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Happy Birthday to My Ex-Husband’s Ex-Girlfriend

Monk, the Obsessive Compulsive detective

Monk, the Obsessive Compulsive Detective

I remember dates. It’s a gift, and a curse. It used to drive my ex-husband crazy. This, from a dude who forgot my birthday — twice — when we were still together. But me? I remember numbers for some reason, always have. I can rattle off his land line phone number from high school. I know the birthdays of people I haven’t had any contact with in years.

Recently, it was my best friend’s birthday. I’d never forget that, of course. But it also reminded me of the Other Woman (well, the original other woman was his teenaged lover before her, . . . but I digress . . .). Let’s call this Other Woman . . . Penelope Homewrecker, shall we?   (I don’t really blame Penelope for wrecking my home, though.  Though she certainly made choices I would not, my ex-husband did not have to honor her — requests?)   Anyway, Penelope’s birthday is two days after my best friend’s. I know this because years ago, when I first discovered their affair, I did my fair share of research, as did my work colleagues at the time. I was working in a law office — enough said. Before long I had her full name, her address, her real estate records, current and prior addresses, etc. , and — her birthday.

I remember sharing the information with my best friend. She responded with one of those completely irrational comments only a true friend would say. She almost growled, “How dare she have a birthday near mine.”  My friend was right, by the way:

How dare Penelope have a birthday close to my very best friend’s special day?

How dare Penelope have a birthday?

How dare Penelope even exist?

It reminds me of a scene from Sex And The City when Carrie realizes that her on and off boyfriend Big has chosen a woman named Natasha over her — and he is actually happy. Carrie tells her friends she’s ready to accept it. For a beat the women were silent, but then they gave, an irrational, nonsensical, yet incredibly supportive response.

Natasha. What a bullshit name.

Totally.

Stupid.

Complete bullshit.

Sex and The City

Sex and The City

I just love that — showing support in such an subtly obvious way, via a frivolous statement.

So thanks to my best friend for expressing outrage that my husband’s mistress dared to have birthday near hers.

How dare she? Indeed.

When Carrie found out about Big's new girlfriend, Miranda offered support.

When Carrie found out about Big’s new girlfriend, Miranda offered support.

By the way, Penelope and my Ex didn’t last. (Long story, well not so long, but it’s a good one.  I may blog about it at some point, maybe.)

Much later, after Penelope and the Ex broke up,  my Ex announced he had a new serious girlfriend.   I did the required Facebook check on her, and I noticed that Penelope and the Ex’s new girlfriend were Facebook friends. When I checked again a little later, the two women were no longer Facebook friends.

Huh.

There was some kind of unfriending situation between Penelope and the new girlfriend.

Huh.

Perhaps Penelope Homewrecker didn’t want to see posts by her replacement.

Huh.

Heh heh heh

I wonder if later, Penelope, who had likely thought she’d become the coveted Mrs. Ex, was treated to posts about my Ex’s wedding and subsequent procreation?  I’m guessing that Penelope and the new girlfriend must have had some mutual friends. Yes?

Please, yes?

Heh heh heh

My investigation days are over. They’ve been over for a long time. Years. I never look at my Ex’s or his wife’s Facebook pages or his family’s pages. I really have no interest now. But those damn numbers stay in my head. As I said, it’s a gift, and a curse.

So, Happy Birthday Penelope Homewrecker!  I literally can’t help but remember the date.

Of course, Evil Me wants to ask: What’s your Relationship Status now?

Though, Regular Me acknowledges that Penelope Homewrecker dodged a bullet and may indeed be the luckiest woman in the world.

Celebrity Analysis

For those who follow celebrity gossip, think of it like this:  My Ex-Husband’s mistress  pulled a Penelope Cruz.  Let me explain.  For a long time (by Hollywood standards) Tom Cruise and his wife Nicole Kidman were a golden couple.

The Golden Couple

The Golden Couple

It didn’t last.    It was rumored that Tom  left Nicole Kidman because of his affair with another actress, Penelope Cruz.

 

When Tom and Nicole divorced, Tom and Penelope went public with their relationship.

 

Tom Cruise and one-time girlfriend, Penelope Cruz.

Tom Cruise and one-time girlfriend, Penelope Cruz.

