Thursday, October 11, 2012

Running into an Ex

On Tuesday, while out and about, I stopped at a little shopping center in my neighborhood to get a sandwich at the deli.  It should be noted that I'm in this shopping center all the time.  It's about 6 blocks from my house, and is home to my favorite coffee shop, the closest drugstore, and a post office.  And a legendary Italian deli that happens to have an incredible veggie sandwich on a wheat roll.

I was tired, headachy, and it was the first full day of my period (thus the sudden and pressing need for a deli sandwich).  The deli tends to be crowded--it really is that good--so I was crossing my fingers that the line wouldn't be too bad, given that it was a little after 2 pm.  I parked my car, got out, and started walking toward the deli, when I saw my ex walking out of it, toward the drugstore at the end of the shopping center.

So I did what any mature 31 year old would do: I pivoted in the middle of the parking lot, walked right back to my car, and drove home.  ;)

In that moment, I knew I had exactly two choices: to say eh, not today and scram (like I did), or to walk up to him, give him an inevitably awkward hug, exchange some small talk about the past six years, smile a lot, and likely conclude with something like "sure, let's be in touch!"  Remember that scene from Sex and the City (season 6, episode 1) when Carrie runs into Aidan and his baby in front of the furniture store?  They have a friendly but slightly uncomfortable conversation, agree to meet for coffee sometime, and then she muses that this is what exes do: say they're going to meet for coffee, but in all honesty, neither of them means it.  What a sad and true thought.

You know who the first person I told about this was?  Matt.  I really am so lucky to have a boyfriend who not only understands the weirdness of situations like this, but also that he's the first person I wanted to talk to.  Last night, we stayed up talking for hours (in our bed with glasses of wine).  We talked a little about my past relationship, and we watched a home video of his from years ago, when he was married to his first wife and Jasper was little.  It was all very sweet, and it feels so good that we can sort of . . . revisit the past without feeling weird about it.  I am so thankful for him.

Have you ever randomly run into an ex?  Tell me about it.

25 comments:

Dancing Branflake said...

I love this post. Yes. At my wedding. He was there because his sister was getting married right before me. It was awkward. So awkward.

And then at a yogurt shop. It was very dramatic, as in I could write a novel about it kind of dramatic.

I love that you told Matt and your feelings about being with him. What an awesome relationship.

holli said...

Oh girlfriend YES! A few years ago i ran into my ex and his new flame while i seriously couldnt have looked worse!! I had zero makeup on , my hair was in a huge clip on top of my head that looked like i was wearing a chia pet as a hat. I was mortified.

NOW, i am currently working in the same building with my most recent ex. I broke up with him last November after 8 years being together and it's still very awkward seeing him. Fortunately my desk is no where near and i can go days without seeing him if i look the other way. My current boyfriend Todd knows we work together and he's so supportive. I couldnt be happier!
You did the right thing- especially when you didnt feel good.

The Poppy Creative said...

Before I moved cities, I ran into my ex alot, mainly because, we were in the same group of friends, and his roommate was my best friend. Ugh. (Backstory - I ended things, after his infidelity) For the first few months it was horrible, my heart fell out of my chest everytime, especially when I happened to see him with various other women. Then I moved. And he was out of mind (for the most part).

I recently saw him again, and your exactly right, he said something along the lines of 'you look great we should catch up sometime' i replied courteously 'yes we should' when really my mind was screaming 'there is no way i would have coffee with you after you made me feel the way you did you prick' (seems i am still harboring a few unresolved feelings)

What i loved more about this post was the ending. I am so happy you have found that happiness Claire. You are such a beautiful soul and its so sweet to know that you can share that with someone, the past, the present and all of the future.

Kathy said...

i have at the mall. i was walking with my hubs (he was my bf back then) and came face to face with my ex who was sitting by himself on a bench and apparently, was still mad at me (even though 4 years had passed).

i said hello and was about to ask how things were when he nodded and then looked away. so i said "ok then; bye" and walked away.

i didn't care; if he chose to be immature like that then that's his business.

Lindsey said...

I have not thank GOD because he lives in Florida (Casey). I would do exactly what you did if I ever was in that position.

I loved reading this post. FYI

Kai Mercado said...

I feel like you just read my mind. I have had this exact same thing happen to me at a bar back in my home town....the amount of thoughts that go through your head is ridiculous...

But the first person I told about the awkwardness was my boyfriend of three years. We truly are lucky...in fact my current boyfriend was there when my last boyfriend broke my heart, so he understands better than anyone!


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undomestic chica said...

Totally unrelated to exes, but I guess Aidan lives in Seattle and owns part of a club I've been to a few times. I found that out last week - kinda weird.

I would have reacted the same as you, unless it was my most recent ex, he's been to our house to pick up concert tickets a few times, B's pretty cool about it.

Marz said...

I am so glad that the man from my past that would shake me up seeing doesn't live in the same town as me, but I'm always a little nervous when the holidays come around that I will run into him when he's at home visiting. And trust me...I would have the done the exact same thing as you! I did run into his mother once, in a bridal shop of all places! Maddie was trying on her wedding dress and she was working there in alterations. She recognized Maddie's last name and knew she had to be my sister so of course came out to meet us. It was the most awkward thing when she was telling me how he was doing and how much she loved his new girlfriend (who is now his wife) which actually hurt my feelings because she use to love me! haha we use to be pretty close and meet for lunch regularly etc. I just thought it was ironic that I was reminded of him being my "what if" in a bridal shop of all places!

