I wonder if he registered for hair gel.

Last night was Big Stoopid Gala.

I go to this event every year. The first year I attended, I stressed over every last detail of my ensemble. I had a dramatic floor-length gown and three different pairs of earrings to choose from. New shoes. New handbag. I schlepped my computer bag around for a week without the shoulder strap, just I didn’t risk bruises on my shoulder. I went all out.

I went all out because I had just broken up with Ex-Ex. And I couldn’t afford the new dress and shoes and all the rest of it, but I couldn’t afford not to do it. We had both been on the committee for the event. Then, I just stopped getting notices about meetings, and I didn’t get asked to do stuff anymore.

You can see where this is going.

Ex-Ex had told the event chairs that I had quit the committee. Which I hadn’t.

So, after I stopped literally seeing red, I knew that I had to go to Big Stoopid Gala. And I had to look like a million bucks. And I couldn’t flinch when I saw Ex-Ex and the woman he took up with either at the end of our relationship or immediately following it … I’m trying to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one, but I’m not stupid.

Anyway. I went. I saw him do the tiniest of double takes. His ladyfriend looked like a linebacker in her spaghetti-strap dress. And I have never felt so lonely in my life.

I thought about all of the hours of preparation I put into that first go-round as I threw together my ensemble last night. I think I spent a total of 15 minutes getting ready, and nine of those minutes were spent changing my bra three times.

So, I had a few extra minutes before I had to be out the door. I checked Facebook. Because she is a fickle mistress and I can’t quit her, no matter how hard I try.

And guess what that bitch had to tell me?

Ex-Ex is getting married. In less than a month.

Not to his linebacker ladyfriend, but to a woman he’s been dating for a year and a half, maybe two.

I read these words and felt my face go numb.

And no, we aren’t Facebook friends, but we have mutual friends … all of whom seem so excited about the upcoming nuptials. And then I saw the Web site where friends and family commented about how thrilled they were for the marriage and celebration. Family, like the couple that I considered my in laws for seven years.

Ex-Ex and I were together for seven years. We talked about marriage. We looked at rings. We looked at rings three times. And I was stubborn and refused to see that it wasn’t a healthy relationship, and instead focused on energies on “OMFG, why won’t he propose already?”

So, yesterday, when my face went numb? I immediately thought of that scene from When Harry Met Sally when she finds out that her ex is getting married. He said he didn’t want to get married … but really, he just didn’t want to marry me. Why didn’t he want to marry me? What’s wrong with me?

And no, I didn’t cry, and no, I don’t want him back, and yeah, I don’t quite know how I feel about this all. We broke up five years ago. I didn’t respond to the e-mails he sent me last summer. Without conscious intent, I have made it clear that I don’t want a relationship of any kind with him. So, I suppose he should be excused for not telling me that he’s getting married.

But I think I should also be excused for being a bit … taken aback. And unchatty in my not-new-nor-particularly-attractive ensemble at Big Stoopid Gala. Where he wasn’t. Because he’s off finalizing plans for his wedding. Which I’m glad doesn’t involve me. But I’m still wondering if I should send a card to show what a Big Fucking Lady of Grace and Dignity I happen to be.

I love My Guy, and I love that I could tell him about my recent discovery and he was as befuddled as I was. He even said he thought it was weird that Ex-Ex didn’t tell me, and wondered how he would react should his ex-wife ever remarry. All of that shows me that my partner is truly my friend, and an empathetic, caring man to boot.

Speaking of which, I tried to call my dad to put the nail in my mental freak-out coffin, but he wasn’t home. So, I channeled him. I figured he would tell me, “What do you care about that mess for, anyway? I still think he’s gay. And he’s settling for her because he can’t have you. You’re so much better off.”

And he’s right.

But I’m still watching When Harry Met Sally for the gazillionth time. You know … just because.

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