 

But then they broke up.

Penelope  escaped becoming the  wife of  Tom Cruise, known to control and overshadow his wives.   And at some point, Tom Cruise went a little crazy.

Crazy Tom Cruise during his infamous Oprah appearance.

Crazy Tom Cruise during his infamous Oprah appearance.

Crazy Tom Cruise went on to marry once perky, but later suffering Katie Holmes, while Penelope Cruz ran free!  (Katie Holmes is now Ex Mrs. Tom Cruise, by the way, but they had a child together so she still has to deal with him.  She’ll never be completely free.).

 

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes when they were still together. She doesn’t look happy, does she?

 

And Penelope Cruz?  I picture her frolicking in a field somewhere.

Of course, in this scenario this would make me Tom’s jilted wife, Nicole Kidman, mother of the first kids.   And I’m okay with that.

Tom Cruise's Ex-Wife, Nicole Kidman

Tom Cruise’s Ex-Wife, Nicole Kidman

And I’d be okay with this, too:

Nicole Kidman and her current husband, Keith Urban

Nicole Kidman and her current husband, Country Music Star Keith Urban. She upgraded. By all reports, Keith Urban is supposed to be a nice guy, and Nicole’s career has soared once she was free of Cruise.

Just Me With . . . numbers in my head.    And a song in my heart, a country song, “Little Bit of Everything

See: Facebook Mutual Friend with the The Ex’s Girlfriend — Part One

and

To My Best Friend on Mother’s Day

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My Very Own Personal Olympic Games

The Olympics are upon us.   Soon I will cry in support of the accomplishments of the athletes, and I will shout at the screen at their defeats,  and I will silently wish it was me — on the track, in the water, on the mat.   Sadly, however, the activities at which I excel are not on the roster of  Olympic events.

But, if they were . . .  I could surely medal in  . . .

1.  Car tweeting.

I live in a small house with five nosy children in double digits of life.  We only have one bathroom.  They use my bedroom as a lounge.  I live on a busy street in front, fishbowl alley  in back.  No privacy.   But I enjoy Twitter and if I want any time to discreetly exchange pleasantries or profanities with my friends who live in my phone, I sit in my car.  It’s kind of like making out in a car in high school because there was nowhere else to go. But now I’m alone in my car or, alternatively,  I’m with my fluctuating number of Twitter followers.  Either way,  I am a master of the car tweet.   Ask my Tweeps.

I don’t know what I’m going to do when my oldest gets his driver’s  license . . . and a girlfriend.   I won’t do well sharing my car time.

2.  Ex avoidance.

I am Ninja Ex.  I’m here, I’m there,  I’m everywhere — for the kids.  But when the Ex is around, I can get in and out like a  whore at a baptism.   It really is quite impressive.  It was a skill I learned from practicing law, where the most important part of an adversarial meeting is actually getting out of the building without having  your client endure sharing an elevator with his or her opponent.   A well-timed bathroom break does the trick, or simply quietly walking away without looking back, like Jason Bourne.  As Ninja Ex I know the fastest exits from the school parking lot and where to enter a playing field or concert hall,  choose the best spot to cheer on my children and be seen by them, yet remain out of the Ex’s eye-line, should he happen to appear.  I send the kids out for his visits and he returns them to me yet I — remain — unseen.

Batman ain’t got nothing on me.

It’s been a solid year since I’ve been less than a  fifty feet from my former husband, and more than that since there has been eye-contact.   As my therapist put it, “I see no reason why you ever have to see him.”  So I don’t.  I’m just following doctor’s orders, you see  — like a champ.  An Olympic champion.

Two medals ain’t bad.

But not only would I medal, I say I would get the gold!  I would stand proud and misty eyed while my country’s instrumental national anthem is blared from high-powered speakers to a cheering crowd and over the internet to millions of people in their homes.

Except of course, if my Ex showed up, then — poof!— Me and my medals would be gone.  A handshake, a wave — and I would be  sitting in my car at the parking lot at Dunkin’ Donuts, exchanging 140 characters of Twitter-wisdom about my experiences.

To be fair, I’m good at other things, like managing meager amounts of money and pretending to be Beyoncé in my kitchen, but every superior competitor knows when to focus on those one or two events that truly bring glory and  a chance at a  medal.  I’ve outlined mine.  We can’t all come home with a fistful of shiny medals.  I’ll take my two and leave — like I was never there.

