This post is in honor of November being Funchilde’s worst month for romantic relationships.
November 1985: Jr. High School Crush ends at Dance
November 1988: Dumped guy who would become successful engineer and varsity swimmer in college
November 1990: Met now ex husband
November 2001: Now have ex husband
November 2005: Split with S, another itchy footed globe-trotter to pursue non-complimentary travel paths
I was talking on the phone with one of my best friends last year after a break-up. She called me a jerk for ignoring the overtures of friendship from my most recent ex. [who calls anyone a â€œjerk anymore? ] I have to admit that I have never understood people who are friends with people they were once romantically involved with. I guess I took the â€œexâ€ to mean â€œformerâ€ as in â€œno longer relevantâ€ or as Tony Soprano might say â€œYouâ€™re dead to me!â€ However, it seems that I am not as emotionally healthy or self-actualized as the rest of you. Case in point, I was working on a project with K, a male colleague a few months ago. Around lunch time he said â€œMy ex-wife is coming to meet me for lunch so I have to bail in 20 minutes.â€ My eyes sparkled at the thought of all the potential drama and afternoon entertainment this might provide. Would there be yelling? flying chinaware? or better yet, sharpened cutlery close at hand? Kâ€™s ex-wife showed up brimming with good humor, she grabbed his hand in hers, a warm, platonic gesture of friendship and shook my hand with the other. She was attractive and confident and did not seem the least bit angry or passive aggressive. My hopes for an entertaining afternoon flew out the window as K said â€œD, this is T, my ex-wife.â€ I just stared at them, my eyelids shutting slowly and almost audibly. â€œYou guys seem awfully friendly to be exes.â€ I said. â€œOh, weâ€™re best friends! We just couldnâ€™t live together!â€ This didnâ€™t really clarify things for me. I mean, I feel like that about almost everyone in my life. Thatâ€™s why they are called â€œBest Friendsâ€, not exes.
The way I see it, there are really only two responses to becoming an â€œexâ€. First, if I dumped YOU then CLEARLY you have committed some transgression so egregious that I felt the need to banish you from my sight. Never mind that these could be small things such as misusing words or failing to spell check your e-mails, or breathing too â€œmoistlyâ€ during a movie. Now I donâ€™t want to boast, but I am pretty good at building and maintaining relationships. I STILL talk to my best friend from Jr. High, my best friend from high school and my roommate and closest friend from college. I have unnaturally healthy relationships with my parents, and typical ones with my two siblings. That said, when I hear the bells toll or see the sun setting on a relationship, I try to exit as cleanly as possible, preferring that my disappearance is hardly noticed at all. I have never been one of â€œthose peopleâ€ who after a split, calls the ex or waits for the ex to call, stalks the ex or tries to find myself in places where they might happen upon me. Well, except that one time, and everyone is allowed that â€œone timeâ€. If I am the dumper, no amount of discussion or reflection will result in the verdict being overturned. To me this generally indicates that there is a lack of general goodwill and affection, which I thought were the basis of friendship?
In the second scenario, if you dump ME, then CLEARLY you are of limited intelligence and have proven yourself emotionally handicapped. I have no problem believing it when someone says to me: â€œItâ€™s not you, its me.â€ The way I see it, if someone declines the pleasure of my company then my lifeâ€™s goal from that point on is to ensure that they receive periodic 2nd hand reports about how fabulous my life is, how much money I make and most important, how much earth stopping nooky Iâ€™m getting. I thought this was the universal response to being dumped? I mean, ex friends, ex colleagues and ex lovers are the only true fair game in my book. These are people with whom you have no real mutual desire or need to sustain civility. These are the people whose picture you can put on your dartboard at home or make voodoo dolls out of to assuage your anger. Who hasnâ€™t thought about TPâ€™ing an exâ€™s house or car? Now if your ex has several very attractive friends that you wouldnâ€™t mind hooking up with I could see the benefit, or if your ex has really great seats to the Eagles or Sixers games, Iâ€™d understand, and if you still had occasion to do the nasty with your ex, I could forgive you, but just for the heck of it? I donâ€™t get it. Iâ€™m going to need you all to get with the program on this one, because you are limiting my entertainment options with all of these healthy, emotionally adjusted relationships. I mean, who will Jerry Springer call if not the poor, downtrodden, angry masses of doomed romantics? Iâ€™m just sayinâ€™.
*graphic courtesy of elemanotees.com
To S: you know i’m only kiddin!