connect!

Kool Thing.

              Illustration by Garance Doré.

Unable to sleep on the flight back from Buenos Aires, I surrendered to the fact that I am simply unable to get a cozy nights sleep in a coach seat that reclines back a whopping two centimeters, and watched Young Adult; a film that Aurel downloaded on my computer several weeks ago. The Diablo Cody-written, Charlize Theron-staring film is about Mavis Gary, a middle-aged woman who is suffering from mental fatigue due to lack of stimulation from the single in the city lifestyle she has chosen. While most people in this bourgeois crisis would join a dating site, a gym, or simply up their dosage of booze, we follow Mavis on her journey of the heart of reconnecting romantically with her high school love. How darling.

What ever did become of her high school sweetheart? The quarterback to her prom queen. Well, he is still in the same town, happily married and just had his first child. Three vital facts our lead character is casually aware of. 

Leaving the big city of Minneapolis in her compact car, Mavis embarrassingly drifts down memory lane with the assistance of a Teenage Fanclub cassette that she plays on repeat, and from the glaze in her eyes, believes was written expressly for her. Of course it was. Because aren't all Gen-X songs from the early 90s written about the complexities of being the beautiful girl in high school?

While I didn't exactly love the film, and found many parts extremely uncomfortable to watch; point in case, the film's one and only sex scene in her breast-enhancing chicken cutlets. Gross. I did appreciate that the writing wasn't forcing us to agree with the protagonist and her unethical behavior, as most films geared towards women tend to do, and was fascinated with the sad story of an ex-girlfriend trying to reconnect with an unavailable past love. Why is this of interest to me? Because I'm somewhat living through it, but on the other side, of course. As of recent, Aurel's ex-girlfriend seems to be everywhere and I can't help but question her intentions.

It started a few weeks ago, when I was looking for a new architecture in Paris blog and found a photo of a building that I knew Aurel would just love. I copy and pasted the link, and went to his little Facebook page to post it, but lo and behold, it looked like someone had beaten me to the punch. Weird, I thought. I went to see who it was, and it was his ex-girlfriend; the one who broke up with him in early 2011.

Okay. No big deal, we think alike and I had seen this photo posted on several sites after, so I kept my opinions to myself. I'm not looking to create drama here. 

Moving on...

Last week, Aurel had posted something fashion related on Twitter, referencing the company that I used to work for and when I went to comment, it looked like the conversation had already been started. I went to expand the chat and who was it? Aurel's ex-girlfriend! Yay.

And finally, a conversation between Aurel, his best friend and I was happening on Facebook, and she joined in the chat, commenting about something the three of them did together several years ago, and what great fun it was. Not to mention her contact has extended to e-mail as well as text. Girl is going Katy Perry on me. She's everywhere!  

Not that social media is the final answer to your relationship, and I have written several posts in the past saying that "friending" your boyfriend is allowing your relationship to become susceptible to misunderstandings, but reading comments from his ex-girlfriend (whom I've never met) saying that she's thinking of him, and reminiscing on old times, spells out regret to me. Having been naive in my past relationships with peripheral women lurking around, I have tried to be that cool girlfriend. You know the one who makes no demands, notices nothing, and is all carefree like Something About Mary. This may work for some girls, but it has never worked for me and what always ends up happening is that I get walked all over, and then reach a breaking point where I explode. It's taken several failed relationships to finally accept that I will never be that cool, blasé girlfriend. I'm Italian! We're just not built that way!

Saying that there's a fine line between being a maniac and being a doormat who accepts everything. Finding that healthy balance of not sweating the small stuff, but also not neglecting your own feelings has always been a bit of a challenge for me. No one wants to be that pain-in-the-ass girlfriend.

Having learned a thing or two from my past, I knew that I had the right to speak up and to tell Aurel that I didn't feel comfortable with the volume in which she was reaching out to him. I mean come on, I speak to my exes, most of whom are married, about once or twice a year, whereas she has been contacting him about two or three times a week. Is it just me or is that a bit much? I just feel that it's too early for her to be a fixture in our still-budding relationship. Especially since I have never met her.