I think I’m tearing up a bit just thinking of it.
Just Me With . . . dreams of the gold.

I Was “The Nanny” When my Ex-Husband Got Married

My Ex-Husband remarried recently.   We had been married many, many years, had  five children together, a prolonged separation, and the nasty divorce was final only a few months ago.  The announcement of the pending nuptials was made to the children and then to me just last month.  Then things seemed to take on a life of their own.  And someway, somehow, I was  relegated to the Nanny in this whole wedding scenario, a Nanny who is not treated very well, unpaid, and forced to work and/or be on-call on  her days off.

—  Have the children ready and send them out  no later than  x o’clock am  on Friday  because they have hair and nails  appointments at y.

—  So and so will pick the children up  in time to get to wedding  [unnamed location] by x time, they will be brought back around y time by different so and so’s.

—  They’ll be brought home  “sometime in the  evening” because it is an evening wedding [no time provided]

—  Make sure they don’t mess up their hair and nails before the wedding

— Make sure they don’t mess up their hair and nails before the wedding, and again

–Make sure they don’t mess up their hair and nails before the wedding.

In the weeks preceding the above I was hit with:

We want to take x child shopping for  wedding clothes on x date (even though it was not during the visitation times),

We didn’t find anything so we’ll be back tomorrow  to take the child out again (even though it was not during visitation times), he said you don’t have any plans.

Well, well, well.

I had decided that since it is their father’s wedding, the children should of course be allowed to attend  (even though the wedding did not fall on a “Daddy” day).    Accordingly,   I would be flexible and allow some inconveniences.  Because, how often is he going to get married?

( Seriously, I’m taking wagers). 

However, that said, and although it is true that I no longer love him, and I have no jealous or romantic feelings about his getting married, etc.,  it turns out that my being an indirect participant in the wedding festivities by providing my assistance with the children and scheduling was a little too much to take.

The day before the wedding was grooming day.  I had to have the kids up and out at a very early hour for Summer.  I had no idea what time they would return.  On the wedding day itself, though the children were not going to dress for the wedding at home, they still had to be showered and ready to go by a certain time.   This responsibility fell on me  . . . and it pissed me off.  The children did not rush to get ready.   I had to ride them about it.

“C’mon, get up, start your showers.”

“You cannot be late, please get in the shower.”

“You cannot wait until the last minute, PLEASE, get ready.”

Damn.

Then they were picked up by the Ex’s  relatives, at least one of whom has  disrespected me in ways she doesn’t even know I know about and in other ways she does.    This  person was sent to my house to fetch my children.  She’s never been to my home before and under any other circumstances would not be welcome.

I was never actually given a location for the wedding and had to specifically ask for the  time of the wedding and a time frame in which I would expect the children home.   Not an unreasonable request, one that shouldn’t have had to have been made.  I mean I did need to make sure I was home or near home when the kids got there.

I was to have the children ready for the Captain and the Baroness’ party and put them to bed afterward.

That night, though some of the children have phones, I was texted by the Ex himself to tell me the children were on their way home (no time frame provided, and still since I was not given the location of the wedding, their being on their way home didn’t mean much).  When I didn’t respond to my Ex’s text in a timely manner I got a subsequent text asking me to  confirm my receipt of his original text.  Upon confirmation, I received a “Thank you.”    I guess that meant his responsibility for the children was now over.   The Nanny (that would be me) was going to be home, the evil half sisters (actually only one of them is evil)  could drop them off and leave.

Well, well, well.

And as the children came in,  dropped their bags of clothes, shoe boxes, flowers all over the  house, it was up to me to make them clean up after themselves or do it for them.   And when one of  my children presented me with a box of leftover boutonniere roses, it was up to me to respond with the appropriate thank you.  (Ugh)  Adding insult to injury,  another child asked me why I didn’t come.   I responded, a bit too matter of factly, “To my Ex-Husband’s Wedding?” And another, older child, added simply, “It’s self-explanatory.”  I’m sure I was so much more useful to them in the capacity to which I was  assigned anyway.  The children were exhausted, they left half of their mess strewn around our little house and they went off to bed.

