Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Close Encounter of the Ex-kind




Jennifer: There is definitely a weirdness that comes from running across someone you use to date. The quick inventory you take of yourself, " Does my hair look good?" "Do these clothes make me look fat?" "Why didn't I put makeup on before leaving the house?" You pray hope that you look better than they do and that they don't have some tall, thin 20-something on their arm, while you are standing there wondering if that spinach dip you had for lunch is still in your teeth. It's the game of one-upness....you want to be "one up" on the ex-. It's an unsaid competition. It's not just you, your ex is most certainly running through the same checklist in his head. Even if you broke up with them, you still want them to want you. I don't care what anyone says, you may want them to be happy, but you also want them to still pine after you (a little, nostalgia, not full on stalker-mode) or have more than a twinge of regret they let you go.

The last run in I had with someone I dated was last year. I was working with a group of kids and ran across a guy I dated for a couple of months. In our dating, I drifted off from him, becoming less and less available, until completely stopped taking his calls. Not very mature, I admit, but still super effective.  The day, I ran across him, I wasn't looking my complete best (hard to believe, yes, I know).  Yet in this encounter, I was in the "power position", because I ended the relationship. He was alone, no Harvard graduate/model on his arm, and after an awkwardly long hug, I pulled away. We exchanged pleasantries...work, family, life in general.  Even though, I was in the technical power position, I felt awkward and wanted to get away.  He was a sweet guy, just not the right guy. He gave me his card and asked me to give him a call. I didn't.  For me regardless on what side you are on (the dumper or dumpee), its' always weird to see someone who's seen you naked. Universal law.

Holly: What is the statute of limitations on ex's and weirdness? Like, when do you really stop caring what you look like if you ran into him?  In random occurances, I was in Orlando, FL for work a few weeks ago and mingling in my usual spot: the lobby bar.  Sidenote: this time, as a married woman with child, I was just hanging out with co-workers at the bar.  Since I was there for a larger meeting, there were hundreds of people there, many of whom I've never met, so running into strangers was a high probability.  However, I looked to my left, and there he was...this kid who I haven't seen in 19 years! (you know, since pre-school).  I'm not sure if due to timeline it's valid to call him and ex, I mean honestly, I was a freshman in high school and he was a graduating senior when we were close friends; hadn't seen him since then.  In an odd, out of normal, behavior for me, I approached him and totally didn't care what I looked like, didn't check out a mirror to make sure broccoli wasn't in my teeth, or my lips stained purple from wine.  Maybe it was overconfindence in looking at him sitting alone at a bar with a glass of hard-liquor?  Maybe it was was overconfidence of knowing that no matter what he thought, the past 19 years since our last encounter, life has treated me well?  Or maybe it was because it's been 19 years and who in the world really remembers anyone for that long?

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