Had this been MF, this small request would have turned into weeks of arguing, he would have sided with the other girl, and I would have been called dramatic, selfish and someone who lacks confidence. Doesn't he sound like such a great guy, that MF? But with Aurel, where I was clear that it had nothing to do with her per se, and that I'm sure she's a nice girl, agreed that it was a bit much and let her know that she was coming on too strong. The conversation between Aurel and I in regard to my request lasted no longer than five minutes, and we were able to move on and talk about more important things like the new Hot Chip album that he is currently gushing over. 
 
Ladies, what are your thoughts? Where do you draw the line from being an irrational girlfriend to being a doormat who accepts everything? And how much ex-girlfriend activity is appropriate in a serious relationship? Perhaps I may have over-stepped my boundaries, I'm not sure. As usual, I'd love to hear what you think!

35 comments:

  1. That's a touch question - as usual your blog entries are serendipitous to me. My new bf is wonderful is so many ways, but I just can't take his ex - who is actually NOT that nice of a girl. She's acting in a similar manner - appearing in all sorts of social media venues where my guy (or I) won't miss her. Luckily, my guy thinks that "exes are in the past" and honestly wants her to leave him alone. I don't think its ever a bad idea to raise an issue like this. A great relationship means being open and honest (and NOT, as I tend to do myself, keeping your mouth shut until it explodes into a huge issue). It helps to have a great, understanding guy like Seb who can maturely talk these things out. But that is how relationships SHOULD work!

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    1. Hi Erin! Thank you for your comment!

      Good for you! Sounds like you have a great guy who is on the same page as you! I'm sorry that the ex is not nice. So on top of dealing with her lurking around, she's not cool to boot! That's no fun for a new relationship.

      You're right. A healthy relationship is about being able to talk things out without the drama and aggravation. It only took me 15 years of dating to realize that!

      Thanks again for your comment!

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  2. Yeah, I'm on board with you, she needs to stop doing that. I'm in touch with almost all of my exes too, mais pas jusqu'à ce point. C'est too much (ex) girlfriend!!

    Also, I just have to say that I really disliked that movie - I had high hopes for it, but almost ended up walking out of it, which is rare for me. Plus it always annoys me when they say movies take place in MN when they are filmed elsewhere (90% of it was filmed in NY).

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    1. Exactly. I'm not saying that he should cut off all communication with his exes. Not at all, but there needs to be some respect to his current situation. I know I hold back when I want to reminisce on something with an ex because I know his wife wouldn't love our trip down memory lane.

      I really disliked the film too! It was marketed to be a funny film and it was everything but. It was depressing, tragic, and awkward.

      I feel the same way about "faux-cations". It's like when I watch Friends and it's supposed to be NY but it's really the Warner bros. sound stage in Burbank. Annoying.

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  3. AnonymousJuly 17, 2012

    You handled it just right, well done! I am old-fashioned and think exes belong in the past, but do realise that that is often not the way it works these days. However, it sounds to me like she was definitely trying to get Seb back, and it is great that Seb agreed with you. (When you view events in hindsight, you realise your instincts are usually right, so it is great that you went with them in the first instance instead of leaving it until later and then kicking yourself!) GM x

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    1. Thanks GM! I didn't know what to make of it at first, and just kept it to myself, but it was becoming more and more frequent, that I couldn't NOT say something.

      Who knows what she was sending to him in private! I'll never know and don't want to. It seems to have settled down and we're moving on from this.

      Thanks for your comment! I feel better. : )

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    2. AnonymousJuly 18, 2012

      Good! Glad about that! GM x

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  4. Welcome back and thanks for the mini-review and the warning about chicken cutlet sex.
    Now, to the true coquine, this ex. Being married for so long makes me not really know how this works, but if an old amour was beating me to the punch and sending P-Daddy links and notes and 'thinking of yous' then I wouldn't be thrilled. You know Seb though and he isn't MF. NOt by a long shot it sounds like, so don't worry. She's not a threat to you. And his reaction to your ask only proves that. You're no doormat, Mademoisella!
    a xo

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    1. Hey, you may like the film. I just found it uncomfortable to watch because of how tragic she had become. There's also an embarrassing scene on the lawn that just made me cringe.

