything I wanted to be, and worse, she was everything he wanted in a girlfriend. It was too fucking perfect. I could tell from the way he looked at her that this was the happiest he had ever been while looking at another human being. My awestruck gaze that I had held focused on her for what seemed like 45 minutes was interrupted with the second worst thing I had heard in my entire life up until that moment:

“Have you two set a date?”

Until it was swiftly followed by the now new worst thing:


I had just seen the guy I was madly in love with for the first time since I lost my virginity to him. That didn’t matter. He was accompanied by the most gorgeous, trendy, fucking cool girl I had ever seen in my life. That didn’t matter. I had just found out in a room full of people that he was engaged to this mythical creature. Even that didn’t matter. Nothing hurt more than the feeling of everyone’s eyes on me at that exact moment, knowing that each and every one of these people who probably didn’t like me very much to begin with were thinking the exact same thing:

“Poor thing.”

I can’t remember a more horrific instance in my life up until that second. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this would eventually be simply added to some of the more horrific moments awaiting me in my twenties, but right then I wanted to dig a hole and die in it.

I often recall that night, and find it disturbingly ironic that this is the person whose heart I ultimately broke about six years later.

Alex Payne

Alex Payne

Contributor at Addicted
Alex Payne is a writer/editor/blogger living in Toronto, and a complete pop culture junkie, writing about music, dating, and whatever else she wants to rant about. She's obsessed with cupcakes, Kate Spade and The Simpsons. Oh, and vodka.
Alex Payne