Friday, August 17, 2012

The 7 Evil Xes

Every Valentine’s Day (in recent history anyway), GAR and I stay in, avoid overpriced, overcrowded restaurants and watch our traditional V-Day movie – Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I guess it’s sort of a love story, though the main character spends the majority of the flick battling his would-be girlfriend’s seven evil exes in an effort to eventually date her himself (even though he already has a girlfriend – okay, so really it’s not so romantic, but we love this movie, so in that way it is a LOVE story… sort of).

For our own love story, GAR and I never had to scale such lofty barriers. Although, at a couple points in our courtship, one or both of us were dating other people and had to play the waiting game for those doomed relationships to meet their end before ours could begin ... and some of those exes hung on a little longer than we would have preferred (that’s sort of like fighting them to the death Scott Pilgrim style, right?) ... but we were patient, and waited, and prevailed. It’s not something we reflect on often – in fact (call me cruel if you must), I never really think about my exes at all (aside from this recent post on my past travel experiences with them). I mean, not unless it comes up in conversation (for example: Who did you go to Venice with?). But other than those small mental triggers, I have no reason to dwell on those who are in the past. Any why should I? I am completely happy in my present life ... In my marriage ... In everything. And back when I was with those guys? Well, let’s just leave them where they belong – in a past place I wouldn’t ever long to go back to.

It’s not a lack of nostalgia, or even of resentment, so much as it is a place of current contentment. And I’ve never been one to complain about my crazy ex (we get it people – your ex was crazy. That’s why you’re not with him/her anymore. Also, I bet he/she is out there complaining about you, who they also call their crazy ex … it’s the circle of breakups if you will). Crazy or not, I just don’t really care – the past is the past – and I’m certainly not wasting a minute of my happiness feeling angry over a former boyfriend. But, okay, I will admit that twice this year this mantra of mine has been tested when I saw my two least favorite exes (because, even if I’m not angry at them, I still know which ones I’d least want to ever see again – that’s just logic) – one at a mutual friend’s wedding (and we mutually agreed to pretend we didn’t see each other in that small reception room) and again yesterday when I saw the craziest (because, let’s be honest, I still know he’s crazy even if I don’t shoot my mouth off about it all the time) of my exes at a sports bar (and he appeared to be out on a first date – you can always spot a first date a mile away. A crazy ex would have gone up to his table and warned the girl what she was getting herself into. Not me. I’m the type of ex who’s just crazy enough to let her find out for herself). And honestly I didn’t feel an ounce of anything at all toward these boys (yes boys, not men … I can still make some jabs, right?) Plus, okay, it did help to see that they’re both still single – just like I knew they would be – because, while I always say there’s a lid for every pot, some pots are just warped and bent and misshapen over time so finding the right fit requires some serious shape shifting abilities on the part of the lid and, really, what self respecting lid is going to change herself THAT much for such a worthless pot …

But I seem to have gotten off topic. Where was I again? Oh yes, I DO have a point to all this. It’s coming up next.

Despite my playful barbs at the expense of my exes, I really believe that part of why GAR and I worked so well as a couple from day 1 of our relationship is that we didn’t drag all that extra baggage – anger, resentment, damage – from our past into our future together. Just like at an airport, there’s a hefty price to pay for bringing all that junk with you, so it’s best to just carry the bare minimum. Oh sure, Adele may have made millions off of dwelling on the wrongdoings of her former lover, but unless your singing voice sounds like an angel knitting a sweater made of pure gold (and I’m guessing it doesn’t), there’s nothing to gain from this sort of unhealthy loathing. GAR recently shared his “rooting effect” – the guidelines that he believes govern your ability to root for certain college teams. Well I have my own rules – 8 Simple Rules for Dating (it’s a title that really just rolls off the tongue, don’t you think?). I won’t bother with them all now because, eh, I’m just the type of gal who’s crazy enough to let you figure it out for yourself if you haven’t already. BUT, I will sell you on the overarching premise on which they are based: Finding love is all about timing.

Okay, that was perhaps a little oversimplified, let me delve a little deeper: It’s not so much about finding “the one,” it’s about finding “the one” at the right time in his or her life. Well, and your life too (I am always dubious of relationships where one person is still bitching extensively about someone they dated in the past … aren’t you ready to be happy in the future?) – but for the purposes of my rules it’s all about it being the right time for him/her (just this one time – after that you can try to make it about you you you again. I wish you luck in that, honestly). Meet him (I’m just going to use the word “him” from now on, it’s just easier, don’t you think? You can sub out “her” if that’s what applies to you) too early in his life and he’s not yet ready to settle down. Meet him too late and either he’s acquired all sorts of that nasty baggage I referenced earlier, or he’s become too independent and set in his ways to make room for you (he needs to still be somewhat pliable, moldable, flexible. No, we’re not trying to “change” you, we’re just trying to adapt to each other’s preferences … and, okay, yeah, we’re also trying to change you), or both. I believe that I met my GAR just a smidge too late. Not so late that it didn’t work out, but had I met him a year or two earlier I think he might have been a little less stubborn and I would have been able to get better results out of changing him (but I can work with what I’m given). That said, I am nearly positive that had I met him 5+ years earlier, it wouldn’t have worked at all – the place he was in at that moment would not have connected with me. I would have ruled him out as too immature, too arrogant, too much of a player. See what I mean, it’s really NOT about you, it’s about him … and, of course, it’s about timing.

Or let’s have this video put it another way …

While I’m glad that GAR and I managed to get our timing right, the truth is that it’s not as hard as it seems. And it’s never going to be the right time if you’re still mentally fighting those 7 evil exes – or expecting the next guy (or gal – you get it) in your life to battle those demons for you. But, yeah, sure, you can still hope they die alone in a cat carcass infested hoarder house like you see on tv – that’s okay. Just don’t bother dwelling on it too much, okay?

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