It was so nice for the bride and groom that  the nanny could repeatedly present the children on a timely basis to be made up so beautifully for the wedding day and that the nanny could stand by and be available to receive the children  when their appearance for and celebration of  the happy occasion was over.

Well, well, well.

As it turned out, it didn’t feel so nice for me. I am human.

This is what led to my not having such a good day on the day after the wedding.  No I didn’t feel like having a big blow out party or night out on the town on his wedding day, but I unwittingly facilitated everyone else having a grand old time while I rushed around and then waited around.  This, after the tears, complaints, uncomfortable silences and tantrums from the kids  in the six weeks from announcement of the wedding to the wedding itself.   All things I had to deal with.

In the end, though,  the kids were fine.  But the whole ordeal was taxing on me, from worrying about them generally ,and dealing with their initial ambivalence and despair “I don’t want to go to the wedding at all,”  cried one child,   to changes in schedules, and  being ordered about without common courtesy.  and having to literally clean up after the affair.

It shouldn’t have been like this.    Damn.   My Ex and his Bride  have not proven to be the most sensitive people (this is the man who sent his kids home to tell me he was getting married ON MOTHER’S DAY).  So I don’t expect much, but damn.

Hindsight.  Should I have said that he must take the children for the whole weekend?   Perhaps.   But he never has them for the whole weekend and it was not even his weekend.  Who would have taken care of them while the bride and groom honeymooned or were consummating  their marriage or when they simply weren’t needed?  The evil half-sister?    Some other random relative the kids don’t know (but I do) ?  I was convinced that if I’d said, “Well you take the kids for the whole thing” it would have been harder on the kids.   Maybe I was wrong.    And had we switched weekends and days around, which is not our norm, it would have interfered with some activities the kids and I already have planned for later in the Summer.

All in all, at the time I was concerned about trying to keep the whole thing as drama-free as possible and keeping the children from being dragged around any more than necessary.  Plus, I didn’t want to force  technicalities  just to  flex my muscles or to purposefully, spitefully inconvenience the bride and groom.  I didn’t want to play the “you don’t have a right to take the kids” card — it just would have made everything nasty.

Perhaps, however,  I should have been more concerned about myself.   Well, lesson learned.

The next time he gets married . . . things will be different.  Ha!

Consequently,  I have been in a complete funk ever since  the wedding.  I provided assistance and patience and in return, I was a recipient of their rudeness.   I know I allowed it, but it still pisses me off.   Note to self:  develop more backbone (despite years of being accommodating to him).   See My High School Self.

I  feel like I should get something for my trouble, my stress, my time, my child counseling — all the things I suffered as a result of the Ex’s decision to remarry in a hurry.

No, I don’t want a “Thank you.”

*Humph*

I’ll take a check.

Wait, no I won’t.   Cold, hard, cash.     It’s the least they could do. 

Just Me With . . .  nothing to show for any of this crap, but leftover dying wedding flower boutonnieres in a sugar jar.

Father’s Day Announcements to My Ex

 

Classic Letterman.  If only I could hire him to deliver these announcements . . .

Classic Letterman. If only I could hire him to deliver this list . . .

Since my Ex-Husband sent the kids home to me on Mother’s Day expecting them to tell me that he was getting married,  see My Ex Husband is Getting Married, I’ve compiled a list of  announcements I should  (but of course won’t) make to him on Father’s Day.

Top 5 Father’s Day Announcements To My Ex!!

5.  Your only son (so far) is gay!

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

(Not that there’s anything wrong with that, a la Seinfeld,  and no, he is not gay, but it would probably bother the Ex, so wouldn’t that be fun?)

4.   I’m getting married, too —  to a polygamist.  So not only will the kids get a father figure,  but I will have  at least three other sister wives  and their kids all helping to raise our children!!!   Isn’t that great?     Sisterwives

(Deciding to raise the children in an alternate lifestyle is always a nice surprise, right?  And this news would certainly trump and dilute his plans to add just one wife to the kids’ lives.   Anyway, I always wondered about what the fourth sister wife’s ex-husband thought about his three  kids, who are school age, calling her new polygamist  husband Daddy, having  all these extra Moms and siblings and doing it all on television,  but I digress . . .  I digress a lot, and often)

3.  I’m suing for additional child support.

(‘nuf said)

2.  I’ve decided to go to your wedding.   I think it’s best for the kids, don’t you?

You Outta Know!

