Looking at Barb's pictures reminds me of everything that was good in that relationship; Robin was pretty much my best friend for the five years that our relationship lasted. I don't NEED to be reminded of all of the things that made the relationship a disaster. I do wish, again, that Robin and I were still on speaking terms (as I am, barring distance and inconvenience, with Angie, also known as Fiancee #2); I have made overtures, and have been rebuffed. C'est la vie.
As for Barb-- I feel a closeness to her that I know to be illusory, and can more or less ignore. Beyond that, she is an intelligent and vivacious young woman who shares at least some of my taste in fiction, and if it is possible to have too many such creatures in my life, I have no idea what the limit might be. (It would be fun to find out...)
Robin at 20 in 1977; Barb at 20 in 2010:
Looking at these two pictures side by side, I realize that my memory of Robin was refined by a couple of decades of fond remembrance. But the key points I mentioned are still there...