Fancy Meeting You Here

There’s an old joke that I’ve heard from time to time: “I ran into my ex today…then I backed up and hit him again”.  I don’t really care for that joke, because I hate the thought of hating someone like that.  Why, just yesterday, I read one of my favorite blogger’s postings, and it literally hurt my heart to read her angry essay about her cheating ex-boyfriend.  I feel for her dealing with the betrayal and anger, that’s a huge pill to swallow. But I can’t help but think–you lived with this person, were married or engaged to this person, you shared secrets under bed sheets,  you laughed, shared meals, payed bills, you once loved that person so much that it hurt…to hate that person after the love died is like hating that whole chapter in your life.  Do that enough times, hate every person that left before you did, you’ve got a lot of hate in your heart and a lot of bitter chapters in an already short life.  Of course, these things are painful, and nothing heals like time, but I’d prefer to be on friendly terms with all my ex’s.  I don’t plan to go on an Alaskan cruise with any of them, but in the off-chance you run into them on the street, I’d like to think that a hello and hug would be in order.

Still, running into an ex can be a bit of a minefield.  It is wholly dependent on your new station in life… or your place in the world compared to their place in the world.  If you’ve gained weight, recently gotten an unsightly scar, have just been fired/dumped/punted off a reality show, and he’s looking better with age and his new wife looks like she invested being young and hot…then yes, it’s a struggle.    A girlfriend of mine once told me that she saw her ex-husband  in a grocery store.  She had a moment where she recognized him, then took a step towards him, before realizing that they were divorced, and had been for quite sometime.  It’s sort of surreal, like being a kid and seeing your teacher out of the classroom. “So you don’t exist solely to teach me life lessons?”  I ran into my ex on the way to the post office.  It’s all very friendly and respectful, but there is a strange moment when you think… remember when we were a thing? And then years later, after all the dusted has settled, exchanging pleasantries by the cash register, wearing the turquoise American Apparel hoodie you pinched from him the day you moved out. Afterwards I headed to my appointment with my massage therapist.  Once on the table, she asks about my day.

“Well, I just ran into the man I almost married”.

“How was that?”

“Oh, it was nice to catch up, but I think as a rule, you’d like to be stepping off George Clooney‘s speedboat, or wearing a ballgown when you run into any of your formers”.

“I hear ya.  You always wish you looked prettier, were ten pounds thinner, and dressed smarter”.

But, then you’d never bump into them.  That’s Murphy’s Law; you could spend your whole life dressed like a fashion model, and the one day you nip out for a quick sweatpants-wearing, make-up free errand,  looking totally bland and pedestrian,  that will be the day you bump into those kinds of people.   The massage therapist’s comments about wishing you were all different kinds of things made me think about how you want to be perceived in this fleeting moment.  So, I’ve compiled a list acceptable times to run into an ex.

When looking effortlessly striking…

brigitte-bardot_vintage-beauty_7

On a horse, amid winning a polo match:

polo player

Fresh from winning an Oscar

audrey oscar

Being admired by millions…

vintage-red-carpet

…somewhere in between being a star and a princess…

grace kelly

Or just passing by, hiding behind giant sunglasses…

Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Or while casually glimpsing over your shoulder, looking impossibly young, fresh and stunning…

jane-fonda

Furthermore, most ladies want to run into the ex with new lovers in tow…

“Oh that’s just me with Richard Burton…pissing of the Pope in Italy”…

liz-taylor-rich-burton-june-1962-pat-moram-photo-off-ischia-in-bay-of-naples1

“Have you met Paul Newman? He’s possibly the most gorgeous man ever, so that’s what I’ve been dealing with these days”…

newman

“Oh him? That’s just Steve McQueen…no big deal”.

mcgraw mcqueen

What you don’t want–is to run into said ex–sans make up, or post stomach flu, or maybe ten minutes after you’ve given birth or had your mug shot taken…

Mugshot-Crying-4

Don’t let him see you making your sex face, out of context it just looks weird…

Beyonce-looking-unflattering

“Oh hey…how are you?” “Good”.  “So…Things are good?” “Oh yeah, real good” Good…I’m good too…” “Well you look good…your hair is…completely gone, which must be…cool in the summer?” “Yeah…it gets so hot when I beat the shit out of random vehicles with my umbrella”.  “Oh I’ll bet…”

britney_2007_girlstalkingsmack-502x549

You want to be bubbly, not blasted.  It’s wise not to get drunk as fuck and fall on your face, you never want you ex to see you flat out like so…

polo fall

Don’t we all have ex-husbands/wives, ex-boyfriends/girlfriends…and whether we run and hide, or march up and say hello that’s your prerogative.  But you don’t want to duck cowardly into an aisle, and have them pass you as you try to cram yourself behind a display of hemorrhoid cream or personal lubricants.  “Oh hey…I just dropped a penny back here, just trying to retrieve it….”

It’s like the end of “Annie Hall”, which is a small montage of them running into each other with new partners, and having lunch and laughing over old times, mixed with flashbacks of them meeting and falling in love.  And in the last shot, standing in the street, they shake hands and go their separate ways.  Rather, she walks away first, and he watches her go before he turns and walks in the opposite direction with this thought in his head:  “It was great seeing Annie again…I realized what a terrific person she was and how much fun it was just knowing her”.  The love story happened.  And then it ended.  But there’s no bitterness or anger, no regret or vengeance.  Just gratitude.  And it’s always nice to say hello.

Annie.Hall_.1977.720p.HDTV_.x264.YIFY_.mp4.Still001

All Images Courtesy of Google

5 thoughts on “Fancy Meeting You Here

  1. Pingback: Fancy Meeting You Here | Retro Life | Scoop.it

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