(I’ll attend with the vintage Alanis Morissette, “You Outta Know”  attitude.   Hell, I might even be convinced to offer a song.)

And the classic, almost clichéd announcement, but works every time:

1.  You are NOT the father (a la Maury Povitch) 

Just Me With . . . some Father’s Day Announcements.  

Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend — Part Two

So if you read my earlier post, “Facebook Mutual Friend With The Ex’s Girlfriend — Part One”  you know that sitting at Starbucks I found out for sure that my Transitional Man –the first man I had dated since my separation — who I’d met by a chance encounter on the street,  had also dated my Ex-Husband’s Girlfriend.

When I told him he was freaked out.  I do believe he stuttered a bit, “Wha Wha What?”  This dude is an ambitious, self-assured lawyer.  The fact that he was at a loss for words is no less than extraordinary.

“Yes,” I said, “My  husband is living with her.”

“Living with her?”   He was astonished.

“Yup.”  I was still getting used to it.

Now here’s where I tread lightly.  I don’t want to bad mouth the Girlfriend .  After all, she is not the woman my Ex left me for (that relationship didn’t work out, surprise, surprise) and though she has done some things that have overstepped for sure,  I don’t want to use this post as any kind of venting situation.   So I will condense and dilute his comments.

Actually, I didn’t ask him anything about her.   He just started talking.   It felt like he wanted to be my source of information.   First he assured me that they had not slept together.  (I find that quite hard to believe,  he buys his condoms in bulk).    Then he said something very interesting.  He said  he didn’t think she’d be very “kid friendly.”  Next, he made a most caring comment–   he said, “It must be so hard to have another person around your kids who you don’t know and you have no control over.”  He added,  “I guess you end up just having to trust your Ex and that’s gotta be hard.”   God Bless my Transitional Man — he hit it right on the head.  Then he repeated that the Girlfriend wasn’t the kid type and volunteered some additional information I won’t repeat.   It was somewhat worrisome  since he described her as not kid friendly and expressed sympathy at my situation.    Hmmm.

In any event, my Transitional Man turned out to be very sensitive and  thoughtful  (By the way, he has no kids, never married — so this was particularly insightful) .    I really appreciated that.

Though he may have been exaggerating his stance for my benefit, it was clear that he was not impressed by my Ex’s choice.   Again, I’m not going to repeat all the things he said, but this — this — was simply a gem:   After describing The Girlfriend as “harsh” he said,

“I don’t get it.   Going from  you to her is like going from

Alicia Keys . . . .

 to  . . . .

Omarosa

(You know, the villainous  reality show  contestant from The Apprentice, the one  people loved to hate).

Just Me With . . . a Smile on My Face.

Postscript.  Not only did my Ex marry the Girlfriend, but they have procreated.  So much for her not being the kid type . . .

Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend? – Part One

A Chance Meeting

My ex-husband and I had been separated for a while but the divorce was not yet final. We had married young and been married for a long time.  The break up was difficult and not my idea.  Drama ensued.  Eventually friends told me I needed to get out, go out with someone – anyone — not to find a boyfriend or husband or any real relationship, but as a first step to moving on and feeling single instead of just, well — jilted.   See, The Best Advice I Never Took

On an extremely rare holiday downtown shopping trip with my sisters, I had a chance meeting with a guy while looking for a parking spot.  We had asked him if we could take his spot as he was about to pull out.   He was reasonably attractive and had a law school sticker on his car.  So I (also a lawyer) thought, “ I’m going to be forward  and strike up a conversation.”  I found out that he was an associate with the very same law firm I had worked for in a previous life.  (This was an amazing coincidence since he is African-American also and there have been very few attorneys of color employed at this firm.)   He was friendly, seemed nice and let’s face it – good on paper.  I asked for his card.  Oh, and did I mention that he appeared to be at least 10 years younger than me?

