Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: Running into Exes

In the comments section of yesterday’s column, reader, 6napkinburger, talked about seeing her ex whom she broke up with five weeks ago. She was in his work neighborhood and rather than risk running into him accidentally, she decided to call him and tell him she was there, thinking she’d have a little more control of the situation that way. Reading her comment got me thinking about running into exes — especially that first post-breakup run-in when the feelings are still so raw.

My first serious boyfriend lived across the street from me, so after we broke up I had to see him all the time. Of course, in those initial weeks after the breakup, I wanted to see him, so I’d walk past his house all the time with hopes of catching him coming or going. I was such a stalker, I’m surprised he didn’t get a restraining order against me. After my second serious boyfriend and I broke up, we tried to remain friends — it was an amicable breakup after living together for several years and we were both still a bit co-dependent and scared of being alone — so we’d have dinner together once or twice a week. Because of that, there was never a weird or awkward accidental run-in, but I do remember feeling some bittersweet awkwardness that he had a framed photo of me up in his new apartment. We eventually quit hanging out once I started dating someone new and eventually, we stopped seeing each other altogether. The last serious boyfriend I had moved to New York shortly after we broke up and the first few months I lived here, I worried about running into him. Of course, New York is big and eventually that silly worry went away, but when I decided to give birth at the hospital I knew he once worked, it returned. Could there be a more awkward time and place to run into an ex than the hospital where you’ve just delivered your baby? Luckily, a quick Google search assured me he’d moved out of state, so crisis averted.

So, what about you? Have you had any awkward, sad, or funny run-ins with your exes? Have you planned to “accidentally” run into them? Do you stalk places they work, live or hang out so that you might see them? Or, are you perfectly sane and go on your merry way the second a relationship ends and never look back? Weirdo.

[photo via this isn’t happiness]

117 comments… add one
  • avatar

    AKchic November 4, 2011, 5:07 pm

    *laugh*
    Okay, I HAVE run into a guy I’ve slept with in the maternity ward. His wife and I delivered the same day. My second, her first. Her and I were friends from high school, he was a guy I used to sell to. I never expected THEM to get married. They divorced a year later. Her and I are still friends. He’s currently in prison.

    The only awkwardness I get comes from the guy I’m with at the time, if they realize that it’s a guy I’ve been with. My second husband finally got to the point that he felt any guy I stopped to chat with was a guy I’d slept with. *sigh* I don’t know if that was a sign of frustrated jealousy, or a sign of how much I got around, or both.

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    • avatar

      TheOtherMe November 7, 2011, 4:51 pm

      Please tell me you didn’t sleep with him in the maternity ward !! 😀

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      • avatar

        AKchic November 7, 2011, 8:43 pm

        *snicker* *laugh*

        Good Goddess no! Boy, I really need to re-word that sentence! Naw, I’ll leave it as is, just for the hillarity!

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger November 4, 2011, 5:14 pm

    Who knew my bad life decisions could be so inspiring? Happy to help! 🙂

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    • avatar

      Emma November 4, 2011, 6:07 pm

      That’s where I get most of my inspiration.

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    • avatar

      Steelbird November 4, 2011, 7:38 pm

      Not a bad life decision… learning experience! 🙂

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  • avatar

    Britannia November 4, 2011, 5:15 pm

    I’ve been lucky enough to only run into an ex ONCE. He was an awful guy who I only dated for like 2 months before realizing his true colors and dumping his ass. It turned out that he was a coke head, to put it plainly, and I wasn’t dealing with that shit. He was also a little crazy in the head.

    Well, I worked in the mall at the time and one day, he went to my OLD workplace and asked where I was. They completely broke the laws of confidentiality and told him I was now working at a different store, and so he went looking for me. He was standing outside my store as I came back from my dinner break. He extended his arms to hug me (despite us having a relatively ugly breakup), and I power walked around him while muttering, “Nooooooo fuckin’ way”. He left after that, but I was shaken that he now knew where I worked and I was worried that he would start stalking me.

    I actually filed a suit against my old workplace for telling him where I was working now, because they are NOT allowed to do that, it’s an extreme breach of privacy and an endangerment to employees’ safety. Luckily it was taken care of outside of court, and I never saw him again after that.

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't November 4, 2011, 5:34 pm

    My first “real” boyfriend and I were on and off for most of my undergrad. We volunteered with the same club at school and thus had to see each other ALL THE TIME. While I would have been happy to just be civil with him and leave it at that when we broke up, he had to be all weird about it and be all touchy-feely with other girls in an attempt to make me jealous. And then claim that “he never stopped having a thing for me” and try to get back together. Multiple times. Moral of the story: he’s an immature doofus and I’m well rid of him!

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  • avatar

    Rachel November 4, 2011, 5:35 pm

    I have yet to see my last serious ex. It was a weird situation because he was out of town visiting friends when we broke up and he didn’t really have anything tying him here, so he just stayed there and I shipped him his stuff. Last I heard he lives with his mom in another state that I don’t really see myself traveling to any time soon, so I’ll probably get to avoid him entirely.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark November 4, 2011, 5:36 pm

    Eh, I think that running into exes is only a big deal if you deliberately chose to make it so. (Or if you genuinely have some crazy, Lifetime TV Movie backstory where the Ex in question was an all out total psycho.) In my humble opinion, the reality of life is simple in that you truly can’t control who you randomly run into… You can, however, completely control with an accuracy of 100% your reactions to said chance meetings.

    It seems to me that lot of people LOVE to create drama, though. So much so that they tend to constantly and needlessly manufacture it. Often, this is probably a subconscious thing.

    I have a good friend where everybody she has ever dated has been/is currently/and will forever always be out to get her. So any chance meeting at Starbucks becomes a loaded moment all about how this “total asshole” is mocking her by being nice and friendly… Of course, if he (wisely) ignores her, he’s still a “total asshole” only now it’s because: “How dare he not say “hi” to me!?” If he just nods politely at her through the crowd, he’s cast as the “total asshole” who thinks he’s better than her by being oh-so-smug. In other words, the guy is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t… Hell, he’s damned just by going to Starbucks.

    Yes, it’s oh-so-exhausting. So much so that at times I play into her petty delusions simply to amuse myself — which seems cruel, I suppose. But you know what? She so desperately wants to go there that in the end I am only doing her a really big favor…

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    • Will.i.am

      Will.i.am November 7, 2011, 4:12 pm

      You are so right. My last ex was somewhat the same way. Everything was a big deal and it became too exhausting for me. Both of our lives have been better, since the breakup.

      The girls that I know that do pounce on drama, are the ones that take their “loser” boyfriends back every time and threaten to break up with them every week. Who wants to sit around and listen to that sh*t all the time?!?!?!?!

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  • avatar

    heidikins November 4, 2011, 5:49 pm

    I got divorced 6 years ago, and last winter I ran into my x-husband, who I had thought lived several states away (he was home visiting his family for the holidays, thankfully, he still lives several states away). He called my name across a parking lot and when I looked up I didn’t recognize him at all. As in, it took me about 2 minutes to place him. I kept thinking “Do I know him? Should I know him? Who is this person and why is he calling my name in a random parking lot? What the hell!” And then it hit me, “Holy sh*t! I was married to him!”

    We were cordial and spoke for about 5 minutes before I shrugged, told him to take care, and drove away. Still, this was one of the strangest experiences of my post-divorce life. I claim PTSD-like symptoms as the reason for my not recognizing him.

    xox

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    • avatar

      AKchic November 4, 2011, 6:33 pm

      *laugh* That is awesome.
      When I saw my oldest boy’s father for the first time in 6 years, I had walked into a Quiznos to go visit a friend (she was the manager). He was the new hire starting that day.
      So, I walk in, freshly married for the second time (not that he knew that), in a suit (I had just gotten off work and hadn’t picked up the kids yet), and we lock eyes and he gets this deer-in-the-headlights look that to this day makes me want to snicker a bit. He automatically walked to the back room. I had my quick two minute chit-chat with my friend, confirmed that she’d be at my house for a movie after closing, and left.
      About 10 minutes later, my cell rings. It’s her. My ex had told her who he was to me and wanted to know if I’d come back to talk to him (note that at this point, the last time we spoke was when he dumped me when I told him I was pregnant – 7 years earlier, and he’d never met my son). I said I would take the kids home and come back in a few hours.
      I did, and while I didn’t feel awkward, embarassed, or anything other than hesitant – I’m pretty sure anyone paying attention to us could feel his awkward feelings. It was almost like he was waiting for me to punch him or something.

