I almost ran in to my soon-to-be-ex today. Sounds like a bad country song, I know, but it’s the truth. As I rushed in to the Kroger for a much-needed item, I was stopped dead in my tracks when I saw him muttering to himself at the top of aisle nine. Thankfully, he failed to see me as I sped past, grabbed the item in question and scurried back towards the self-check-out lanes. Praying he would be absorbed in a world of comparison-shopping, I politely cut in front of a fellow shopper and was done in 20.3 seconds flat; which is probably a record of some kind, and I barely made contact with the receipt, ripping it out of the terminal as I flew by.
Why did my stomach jump into my chest when I saw him? I asked myself. This visceral reaction to the mere sight of him gripped me like an over-zealous relative at a family reunion and it was quite uncomfortable, not to mention disturbing. There was a time I would have lifted out of my Clark’s at the mere mention of his name. An un-expected sighting would have set my heart racing like an overheated radiator on a sweltering day. Now, just the opposite reaction had me by the throat with no prompting or forethought. What did it really mean?
Then when I got home I found a Christmas card from him in my mailbox and I find that I’m afraid to open it. OK, afraid is probably an overstatement, but I am uncomfortable. I guess it’s because I know the card will probably be sentimental and pitiful like a bargain basement shirt that used to be attractive but nobody wants anymore. And I will feel obligated to reciprocate with a card of my own. I am such a sucker for the holidays not to mention polite to a fault.
But the card I’d really like to send is the kind with a micro-chip in it that you can record a personal message on. And upon opening the card my voice would sing at him to the tune of “I Wish You a Merry Christmas” but the lyrics would be a bit different. “I wish I had never met you, I wish I had never met you, I wish I had never met you, I’d be happier now.” And I’d be completely justified in singing this song because he was such a disappointment as a husband, to say the very least, and life would have been easier if we’d never met. But that doesn’t seem very Yuletide Cheery of me especially because this is the season of good will after all.
Still the question remains: do I have to send a card in return? If I do it will be short and not-so-sweet and will purposely NOT say I love you, I miss you, let’s give this sunken ship one more heave-ho. Not a chance. But whether I do or do not send a card it won’t change the fact that we are apart and I am alone, wishing I could be more forgiving and that I could forget the way he broke my heart, in this, the season of Yule.