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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Time and tide

I have had a strange thing in my life for the past several years: an ex-boyfriend who works very close to where I work. I used to work in the business district. He worked about a block and a half away. When I moved jobs to a different, trendier, residential historic neighborhood, his job also moved to about half a block away. This annoyed me for a while, but we have since mended fences (after a now-amusing, then-embarrassing near-miss on an online dating site years after our breakup). I almost never see him out on the street, but we did meet for lunch occasionally, at his suggestion.

He's a nice enough guy, but I really have no clue what I saw in him for five years (off and on) of my twenties. It's a strange thing to be sitting at a table with someone you used to know, but don't really anymore, mentally cataloguing all the irritating things he's doing (did he always blink so much? God, that's distracting! How is it that he still hasn't quit smoking?).

The last time we met it was by accident: my husband and I ran into him, his new, rather older girlfriend, and one of his friends at a local indie rock show a couple months back in South Philly. The new girlfriend was, as Booby would put it, punching out of her weight class, i.e., she was on a much lower rung of the ladder, looks-wise, than my ex. She's nowhere near as hot as I am, I thought unkindly (and conceitedly). I didn't know if I felt worse for him or for her, and then I chided myself for my uncharitable thoughts and the zing of enjoyment I got from them. Ah, schadenfreude, I know thee well. We exchanged a few words, but he seemed uncomfortable to see me. Fair enough.

Today I saw the ex walking down the opposite side of the (very small) street. I almost said hi, but thought better of it for some reason. I think he saw me, but I can't be sure. I'm just as happy not to have this awkward non-friendship. For awhile, I liked the idea that I could stay friends with an ex (it's never been a successful venture before; I'm way too bitter and I tend toward assholes (see #7 under Eight Ways to Win My Heart courtesy of Ultra Tart). But I guess now that's the kind of male friendship I'm pretty disinterested in - who knew this day would come?

6 Comments:

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Arabella said...

I've tried twice to stay friends with exes (okay, three times if you count a not-serious-at-all summer fling), and, for me, it has never worked out. It was much harder for me to make peace with it than it sounds like it was for you--of course, your being fetching and him having a much less fetching relationship doesn't hurt. :)

 
At 1:33 AM, Blogger wordgirl said...

I'm not friends with all of my exes, but I am with the ones who played the biggest role in my life. Mr. Half is also good friends with most of his. Other people think it's weird, and maybe it is. I'd just rather be on good terms than not.

 
At 7:40 AM, Blogger Katherine said...

Ah, see how much you've grown that you really don't care at all about him anymore. I think it's near impossible to stay friends with an ex anyway - too much baggage.

 
At 8:11 AM, Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

Why force something? You don't need it. Good for you for walkin' on down the street!

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Tink said...

"Did he always blink so much? God, that's distracting!" LMAO! I've done that before. Friendly "reunion" lunches never worked for me either. I can't be friends with ex's. They always want to know too much and half were just hoping to be f-buddies. Amen to getting on with life!

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger Mignon said...

I met my husband in college, therefore all my exes are very far removed, geographically and life-experience-wise. I tried once, with a guy that I had dumped, and seven years later I think he was still mad at me. Oops.

 

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