      Thanks for your comment Aidan! I do trust him, and know that this will not be a problem. I guess I just had to exercise speaking up for myself and I'm glad I did.

      Oh, Seb is so not MF! Phew! If this were him, this post would have dragged on for weeeeeeeeeks. No fun, especially for you dear readers who would have probably dropped off from following me. : )

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  5. I trust my husband so I don't worry when girls get overly flirtatious with him, HOWEVER, if I was in the same situation as you, I would need her to back the F off. She does sound like she is definitely missing Seb and trying to inch her way back in there. That needs to be nipped in the bud. Does she know about the PACS? Maybe that's why. Maybe she's realized that he's about to be permanently off the market and it's causing her to panic a bit about what could have been?
    If she continues to be all up in Seb's kool aid, I think you should go all 'Brooklyn we go hard' on her and whomp her ass NY style x
    (that was inappropriate, I apologize... unless you want me to come up to Paris and join you...)

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    1. Ahahahaha!!!! Brooklyn we go hard!!! Can I wear my gold door-knocker earrings?

      I think this is now a problem of the past. Seb spoke to her and she seems to have disappeared, so voila, problem solved!

      Seb's a great guy and if I let him go, I'd be having some major regrets too! Can't say I blame her. : )

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    2. You know what's funny... when I wrote that comment I had a picture of gold door-knocker earrings but I forgot what they were called!

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  6. Luckily Samatha Brick has some advice for you http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2171225/I-snoop-mans-emails-I-dont-trust-women-says-Samantha-Brick.html

    Hee hee, just kidding. Good for you for being upfront about it and Seb for listening

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    1. How funny. This topic is being discussed on Bethanny's talk show as we speak. I guess this is a hot button topic!

      Of Samantha chimed in on the subject! While I would NEVER go through Seb's phone, fb, twitter accounts, and betray his trust, I can see parts of her point. It all starts with a friendly note and women can be sneaky. Not all, but some..

      While I would never pursue a taken man, my days of assuming that all people are moral and would take the ethical route I'd take are long over. Unfortunately...

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  7. Chat échaudé craint l'eau froide...

    The ex feels he's moved on, so he's become interesting again. I'd be wary of her.

    But then again, if he's moved on and he's a good guy, he'll draw the line. She won't have any effect on him.

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    1. Isn't it always like that?! Once someone has moved on, suddenly they appear more attractive and interesting. Hey, I have been guilty of it myself and had to ask myself why was I suddenly re-interested.

      I'm not worried about him, not at all. I know nothing will come of it, it was just becoming a thorn in my side!

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    2. Les gens envahissants finissent par vous saper votre énergie...

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  8. Jennie, San FranciscoJuly 17, 2012

    Not about exes, about middle age. Charlize Theron played a woman in her late thirties, early forties at the most and you consider that middle aged? I am 71 and consider myself middle aged. Oh dear, Ella. Rethink middle aged!!!! Middle age does not even begin until 60 in this day and age.

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    1. Interesting. I was always told that thirties and forties are middle-aged. I even looked it up on google before I printed it and found conflicting answers. So I think this is a matter of opinion and I apologize if I have offended you.


      This is such a small detail on the bigger picture of this post. : )

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    2. Jennie, San FranciscoJuly 17, 2012

      Ella, I was not offended at all. I just thought it curious. Enjoy your youth until well in to your 50's.

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    3. Jennie, San FranciscoJuly 17, 2012

      No offense taken. Enjoy your youth for a long time to come!

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    4. Okay, Jennie! I felt bad! Thank you for clearing it up. : )

      I tend to err on the side of older. I tell people I'm old because I love it. I look at being "old" as a total positive, forgetting that it comes across as being misguided.

      Thanks again for your response!