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    • avatar

      Rachelgrace53 November 5, 2011, 1:20 am

      That is CRAZY! I can’t imagine what kind of out-of-body type experience that must have been to not recognize your ex-husband… Definitely blame PTSD!

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl November 4, 2011, 7:11 pm

    My last break-up was particularly nasty. He was mentally, verbally and sometimes physically abusive and I was the one who ended it. Clearly he freaked out. I should also point out he was a functioning alcoholic and had been hiding a year long coke addiction from me (one of the many reasons we broke up). One of our first major interactions after the break up was when he broke into my apartment at 3am and stole my cat. Yes, he stole my cat who I had bottle feed since he was 3 days old. Thankfully his roommate was able to talk him into returning Frank the cat.

    Our next interaction was just as fun. He randomly called me on a Sunday afternoon about 6 months after we broke up. For some strange reason unknown to me, I answered the phone. He said he was sick and wanted me to take care of him. Seeing that he is diabetic I tried to walk him through all the steps of checking his sugar over the phone, but he was just too out of it. I went over to find him passing out in a trash filled apartment. I checked his sugar, forced him to eat a candy bar, and left. His sugar level had been at a deadly level of 26 and had I not gone who knows what would have happened. Thankfully I now live 900 miles from him (and he lives in his parents basement so they can take care of him).

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow November 4, 2011, 8:27 pm

      DISlike. 🙁 Glad you got your kitty back!

      I don’t care if I run into any of my exes – in fact, I’m pretty friendly with them – EXCEPT my abusive ex.

      After we broke up, he moved 2000 miles away – however, it was back to our hometown, so whenever I was back, I ran the chance of running into him. Once I went back to visit – didn’t tell him, didn’t put it on facebook or anything – and he texted me saying he had seen me driving!! I didn’t respond. THEN the next night, I knew he’d go downtown to my usual watering holes trying to look for me, so I made sure I didn’t go to those places (we’re from a relatively small town where it’s hard to avoid people). I was sooooo paranoid about seeing him that I couldn’t even have a good time. I made it to the end of the night, and I thought I was in the clear, when I went up to a table where my friend was sitting and BOOM there he was. He was sitting with MY friends, mind you. HOW he found me, I don’t know. All I did when I saw him was put down my drink, turn around, and walk outside. I didn’t want to interact with him in any way whatsoever. I actually crouched in an alley outside until I could make sure he was gone. It was probably over-dramatic, but I was for real scared. I heard glass breaking, and I swore it was him throwing one of his tantrums. Oh, ALSO, my car got egged one of the nights I was in town. Coincidence??

      That was a couple years ago. I saw him again recently, and this time, I thought I would freak out but I didn’t. I didn’t talk to him or acknowledge him in any way, and I’m not sure if he even saw me. But I didn’t turn around and leave, and I didn’t freak out. So, progress, I guess.

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      • avatar

        AKchic November 4, 2011, 8:49 pm

        *hug* I know those feelings all too well.
        My 1st husband had his friend (an MP on post) call the phone company and got a newbie to give him my address. Said I’d left my wallet at the guard station and they found my phone number, but that I wasn’t answering the phone so he wanted to drop it off so I wouldn’t have to have the hassle of driving back out.
        My ex heard the address and thought it sounded like a “hillside” address (that’s a rich area of town) and bragged online to our (then) mutual friends about having found me. Funny thing was, my house was only a few streets away from the apartment complex he was couch-surfing on. Unfortunately, the phone company would only change my number, which wouldn’t help me any, since he did have my address, if he ever chose to actually google it at the time. We moved a year later, when we had money. Our third move because of his stalking, and last. If he ever saw the house, I’m sure he would have flipped out. 5 bedroom, 4 bath, two car oversize garage, 3 story w/ mother-in-law suite (2 bedroom 1 bath, bottom story). I loved the house, I just couldn’t risk having him so close, having him know where I was at the time.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl November 4, 2011, 8:52 pm

        Yeah, you don’t mess with a girl’s cat. Especially one who she got up to feed every four hours for three months.

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  • avatar

    LePinch November 4, 2011, 7:49 pm

    While I haven’t run into any ex-boyfriends, I did have the pleasure of finding out through our local patch(local news) that one of my first ex boyfriends-the guy who I happened to lose my virginity to, who later had his friend call me to tell me I had been dumped, got busted for being in possession of child porn (second time, mind you) and was a registered sex offender. That was awesome. NOT.

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  • avatar

    SpyGlassez November 4, 2011, 8:32 pm

    Well, I was good friends with my first BF before we dated – when we were in high school – and of course had to see him after I broke up with him since we were still in high school. He also would show up at my work, call my house at all hours, drive through my neighborhood, etc. We graduated and I started college, and then he would call my dorm room (I still don’t know who caved and gave him my number) while drunk. Just before I left to go on a school trip my sophomore year, we ran into each other at a mutual friend’s wedding. He tried telling me he was still in love with me (dude, we dated for SIX WEEKS). I said it wasn’t going to happen. I later found out that around that time, he literally threw his then-current girlfriend down a flight of stairs for cheating on him.

    He would send me emails while I was on my study abroad – or rather have other people send emails about him to me – talking about how bad off he was without me. He showed up at my work with his next couple of girlfriends across THREE DIFFERENT JOBS (I also am not sure how he knew where I worked). Literally, he stalked me for 10 years until I moved in with my current BF/Fiance. And yet it wasn’t scary (well, it was at first). It just became…pathetic. I would be polite to him when he would come in.

    I unfriended him once on facebook but got several unfriendly emails and comments from him and from others that were clearly actually from him. So, I friended him, and put him on my most restricted list. Now, I won’t pretend I was blameless – I didn’t know how to break up with someone at sixteen, and at first I was too nice and then later I was WAY TOO BITCHY. However, he was the reason I was 28 before I dated again – it literally took that long to get free of the fear and disgust of guys that I learned from him.

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    • rainbow

      rainbow November 4, 2011, 10:54 pm

      Boy, that dude’s not good to have around, even on restricted. He sounds like a total psycho.

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  • avatar

    Greebo November 4, 2011, 8:32 pm

    There was a guy in high school who had a SERIOUS thing for me, but we never dated. I didn’t realize how hung up he was on me until I started dated someone else–being young and dumb, I believed he could just be a friend, even knowing he wanted more. He called me several times a night after I broke up with my boyfriend, drove around the house (he was 18, I was 13–yes, I was a young high school freshman). He “accidentally” bumped into me at the mall one day and told me he’d forgiven me for ruining his life and breaking his heart. Even now, I don’t think I was really even accidentally cruel to him, but I think I would have been kinder to send him away entirely and not try to be his friend.

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    • avatar

      AKchic November 4, 2011, 8:59 pm

      That’s a bit overdramatic. Okay – waaaay overdramatic. “Ruining his life”? Unless he was dying the next day, there’s no quantifiable way to prove that. Especially with his life expectancy. What a guilt-tripping douche.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark November 4, 2011, 9:12 pm

        Jude Law ruined my life simply by being so damn HOT in The Talented Mr. Ripley… I mean, that meant he had to be mine, right? So, where is he? How can he not see we are meant to be together!?