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

It took me two whole months to get the nerve to email him.    When I did, he remembered me right away.  It was just the ego boost I needed.  We went out.  Long story short, I knew him in the Biblical sense (in hindsight, probably too quickly) .  I wasn’t emotionally equipped to build a relationship and didn’t know how to date.  Plus, I had no time what with all those people I had made over the years (the kids).  And, I was still a wreck.  It was a struggle to maintain the face of normalcy for extended periods of time.  I couldn’t or wouldn’t do the fun activities he suggested we do –so it kind of became a very short-lived  — arrangement.

But I had met my secret goal:  I had been with a man, not my husband, who had not ever known me as someone’s wife.   It didn’t hurt my self-esteem either, that after five kids and a nervous breakdown, I was able to snag, albeit briefly, a younger man who would have been “a catch” for any woman.   It was what I needed at the time.  So when it fizzled with him, it was okay.   He’d been my —  my Transitional Man.

Fast forward a couple of years.  The Ex announces he has a girlfriend now (he’d had them before but this time he was bringing one around the kids).  So I did what every woman with a computer and internet access would do – I electronically stalked — I mean — researched her.  First stop? – Facebook.   Success.  I now knew what she looked like, what her hobbies and interests were, and that she was 10 years younger than  me.  Seeing her picture didn’t bother me.  But as I scrolled down I saw something that did bother me.  We had one mutual friend.  ONE MUTUAL FRIEND. Not my Ex, of course not.  I’m not his friend on Facebook or anywhere else.  No, our mutual friend was my Transitional Man!!!   Aha!  That’s why her page yielded so much information.   You see, most of the Girlfriend’s entries were accessible to me because I was a “Friend of a Friend.”   Hmm.   But then I realized that the”Friend of the Friend” stuff works both ways.  Most of my settings were already “Friends Only”  (I had a stalking issue I’ll blog about later) but just to be safe I took down pictures and personal information.  It wasn’t long before the Girlfriend changed her settings to “Friends Only ” — meaning she’d probably looked at my page and discovered our Mutual Friend as well.

The real issue, however, remained  — One Mutual Friend.  I told myself that since The Girlfriend  and my Transitional Man graduated college the same year maybe they knew each other from some professional group, even though she’s not a lawyer.  The voice in my head was screaming WHAT IF THE GIRLFRIEND WENT OUT WITH MY TRANSITIONAL MAN TOO?    I mean, that would just be wrong on so many levels.

I tried to dismiss the thought from my consciousness.  How unfair and sick would that be?  My chance, movie-like meeting with my good on paper Transitional Man—and maybe he’d been with The Girlfriend, too?–  Ew.  That would be way too much exchange of DNA in a small world with not nearly enough degrees of separation.  In short, it was just freaking me the hell out.  And this is not a small town, mind you.  We live in a large metropolitan area.  What the hell?   Yet I could find no common ground – school, work, etc. between the Girlfriend and my Transitional Man that would administratively explain their Facebook friendship.  I resigned myself to leave the question unanswered.  Transitional Man  and I sometimes exchanged Facebook pleasantries (I “liked” his new “in a relationship” status) but I did not think it appropriate to approach him and ask.

A few months later (and after Transitional Man’s relationship status was back to being single), I got a text out of the blue from him about some law stuff.   We chatted and had the “let’s catch up” conversation.   I agreed to have coffee with him. (I hadn’t seen him since our last “date”). Since Transitional Man initiated the meeting, however, I thought it now appropriate  to ask him ever so casually, while sipping over-priced coffee at Starbucks, about how he knows his Facebook friend —  the Girlfriend.

Just Me With a Question: So, how do you know [the Girlfriend’s name]?

Transitional Man’s Answer:  Oh.  Yeah, I’m not that good friends with her but I’m really good friends with her cousin.

(Wait for it . . . wait for it . . .)

And  [Ex-Husband’s  New Girlfriend] and I went out a couple of years ago.

In case it is in any way unclear:    My Transitional Man had dated my Ex–Husband’s New Girlfriend.

Just Me With  . . .  A Heart Attack — (Oops there it is.)

I thought Transitional Man was going to have a heart attack too  . . .  See Facebook Mutual Friend Part Two

Postscript:  By the way, The Ex and the New Girlfriend are married now.

Postscript:  The Transitional Man is married now.

Postscript:  I am single.  I am quite contentedly single.

See also:  Happy Birthday to My Ex-Husband’s Ex-Girlfriend