… and then the phone rang

By Mir
July 14, 2004

I was rather enjoying a long, dragging, tedious day of being trapped inside by the rain with two small cranky beings. Okay, maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word. But I was managing.

Then the phone rang this afternoon, and the caller ID informed me that it was the ex. In the middle of the day. On a day when he doesn’t see the kids. Uh oh.

I answered with great trepidation. Something wrong? Bone to pick? Laid off unexpectedly? (I’m almost afraid to say that last one out loud, so completely screwed would all of our lives be if that were to happen at this point.)

“I’ve been filled in!” he announced with glee. “Want to hear all the gossip?”


‘Nother beat.

OH. No crisis. Phew. Okay, yes, fill me in, but damn you for nearly giving me a heart attack.

I have mentioned before that we made our move to this town during the technology boom, while the ex was a founder at a start-up which paid him piles of money but then subsequently sucked out his mind and soul and after a while, fired him. I could tell you the entire story, but as the overused saying goes, then I’d have to kill you. Suffice it to say that it was a very messy business, both on the career and personal sides, and was–not coincidentally–no small part of what eventuated in our split. Bad Stuff, in short.

Last week the ex mentioned that he’d heard “rumblings” of further problems at The Evil Empire. Today he got the whole scoop and couldn’t wait to dish on the misfortunes of those who’d tossed him out like yesterday’s garbage. “You were the only other person I could think of who would really appreciate this news,” he said. And we discussed it for a bit, pros (what comes around goes around) and cons (we still own quite a bit of stock, and no matter how much fun it would be to watch them fold, we stand to benefit if they don’t), like… friends.

That can ruin a perfectly okay day.

I don’t want to be friends with my ex. Neither do I want to hate him (I worked my butt off to get past that one; my therapist may have a beach house somewhere, now), but this sort of friendly discussion about mutual interests? No. No! I don’t want it. Go away and please return to being an insane yet predictable idiot over there so that I can continue to believe that I had no other choice but to kick you out. Don’t go actually giving me glimpses of the basically good human you used to be, because that makes me feel bad. Shades of grey, in this particular realm, are not appreciated. Let’s go back to the restraining order. Let’s go back to where you see a car in my driveway at night and call me up hollering about what a slut I am. Those things are easy. Those things I know how to process.

This? This is complicated, and wholly unwelcome. And how much of an asshat does that make me, when I know plenty of people who would–in all likelihood–cheerfully give their right arm to have a civil conversation with the father of their child(ren)??

This kind of anger drops into my lap out of nowhere and mocks me with its unashamed lack of logic. Maybe it’s too soon; I don’t know. But a small, tired part of me thinks that it will always continue to taunt me, at the most unexpected times. I always joke about how “there’s just no pleasing me.” It isn’t nearly so funny when it turns out to be true.


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