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      • avatar

        Greebo November 5, 2011, 2:10 pm

        Very weird. Who knew I possessed such tremendous power? 😉
        Thankfully, with only one exception, the men I dated were good guys. While I’m not really in touch with any of them now, that’s just the drifting apart/life happens thing at work. I wouldn’t mind running into most of them, just to see how they are. And I wouldn’t mind if my husband ran into his exes, either.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark November 4, 2011, 8:45 pm

    Wow. Clearly I am doing something wrong with regards to dating… I mean, I can’t even get a guy to call me back — much less stalk me ruthlessly for years on end. Oh, to be so wondrously wanted…

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    • avatar

      AKchic November 4, 2011, 8:57 pm

      Would you settle for internet stalkers?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark November 4, 2011, 9:08 pm

        Perhaps… Desperate times = desperate measures… In all seriousness, I shall soon be launching a blog which will largely consist of random, out of order, “snap shots” of my escapades here on the lowliest fringes of Hollywood. Funny stuff. My life is nothing if not odd and amusing… (At least in retrospect.)

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      • avatar

        Britannia November 5, 2011, 12:03 am

        I really, really look forward to your blog. I stalk your posts on Dear Wendy… like, if I haven’t been on in a few days, I’ll go through the pages and if a topic jumps out at me, I go to its page and then search for “bitter”, because that’s where all the good arguments usually start 😉

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark November 5, 2011, 12:18 am

        Ah, yes. Bittergaymark arguments… I was disappointed that DW proved to be the ONLY place online that utterly ignored the Kartrashian mess this week as I wanted to rip that to shreds… (That said, Bravo, Wendy! Bravo! For NOT covering that non-story…)

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      • katie

        katie November 5, 2011, 2:01 pm

        I was also so happy about that…. Maybe if everyone stopped talking about it she would fade into nothingness!! Please? Lol

        Oh, and loved your kartrashion reference earlier… Very funny!

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      • avatar

        AKchic November 7, 2011, 8:46 pm

        May have to “stalk” you there 🙂

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    • avatar

      Marie November 4, 2011, 11:00 pm

      I have to say,as “flattering” as it is to be stalked,generally you’re being stalked by someone who has problems.Because who in their right minds would keep chasing after someone who obviously doesn’t want them?

      So BGM…don’t feel too bad 😛

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      • avatar

        moonflowers November 7, 2011, 1:17 pm

        It’s only flattering for about half a day. Then it becomes pure paranoia and torture. The charm wears off very very fast. I wouldn’t wish a persistent stalker on my worst enemy.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark November 7, 2011, 8:53 pm

        Ladies, I wasn’t being serious… I don’t REALLY want a stalker.

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    • avatar

      TheOtherMe November 7, 2011, 5:19 pm

      It’s all fun & games until someone hides in your car

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      • avatar

        AKchic November 7, 2011, 8:47 pm

        Or hides a loaded, sawed-off shotgun in the backseat of your car.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster November 4, 2011, 7:50 pm

    One of my best friends is married to my ex’s older brother, so I can pretty much count on running into my ex for the rest of my life. Especially now that she’s preggo. It doesn’t bother me. We’re on the friendly side of civil. It’s been years, after all, so the ugliness of our breakup has long faded.

    …now if only I could avoid their mother! Woman’s a nightmare.

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  • avatar

    Bethany November 4, 2011, 9:41 pm

    My running into the X story still blows my mind, event hough it happened almost 3 years ago. I was with C freshman year in college. We didn’t make it through the year, but we ended up having this bizarre “friendship” that lasted 10+ years. He was a few years older than me and got married to the girl he dated after me. We found excuses to run into each other for years after we broke up (even though he was married) until I finally got some sense knocked into me and realized that I should never talk to him again, because nothing good was to come of out fucked up friendship. Fast forward a few years. I’m 27, working at a good job in the city. Haven’t seen/emailed/talked to C in about 2-3 years (about 8 years after we broke up). I look out through the glass doors of my office one day, and standing in lobby of my floor is C. Last I knew he lived in another state and was married with 2 kids. He got into the elevator and I immediately freaked out. I went down to the desk in the main lobby, checked the sign in sheet, and it was in fact him. He was doing business with the office across the hall. I knew that when he left he was only leaving for lunch, so I kept my eyes open for him to return. When he came back, he was in the hall talking on the phone- so I walked over to him and handed him a note that said “come say Hi when you have a chance”- As I walked towards him I could see him face go from “who is that person?” to “holy shit that’s B”- it was surreal. Anyway, he came over and we talked for over an hour. It felt great to see him again, and finally know for 100% certain that I was glad I wasn’t with him. I loved seeing him and talking to him, but at the same time I was relieved that I was done with that part of my life. Some girls wonder “what if” forever. 9 years later, I had the chance to confirm that my “what if” wouldn’t have ended up the way I wanted, and seeing him just confirmed that I’m on the right path. I got all the closure I needed, and was finally able to 100% move on with my life. He and I have a real connection and I think on some level we’ll always be in each other’s lives but now I know for 100% sure that not being with him “that way” was the right choice for me. It was a day I will NEVER, ever forget, that’s for sure.

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  • rainbow

    rainbow November 4, 2011, 10:51 pm

    After months of not talking to each other, somehow my ex and I decided to take the new people we were seeing to the same place at the same time, one we used to visit together. It was an old abandoned mountain church, with no roof or walls, just a platform, a big cross and stone benches.
    So I was there having sex with my new guy on a picnic blanket, me on top, my back to the path that lead there, when we hear some people climbing it maybe 20 mts away. They take a quick look and walk away. They never got too close to us, so I didn’t even know it was him until later that day when I got a text message saying “sorry for interrupting! i’d recognize that ass from a mile away. xoxo”.
    That was three years ago. He’s one of my best friends now, and we laugh about that day every time we get drunk together.

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  • avatar

    cporoski November 4, 2011, 10:51 pm

    My wierd story was that I dated this guy over and over again. It was actually very low drama but it was seeing each other in high school then on college breaks then when we both lived in the same city. The last time we broke up, he told me he was moving to DC and told me the day before he left which i found annoying. So only 3 months after the latest breakup I met my husband. He searched me out a year later and thought we would fall back into old habits. It was super awkward because I told him I was engaged. He found a stupid excuse to leave within two minutes of finding out. It was the way he left that made it so wierd.

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  • avatar

    Marie November 4, 2011, 10:56 pm

    I only have one ex and our break-up was as amicable as any break-up can be.We met at our summer jobs(but we worked different departments so I only occasionally would see him at work) so when we broke up,we didn’t see each other till that summer,which was about 5 months later.We didn’t go out of our way to talk to each other,but if we happened upon each other we would say hello and chit chat for maybe 5 minutes.He was dating a girl at the time,which I found out via facebook.Really wasn’t that bad because neither of us made a big deal out of it.Then this past May he had some facebook status,I commented on it and a few hours later he sent me an email wanting to know if I wanted to get together for lunch.Since I missed his company(he was a pretty great guy,we just didn’t work out romantically),I said I was getting serious with someone I was dating(who is now my boyfriend)and that I’d like to see him but just as friends.He said he was totally cool with that. And he was.He told me he had broken up with his last girlfriend at the end of last summer and had also missed my friendship(but like me,didn’t want to pursue anything romantic).

    So now it’s not awkward between us at all and we try to see each other once ever week or two weeks.My boyfriend told me I should maintain a friendship with my ex if I enjoyed his company (he be hypocritical if he told me to cut contact with my ex,since one of his best friends is his last ex girlfriend haha).After he said that,he ended up meeting him and thought he was a really cool guy.

    I think how you treat encounters with an ex is in your control.If you don’t want to make things awkward,then don’t act awkwardly.Now,if your ex is violent in any way,that’s a different story.

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  • avatar

    Carolynasaurus November 4, 2011, 10:58 pm

    I worry because I know the company I work for is my ex’s dream job and my worst fear is to show up Monday morning to, “Meet your new coworker!”

    But other than that, he’s pretty easy to avoid.

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  • avatar

    HmC November 4, 2011, 11:11 pm

    I tried meeting my ex for brunch about a year ago… we were together for 8 years, broke up about, wow, 5 years ago now. So 4 years after our break up, and 2 years after hardly speaking at all, I thought it’d be a great idea to meet up for some closure. It was about 30% positive, 20% sad, and 50% awkward. Like having brunch with the zombie of the person you used to love- the person I loved doesn’t really even exist anymore. It’s so sad to me that someone I loved so much for so long, who is such a good person, essentially no longer exists for me. I learned the hard way that closure has to come from within.

