she’s an ex for a reason

Except for the extra mileage entrenched around her glassy, stoned-looking eyes, her face looked the same—all smiley and everything. She reeked of sweet, yet medicinal perfume. A COACH bag dangled from her wrist, and sparkly jewelry adorned her fingers, ears, and neck.

I felt nothing; not rage, not excitement, not anything. And then she went toward my dad and hugged him. Then me. Then my husband.

Confusion drizzled over me.

I think my arm went up to kind of encase her as she hugged me like a normal person hugs—arms reached around and squeezing me a bit.

She wouldn’t stop smiling. She looked happy. Really happy. And that pissed me off a bit and fueled my judging her from her perfectly painted red toenails to her matching fake fingernails.

We all played follow the leader to the dining area of the steakhouse my nephew Jordan (her son) wanted us to meet at for his birthday dinner celebration.

It may have been nearly twenty years since we sat at the same table to have a meal, but she really hadn’t changed all that much: she still thought everything was funny, she still found nothing to talk about (and talk about it a lot), she still pulled off the Dumb Blond thing really well.

Only difference was that now she sat next to her boyfriend whom she was living with—along with his two kids, a 13-year-old and 5-year-old—instead of my brother and their children.

Anger started brewing as I started reflecting.

She can leave her own kids when they weren’t even 5 and 10 (now in their 20s) for occasional weekend visits with them, but here she is living with some guy and his kids, taking on a motherly role?

Her boyfriend’s 5-year-old, a girl, leaned against her and she put her arm around the girl and brought her in closer. Both with straw-colored hair, I’m sure the wait staff thought they were mother and daughter.

I looked over at Jordan whom she left when he wasn’t even 5. Was he seeing this too? Was he steaming inside too? Was he wondering why she, his own mother, could act motherly toward this little girl when she couldn’t act that way toward him nearly 20 years ago?

“What kind of wine do you have?” she asked the waiter, batting her glossy eyes at him while he rattled off a list of wines. “Oh,” she cackled before he finished with the list, “I’ll have a white zinfandel.”

I’m certain my eyes rolled at this point, but I pretended to be looking at the light fixtures to avoid confrontation. This was about Jordan and his birthday after all. This wasn’t about me and my disdain for this fake-ass, wanna-be-someone-she-never-will-be woman who used to be my best friend. It’s never been about that. It’s always about the kids. Always.

I squeezed my daughter in closer to me and asked if I could color with her, avoiding making anymore eye contact with Jordan’s mom.

I was, after all, waiting on a steak dinner to come, and I wanted to be able to stomach it.

 

if it’s public, it’s open for judgement

Dear Dipshit ex-SIL,

Did you know your Facebook profile is open to the public? Did you know there are people who go around stalking Facebook profiles? Creepers like me? Did you? Well, now you do. You’re welcome. Tighten up that shit, would you?

For a while now, I’ve actually enjoyed the fact that you openly Facebook. I’ve enjoyed your reiteration of how ignorant you are. I’ve enjoyed reading proof that your love of alcohol and partying still is a top priority in your life.

But now I see that you’re in a relationship again. Actually, you’ve hinted around for some time now, but then just last month, it became “official” on Facebook. You and he are in a relationship. You’ve both even changed your profile pictures to match: an image of the two lovebirds. So sweet.

I wonder what is wrong with him? He seems like a decent guy. From what I can tell he’s the sole custody parent of two young children, around 10 and a newly-turned 5-year-old girl who no longer wears pull-ups to bed. At first I thought he was a weekend dad, but then I found the baby mama’s profile and she’s several states away and since I can see dad was at Red Robin with the kids on Wednesday night, it’s obvious the kids are with dad and their baby mama is … much like you. Well, at least much like you were back in the day.

That’s what I don’t get. You left your kids when they were 9 and 4. You left them. You wanted to party so you left them with their dad. You picked them up on some weekends but you worked most of those weekends. Then you kept the 9-year-old one weekend and returned the 4-year-old. Do you remember this? You must. I mean, how could you forget leaving your 4-year-old with his dad like he was a borrowed shirt and keeping the 9-year-old with you as if she was your only child? You did do this though and man, was it fucked. It still is. It’s been over 15 years now and it’s still a super fucked up thing you did. And you did it over and over again. You’d pick the boy up for the weekend, work, the older girl would watch the boy, then you’d bring him back to his dad’s house, like a load of laundry being dropped off. That’s exactly how you treated that boy. Like a load of fucking laundry you drop off at the cleaners for them to wash and dry and fold. Then when you were ready and needing some clean clothes, you pick them up. Like you picked up the boy on occasional weekends.

How fucked up. I mean, I cannot be the only person who sees that as being fucked up. You weren’t there when he learned to ride a bike without training wheels; you weren’t there when he learned to tie his shoes, when he aced his first spelling test, when he scored his first soccer goal, when he had his first school show. You weren’t there, period.

And yet, I type your fucking name into the search bar on Facebook and see pictures of you with your latest boyfriend’s 5-year-old as the two of you frolic in the snow. What the fuck?! Your page is open for all to see. Don’t you know your now 22-year-old boy can see that? Does it not even click in your head that, golly gee, you did NONE of that with him??

What the fuck is wrong with you? And what’s wrong with your boyfriend? Your vag must be made of Nutella or something. I just don’t get it, and I’m tired of trying to get it so do us all a favor, set your Facebook to private. Please.

Yours,

Just another Facebook Creeper