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Italicized Thoughts September 7, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Whatever.
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 You’ve looked forward to this all week – for a few weeks, actually. “I always make it a point to befriend people who own boats,” you like to joke. But like every joke, it’s based in truth, as you are at your happiest when on the water. It’s impossible to be upset, mad, worried when the wind is blowing your hair straight back and, for lack of a better cliche’, the sunlight literally dances on the water.

Many people have told you how weird-but-cool it is you have such a good friendship with an ex. How your husband is so laid back about it all. “But they’re so much alike, it’s no wonder they get along so well,” they say. But you know the truth; that only someone who doesn’t really know either of them that well would say something like that. The fact they’re both open-minded enough to accept the other without the typical territorial, egotistical man thing is advantageous for you, you’ve always thought, but the more you spend time with the ex, the more it gets confirmed they’re really not alike. At all.

The day is unfolding pretty much like you’ve daydreamed about all week while stuck inside at work. It’s hot, a little hotter than it has been the last few days, but that’s okay because the lake is always cool and you know you’ll be in it as soon as you make the short trip to Sandy Beach, the small island popular with all lake boaters. Except it’s not exactly a short trip this time, as some minor inconveniences pop up: an unneccesary stop by some bored water cops looking for trouble on a holiday weekend, the wind not cooperating at first, causing some fumbling around to find the right sail to hoist. In fact, it takes three hours to reach the island and by that time you’re hot, hungry and already regretting not applying sunscreen to your face an hour sooner.

And you’re starting to notice something. The ex, someone known for his jovial personality and fun-seeker ways, is being a little, well, overbearing is the first word that comes to mind. It’s one thing for him as “captain of this vessel” to bark orders to the three of you, as he’s by far the most experienced with sailing. It’s another for him to dictate things like where everyone should sit and when everyone should eat/change clothes/remove shoes/go swimming, etc. And the fact he’s decided you’re the “bartender,” in order so you can fetch him a new beer from the cooler stashed down below deck every time he’s ready for a new one (which is seemingly every ten minutes) is more than a little annoying.

You also notice you’re not the only one getting irritated; the current girlfriend seems to be as well, indicated clearly by her looking at you and rolling her eyes everytime he issues another order to her. You start thinking it’s a good thing she’s here, actually, as you are starting to prefer her company way more than his.

“But wait a minute,” you think, “It’s a beautiful day, you’re with good friends and your man out on the lake, one of your favorite places to be. Stop looking for something to be upset about; you’re being sensitive and ridiculous.” Okay, attitude: adjusted.

The day progresses. You’re finally in the (cold) water, refreshed and feeling a little better. “Maybe I was just hot – I’m always pissy when I’m hot.” And then he says to you, “Why didn’t you bring your bathing suit; didn’t you learn your lesson from last time?” Something he’s already brought up at least twice so far today. Again you explain that of your two suits, one of them is so worn out it’s not meant for human eyes and the other doesn’t fit anymore, to the point it would be obscene. Do you have to spell it out in front of everyone? Yes, you’ve gained weight since you last wore the suit, no you haven’t bought a new one. Does it matter? You’ve purposely brought a change of clothes knowing you’d be getting in the water in these. You (again) jokingly explain as tan as they are, you preferred everyone not see the entirety of your boobs today. It’s getting harder to keep your tone light, when there’s so many unpleasant things you’d rather be saying.

He’s steadily drinking and it occurs to you: maybe if I have a beer he’ll be easier to take, so you ask for a beer and open it. (The ex: “Hey, it’s about time!”) After a few sips you think “This is the worst reason to drink ever in the history of drinking.” Or maybe not, but it still seems pretty pointless. You know you’ll be driving home later and that you’ll want absolutely nothing preventing being able to leave when you want.

Finally seeming to be exasperated with YOU, he announces he and your husband are going for a walk around the island. After he says it, he thinks to ask your husband if he in fact wants to take a walk. Your husband agrees. Without having an opportunity to discuss it, he knows you’re pissed off and in turn he’s trying to keep things light and being good-natured about everything. Off they go. 

A short repreive, you spend the next half hour or so talking with the girlfriend and you realize she just might be the saving grace of the three-day camping trip you’ve all planned to take next month, all the while still telling yourself you’re being silly. You’ve wanted this for a long time, to be able to prove to everyone how possible and enjoyable it is to mix the past and present with regard to boys. You think back to when your husband first met your ex and he cautiously told you that yes, he does seem like a pretty cool guy. You remember how happy that made you at the time but now you can’t exactly remember why.

