September 23, 2015 | 4 comments | Humor, Me Time

Worst Place to See your Ex

I moved back to my hometown a few years ago after a six-year stint on the West Coast. It’s the city where I grew up and where I went to law school. So, there’s ample opportunity for me to see someone that I went to high school with or someone that I knew in law school.

One morning in the middle of winter, I was shopping at Target with my daughter while my son was at preschool. I had on my overcoat, scarf, jeans, and Ugg boats. But of course, there was no reason to put on any make-up or comb my hair. It was simply another nondescript Tuesday morning in February. I was happy that neither of my children were sick, I’d had a shower the night before, and that my preschooler didn’t have yet another snow day, as the road conditioners weren’t ideal and the temperature was hovering at freezing.

As I was checking out, I glanced longingly toward the Starbucks line. It was so crowded but I had successfully avoided having to buy my daughter a Pretty Pony while waiting to pay and was feeling good energy. Not because I’d sensibly reasoned with her about why she can’t get a toy every time we’re in Target, but because I’d fortuitously selected a check-out lane without said merchandise.

As I was debating with myself if I had the time to get a latte before her library story-time class, I saw him in the Starbucks line. My ex-boyfriend. We hadn’t dated or seen each other in fifteen years (nor are we connected by social media – that’s how old I am).

He wasn’t looking at me, but was busy on his phone, waiting for caffeine, so I had time to give him a thorough vetting unnoticed. Height: same. Hair: slightly thinner and grayer. Build: also slightly thinner. Arms: totally ripped. What? I don’t remember those arms.

I’d heard from my best friend that he was doing that American Ninja Warrior shite. Now let me warn you. Don’t start thinking that he’s super sexy. He wasn’t into Cross Fit or ninja anything fifteen years ago. Unless you count the fact that he listened to Wu Tang Clan rap music. Then, he was a chain-smoking art student without a penny, a clue, or ripped arms.

He was wearing a red polo shirt, including a Target nametag, khaki pants, and van high-top sneakers. It had to be him. What other man in their mid-thirties wears those teenager-style skater shoes?

I summarized what I’ve learned from him without even talking to him: (1) he works at Target (probably stocking shelves because I’d never seen him in the check-out lanes before or since); and (2) he must be doing the Ninja Warrior thing because he has a ripped body. Wow. Disaster avoided. I literally patted myself on the back. Not that I ever intended to marry him. He was merely a distraction while I was in law school. A cute artsy type to pass the time. Someone I dated at the height of my insecurities about my own looks. When I assumed that another law student would be boring or that only one lawyer per relationship was enough. My (non-lawyer, non-ninja anything) husband of eight years is, among other things, better looking, and a million times more successful. Phew.

Despite reminding myself of those facts, my pulse quickened as I continued to gape at him in the Starbucks line. I started to breath heavily. Oh no, don’t look at me I’d begged. I didn’t need a little chat with him to confirm my good decision to dump his ass all those years ago. Latte forgotten, I just want to get out of there before he saw me. Would he even recognize me? With my daughter at nine in the morning? I scurried past the long line at the Starbuck into the (sub)freezing cold and got into my car without anyone calling out my name. Thank God.

The worst part about this would-be encounter is that now every time that I go to Target (once a week), I have to wear good clothes, makeup, and brushed hair. Just in case I see him again and have to mumble through some small talk. I want to look extra-hot to show him up. Not just my shopping-with-my-kids regular hot. What a chore.

Despite being full made-up every time in the last two years that I’ve been to Target, I haven’t seen him since.

He’s probably lost the job.

Despite the new arms, I’m assuming that not everything’s changed about him.



Hope you enjoyed this latest in the funny mommy blog series!

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  1. Johnny Ziomek

    September 23, 2015 6:56 pm

    Funny stuff! Does Kevin know that he’s not a ninja?

  2. Carissa Howard

    September 23, 2015 7:08 pm

    Yes, but we do watch those American Ninja Warrior show on TV.

  3. Jen Tan

    September 23, 2015 7:39 pm

    So funny!!! And spot on. 🙂

  4. Alpatu Aslakhanov

    February 7, 2016 4:36 pm

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