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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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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