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    • avatar

      Rachelgrace53 November 5, 2011, 1:25 am

      Thumbs up for the zombie line!

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  • avatar

    Rachelgrace53 November 5, 2011, 1:36 am

    My main asshole ex (the abuser) and I somehow avoided seeing other for nearly 3 years save once when we walked into Walmart at the same time and kept turning down the same aisles but somehow managed to avoid actually crossing paths to where acknowledgement would have been required. It was incredible that we’d never seen each other considering we had tons of mutual friends from our half-decade of friendship/relationship, including his sister and my next guy.

    But then this summer I had gone over to a friends house for a game night. I walked into the kitchen through the back door and there he was in the next room. He was facing away from me, but I knew it was him by the mop on his head and the obnoxious humor. I was so unnerved and my heart was racing just at the thought, as our last interactions were beyond heinous. I was also furious with the friend who invited him and seriously considered turning around and walking out. I’m proud to say that even though I got stuck sitting next to him (thanks to my former best friend), I behaved in a completely non-chalant manner. Somehow, we didn’t make eye contact or address each other for over 2 hours if I’m not mistaken. But all in all, it was far less awkward than I expected it to be. In fact, we exchanged a pleasantry or two during the evening’s entertainment (a game we loved as a couple).

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph November 5, 2011, 4:12 am

    I haven’t run into my last ex since our breakup, which he did over the phone. We were long distance, so I haven’t seem him since a month before we broke up. Our parents live in the same city and he still goes to the college I went to, which I return to occasionally for football & Disney World.
    After our breakup I was paranoid I’d bump into him at home or school and it would upset my tenuous grip on “not bawling in public.” So much that I would facebook, twitter, and foursquare stalk him so that I could be warned that we were in the same place, and I would practice what I might say and how I might hold my composure in case we did bump into each other.
    That was about 2 years ago, and I think I’d be fine if I bumped into him now. Anyways, I was at yoga on Tuesday… my yoga teacher is really adorable and always has a theme to the yoga class (idk if others do this, she’s the only one at the studio I go to that does it like this). This week’s class was about your body being like a haunted house and finding a way to open the windows and blow out the ghosts in your haunted house. So during that, I decided the thing in my haunted house is that I still twitter-stalk my ex when I’m bored. Not anything major stalkery, but I’ll click over to his page when I see mutual friends mention his name and see if he’s up to anything good, still with the girl he left me for, still flunking out of college, etc. But no more! That skeleton is out of my closet!

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      Addie Pray November 5, 2011, 10:49 pm

      My favorite yoga instructor does that too. Side note: my yoga instructor really drinks her own yoga juice. Sometimes our themes are so …. so yoga-y. Like, the theme will be “today we are going to open our bodies and release the negative energy and replenish your core with blah blah” – and I just think “what the fuck is that and how the fuck do you do that?” woman, I just like to stretch. can’t we just stretch without the talk? but I do admire the passion my yoga instructor has. it’s endearing. i wish i had half as much passion for something, anything.

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        SpaceySteph November 6, 2011, 12:52 am

        Haha I know exactly what you mean! Like sometimes its cute (the superhero themed one where we basically spent the whole day doing warriors was kinda rockin) but sometimes its a little overboard. I’m not gonna renounce my worldly possessions and go live on a commune, wear hemp, and speak only sanskrit. I just have tight hamstrings and am trying to work on it.
        Also, sitbones? Sure.

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  • avatar

    bdubs629 November 5, 2011, 9:39 am

    I had a “serious” boyfriend all through high school (I put serious in quotes because now I realize it was not so serious even though I thought I was in love with him at the time) and when we broke up our senior year, I saw him the day we broke up and never ran into him again. There was no awkward friday night mall run in or anything. Granted, he did live one town over, but his aunt and uncle own a coffee shop in my town that he and his sister picked up hours at. Now four years later, I still haven’t seen him since the day we broke up. I still get a little anxiety when I go home for breaks, but now that I’m older I don’t go home as often. I bet I’ll start to get some of that anxiety right around Christmas…

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    lk November 5, 2011, 11:45 am

    First run-in with serious ex1 – he insisted that we take a walk & that I tell him *everything* that had made me unhappy in the relationship. Long f-ing walk. Ended with ex-sex, duh (me crying the whole time? normal). Best lesson of my life were those 3 months of weird calls/odd make-outs/inappropriate love confessions. Finally attempts at civility ended when he saw me kissing my new boyfriend & broke a window in BF’s fraternity & then broke 12 windows in his dorm building. Real cool, real cool.

    First run-in with serious ex2 – we actually just recently skyped & had a beer “together” haha – man, I love that guy. He is awesome. If anyone is in Chicago, be on the look-out for a tall Canadian artist who looks like Juanes – he’s an absolute gem of a boy & a great kisser : )

    First run-in with serious ex3 – don’t remember…we work together. He brings me breakfast at work still : ) love him too.

    I’ve decided I’m over having exes, so I’m over having boyfriends. I’m going to date until I have a fiance : )

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  • avatar

    Aya November 5, 2011, 3:49 pm

    My last break up was amicable, and I would still hang out with my ex, so there weren’t any awkward run-ins. However, the first time my ex met my now husband was incredibly awkward.
    My husband was house-sitting for one of his co-workers, and we were spending the night there. At some point my husband woke up, and noticed that his white iBook was glowing orange. When he went to pick it up, it belched flames, and burned part of his shoulder length hair off. He managed to quarantine the laptop in the bathtub, and call the firefighters.
    We were too shook up for sleep, so we went to a 24 hour diner where we run into my ex. My husband didn’t feel like he made the best impression, with his hair partially burned off and being out of it.

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  • avatar

    Anna November 5, 2011, 6:11 pm

    I have a funny story about this. It happened in mid to late 2003 right after my boyfriend and I started dating. My ex was a spoiled little prettyboy whose parents were elite millionaires due to success in real estate. He liked to pretend he was hot shit because of this, so he and his spoiled millionaire kid buddies would run around breaking into buildings and causing mayhem at night, then making their getaway in their nice brand new cars they got for free. He actually taught me how to open a door with a credit card. I’m not a criminal though, so I’ve only used that trick when I accidentally locked myself out of my house.

    Anyway, after spoiled little boy and I broke up, about a month later I asked out my current boyfriend (to be nicknamed “nice down to earth guy”). He was about a 1000% improvement in just about every way. However, he does have a bit of a lead foot. Sometime during the first 6 months of our relationship, he had to go to traffic court for a speeding ticket and guess who was also in court? My ex was there for breaking and entering. He knew all about the ex too, and had seen him once at a random party. He said that my ex was up on the stand crying like a little wimp and begging not to go to jail. We laughed about that one for awhile.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark November 6, 2011, 2:11 am

      Wow, so much compassion here for everybody’s exes. Seriously. Am I the only person who somehow doesn’t pick abject psychopaths? You all REALLY need to choose better, I guess.

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        Anna November 6, 2011, 3:24 am

        I won’t dispute that in my case! He was my first serious boyfriend ever so I’m not surprised I screwed up there! The 2nd one is much better.

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        AKchic November 7, 2011, 8:55 pm

        psychopaths blend in.

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  • MELH

    MELH November 5, 2011, 10:15 pm

    I have some good ex run ins…

    Let’s see….my high school boyfriend and I remained in touch somewhat after our break up. My junior year of college I was dating my now husband, and my grandmother passed away. My ex had spent a fair amount of time with my family and I called him and left him a message, which he never returned. I saw him the night of her funeral, he happened to be at the same place I was. I cordially said hi. He asked what I had done all day, and I mentioned that I had to attend my grandmother’s funeral. He responded “Oh yea I got your message. Gotta go.” At that point I pretty much stopped talking to him, since he really wasn’t the same person I knew, who cared so much about his friends.

