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I’ve been agitated and tired this whole week. My sleep schedule’s been off, I’ve been acting selfishly, distracted, checked out, thoughtless, easily annoyed, all that external projection stuff that comes with an indefinable feeling in my gut. It’s like a ball of anger is creeping slowly from my mid-section to my furthest extremities and nothing I do physically or vocally releases that stress in a meaningful or satisfying way.
I’ve been making the standard excuses for these actions all week, like “It must be the time change” or “Maybe it’s stress.” But I couldn’t actually put my finger on that elusive wound that was giving me these pangs of anger, these bursts of frustration, and these swells of loneliness. Until today, that is. November 10th: The Birthday of the Ex.
I logged into Facebook when I got home from work just like every other American between the ages of
18 and 35 10 and 75 and started scrolling through my friends’ hilariously insightful status updates, seeming celebrity-like new friendings, and 80s-Party-Of-The-Century!!! event planning. Then I got to one status update that jammed that searching finger so hard into that elusive wound that I nearly simultaneously peed my pants, tossed my cookies, and balled my eyes out. The trifecta of physical response to emotional stimulus.
The culprit for this near I-Can’t-Properly-Clean-This-Mess-Up-So-I-Have-To-Replace-The-Carpet disaster was my sister-in-law’s innocuous birthday post on my ex-girlfriend’s wall.
All week, I subconsciously knew today was The Birthday of the Ex. Heck, I celebrated it with her on a few occasions, I should know. But the actual thought of it wasn’t at all present in my mind – and therefore not consciously linked to my emotional shenaniganery this week – until I saw my SIL’s post.
As Facebook aficionados know, you do the Who-The-Heck-Is-This-Person-Again?, She-Might-Be-A-Stalker, and I-Haven’t-Talked-To-This-Person-In-Months cleanups every so often, but there are always a few folks who slip past the net. Plus, I still considered my ex a friend in some capacity after the dust had settled. But this post that my SIL so innocently and lovingly typed on my ex-girlfriend’s wall had me reeling and suffering an overload of memories that just had me feeling…I don’t know, icky! I felt like Bill Murray in Ghostbusters. Slimed.
After a few hours alone in my apartment thinking (read: drinking), I’ve come to the conclusion that
I never have enough whiskey in the house every year will invariably hold this The Birthday of the Ex hurdle so I have to face it head on. November 10th isn’t even the first date for this occasion; I’ve done it before. For a handful of years, June 17th was The Birthday of the Ex that held the same angst ridden, memory indexing, and soul wrenching feeling after my previous girlfriend and I split up. But each year that hers passed, The Birthday of the Ex effect was lessened. And after today passes, each November 10th will be easier to handle and will provide less trifecta-inducing reflection.
In the end, I hope that November 10th will be the last The Birthday of the Ex for which I mourn; the last whiskey-filled The Birthday of the Ex pity party. Because there will be no more ex-girlfriends. And when I meet the woman for whom I strive to share my love, her birthday will simply be The Birthday of the Love of My Life.