Everyone has a brood of exes and as my co-blogger has pointed out in her last post, running into one can be, well, interesting. I have three major exes in my life, one ex-boyfriend, one ex-fiancee, and an ex-husband. I have been fortunate to avoid all three for the last twelve plus years. Sure, there is Facebook with the occasional photo but that is a picnic compared to the awkward confrontation. Fortunately my ex fiancée (I will call him Penny Roller) moved out of town and then out of state, my other two exes are still local but I moved away for ten years, thus making a run-in very unlikely. I have since moved closer to my hometown so running into my ex-boyfriend (we will call him Duff) and ex-husband (Holes) a real possibility.
I don’t look forward to the awkward day I am face to face with my past so I hope it never happens. Running into Duff wouldn’t be so terrible. Despite my memories of his rather mopey mug, he was a nice guy and I worked with his wife after high school and I really like her. After sixteen years, I wouldn’t know what to say to him. The last conversation he and I had, we were high school freshman. Penny Roller would be an interesting encounter. We got engaged in high school and he abruptly ended our relationship. I found my own type of closure but there is too much in our past that would be hard to avoid. There are more humorous moments in our shared past as his nickname implies. He dropped out of high school and joined the army while we were together but between these adventures, he worked sporadically. I remember him rolling loose change to afford to put gas in his noisier than necessary truck to “go mudding” (yes, driving your big ol’ truck in an overabundance of mud is a thing in our state) or buy cigarettes. What I boiled down to was a literal notch in his headboard (he had quite a few). The dreaded meeting would be with my ex-husband, Holes. The darker details to this relationship are spelled out in one of my previous posts. He was the man who had obvious red flags that I somehow ignored. I married him out of guilt and fear of hurting his feelings. I ignored the moldy dishes that were rotting in his sink, the odd collection of figurines (earning him the more humorous nickname Senior Nutcracker), and obvious self-centered behavior. I didn’t want to be another disappointment in his life so I chose to turn a cheek to his lack of interest in aesthetics. Holes had a regular rotation of holey clothes and stories by the time I walked out the door. I know how he is and I anticipate an encounter would entail him telling me how terrible of a person I am.
My trio of exes are a string of examples of my self-loathing behavior. I ended the relationship with my ex-boyfriend after we dated a good portion of my freshman year. Things got awkward with Duff when we stopped socializing with friends and I began to feel like I was married at 15. I left him and began dating Penny Roller. I was taken with him, so much so that I often thought of him long after I married Holes. Penny Roller was one of the many reasons I ran away and right to Holes. I had little confidence in myself and thought I needed to settle for the dependable Holes over the Penny Roller’s antics. I didn’t give myself a chance to swoon over other boys (aside from my life long obsession with Wesley from The Princess Bride), but I did have my share of dates between the three. My legend was just a fable, tucked quietly away in the corner of my mind.
It took a few hundred half-witted smiles, several empty boxes of cigarettes, and a shelf load of odd knick-nacks later to finally break free of my trio and meet my legend. I am still amazed by him today. The day may come when I encounter one or all three of the ghosts from my past but despite what happened, I am finally confident in the decisions I have made. I know a chance encounter will no longer bubble up lingering feelings because I know I am exactly where I am meant to be. What memories I choose to hold on are the ones I can laugh at and others that solidify the best decision I ever made.
Wesley: “As you wish.”
Me: “Giggle, giggle.”