Last week, post walking into shockingly non-bouncy new place called Bounce in Bandra for some PBQT (post baby quality time) with the husband, I noticed him squirming as he edged me towards the bar. “Guess what? My ex-girlfriend is here. Should I be ignoring her?”
Now this was a first—the extremely suave and articulate husband transforming into this clumsy rookie that is. But I could sense he was uncomfortable, so I said, “Pretending she doesn’t exist would be giving it too much importance. If I were you, I would throw a breezy ‘Hi’ in her direction and continue doing what I was doing.” (Spoken in the tone and manner of someone who has become a pro at the breezy-with-the-ex thing)
Which is what he did, and then all was well. Except it opened the window to some post-morteming by me. “She needs a haircut, and some tact,” I said. I wasn’t just being my bitchy self—she really could do with a haircut—and her constant nudging of friends, pointing in my direction made me think of the second ingredient. So there!
Coming to think of it, he did the same when we ran into one of my exes sometime last year. “You actually dated THAT?” was his response.
One of the conversations we did have pre-marriage was about not inviting any of our exes to the wedding, since it was about celebrating the future and did not have to involve revisiting the past. But a conversation we didn’t have is what would we do if we ran into one of them.
Which brought me to: why are we embarrassed by our exes? And I figured: we are actually embarrassed by what we were when we were with them. Stupid, needy, clingy, confused or a combination thereof. And when we move on, we pretend we were never any of those things and that’s why an encounter such as the above leaves us flummoxed. What makes it worse is that there is no such thing as closure. It is something one only reads in books.
So we fit our exes into different boxes—some have access to our Facebook (some on limited profile, others whose walls we still write on), some we still call and wish on birthdays, some we socially hang out with (but only in large groups), some who text us and we never text back, some whose numbers we remember by heart but haven’t saved, some whose new girlfriends we are dying to check out, some we call for professional (but never personal) advice, and some we just ctrl+alt+delete from our lives and feel good about it.
What we all really want at the bottom of our heart is a Deewar moment with an ex, however petty that might sound. “Mere paas _________ (fill object of value here, like new boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, child) hai! Tumhare paas kya hai?”