The Ex Revisited

Twenty years on, I am still rattled by my husband’s fucking ex. Not only has she opened a tiki-themed restaurant too close to my neighborhood,  she has recently written the following:

“There was a time in my youth, those long gone halcyon days, when it seemed I spent a large part of my life in front of a camera. In the pursuit of an acting career it was standard operating procedure to continuously update and change the 8-by-10s that were the calling cards of all of us who tramped the mean streets of Los Angeles in constant and often futile rounds of meetings in the offices of agents, photographers, producers, directors and various unsavory characters.

“Perhaps in retrospect it is the smiling [photos] that fare the best, as I was innately happy, clear of eyes and had good teeth. For my fiftieth birthday and retired at that point, I pulled out all the old headshots and plastered them over a large wall at my parent’s house, creating a sort of gallery. They made a remarkable display and told a story of my own evolution, not to mention hairdos. The one topless shot, though artistically done and revealing but a modest bosom, shocked my brother. Frankly, I was rather proud to shock anyone.”

There was one thing that each photo had in common, one through-line, one essence captured. It was youth, my youth. And youth is hope. There it is, around the curve of my smiling lips, in the gleam of my eye, in the open expression.”

Jesus. Christ.

I brought up the subject of her uniquely annoying existence with my husband, who flipped out. Why can’t I be normal, he wants to know. It’s easy for him to talk about normal: My ex, though a cunt, stays quietly in his corner and doesn’t open restaurants or write about his modest bosom.

Some things are just awful and they stay awful. Some things fall away in the stark awareness of what really matters.  I am waiting for the ex-wife to move from the first category into the second.

 

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31 Responses to “The Ex Revisited”

  1. CR Says:

    I’m not married, but I remember your first post about the ex and almost crying with relief that someone else understood how I feel about my long-term boyfriend’s most recent ex. I have the opposite problem – while yours is the “anti-you”, my boyfriend’s exes and I are all a common type: tall, quiet, brunette, big boobs. It makes me feel utterly replaceable. I’ve never been so jealous or hated a boyfriend’s ex so much before, and I wonder what it is about her particularly that triggers this. I do think the similarities in “type” contribute, plus the fact that she’s superior to me in several glaring ways. It doesn’t help that one of my best friends is unrequitedly in love with her brother, and has been for years, so I can’t escape hearing about this damn family.
    Anyways, people who use the word “halycon” incorrectly, humblebrag about their youthful beauty, and constantly talk up their “acting” experience (it’s L.A., everyone’s been an extra in something. Unless you’ve got an Oscar, Emmy, or major magazine cover, nobody gives a fuck) are worthy of nothing but our deepest scorn. Being reasonable about exes is SO overrated. Bring on the rage.

  2. CR Says:

    aaaand I spelled halcyon wrong. that’s gotta be karma

  3. Madam Restora Says:

    What a narcisistic, self absorbed twat. People who carry on with that sort of nonsense are usually completely deluded about their past and how pretty/rich/fun/carefree they actually were. Good on you ****** (sorry I had to google the whole article).

  4. Sister Wolf Says:

    CR – What a nightmare! If only she would leave the planet.

    Madam Restora – Thank you so much for your eloquent summation. I deleted her name out of common decency (i.e., a wish to avoid lawsuits.)

  5. Blighty Says:

    Dear Sister Wolf
    First I hope you don’t mind but I talked about your post on two annoying words yesterday, when I pulled myself out out of my blogging slump. Secondly, this post is vintage Sister Wolf, really brilliant and I love your concluding para. I cannot believe anyone would plaster photos of themselves over a wall, and at their parents house!???? One imagines bemused geriatrics terrorised by sudden appearance of mugshot extravaganza. I read out your post to Mr B, my voice of sanity, and he opined, without missing a beat, that anyone who wrote stuff like the ex, should be locked up. So there we go. Me, I think the ex’s writing is a perfect example of being, what we English refer to, as “up yourself.” Best wishes Blighty

  6. Cricket9 Says:

    One thing I don’t get is “the parents house”. WTF?
    I used to be extremely annoyed by one particular ex, until I realized that it’s up to me to let the annoyance happen – or not. Ignore, SW, ignore. She’s not worth your attention and energy. Let her contemplate the pictures of youth, her youth, on the wall of her parents house.