But things work out like they are supposed to. This made me love Matt even more! I'm thankful you have him, too ;)

Micaela said...

oh claire, i have been dying to hear this story since i got your text! OMG-- i would have done the same thing.

oh my gosh, i will never forget that episode of SATC-- because first you see Aiden's face and then it goes down to the baby.

since i live in a new city, i won't randomly run into my ex but i think you know what happens when i do run into him... i'm an emotional mess for weeks afterwards. And the first person I tell is def. not my husband lol so yes, you really are so lucky to have a boyfriend who understands a situation like this. I agree with Marianne, it makes me adore him even more.

i love you and love your relationship! you deserve this kind of happiness <3

Meghan said...

I do love you and Matt together, even though I have never met the two of you:) It sounds like you have such an open and honest relationship, and I am happy for you!

I totally would have ran the other way, too...

Kim @ wanderlustee.com said...

My last Friday in Florida before I moved to NYC I was at a goodbye lunch with my coworkers at Applebee's and my ex got put in the booth BEHIND me. Like, our backs were sharing the same booth panel! Soo awkward when I randomly turned around!! Lmao... But at least I had something cool to say, umm yeah I'm moving to NYC I'm awesome! Lol!!

Deals, Steals and Heels said...

i was with my first serious boyfriend my sophomore year in college for about 6 months, and i'm the one who ended it. i didn't see him again for probably 2 years (he had graduated college a few months before we broke up), and that first time was basically the most awkward thing that had ever happened to me. i didn't know what to say, or how NOT to be a total weirdo...i called my best friend in the middle of the day from campus because SOMEONE had to know how freaking weird my life was right then.

i still haven't seen the-ex-right-before-the-hubs since we broke up (in 2006), but i run into his mom and sister every few months! i LOVE them...he's still called "douchey ex-boyfriend" at my casa.

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Oh my gosh! Is this the rugby player?!

I randomly see my ex at concerts. TO be fair, he introduced me to the band so it should be his thing, but I LOVE the band now. We never say anything to him but I always talk to his friends lol!

GirlieBlogger@Beauty Fashion Blog Seattle said...

Not everyone's as mature as Carrie Bradshaw. I would have done exactly what you did. Especially because my ex was a psychotic meanie.

Kelly Ann said...

It happened to me last week! I was running late for work because of the buses and as I was standing at the traffic lights waiting to cross the road I noticed that my ex was standing on the other side! It was the first time that I had seem him and could talk to him if I wanted too and decided that I didn't want that awkward feeling because in the end it was going to lead to nowhere so off I went to work :)

Hopefully that doesn't happen again

Kelly Ann

Pat said...

I actually had one that drove from Marietta to Jefferson and was standing at my classroom door at the end of the day totally out of the blue! He had heard that Chris and I were separated. I think it was more weird than awkward! I talked to him briefly and then left the building. Never heard from him again.

nicoleciomek said...

I ran into an ex of mine in Atlanta once. He was in a band and I happened to be out w/a friend and his band was playing that nigh in town. I ended up going to his show, it was good and rekindled a brief fling between us.

I am the same as you though - when I have anything come up w/my ex-husband, I talk to Ross first. it isn't weird at all. we all understand that we had lives before, and that's part of what makes us who we are today. So, i find it to be an easy conversation. Ross and I are both really good friends w/his ex and we hang out w/her when we are in California. I am still friends w/some of my exes, but only those ones I didn't have a serious relationship with. I find my ex-husband harder because there is a lot of history and he was very unhappy over the break up.

When he and I used to run into each other in Vancouver (after we split up, we ended up living the same neighborhood unfortunately.) it was always awkward and I get your desire to turn around on your heels and run. it is sometimes just easier.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I'm kind of terrified of the first time I see my ex-husband out and about. I know it'll probably happen eventually since I live in the town he was born in but I really, really, really do not want it to happen.

I'd probably run away lol.

robayre said...

oh girl! I live in the same small city that I grew up in so everyday that I leave the house is like a crapshoot whether I'm going to run into someone, anyone (not just exes, but former friends, awkward acquaintances that I grew up with, former coworkers, and teachers). I just watched this movie the other day The Numbers with Anna Farris and there was a scene where she lived with a boyfriend of her past and they both were heavy and had become slobs. The boyfriend suggests they go out and she responds something like "but we might see people" and that's pretty much how I feel living in this city, lol.

robayre said...

oops, the movie is actually called What's Your Number, afterall. Also... yeah, I've totally done the 180 when seeing people. In fact, living in this town you really learn to make an art of dodging people.

Kristin W said...

The image of you two sipping your wine and just talking is so cute. Love this story.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Those moments are definitely always awkward. I would have done exactly what you did.

Christina said...

I totally run the other way! It's just so uncomfortable. And I always tell my husband about it too. Thank God for normal relationships!

zen said...

Aww.. cute story. Running into ex-es are super awkward! I would certainly walk the other way!

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Shoshanah said...

I don't know that I've ever run into an ex. But I do know a few years ago, my then boyfriend did run into one at a drugstore. The funny thing was I was feeling lazy so I was waiting in the car while he went inside. And of course as soon as he was out he told me I should have gone in with him that way I could have met one of his exes. In general I'm a noisy person so I would have loved to have seen her, but I guess that's what I get for being lazy. Ha!