There's a show on MTV at the moment called Ex on the Beach. The premise is that a group of oiled-up reality stars are marooned on a deserted beach happily getting off with each other until – uh oh – their exes emerge on to the beach from the sea one by painful one, to disrupt the status quo. "Who's. Ex. Is. Next?" screams the voiceover like an air ride siren warning of the next Ex Bomb.
I had my own Ex Bomb moment last week, though neither of us was wearing a swimsuit. I was in a reasonably important meeting with about ten people, including a celebrity TV presenter, and as the meeting was coming to a close the presenter asked me where I was from, obviously detecting my Yorkshire twang. Turns out we're from the same town, cue gasps of shock and excitement. Whereabouts exactly am I from, comes the next question.
"No way, do you know XX?" she says.
"Yes," I answer with trepidation. For this is my ex.
"I went out with him for years!" she says, all chipper. I remain mute, because, well, you would wouldn't you? She chats about him for a while – nice things – and I feel like a fraud because of my non-disclosure. It's all too weird.
Now this is an ex from several years ago and somebody who I honestly haven't even thought about for ages. I see him occasionally when I'm up north but only if we bump into each other. I don't have his number, I don't email him. I'm not a Facebooker so I'm not subject to his movements that way. We are not in touch at all and I prefer it that way. I kind of had to erase him in order to move on.
But now he's back in the room – boom! – and it's really unsettling. Why do exes still have an ability to causes wave-like ripples in your life? Admittedly these were pretty out-there circumstances. I mulled over my ex dilemma for a few days before I saw the TV presenter again. I'd decided it would be best to come clean, in case she found out some other way and then I would come off looking shady.
I tell her, and she lets out the biggest squeal and screams: "You went out with Little XX!" She actually prefixed his name with 'little'! And with that I'm pretty sure I now have a new lifelong friend.
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