The sun is finally setting and it’s time to head back. This is the most beautiful time of the day to be on the water; the light is literally golden. You feel a little foolish for your constant internal monologue you’ve kept running all day and because of it become expansive and enthusiastic, not minding (much) the ex is pretty drunk at this point and is quickly approaching obnoxiousness. That’s okay; he’s always been a happy drunk and besides, you’re not the one who will have to deal with him the rest of the night.

When he starts in with why you and your husband should spend the night at his place, ignoring all of your reasonable protests, you finally exasperately say, “There is nothing you can say to convince me, so you might as well save your energy.” It came out a little harsher than you intended, but you’re quickly reaching the point where escape is all you’re thinking about. He drunkenly calls you some name, meant to insinuate what a party pooper you’re being and you don’t even acknowledge it knowing it’s not worth it and that he won’t even remember most of this portion of the evening the next day.

Back at his place, he sarcastically asks if it’s okay for him to take your husband to the bar next door to his house for “one beer.” Knowing you’ll look like the asshole if you say no and for some reason still caring about things like that, you say fine. This gives you some more time to spend with the girlfriend anyway, who has now become apologetic about his behavior. This makes you feel bad for her, that your annoyance was that obvious. You try to imagine their future together and come up with nothing but questions, thinking how long before she gets tired of this or will she be the one to influence him to change.

Driving home, the moon is full, the windows are rolled down to let in the crisp night air and good 80’s music is on the radio. The husband is making you laugh with his impressions of the ex. It feels so good to have it just the two of you again and laugh about it all. You suddenly think that if it weren’t for the ex you never would have met your husband. And all of a sudden you start to realize that nothing really bad even happened today; nothing that mattered at all. And you forgive the ex of any past greivances, real or imagined. Because he helped direct your life to where it is right now. And right now is pretty damn good.

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Comments»

1. Laura - September 7, 2009

Awesome. Post. Sorry your day on the water was colored with annoyance, but I’m glad you were able to find some perspective in it all! xo

2. crisitunity - September 7, 2009

Lovely, thoughtful post (pun intended). Thank you for the window inside your head. FWIW, I think you were in the right to be annoyed at ex’s behavior.

3. shmode - September 7, 2009

Your patience lasted a lot longer than mine would have, kudos! But the day sounds lovely in spite of the ex’s assinine behaviour.

4. iamheatherjo - September 7, 2009

You and his current girlfriend are far more tolerant than I probably would have been. That’s a good, good thing. 😀

5. Kimmothy - September 8, 2009

Thank you guys; this is one that I posted before I lost my nerve and will never look at again for the shame of it all. Ick.

6. Taoist Biker - September 8, 2009

Hell, I agree with the above, I think it’s awesome.

And you were right to get annoyed with the ex. I dunno your ex, maybe it was just a bad day – and speaking of which, maybe everybody should be granted an asshole pass – but only, say, annually. With a second one per year (no more) to be granted for meritorious service above and beyond the call of duty.

One of Dys’s exes is a good guy, and a not so good guy, at the same time. I never know how to feel about him, really. [Forrest]And that’s all I have to say about that.[/Forrest]

Kimmothy - September 8, 2009

I imagine you, like Brian, are pretty laidback about the whole thing – for the most part. Brian said the main thing that bothers him is whenever D introduces him to someone he says “This is the guy who married my ex-girlfriend but we’re cool!”

7. Shari - September 8, 2009

This was a great post Kim. I love your descriptions….and knowing both of them, I would never say they are so much alike. That said, it is quite a feat to have both be able to hang together. And I still believe that deep down in the recesses of D’s heart, sometimes in certain situations, he must feel a pang of regret at having let you go. Not that HE would ever admit it.

Kimmothy - September 9, 2009

Shari – you have the experience of knowing them both pretty well, so I’m glad you agree they’re nothing alike! (Besides Civil War facts and shooting guns)

8. LL Cool Joe - September 9, 2009

Geez I would have snapped about 30 minutes into your trip! You must be a saint!

I was waiting for the punchline though where you said you smacked him in the teeth and ran off with his girlfriend instead. 😉 😀

Kimmothy - September 9, 2009

Oh, how I wish that was the case!
But sadly, I’m much too much of a wimp to do anything cool like that.


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