    The guy I dated my freshman year of college dumped me to get back with his ex. I was still part of their group of friends, and we saw each other regularly. Until his girlfriend threw a fit and I was essentially kicked out of their group, and the party that night. (Side note-that’s when I really fell for my husband, he was there with me and was the only person to stick up for me) A few years later, I was visiting my husband at our old school, and my ex was there for the weekend. We saw each other and caught up quickly, and he hugged me goodbye….and by hug I mean grabbed my ass. I never talked to him again after he did that with my husband standing right there!

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet November 5, 2011, 10:45 pm

    My 2nd serious boyfriend broke up with me when I was 20. We remained friendly for a few months before fading out of each others lives. A year after the break up I threw a party and invited a mutual friend of ours, completely forgetting that he was friends with my ex. Needless to say, I was pretty surprised to see my ex in my apartment. Thankfully we stayed out of each others way and the party was a huge success. I even met and hit it off with a cute guy! At the end of the night, as the sun was starting to rise, only a handful of my friends were still lingering in my apartment. One was the cute guy I was anxious to make out with, another was my ex.

    He would not leave.

    My best friend actually had to kick him out. She was convinced that he was sticking around to get some from me. My guess is that he was just cock-blocking the new guy. Either way, awkwaaard.

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet November 5, 2011, 10:52 pm

    Oh and another… I was dating a guy for a few months when I helped him move into his new place. It was house near campus he found on Craigslist with 3 other roommates. While carrying a box up to his room, I bumped into Steve- an acquaintance I made out with a few times (sloppily, drunkenly, yikes) years before as a rebound from the relationship above. He was also moving into the house. Bizarre considering we lived in a big city.

    Technically not an “ex” but it was still extremely awkward to see my old makeout buddy every time I went over to my boyfriend’s house!

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray November 5, 2011, 11:17 pm

    Hey, guys – I want to quit my job. Like, for real. Quit. Put in my notice. Without another job lined up. I don’t even want another job. I just want to not work for a few months. Do you think this is the dumbest decision ever? I really want to do it. I’m going to do it. I really am. I am. Here I go.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph November 6, 2011, 1:00 am

      Honestly, if you have enough saved up to pay your rent and feed yourself for a couple months, I say do it! You might have to quit your yoga habit though if times get rough.

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        Britannia November 6, 2011, 1:35 am

        It really depends on your financial situation and your flexibility when you start looking for a job again.

        Some people think that having money and stability is the only way to measure success, but if you’re never happy, then what’s the point? You’ll never regret choosing to be happy.

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        SpaceySteph November 6, 2011, 10:47 am

        I agree. My comment about rent was more like a ‘dont default on your lease.’ It’s hard for credit to recover from that kind of thing, and some employers check credit before hiring.

        If you can do this without ruining your credit or prospects it sounds like a good time; otherwise could wind up being a regret.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray November 6, 2011, 12:13 pm

        Ok, I’ve been thinking long and hard about it — and here’s my game plan for those who are interested: my last day will be toward the end of December. [Gasp, no billable hours in 2012 – hooray!] I’ll spend January through March laying low, going to the gym in the mornings, spending the afternoon researching, talking to career counselers, reading, thinking about what I want to do, when, and how. Hopefully in that span of time I will develop my game plan. Then, in the Spring I want to go on a roadtrip across the country – visit all my friends, everywhere in the States. Hit up Idaho and Washington – states I’ve never been too, etc. And in the summer I want to bike across the country – you know, with those organizations that raise money for good causes. [I’ll research this and figure it out during my winter hibernation months.] Then in Fall 2012 I will start whatever it is I’ve decided I want to do. And that, my friends, is the game plan. God bless the no purple thumb options. You know what though, purple thumb me. I know how unhappy I’ve been for the past 7 years. I can think of nothing else that will give me the time to soul search and figure it out. But until then, I’ve got a shit ton of work to do on this beautiful Fall day. Sigh.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy November 6, 2011, 12:39 pm

        Just make sure you have enough money to live on for two years, because that seems to be the average amount of time it takes people to find new jobs. And I wouldn’t advise lying low during the winter months — at least, not so low you’re on the ground. Start looking for freelance/ contract work right away. This will help cushion your savings and create some contacts that may lead to eventual fulltime work.

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        Addie Pray November 6, 2011, 4:37 pm

        Two years? I’m scared. Terrified, actually.

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        scattol November 6, 2011, 5:07 pm

        From what I’ve observed that’s not an unreasonable estimate of the worst case (and you have to be prepared for the worst case because you can’t call “do over” in the middle of that plan).

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      • avatar

        Eljay November 7, 2011, 1:13 pm

        I did that very thing – quit my job with nothing lined up. I was just miserable at that job, had plenty of savings and just did it. Well, four years later (yes four years!) I was never able to make the money I was making when I left, so I’m losing my house, my life is a mess and I wish I had never done it. I have gone through every penny of savings – now have nothing and am starting from scratch. I don’t want to be the Debbie Downer of the group, but think long and hard about this decision. It sounds great and all, but I am living proof of what can happen if it all doesn’t just fall back into place when you want it to. Good luck to you Addie Pray. I’ll keep you in my prayers. 🙂

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        Addie Pray November 7, 2011, 9:24 pm

        Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this, Eljay. I hope you are doing ok.

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        Eljay November 9, 2011, 11:50 am

        Thanks. I’ll make it through this, it’s just so hard to see positivity in anything when you’re so buried in stress and depression. You remember that commercial on depression with the wind-up doll? That is exactly how i feel every single minute of every single day. But my little one keeps me going and keeps me strong. I’m doing this for her.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark November 7, 2011, 11:30 pm

        Yeah, I lost my day job a while back and have been coasting along out here and, trust me, it is BLEAK. The economy is so bad, I would seriously maybe reconsider, AddiePray. Trust me, stressed out and depressed with money in the bank and steady employment is a million times easier to deal with than stressed out, under employed, money running out any day. Seriously, I have a calendar in my head and the edge of the cliff is coming… Yikes.

        Now, I’m not saying that I am anywhere near this point just yet — but I now read in the papers where people just snap and up and kill themselves over their finances and, well, suddenly, it makes a lot more sense. Suddenly, for the first time ever, I kind of actually get it. For the first time, I completely understand how some people just fucking lose it.

        Sorry to be such a downer. And if it was say ten years ago, I’d be all over this idea of yours to take time off and find yourself. Heck, I thought it was a brilliant thing to do for myself when my lackluster job went POOF a while back. The problem is, I DID find myself…only suddenly nobody else seems to be looking for me, so what’s the fucking point?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark November 7, 2011, 11:36 pm

        EDIT: Also, I really HAVE been there, Addie Pray. My last job where we all got laid off. I hated it. It was so stressful and I was woefully underpaid for what I did.., I really wasn’t making much. No benefits… It was a bad situations. Real bad. The irony is now, it suddenly seems like a cake walk by comparison.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark November 7, 2011, 11:39 pm

        The good news is that two years is no longer accurate. The bad new? Three or four is the new norm.

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      • avatar

        HmC November 6, 2011, 6:53 pm

        Addie Pray- Penny for your thoughts. Is big law really that bad? Of course I’ve heard tons of horror stories myself, but would you mind telling me why YOU found it to be so unbearable?

        I’m finishing law school soon and I’m clerking for a big firm, and I’m majorly stressing out about my options. The market is such crap, and the high paying offer is so tempting, and the other law options out there are so daunting.

        Do you still want to work in the legal field? Why’d you go to law school in the first place?

        Honestly if I could go back in time, I would not have gone to law school. Not for the amount I now owe, and the job prospects in front of me. Of course, maybe five years from now I’ll be a happy attorney and I won’t regret going. Who knows.

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        Addie Pray November 6, 2011, 7:23 pm

        I have answers to all of this but I’d need too much space to respond. … I don’t even know where to start.

