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.