Monday, January 11, 2010


I got the Ext yesterday. Out of nowhere. Unwanted and unsolicited.

Prof and I were relaxing and recouperating at a nice restaurant after an exhausting day with his family (followed by a side trip to Ikea). We both had a nice stiff drink to take the edge off, and thank god for that, because it continued to keep the edge off. While I was sitting at the table waiting for Prof to powder his nose, I pulled my phone out. Oooh! A text message from a strange number! I figured Prof had sent my phone number to his sister in law so we could commiserate over text messages about his crazy family, so I flipped it open, trying to figure out a snappy one-liner about the step-mother.

But I was not ready for what I saw, right there, on my phone:

"How are things in [my town]? Thinking of you, BB"

My heart immediately jumped into my throat, I felt faint and I think I turned pale. I just stared at it. "How are things? Thinking of you..." SERIOUSLY?!?! What the hell am I supposed to do with that?

I immediately showed it to Prof. Say or think what you will about me telling him about it, but I needed to be talked down. He's been through this with his ex-wife. He knows the BB back story. He's read the blog. I needed him for support. Needed him to tell me that it was natural to have that reaction to someone who had busted my heart into a zillion little black pieces.

I hate it that BB was able to illicit such a strong reaction in me after so much time has passed. Its been nearly a year since I last saw him or talked to him. He shouldn't have an effect on me anymore. He doesn't deserve to be able to get a reaction out of me.

But, he did. And now, once again, selfishly, he has put me in the position of having to make a choice that I didn't ask to have to make. Responding to the text is a choice, but so is not responding. What kind of jerk puts someone in a position like that?

A BB kind of jerk, I suppose.

So, here's the deal as far as I can tell. When an ex sends you a text, there is a reason. That reason? They lack the balls to call you, or send an email like a civilized person would do, or come over with a large boom box blaring Peter Gabriel. Most of all, they lack the balls to let you go live your life. Without them. The text lets them off easy. It text contains no info about them, no clue as to why they might have texted. Just two lines of bullshit, hoping for a response. And if there is no response, well, then, they've lost nothing. But if there is a response, then, they win. They don't lose. The only loser in this situation is the text-ee.

Its a really, truly selfish move. He didn't care that he may have ruined my afternoon. Or ruined dinner with my wonderful, awesome boyfriend who patiently walked around Ikea with me that afternoon while was wearing a fish puppet on my hand (I named him Franklin. He got lost in the dining section). Selfish. All he cared about was whatever event triggered him to look my cell phone number up off some really old email and dial the numbers into his iPhone with its brand new west coast phone number.

Did he want me to have his new phone number, just in case I had a pediatric emergency? Did he want to remind me that he was still out there, pining away for the best girl he ever lost? Did he win the lottery and want to split the proceeds with me as reparations? Is he dying of some rare form of brain cancer that causes you to "ext" with abandon?

Yesterday, I cared what the reason was. Today I'm just incredulous that he just won't go away.

And no, I did not respond. He doesn't deserve a response. And if more of us would stand up to selfish ex's who just don't get it, maybe exting would disappear forever.


Ms Behaviour said...

I plagiarized this so I wouldn't have to send you a link to some ridiculous website about zen meditations.
Once upon a time, there were two monks walking along a road. They happened upon a very rich lady who was upset because her two servants, laden down with the many bags she had ordered them to carry, could not carry her across the muddy puddle so she would have to dirty her feet.

The elder of the two monks calmly walked up to the angry lady, lifted her unto his back, and carried her across the puddle dirtying his toga in the process. When he gently placed her on the ground, the lady stomped away without so much as a thank you to the elderly monk. The younger monk was bemused by the oblivious peace of the elder monk, despite the lady's rudeness, and for the rest of the journey back to the monastery he wore a slightly impatient expression, as if waiting for the elder monk to begin complaining. Finally, when he could not stand it any longer, the younger monk asked the elder monk why he was unshaken by the ingratitude shown unto him. The elder monks turned to him and said, "Why are you still carrying that mean woman? I placed her on the ground miles ago".

Claudine said...

I still get that text from an a-hole ex-bf from time to time (and I'm married now for almost a year to a great guy). I think he felt guilty for cheating on me.

Katy said...

I think its fantastic that you didn't respond to him. Don't do it. Don't do it for revenge, or to piss him off or anything. Do it because of the quiet satisfaction that it will give you to know that he's wondering if you got it and why you didn't respond. (muh haha)

kristen said...

yay for not responding. but remember, if he texts again to be all 'did you get my text, not sure i sent it to the right number', dont respond to that either.

however, consider this. you told the Prof because it made YOU feel better. next time consider how it makes him feel to hear that your ex contacted you and illicited a response. personally, every time i've ever been told that an ex contacted a current and their reaction has been anything but eyerolls or laughter, its made me want to throw up.
kinda the way hearing from BB made you want to throw up.
kinda the way it probably made the prof want to throw up to hear that some other guy still affects you. it made you feel better to tell him but at what expense to him?