        What I dislike about big law: the stress to bring in business; the stress when you have too much work – the hours can be brutal; the stress when you don’t have enough work – you fear you won’t make your hours and you’ll be layed off.

        What I dislike about law in general, which may or may not be limited to big law: it hurts my brain – it’s complicated stuff all day long (god, what i’d give for some “down time” at work every once in awhile); i sit and read and write all day/night (not my passion or forte); and just when you master one thing and start to feel comfortable and confidant, more complicated work gets piled on. And there never seems to be an end in sight. I mean, enough already for crying outloud. But what I hate the most is how bitter I’ve become. Things I like: my coworkers and bosses (they all are very nice – I’m lucky), my office, my secretary (she is very smart and organized… and she coddles me), the pay and benefits, … and I do like pearls.

        But let’s focus back on the negative… I’m tired. And bitter. I feel like life is passing me by. I haven’t had a meaningful relationship since I started practicing law. And I can’t blame the guys. I mean, who would want me like this? Not me. I’m annoying.

        HmC, you shouldn’t get advice from me. There are plenty of people who thrive in big law *and* have good balance and a good attitude. I don’t know how they do it. I just know I can’t do it. Follow their lead until you can’t take it anymore, that would be my advice. And in the mean time, until you know with certainty that you can keep it up for the rest of your life, avoid the golden handcuffs (ie, don’t run out and buy property that requires you to maintain the same level of income). That’s one thing good I do, or didn’t do. No golden handcuffs here.

        God I’m losing it.

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        Addie Pray November 6, 2011, 7:27 pm

        I also really like donut day. It’s on Wednesdays. I will miss that.

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        Shadowflash1522 November 7, 2011, 11:54 am

        Donut day is Friday for us. Start the day with a rush of sugar and end having accomplished NOTHING!

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      • MELH

        MELH November 6, 2011, 10:11 pm

        I’m glad you answered this, I was wondering the same thing! It was nice to get some insight into big firm life. I’ve been looking at both, and in this job market, I have to. The big firm salary is attractive, especially since my husband currently works an hourly salary and we’re not exactly rolling in the money, but on the other hand, this billable hours required at a big firm makes me wonder how I can balance my brand new marriage and working crazy hours. However, reading and writing is my forte, and I enjoy that, so that gave me a little hope. I appreciate knowing about your experience, and if you choose to leave and pursue a different path, I would definitely be interested in hearing about it!

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        HmC November 6, 2011, 11:24 pm

        Thanks for responding! I’m an older law student, and I worked in big firms for years before going to law school, so believe me your issues are not new to me. The Golden Handcuffs certainly do take their toll, that I’ve seen. But you’re hardly alone Addie Pray, retention of associates in Big Firms is sort of a joke. I have often gazed in awe upon Partners that seemed to have it altogether, only to eventually learn that they weren’t as together as they seemed. So don’t feel bad.

        I guess, since I’m getting ready to dive in, I’m asking myself the hard questions about what other options might be out there and whether I might be happy doing them. I like the law, I do. And I don’t want to end up in a job that makes me stop liking it. Nor do I want to end up homeless….

        It’s tough. :/

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        SpaceySteph November 7, 2011, 1:33 am

        I totally want you to do this, because I want to and can’t. Though my job is not in a big fancy law firm, alot of the same stuff applies: I have to think all the time, which makes my brain hurt. And I am tired. Expecially writing this from a night shift after only getting 4 hours of terrible, lawnmower-filled sleep (I know I can’t expect my neighbors not to mow their lawns on Sunday afternoon, but I sure wish I could).
        And bitter, and stressed out. Also living your childhood dreams is way not what its cracked up to be.
        But then again, what am I gonna do? One of my coworkers just left to work for Shell, as he put it in a going away email “I’m going to sit on a big pile of money at the expense of the environment and my childhood dreams.” Its hard to walk away from the international space station. But I would kill for a nap.

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        ele4phant November 7, 2011, 2:14 am

        I have to say, being required to think at work doesn’t sound bad at all to me. At my last job, I never had to think, and it was torture. There is nothing more soul crushing then doing repetitive, mindless work, all day every day. But just like you guys, the pay was great and I was scared to leave. As it turned out, the choice was made for me when I got laid off.

        Now I am in graduate school, where I have to think all day, and I LOVE it. Fingers crossed that when I finish I can find a job that isn’t simple enough for a monkey to do.

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        SpaceySteph November 7, 2011, 2:44 am

        There’s got to be a happy medium between soul crushing tedium and overheating brain. Or maybe not, maybe the only answer is to work really hard, think really hard, and then quit for awhile.

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      • JK

        JK November 7, 2011, 8:54 am

        I think your plan is really brave.
        Like others have said, make sure you have enough savings to support yourself for a while,
        But really, how many people tak risks like that, or give up money for sanity, peace of mind or happiness?? I say go for it. I´m sure you´ll regret it more if you don´t quit than if you do.

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        6napkinburger November 7, 2011, 11:35 am

        Hey!
        I don’t think it’s the dumbest decision ever but I do question your timing. I’m nervous about you quitting right before bonuses come out. Or did you mean late late december, as in after bonuses. It would seem a little imprudent to quit right before bonuses.

        Have you considered talking to any of the recruiters who call all the time? Discussing a job and negotiating a start date of Fall ’02? If you hate your job that much, this type of activity might actually make you happy; more so than just up and quitting. And then you’d have a less daunting game plan.

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        Sarah November 7, 2011, 3:00 pm

        I’m a bit worried with the sentence, “Then in Fall 2012 I will start whatever it is I’ve decided I want to do,”. Figuring out what you want to do and doing what you need to to survive are different things. This economy isn’t built for getting the chance to pursue what you want to do anymore. If you want something better and more fulfilling then the average desk job, you have to be 110% motivated to work hard to get it. If you are honestly sure that working 8 hours working at a diner is better than your job now, then you should feel ok about your plan. This isn’t an insult, but it is the reality of the situation. If I leave my job now before I get the chance to find my next one, I know I’ll be putting extra froth of caramel lattes at Starbucks to make rent. This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I have to understand my reality.

        Please please please make sure you have the money for all of these things now. Have you got a high end bicycle? They usually start around $700. And training to cycle that long can take months. Can you put the effort needed in for that while also diving into research for a new career? Will you have the money to take classes in a new chosen career if its needed (which most will)? Sometimes I get crazy jealous of my friends who got to travel to Costa Rica for a year or work at an non-profit building houses. But then I remember that these friends had their parents foot the bill for these adventures. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t appreciate a vacation from work, but sometimes the scariest thing in the world isn’t trying to make a break from your life, but finding out how to satisfying live every day in it.

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      Anna November 6, 2011, 3:28 am

      You just made me think of the old movie Office Space…”You mean you’re going to quit? No, I mean I’m just going to not go anymore. Come to think of it, I’m not going to pay bills anymore either. I’ve never really enjoyed that.” LOL

      But seriously, if you have a plan for a new career you want to go after and can support yourself in the meantime then go for it! Live your dreams!

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      hhr November 6, 2011, 4:19 am

      I broke up with my bf and quit my job in August and moved halfway across the country. I still don’t have a job and I’ve kind of just been playing and having adventures for a few months. It’s been fun but it’s also reeeeeeeeeeeeally hard to get motivated to find a job now that I’ve been free for awhile and my savings are running lowish. But I don’t regret quitting; I HATED my job and it was making my life miserable and making me physically ill. There are definitely some people who judge me for quitting with nothing lined up, but I don’t wake up hyperventilating drenched in sweat in the middle of the night anymore from work stress. I say… Fuck it. Go for it.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy November 6, 2011, 6:22 am

      uh-oh.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray November 6, 2011, 7:35 pm

        PS, I’m sorry I dragged my work woes into this weekend thread; no one wants to read this crap. I’m hereby officially stopping with the bitching … starting now. No more bitching about work out of me, everybody. Starting now.

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        ForeverYoung November 6, 2011, 7:54 pm

        I really appreciate it actually. As someone who just graduated law school I have felt pressure to work at a big firm, but I just know myself and don’t think it’s for me. I have been looking into public interest….have you considered that? I know the pay is a lot less, but it seems like it is way more reasonable hours…like closer to 50.

