I am in the Downward Facing Dog position when my phone beeps loudly with a message. Damn. I thought I had it on vibrate. The yoga instructor approaches me, holds her hand out for my phone and scolds me with “your phone is interfering with the union between the mind, body and soul”’.
I don’t appreciate her patronising tone. I respond with “so are all the farts that people are doing – are you going to attempt to confiscate their bottoms too?”
I walk out (with my phone).
I started yoga because I thought it would calm me down.
Obviously, it hasn’t. And it seems to bring on flatulence in a lot of people. Or a lot of flatulent people enjoy yoga. Either way, it is not pleasant.
The message is from Anthony.
Hey, how are you? It would be nice to meet for a catch up. Let me know.
Ordinarily my answer would be a simple no. I don’t tend to meet up with ex-boyfriends. It’s a bit like re-visiting the scene of a crime – if you’re smart, you just don’t do it.
It’s a little more complicated where Anthony is concerned. We were together for an incredibly intense six months. We challenged each other constantly. Our similar temperaments led to ferocious, passionate debates that we both thrived on.
Although neither of us would ever have admitted that.
Unfortunately, this was a union that was flawed from the beginning for one simple reason. Anthony is a Greek Cypriot. I am a Turkish Cypriot. And as my father once said “we make friends of them, we even break bread with them but we never, ever, sleep with them”.
Our parents ‘ views on the subject were (ironically) very similar, as are our cultures, our genetic make- up, our food and our mothers’ blood pressure, which (predictably) shot up to stroke levels amidst cries of “this will put me in my grave” and “those murdering Greek/Turkish (delete as applicable) bastards stole our house/country/goat”.
Although the Romeo and Juliette star crossed lovers aspect of it really appealed to my sense of drama; ultimately we didn’t care enough about each other to take on over a century of bad blood between our ancestors.
So we had the most mature break up I have ever had. No shouting. No accusations. No anger; just a (sad) mutual acceptance that we had gone as far as we could go.
That was three years ago and although we have texted, emailed and spoken on the phone, we haven’t seen each other since. My phone beeps with another message from him:
Slept in the bath recently?
I laugh out loud. And cringe. Simultaneously. Anthony had taken me away for a romantic weekend. But he was in the middle of a huge negotiation at work and incredibly distracted.
Naturally this was pissing me off. After what felt like unusually perfunctory sex, he rolled over and went to sleep without hugging me. I lay there fuming. Then I decided that I didn’t want to lay in a bed with someone who was being so cold towards me (and being asleep was no excuse in my mind).
I looked around for somewhere else to sleep. The floor was too hard. The chair was too upright. I decided on the bath, took my pillow and the duvet and climbed in.
I woke up to find him standing sleepily over me, “what the hell are you doing?”
I looked blankly at him. I couldn’t tell him I was upset because he didn’t cuddle me. That would have been weak and pathetic and I didn’t feel secure enough with him to expose that side of me.
I couldn’t think of a reasonable explanation fast enough so I continued to stare silently at him, my mouth opening and closing like a goldfish. He looked at me with genuine concern.
Then he leant down and spoke slowly and softly to me (in that way you speak to an elderly relative who is losing their marbles and therefore poses a threat to themselves and/or others),
“ok sweetheart.......let’s get you out of the bath........ and into the bed”.
I let him guide me to the bed, pulled the covers over my head and lay there all night, absolutely mortified.
I never did explain why I decided to sleep in the bath. I preferred him to think I was a total head case rather than admit that I was capable of being soft. Yes. I know. I have issues.
Another message: I’ve missed you, you mad Turk.
I’ve missed him too. And he is less of an ex and more of a friend. And I meet my other friends for a drink so why not him? What harm can it do?
Ok. I know what harm it can do. But the fact that I am trying so hard to justify meeting him means that I have already decided I’m going to do it.
So, what does one wear to meet an ex-boyfriend one hasn’t seen for three years?