  7. Romeo Says:

    Poor Robert! I’m sure he’s not thrilled about her either, so he just doesn’t think about it. Why can’t people just cease to exist once they exit our lives instead of lingering on and writing torpid prose or showing up on TV or getting awards for performing gender identity determination experiments on guppies?

  8. dana Says:

    Actually, that’s sort of super. You can be confident in that she’s a complete dimrag, and that everyone knows it. You’re totally set.

  9. Cricket9 Says:

    Damn, I just realized that I’m also an ex -twice, not to mention various boyfriends.
    My first ex-husband is at his fourth or fifth wife; I was number 2 or 3, he was always rather vague about it. I’m not in touch and it was long, long ago, so if his present wife is annoyed, it shouldn’t be with me.
    I have a dinner once in a few years with the second ex-husband, but I moved to a different continent; as an ex, I think I’m quite decent.

  10. Debbie Says:

    She sounds like a tool. You are FAR more intelligent and humorous than the weird ex. “Around the curve of my smiling lips, in the gleam of my eye” ????
    How stupid!
    I think you are utterly cool, chic, hip, thin, and amazingly talented and if I had to deal with an ex like you I’d be really intimidated. :)

    XOXO
    Deb

  11. annemarie Says:

    Yep, that’s pretty tacky.

    You, on the other hand, are Class Incarnate. There’s no comparison.

  12. Bonnie Says:

    Can we ad “modest bosom” to the two words list?

  13. Sister Wolf Says:

    Blighty – Thank you a million times and thank Mr. B a million times more!

    Cricket9 – Excellent advice, if only I could follow it.

    ROMEO – You tell me, buddy.

    Debbie – Awwwwww, I would be such a great ex to you! I once invited my ex-husband’s girlfriend to a Christmas party and I was very careful to not seem impressive. That’s how fucking nice I am!

    annemarie – I love you and I miss you, xo

    Bonnie – Hahahahahahahahahahahhahahaha! YES.

  14. D.R. Says:

    Cricket9….what you said.

  15. Kellie Says:

    It is fabulous, and telling, that you dont have pictures of you plastered all over your blog. It isnt some crazy vanity project, you are just you-and genuine.
    Also, I would think that it would never occur to you to do something so crazy and shallow as she did.
    Thats a nutpie for you-always coming up with some crazy shit to make herself the center of attention.
    Again.

    I feel fortunate that my ex has stayed a city away from me. I havent seen him since the day I got my divorce check.
    However, he is a local “luminary”, so periodically he pops up.
    Fortunately, I am too. I would hae loved to see his face when he opened up the Saturday paper to see a nearly 1/2 page picture, and further 1/4 page article about me!!!

    Sadly, not in my glorious youth, but with my current face and weight. I should imagine the irriation was the same for him.

    I hope so anyway.

  16. La Trivialista Says:

    I just googled some of that wanky prose and up popped the ex’s column and a pic. These are the words of someone ill at ease with getting older — therefore someone who presents no threat to you whatsoever.

    LT

  17. Andra Says:

    My ex-husband still seems to think I will return to him one day. He seems to believe I will look after him in his dotage, which is fast approaching.
    It’s been 30 years since I divorced the clown!
    Ha ha ha!!!

  18. Patni Says:

    eeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwww Can you imagine how horrifying it would be to live with some one who prattled on like that?

    I will admit to a little googling myself and finding a recent pic ,
    I feel a little moved to quote Female Trouble… Where Dawn tells taffy Its allll those years of brattishness showing through, you have the face of a retarded brat.

