Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blast from the past

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.


  1. Only bullock carts move on. And that too because Oxen pull them.

    To the rest of us it's merely a convenient idiom to convey a misplaced detachment with things we can no longer relate to because we lost the context long ago.

  2. You have a point Anil. But sometimes you have to be your own oxen, especially if the relationship is more debilitating than anything else. And when you look back, if the symbols loom larger than the actual person, you know it wouldn't have been worth it, even if that is an escapist view. It's mostly survival.

  3. jus saw mine outta my window...broken up jus 5 months back...this helped...yes he was..messed up...thanks

  4. I didnt know you had a blog.... Have enjoyed your posts in HT every tuesday :)
    Just wanted to say thank you for all the good reads :)

  5. @left unseen
    good to know it made you feel good

    @arshat:thank you! yes, started this blog as an archive, so you can catch up on what you missed.