I didn't see the movie "It's Complicated" because I thought that the story line would hit too close to home. My ex and I are still close. Not in the physical sense (at all!) but in the sense that we know each other so well and can still easily share our feelings and frustrations. We can (and do) make fun of each other, we can lament stories of our families and our work. Mostly, we can come together and make sound decisions on Ben's behalf. All without drama. We are, for all intents and purposes, Bruce and Demi. Except that I haven't found my Ashton yet.
I'd be lying if I said that ideas of reconciliation never bounce into my head. But here's the thing: those thoughts might jump into my brain every now and then but then they're gone as quickly as they came. And they NEVER make it down to my heart. Because I know what I know. And honestly, what divorced person has never had thoughts of "what could be" from time to time? Particularly when a small child is involved. And when everyone gets along so swimmingly.
So because my ex and I are still pretty tight, we have these complicated situations arise occasionally. Situations that my friends and family find great humor in because they are soooooo typical of my ex.
Like this morning. It's K' last day in Thailand. He told me last night that he had spent all of his money (and he took a boatload) and that he was even buying another piece of luggage "to bring the loot home." So I was between and an email shows up from K. This is the subject line:
Wanna do me a favor?
Ahhhhh, no. N-O. Favor Department is closed down. Gut instinct tells me to carry on with the errands and ignore the message. I put the phone away.
Five minutes later it beeps again with another message alert:
I know you get your messages on your phone.
So I read the first message.
"Last day here and I want to do something really great but my credit card isn't working." (duh, you spent too much!")
"Please go to my bank and deposit $400!"
Ugh. Why? So that K can saddle up an elephant and ride into some remote village for a Thai massage? With a happy ending?
Because I am such a NICE stupid ex, I re-read the details of the email to find out where he banks these days.
Bank of El Dorado? Headquartered in Placerville? Limited Saturday hours?
I am on the other side of Earth, at this point, and needing to go to B of A - to make a deposit - so that I can go to BFE to make his Thai fantasy come true.
Email back to K: "Huge inconvenience. Nowhere near your bank. Switch banks."
Reply email: "Please?????????????? I'd use my card but it's not working."
Email back: "I wonder why. Fine. I'll go but you owe me big time!"
I'm thinking that all of a sudden I have some decent leverage for an upcoming Tahoe weekend when I need child care.
I make it to the wood paneled Bank of El Dorado - where the tellers are dressed in gingham and remind me suspiciously of my mother - with just a few minutes to spare.
Pulling out my checkbook, I have the teller - who is a dead ringer for Paula Deen - access my ex's account. I don't know why she cares but she asks, "Oh, is this your husband?" - all friendly like, "Take two cubes of butter, 12 eggs, a bucket of sugar, and a little flour and ya'll have yourselves a cake!"
"No," I say. "It's my ex-husband."
She goes on in her Southern grandmotherly way, that starts to become a little inquisitive): "Ohhhhh. Well, it's certainly nice of you to come in and make a deposit for him."
"Why yes," I agree. "It is. Especially since he's in Thailand and he's just run out of money and he has to have ONE MORE EXCURSION." I leave out the part about my happy ending massage theory.
Then she does a double-take at her computer screen. "My gracious, it does look like someone is having a very fun time!"
"Bye-bye," the teller says. I see her turn to a Caucasian version of Aunt Jemima. "That was the nicest girl...ya know what she did?"
"Why am I so nice?" I asked a friend, whom I called upon leaving the bank. "Because you love Ben," she replied without hesitation.
I know, I know - Ben is the happiest kid of divorce that I know and it's because we (K and I) keep it that way. Still, all that niceness can be very, very complicated.