Earlier this week, I was invited to my ex's birthday party. Yikes right? Your mind immediately jumps to all sorts of conclusions, and your brain is suddenly flooded with questions. The most important being, WHAT the fuck am I going to wear?!
You know you want to look hot, so he knows what he can't have anymore. BUT you want to make sure you don't send any mixed messages, like: "See these legs? Remember these legs? You can't have these legs!"
It's a very hard line to walk, and I tried on several things before making up my mind on the perfect blend of normal me going out, and memories. (this is rule #1 in 'Seeing Your EX After Many Years'--Dress The Part--I should write that...-Editor, make a note, I know you're reading this)
I'm not sure what I expected. But I'm happy with the way it turned out. No uncomfortable moments, and why would there be, we moved on years ago, right? But the writer in me just couldn't resist the possibility of this night having the makings of great scene material I mean really? Come on! Those of you that knew us together, we were like magnets. Both attracting and repelling in equal forces, depending on our personal positions. Two individuals, compelled....I knew it would be an interesting evening, and I'm never one to shy away from anything that seems interesting or spikes my curiosity. I even brought along a small silk bound blank book and a red pen to take down notes or any great dialogue.(Rule #2-- Always Look Busy. Keeps you from appearing nervous or anxious)
When my sidekick saw me with my reading glasses on and my notebook, he quipped the quote of the night, "What are you a librarian now?" The look I responded to him with must have been my naughty librarian look, because he laughed before I could comment. This came after my kids left. My kids coming were both a surprise for him, and mostly an escape route for me. (Rule number #3-- Always Have A Plan B --when invited to any event with your ex involved).
I was quieter then normal....not the butterfly, pretty much stayed in my seat and let the party come to me. Was too engrossed in watching people. Some I hadn't seen in many, many years and they looked the same. Amazing. Others I had seen but never speak to, and that also hasn't changed. And one, I see only at birthdays like this, and we barely acknowledge each others existence....barely. Like gunslingers, we nod and keep each other in our sights, because we don't trust each other at all. And of course this one is my ex's best friend.(Rule #4--Know The Territory Before Going, RECON)
I was kind of hoping to see my little brothers, and some of the old gaming group....and frankly I was surprised that none of them came....I then wondered if they had been invited....I then started to think that maybe I should try to be more friendly to my ex....perhaps he is going through what we all start to go through in our late 30's....the sudden disappearance of old friends because life is too busy to fit everyone in that you want to see. That realization I hadn't expected, and it made his invitation to me, this year, of all years, very important. Perhaps he was trying to let me know that he hoped I would not disappear. (Rule #5--The Voices In Your Head Will Try To Confuse You, Ignore Them.)
(Rule #6 His Friends May Try To Confuse You, Ignore Them.)
That is where I got the nerve to bypass his gunslinger friend and walk right up to my friend and engage him in some more personal one on one. And after all it was my turn, he had approached us several times during the night, and I safely stayed put.(Rule #7--Play Fair)
We actually got a few minutes alone while on a smoking break, I was surprised the gunslinger didn't follow him....he sees everything. And from a pretty normal night, with not much scene potential, that moment with him, made the rest of the night, the scene. (Rule #8--Keep It Real. This Is Not A Fantasy.)
I guess it's true that real friendship never dies, and real friends can pick up years later, like nothing changed. It's nice to know that we are truly friends now, after such a bad break up all those years ago...
I guess my lesson for you is this, if you can truly forgive in your heart and move on with your life, you won't have the drama that you see in others lives, and when your ex invites you to a party, you'll know you can go with no regrets and to have a good time, instead of worrying about what to wear.