    Your husband is lucky he ended up with you. You should feel pity not jealousy. She look altogether terrible to me.

  19. Liz!! Says:

    Be glad that the ex is such a narcissistic dolt, Sister. (And I can’t see anyone disagreeing with your take on her after reading that drivel.)

    My significant other’s exes are clearly….well, he traded down with me. I am not a clown nor do I own a tiki-themed restaurant. But from what I know, they are more accomplished and some of them were model-gorgeous. I can’t bear it.

    But I know, no matter how batshit the ex is, exactly how you feel.

    Keep being awesome.

  20. Cricket9 Says:

    WTF, honestly, ladies! However model-gorgeous, accomplished, smart, rich the ex is, and however many PhDs and Nobel prizes she has, the guy in question is with you, and not her, right? How we like to torment ourselves – for absolutely no good reason.

  21. It's me. Says:

    From experience, I learned not to trust people who name their breasts or penises. Creepy.
    Let’s go out and play next week!
    xoxoxoxoxox

  22. Suebob Says:

    All of us are incredibly annoying if you just look hard enough.

  23. JK Says:

    Some things are just awful – some things go from awful to….

    I can’t think of the word.

  24. Sister Wolf Says:

    Suebob – I like to have to look harder.

  25. Sister Wolf Says:

    Kellie – Can I say that I know you?? Also, I like the word ‘nutpie!’ I’m going to start using it.

  26. Sister Wolf Says:

    jk – Me neither. I’ll let you know if I think of it. xo

  27. kate Says:

    she writes about herself the way a reader’s digest columnist writes about a long lost lover. i’m sure it’s that self-infatuation that everyone finds so charming. do you think her brother was just shocked, or more grossed out that his fifty year old sister is showing nude teenage photos to her family? or maybe the man really hasn’t seen millions of photos of modest bosoms in his life.

  28. Niece R Says:

    I recently found one of A’s exes, whom I’ve been curious about for years, but didn’t know anything but her first name and that she’s a hair stylist so it took awhile. Turns out she’s this dreadful (dreadful meaning most guys would be drooling over her) bleached-blond, hair extensioned, boob-jobbed, clearly-at-the-gym-every-day chick working at a chi-chi salon in Beverly Hills, attending Hollywood lingerie parties and wearing the latest Halloween whore costumes. Yikes! Funny thing is, she wasn’t like that when he was with her (I’ve seen a pic) and I have no idea if he even knows that’s what she turned into. Oh, and then I just found out that the guy I was dating before A has an ex who was a model/casting director for 90210 (obviously a while ago, but still). WTF!

    I don’t bring up the exes with them, though, because I find out my info from stalking.

  29. tartandtreacly Says:

    Hahahaha. Don’t be rattled, be amused.

    She just cast herself in her newest role. It’s in an as of yet unpublished short story, written by a guy who moved to LA from Kansas two years ago and writes for bad TV serials during the day.

    Our heroine is a fading actress who swans about her tiki bar in outre wigs, making eyes at frat boys wearing leis. One night, fueled by too many pina coladas, she invites one of them to her parents’ house to view her shrine to self-love.

    “I think my gallery really captures my essence,” she says coyly.

    He declines. She laughs it off, then after he leaves, lights a cigarette, her face still frozen in a rictus, a gruesome fascimile of her former smile, of hope remembered and lost.

    THE END.

  30. Sister Wolf Says:

    tartandtreacly – Hahahahahahahaha! Does she have an accent like Vivienne Leigh in Streetcar named Desire? In reality she is from the Valley, what we in California call Valley Girls.

  31. Monica Says:

    Can I please just thank you for keeping it fucking REAL? I’m drinking too many cocktails yelling at my poor husband that angry women like us are the NORM and that at LEAST we aren’t pretending to be something we’re not while burying a knife in someone’s back Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make another round and put the casserole in the oven. But really, thank you.

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