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        Addie Pray November 6, 2011, 9:25 pm

        There’s public interest, inhouse, government, and small firm law that I have yet to explore… I’ve been looking for inhouse, but those are so few and far between. But good for you for knowing yourself well enough to know you won’t like big law. I was won over by the wining and dining. Those tricky assmonkeys.

        So, I left the office tonight full of self-absorbed thoughts about my life and career – and so naturally went to a bar downtown to eat and drink alone in misery. And I ran into — not an ex — but my ex’s mom. So finally I have something to to contribute that is at least kind of on topic with this weekend thread. So I ran into my ex’s mom. Which is random because we are both from Missouri, not Chicago where I now live and where I ran into his mom. She is a former Miss USA. I am not. And my eyes were all puffy because I had been crying in the office today. And I’m been wearing the same yoga pants and sweat shirt since Saturady morning. She still looks like a super model even now at 65. that fucker (slash, wonderful lady). She asked how I was doing and I started crying and said “fine, except I want to quit my job.” FML, FML. She wants to get together tomorrow to talk to me. Great. No, I don’t need this. She’s probably calling her son now to say “good job dumping her sad, frumpy ass.” Ok, *now* I am done complaining. (But, in my defense, this was more about running to an ex [ex’s mom] and less about work.)

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        ForeverYoung November 7, 2011, 3:35 pm

        I should have gone into sociology because I am so interested in learning about why people made the decisions they did, what they would change going back in time, and how they intend to change their decisions in the future to lead happier lives. You should start writing a blog or something for my own personal enjoyment. Preferrably after your 3 glasses of de-stressor wine.

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        Addie Pray November 7, 2011, 5:02 pm

        We could call my blog “Prayers for Addie Pray” – because I would need them!

        I really enjoy reading everyone’s 2 cents – and they are all good things to consider. Today was a better day. I’m getting together with my ex’s mom on Sunday to discuss life and career — and I will be sure to look good and composed then, so she can tell her son how, well, good and composed I was. But today was extra good because a prayer was answered: a company that is looking for inhouse employment counsel called me to see if I’d be interested… WTF? Yes, sir. I mean, YES. I mean, HOW DID YOU KNOW?? I mean holy shitballs!

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        ForeverYoung November 7, 2011, 6:01 pm

        Wow that is awesome!! Talk about good timing. I know this is jumping ahead but if you really do end up getting the in house counsel job you should make sure that your start date is at least one month after your final day at your current job. That way you get the best of both worlds – a new job you will love (or at least like more) and a long vacation – I recommend Thailand or Costa Rica – Keep us updated!

        Also – Can I have your job in Chicago when you leave – job prospects are not looking good where i’m at. 🙂

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        Matcha November 9, 2011, 12:03 pm

        Awesome!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark November 9, 2011, 12:24 pm

        Yeah, Thailand was BEYOND amazing… If that’s where you go, hit me up, but by all means be sure to go to Railay (Rai-lai) — there seem to be multiple spellings… I’ve heard only good things about Costa Rica, too.

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        ForeverYoung November 9, 2011, 9:45 pm

        I’ve always said if this whole lawyer thing doesn’t work out i’m going to live in a hut in Costa Rica and be a yoga instructor on the beach to rich tourists. Giving up material possessions in exchange for inner peace – totally worth it.

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      kryssie81 November 6, 2011, 10:54 am

      A girl I know worked for a major law firm and was pretty miserable. Instead of quitting, her law firm has “sabbatical” where you can basically take some time off (I don’t think she is being paid) but then can resume her job after 3 months. It might be something you should look into or propose.

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      scattol November 6, 2011, 11:00 am

      Yup, up there in worst decision ever.

      Not that “Taking a break” won’t do you good, but it’s your job prospects later that will be really problematic. Considering the tough job market, and for years to come, it can take you many more months than you fathom to find something else. Furthermore it is reported that job hunting becomes harder after long period of unemployment (6 months to a year+). Simply put there are enough candidates out there that they don’t need to pick someone with a spotty employment record.

      If you have a husband that will carry you while you explore your inner self, sure, otherwise unsatisfactory work life will be replaced by starvation and homelessness. An even less fulfilling prospect.

      That said, ultimately the gamble is yours to make.

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        Addie Pray November 6, 2011, 12:18 pm

        I think it’s a risk I have to take. The stress is killing me. Not to sound dramatic, but I’m just not able to handle it much longer. Though, I’m clearly nervous about this gamble because I’m asking strangers to tell me this is a dumb decision.

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        scattol November 6, 2011, 4:48 pm

        Going back here to find hindsight I am not sure what to think.

        There’s deep truth in Maslow’s pyramid and trying to reach the top by ripping out the foundation underneath is a risky strategy.

        What I would do (well try to do anyways) is come up with a new career plan or find a new job first. Once that’s nice and lined up, quit the current job and move on. This way you minimize the risks, which funny enough, goes towards the goal.

        Remember that you pretty much will always be somewhat of a slave. Either to your boss, to your customers or to mother nature (as in the back to nature plan). Surprisingly typically the boss works out to be the most forgiving of all three masters. How you deal with this is a matter of choice on your part. For my part, every week Mike Rowe reminds me how lucky office tower dwellers actually have it.

        Note: I am not a professional advice columnist so “Your mileage may vary”

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        lk November 7, 2011, 2:40 pm

        Also – just a reminder – I know this is the opposite of uplifting, but it’s also the epitome of uplifting: you will never be happy – your lows will always be your lows; now, it’s work – later, maybe it will be food insecurity or unemployment or a bad breakup or a termite infestation or dark cloudy weather or something rude a stranger says to you…. lows are impossible to eradicate : ) Try to focus on the little joys & ask the universe to heal the big pains

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    • MELH

      MELH November 6, 2011, 1:52 pm

      I don’t have any advice..but being as I just finished law school and passed the bar exam, and had an interview with a big firm on friday, you’re making me a little nervous about my career choice! (well that, and the one interviewer who told me her fiance wants to burn down the firm sometimes because he sees her so little….)

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    Painted_lady November 6, 2011, 2:14 am

    A lot of my exes when I was younger were already friends when we started dating and remained friends afterward – other than some initial awkwardness, nothing too dramatic. One guy and I were on and off for years, and I even became friends with a couple of his girlfriends that he had when we were “off.”

    Only in the last few years have I dated guys with whom clean breaks were needed, at least initially. I’ve talked on here about the ex before Painted Dude who made me feel terribly needy and pathetic over simple things like remembering I desperately wanted a teaching job and his forgetting to tell me his roommate’s school was looking for a theatre teacher. We’ll refer to him as The Vegan (nothing against vegans, just he was really inconsiderate about taking my palate into account in his search for increasingly boring food). A few weeks before I started seeing The Vegan, I’d ended things with a guy I’d only dated for about a month who didn’t find me to be a very interesting girlfriend as I’m not prone to drama and all his other exes were the sort of girls who would show up sobbing in the middle of the night at his door because of some perceived conflict. We’ll call him Drama Dude. So The Vegan was designing for a theatre production that had also hired me for backstage. We went to work together, went and ate at this nasty all-night Vietnamese cafè after, it was lovely (love Vietnamese, but this place was the Vietnamese version of Denny’s). Then a few days before opening, the board operator The Vegan had been training backed our, and they had to hire a new guy last-minute. Who, as The Vegan told me over Starbucks, was Drama Dude. Drama Dude has this habit of ostensibly trying to “clear the air” about awkward topics, which usually entails giving any involved parties every detail of his role in whatever drama’s happening, which usually just serves to create more drama. So I knew he was going to feed The Vegan a 20-minute narrative of precisely what went down in our very brief romance. So I had to very quickly decide whether or not to tell The Vegan about Drama Dude’s and my history, given that he would be training this guy in a few short hours. I decided to tell him, and my instinct turned out to be right…Drama Dude gave the Vegan the whole rundown that night, which was awkward, but at least The Vegan was prepped for it.

