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My Major Ex is basically a horrible person, but since it’s limited to overall moral character and not our interpersonal relationship, we’re friendly. His wife just gave birth in Japan, so naturally he’s back in the U.S., on a nostalgia tour of the time period when we were a thing.

We don’t talk often because he’s married, I’m married, and one of us recognizes that nostalgia can be dangerous for marriages. Or maybe only one of us cares that much? It’s hard to tell sometimes, but we check in every few years and my husband gets a rundown.

Since we do talk occasionally, your international midlife crisis tour seems like an appropriate time to catch up. Then, naturally, we told stories about the time when we were together. I recently found some souvenirs from my time in SF and was having some hardcore nostalgia anyway, so it was cool to chat with a living time capsule.


GT, I hardly recognized myself from his stories. I know they were all true because I remember them, but they felt like someone else’s life. Part of it is improved mental stability and the maturity that comes with age (it helps that my husband is y’know ... a good person). But part of it is just that thing that time does to your personality. Time has intensified my neurosis, apparently at the expense of my wit.

Apparently when we were in our earliest stages, he commented that it had been a long time since I had called him, and I whipped out a cell phone, called his, and waited for him to answer. When he did, my response was, “Oh, I guess yours does work.”

A few weeks later, he thought he was maybe interested in another gal, and thought it would be cool to start calling me his good friend by way of a hint . Instead of crumpling, I sang “Designs on You” by the Old 97s while maintaining eye contact for every chorus. ESL meant he was pretty bad with metaphors and some of the references, so I always thought the song choice had sailed over his head and that the other gal had just blown him off. Apparently the message was loud and clear, and I managed to be both American direct and Japanese polite while tolerably out of key.

And when we began to cohabitate, he complained about my cat. My response, apparently, was that the cat had predated him, would be here after him, and didn’t snore as loudly, so he could go. Or he could make me a drink, STFU, and get naked. (He obviously chose naked.)


I don’t remember being particularly confident, or even particularly independent during that time, so it was funny to hear about a version of myself that was. I miss the freedom to sass, just a little. Just enough to get the point across, even to someone whose opinion mattered so much.

We laughed a little, and then the conversation started to veer to inappropriate. So I told him to call me when his wife filed for divorce - but only if he has held onto his looks. He laughed, and I hung up.

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