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    5. I actually got confused when you said middle-aged too, but I also looked it up. It makes sense. Charlize is 36 and that's almost halfway to the average age of... well, no offense to Jennie... death. With that being said, and being 30 myself, I have NO problem with women collectively changing the definition of middle-aged to 65. :)

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    6. I thought her character was in her 40s, and have always thought that the 40s were middle-aged, without thinking too deep into Charlize's character's death expectancy.

      I didn't intend for this little bit to attract so much attention. I'll think twice the next time.

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  9. Priceless post, and interesting discussion with Jennie. I get Jennie. I have a friend who's 71, and I'm telling you,she is like she's about 50, and still publishing books! These days, Jennie is right. I certainly could never think of Theron as middle aged! Maybe Jane Fonda? We're all young these days as there's so many interesting things to do. D.

    Thanks for following my writing blog.

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    1. You're very welcome! Thank you for following as well. :)

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  10. wow. i dont know what to say to this one. but i feel your uncomfort. although i've been on the other side and at times thought about ex-bfs, i would normally "contact" them via gchat or fb message..not a wall conversation!!! (i cant believe i just wrote all of that in once sentence...) the entire ex thing is always a bit tricky... keep us posted!

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    1. I'm all about lightly keeping in touch, but she was going way beyond light contact!

      But it's all good now. Problem solved. Ex-girlfriend gone. :)

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  11. First off, I'm with you on "Young Adult". It fell flat. For me, writer Diablo Cody seemed to be writing from the perspective of the "unpopular girl" out for revenge. I'm guessing high school wasn't all that fun for her. Although I think Theron can do no wrong (on screen) and Patton was outstanding, I found the character of Mavis to be a one-dimensional caricature with absolutely no redeeming characteristics.

    Secondly, I don't think you over-reacted per say. It's annoying when ex's don't respect "budding relationship" time. If she wants to be his friend, she should, as a good friend, also be interested in meeting and spending time with you. On a different note, I will say this. You and Seb are the only two in this relationship and having a secure relationship has nothing to do with ANYONE else. Seb seems like a great catch, as do you... and there will always be various people vying for his attention and your attention. So it's better to focus on continuing to build faith and trust in one another. In short, forget those other bitches!!! :)

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    1. I couldn't agree more. Mavis had no redeeming characters, but like I wrote in the post, the writers committed to that and I appreciated that they didn't try to trick us into liking her character with a cheap "everything happens for a reason" twist that was done in "Something Borrowed".

      I thought the same thing, if she is so interested in pursuing this friendship with him, that she should take some interest in me. And it had nothing to do with my trust in him, like you said, it's about him and I. It was just that she was annoying the shit out of me with her cutesy notes! Am I wrong to feel that way? : /

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    2. Feelings are never wrong! The question is, how did you act on those feelings. I think you acted very maturely. You spoke up, kept to the issue, and didn't make it more than it was... all while respecting Seb as an individual. Well done!!!! :)

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  12. AnonymousJuly 18, 2012

    Nice Sonic Youth ref, you hipster!

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  13. AnonymousJuly 18, 2012

    I think you know what I think about this situation... Hells to the NO. I don't talk my ex(es), you don't talk to yours. You were/are bffs? Oh well. Bubye! Leave it in the past and don't look back unless you've gotta' baby together thus HAVE to communicate for the sake of the child and all. Facebook/Twitter means she's/he's still in your ven diagram of LIFE and therefore gots to go, sayonara. That's life and having respect for current partner in my opinion. I know a lot of people stay in contact w/ exes, that's cool for you; just not something I am OK with in my little, precious world and luckily my man and I are on the same page. :-)

    You did the right, mature thing of speaking up. That was WAY to much of that pétasse.. I mean lady... Glad you let it out and your amoureaux is also mature and handled it in the appropriate way! Finally no drama!

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    1. Hahaha thanks, D! Love your response!!!

      I'm not against some contact but she was majorly overstepping boundaries, so I felt I had to say something. I'm so glad he didn't make it more of a big deal than it really was!

      Thanks again, you made my day! :) xo.

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