OK, I don’t actually know what my super power is. Maybe the ability to come up with a very detailed and efficient plan super quickly? Or perfecting the junk food medley by situation and companions?
Anyway, it just so happens that whatever my super power is, I am also the best ex-girlfriend ever.
I dated a guy, we’ll call him The Scientist, for three years. It was my longest relationship to that point.
He was funny, sarcastic, loyal, and could be quite sweet. When he wasn’t being arrogant that is. In all reality, I was quite in love with him, and he was very much in love with me. We were going to have smart, crazy babies, and live a very suburban life.
Except I wouldn’t move in with him without a ring on my finger, and he wouldn’t propose without having lived together first.
And then he moved to Italy as part of his PhD work, for nine months. And I swore I would wait.
Well, yeah… Long distance is hard, yo. I couldn’t do it. I mean I tried, and I know he was trying in his own way, but we just didn’t have the communication mesh to make it work. Not to mention while he was away, all those friends I’d neglected seeing came back into light – those friends he felt awkward around, and didn’t particularly enjoy, um, at all.
So we broke up. In that messy, god-awful long distance way, over Messenger and Facebook and Skype… And then he came back into town on Hallowe’en.
And I picked him up at the airport, and brought him home with me to my parent’s house, and the four of us lived together for an awkward and, at times, torturous three and a half weeks while he found an apartment. Then I helped move all the stuff I had been storing for him into the new apartment.
I am the best ex-girlfriend ever.
Then he didn’t speak to me or my family for three years. He didn’t even personally thank my parents for their hospitality. And in my father’s book, that is practically a sin.
But he was raised by wolves – or well, lawyers…
Anyway, three years later, I get an email out of the blue from The Scientist. He wants to meet, catch up, be friends again.
I breathe my sigh of relief that he is a) alive, b) well enough to type, c) over me enough to want to be friends (or possibly under me enough still to use it as a ploy…)
Then I contemplate letting him back into my life. See, it was messy. And we want totally different kinds of things out of life, and basic human decorum has different standards between us.
So we meet, and chat, and it’s heartbreaking, but over in an hour and a half. We hug, and promise to stay in touch. But before I go, I mention that he really ought to give a call or pop an email to my dad and let him know, hey, thanks for hosting me by the way, it was a tough time, you made it easier. Whatever works. I go home and warn my parents he may call so that they’re not too weird trying to figure out who the h*ll is on the other end. And that’s the last I hear from him for six months.
Until he phones my house. And speaks to father to ask for me. And still doesn’t thank him. All he wants to know is if I’m up to hanging out tonight (Saturday night). I decline, because I honestly didn’t know what to say.
I never thought I’d have to make it a condition that he thank my parents for us to be friends again, but frankly, if I have to make it a condition, I’m not sure I want to be friends.
Then again, this totally falls under the “basic human decorum” differences between us, so maybe, since we’re not dating, he doesn’t have to respect my family’s values in order to just be friends with me…
But he should respect my values, right?
So now I don’t know what to do. Obviously, talk to him. But to what end? Do I really want to go through all the effort of being heard and making him feel like a jerk, or do I just let the relationship go the way of most relationships past…?
What do you think?