Spring cleaning always throws up surprises—some good, some not-so-good, and some downright embarrassing. At least so I was when the husband flashed a CD labelled ‘Encyclopaedia Britannica’ and asked if it belonged to me in one of his sporadic bouts of spring cleaning a few weeks ago.
Me: Err.. yes, that’s mine.
He: What are you doing with an Encyclopaedia Britannica CD? It’s so not you.
Me: Actually it was a gift from an ex-boyfriend.
He: What kind of guy gifts his girlfriend an Encyclopaedia Britannica on a CD? Sounds like a loser.
Me: As a matter of fact, he wasn’t one. He was very bright and funny and an orthopaedic surgeon.
He: Whatever. He sounds really unimaginative and dull.
I had nothing to say.
The husband has his share of demons too. Like a very gauche shirt-and-pant piece I found one day in his wardrobe, which he sheepishly confessed was a present from a prospective mother-in-law (and is now a favourite dusting cloth, however significant that sounds). I must admit, it made my encyclopaedia boy look good.
I think the reason we all have a past is so that someday, we can look back and laugh at it and feel good about ourselves. So that it will make us feel better about our ‘here’ and ‘now’. So that we feel less wretched about time spent (rather wasted) with the said person and be happy that we moved on (whether by choice or by circumstance). So that, in the larger scheme of things, we look like we got a better deal. After all, whatever anyone might say, it is about winning, eventually.
The only reason we want to ‘bump’ into our exes, if at all, is to see what a mess they are without us, how boring their lives are, and how they have absolutely no sense of style without us, how they are constantly in shallow, meaningless company, how their sense of humour has degenerated, how badly they have aged, and how well you have. And when you have a child, you try and imagine—what if the Y chromosome came from someone else—and it makes you shriek, because you can’t imagine your little one looking like anything else.
All of us, some earlier than others, reach that point where our exes go from tormenting us, to inducing a faint twitch in facial muscle upon mention of said person’s name, to downright cracking us up into peals of laughter. It’s a great feeling.
But, at the end of the day, the only thing we ever want to hear about our exes is that they are fat and bald or are married to fat, boring people who will never know what they once were when they were with us. My encyclopaedia boy scored on both counts and that makes me happy. Okay, that sounded mean, but you get my point.
Now that I have exorcised my demons, over to yours.