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    Bekah November 6, 2011, 8:36 am

    So I didn’t run into my ex per say, but I definitely turned on the TV and he was on Dr. Phil. Apparently, he knocked up the girlfriend after me with triplets and shotgunned married her out of college. They were dirt poor and she refused to have sex, because she didn’t want to have anymore kids. Watching Dr. Phil, bitch him out (he cheated on me) was a spectacularly awesome and strange experience….

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      Bethany November 6, 2011, 5:27 pm

      I just saw my X’s wife on Say Yes to the Dress! (she was there with her sister, who was the bride)- It’s VERY strange seeing someone you know on TV randomly! It’s like “hey- I didn’t give you permission to be in my living room!”

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        Bekah November 7, 2011, 8:59 am

        I agree… I mean I really didn’t want to here about their sex life, but it was like a train wreck. I couldn’t look away!

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  • Chaotonic

    Chaotonic November 6, 2011, 11:01 am

    Alright I have now carefully mulled over whether or not to tell my ex story for a couple of days and I have finally given in to temptation. The break up was a horrible beast of nastiness that when it was finally over I had a good 2 week stay at the Navy Medical Hospital over here in VA. My ex had beaten the ever living daylights out of me and within a couple of days of recovery I just lost it and had a super bad mental break down where I wondered why I was such a bad person that not only did my parents abuse me but my boyfriends abuse me. Anyways after that we stopped speaking, if we ran into each other on the ship he would just do an about face and run, not walk as far away as possible. Kinda hilarious.
    Eventually I left the command and about a year later I had a facebook friend request from him, in that year I attended therapy, started having standards, and just completely emerged from beaten, broken shell as a new woman. So I accepted it more out of morbid curiosity then anything else. Never really visited his profile, would comment here and there on some status but he pretty much just fell off my radar until earlier this year when he was leaving the Navy. He sent me a private message asking to meet up before he left and I figured he wanted to clear the air or apologize or whatever stupid reason. So I agreed and had my then fiance now husband tag along to the hookah bar.
    OMG.
    This dude….holy crap. Total wanna be hipster, started off the conversation by saying he was living on his friends couch and he was cool with it because he couldn’t afford to pay rent or food so his mom and aunt kept sending him cash. I asked him about the college he had been attending, well it turns out he was forcibly removed because he had an innappropriate relationship with a 15 year old. The dude is 23 and you’re “talking” to a 15 year old? He swears its only talking but I’ve never seen anyone kicked out of bible / minister college for just talking to a 15 year old.
    He destroyed his Subaru WRX and was now driving a BMW that was maybe manufactured in the 70’s, it honestly looked liked it might day at any moment and I only mention this because he asked if there would be anyway I could give him a couple of dollars to help him fix it before he left on his cross country trip to go home to Colorado.
    He then preceded to try and give me relationship advice, now mind you unless he was in a relationship with the 15 year old I am the only person he has ever been with, as in I took his virginity and he has never had anyone since. My husband was pissed, he hadn’t said two words all night and just snapped and calmly told the dude there was no way he could be giving us advice when he was in no situation to provide it.
    Anyway he just went totally down hill after that. He’s still on my facebook, he still asks me to go snowboarding, along with any attractive female friends that are on my page as well. This was probably the most awkward situation of my life and the only thought I had afterward was “WTF was I thinking at the ages of 18-20?”

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  • Chaotonic

    Chaotonic November 6, 2011, 11:04 am

    Oh and one other thing he was fired from working at farm fresh because he took a swing at his female manager. He was quite proud of himself and the story was he was counting out the till for the night and managed to come up a hundred dollars short exactly so his manager was called over and she started freak out and asked WTH was wrong with him and whether he had taken the money. He became furious and took a swing at her, which luckily missed. He swears he quit, but I’m pretty sure he was fired. That story was the story that made me realize that maybe I didn’t start or deserve the fight that put me in the hospital. God what an idiot.

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  • Lyra

    L November 6, 2011, 11:49 am

    My stories aren’t nearly as good as some of these posted already…but my boyfriend on the other hand, has some CRAZY exes.

    The first one, his high school sweetheart with whom he was on and off again for 3 years, did not treat him very well while they were dating. Twice during their “off’ periods she cheated on him…and finally he had enough and broke up with her for good in their senior year. Then she got crazy and kind of went with whoever would take her. The irony? One of the guys she cheated on my boyfriend with is now his best friend and roommate…and happens to be gay. The girlfriend has a 3-year-old kid. She actually asked my boyfriend to babysit for her a couple of times. He thought about it briefly and decided to leave that drama in the past.

    The other one was a “relationship” that he had that literally lasted 3 weeks…all long distance. She was saying from day one how she wanted to spend her entire life with him and talking about how amazing it would be. He was infatuated with her so he went along with it until he realized that she was a complete weirdo. When I first started dating him 2.5 years ago, she actually started calling him and sending him Facebook messages about how she still “loved” him and he should come back to her. One of the messages on his voicemail was “I just called so I could hear your voice.” He quickly blocked her number from his phone and blocked her from Facebook, never to hear from her again…thank goodness.

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      6napkinburger November 7, 2011, 11:49 am

      Um… if they were in an “off” period, then it isn’t cheating. And responding to an important relationship by sleeping around “[going] with whoever would take her”] is a rational, albeit unhealthy way of dealing with the rejection. Not at all crazy. Way harsh with the slut-shaming. Were you guys even dating then? Why so much vitrol for this 18 year old girl?

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        6napkinburger November 7, 2011, 12:47 pm

        Correction: It should read: “And responding to THE END of an important relationship by sleeping around (“[going] with whoever would take her”) is a rational, albeit not entirely healthy, way of dealing with the rejection.”

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    JJ November 7, 2011, 10:47 am

    My first serious boyfriend and I were together for over a year and we had mutual friends so sometimes we would run into each other. The worst was when he was with his new girlfriend who I met through him and we became close.One of the worst times that I had to deal with them was at a mutual friend’s wedding a few years ago I stopped speaking to both of them for about a year and eventually, she had distanced herself from the group and they broke up after just a few months.

    As far as my other exes, I made a clean break and haven’t any contact or run-ins with any of them. In July, I moved 5 hours away to live with my now fiance and things couldn’t be better.

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  • Shell

    Shell November 7, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I ran into my first serious boyfriend 4 weeks post break up, holding hands with the girl he continually lied about cheating on me with (it’s 3 years later and they are currently living together). I fortunately was on my way to a good girlfriend’s place, who stated, you just went through the worst possible running-into scenario, so now you don’t have to worry about it : ) I’ve always kept this in mind when running into additional ex’s.

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    Dina November 7, 2011, 2:57 pm

    I totally ran into one of my exes while I was with a new guy I was dating. I had dated this guy while I was living abroad – he lived in the country where I was studying – so once I left to return to the States, I figured I’d never have to worry about seeing him again.

    Fast forward 3 years, and I’m visiting my long-distance boyfriend in Chicago and we go out for dinner on a Saturday night. I sit down and, who walks out of the kitchen door of the restaurant? My international ex! He was living in Chicago for several months and managing the very restaurant we had chosen that night. I HAD to say hi, so I approached him. He looked like he’d seen a ghost when I walked up! We actually managed to have a nice conversation, but man, that’s a meal I won’t forget any time soon!

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    JJ November 7, 2011, 6:25 pm

    i meant fiancee

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    Mary November 7, 2011, 11:57 pm

    I dated a guy that lived relatively near my home, and for quite some time after we broke up, every time I was in his neighbourhood I looked around and tried to find excuses to run into him, which of course never happened. Some time later, I was there with my current boyfriend and of course I spotted him! The worst part was, my boyfriend was asking for directions and he ALMOST asked my ex, luckily he had seen me and rushed right past us while looking down (it had been kind of an awkard break-up and he had asked me out a few times afterwards but I was already with my BF). I was so nervous I had to tell my BF what had just happened and he laughed at me.

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