Auld lang syne.

I am a baaaaad doggie mama.

Tonight, I abandoned Foxie Doxie to go hang out with a girlfriend. We drank wine, ate animal crackers and watched TV. Oh, and I entertained her puppy. For three hours. Life was very good.
We also had to pause the TV to talk about my Monday night.

You see, Monday night, I had drinks that morphed into dinner. With my ex-ex-boyfriend.

We had dated for seven years. We broke up four years ago. Of those four, I was mad at him for about three and a half.

We met to toast the Geriatric Poodle. And so that I could see that Ex-Ex isn’t the ogre I once thought him to be. Ok, maybe that last part wasn’t on his agenda, but it was on mine. That, and a little something called closure.

It was nice to hear about his family, about his parents whom I loved very, very much. It was odd to hear about the house that we once shared, the house that I adored with every fiber of my being. And it was especially odd to see old patterns still in place.

He talked. A lot. And made his every action sound like a fabulous, witty adventure. He kept using the phrase “well, you know me …” And finally I thought, “Yes, I do know you. So stop bullshitting me.”

He made me laugh, like he always did. We both apologized for various and sundry sins in our past. We toasted the Geriatric Poodle with some very fine whiskey. And I felt peace.

I wish him the very best, and I told him as much. He hugged me goodbye, and held me a bit longer than I held on to him. I didn’t feel the surge in my chest that he used to give me. Instead, I felt an odd straightening of my back, and a weird sadness in my belly.

It took me a while to figure it out.

He is unsettled. He is not at peace with himself. This makes me sad for him.

I felt sort of like flippin’ Gandhi when I realized this. Oh, look at me, I’m so aware and balanced and mature and shit. But really? Really, it’s just that I know this person probably better than anyone else knows him. And he really, really pissed me off. But we were drawn together in the first place for a reason, and he is a good person. A good person who is trying to convince himself that everything’s great, when it isn’t.

There’s not a thing I can do or say to fix that. Which is ok, I guess. I have my hands full with myself.

But I was also sad for the 22-year-old me who fell so hard for him. I was sad for the hurt and disappointment she would weather. I was sad that she would end up sitting in a bar with a near stranger asking her if she’d had any more breast lumps since the lumpectomy she’d had at 23, eight months after they’d started dating. Absurd, much?

But I have to laugh for the 33-year-old me who responded, “Yeah, but they were just cysts. Did you know that when you have a needle aspiration, they wrap you in an ace bandage so that they don’t refill immediately? It was just like when I played Pinocchio in a Greek Week skit!”

He laughed. “Yeah, I remember that well.”

So, there is something to be said for people who knew you when.

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