Single In The Suburbs, Installment 130
Our writer’s ex-husband has become quite emotional since Ethan’s arrival on the scene. Is Craig trying to woo Sara back, or is he simply feeling nostalgic?
To read the entire series of articles from the beginning, click here.
n our last installment, our writer shared an awkward moment with ex-husband Craig while bonding in a coffee shop over their shared love for 80s-kitsch icon, Mr. T. Is this gesture the beginning of some kind of reconciliation between the two? Or is Craig simply grieving over their failed marriage?
Wednesday, 1:50 p.m.
Craig takes a deep breath. “I miss you.”
All of a sudden, I feel like I’m starring in my own soap opera. All that’s missing here is the dramatic music and a camera zooming in on my startled face. “What did you just say?” I ask Craig, certain
I must have misheard him. Surely he said, “I’m a shoe.”
|I feel like I’m starring in my own soap opera.|
“You heard me, Sara,” he says, his eyes welling up with tears. “I. Miss. You.”
I must pause at this point to share an observation my friend Sherry once made about children. An unwanted toy becomes instantly attractive as soon as the other kid picks it up. Likewise, an unwanted woman becomes instantly attractive as soon as another man expresses a serious interest in her. At least, that seems to be the case here. Why else would Craig suddenly be missing me? I’m the same person I was six months ago, a year ago, three years ago. The only difference is that now, probably for the first time since Craig and I split up, I am involved with someone who might actually turn out to be The One. I can sense it, and obviously so can Craig.
He reaches over to flick at Mr. T’s head and it starts bobbling. He picks up the doll and begins playing ventriloquist. “Come on, baby, tell your old man you miss him, too.”
I gently pull the doll out of Craig’s hand and put it back on the table. “You’re not my old man, Craig. You haven’t been my old man for several years.” I let out a long sigh. “What is going on with you? There’s a reason we got divorced, remember? Why is this happening now?”
It takes me a moment to realize that my cell phone is ringing. I’d changed from the default chirp because I’d gotten to the point that I thought I could hear it everywhere, all the time, even when I wasn’t carrying my phone. Now it’s playing “Super Freak” by Rick James — embarrassing, yes, but I figured I’d be less likely to think I hear it all over the place. By the time I dig my phone out of the black hole that is my purse, I’ve missed the call. I snap the phone open to see who called. It was Ethan. His timing is perfect because right now I
need a reminder that there is another man on the planet who wants to be with me and another life I’m about to embark on — assuming Craig abandons this crazy new idea of his and moves out of the way.
|I want you to give us another chance.|
“I’ve given this a lot of thought,” Craig says. “I was an idiot, Sara. You are the sexiest, smartest, most loving person I have ever known and I took you for granted. I was such a fool to let you go. I’ve dated a million women since we split up and I swear to God, nobody has even come close. I miss us. I miss our family. I want you to give us another chance.”
I am disoriented and dumbstruck. Craig is my ex-husband, the father of my children, and one of my closest friends. We were practically kids when we met, we grew up together, and then grew apart. When we split up, he made it quite clear that he was a happier man, free to flirt, free to date women closer to our kids’ age than his, free to experience sex with a frequency and variety he never had with me (as he often boasted after our divorce). What could he possibly want with old, boring me?
I ask him to tell me what’s going on in his life right now. I’m no psychologist but it seems likely that there’s something else going on, something that probably has very little to do with me. My phone rings again and this time I catch the call. It’s Ethan calling to say that he keeps thinking about the time we spent together — time, as in, sex — and has to see me again. I can feel myself blushing. Craig is watching me. “Me too,” I say.
“Are you with someone?” Ethan asks. I remember that he isn’t keen on me being friends with my ex-husband. I want to tell him the truth, but I also don’t want to make him feel insecure, not now, not when things are starting to blossom between us. “Sara, who are you with?”
Attention, faithful fans of Single in the Suburbs! Our writer, Sara, will be winding down her column with the final installment scheduled to appear in October 2010. We’d love to hear how the ongoing saga of Sara’s love life has affected you personally. Have you tried online dating yourself? Have you struggled to re-enter the dating world after the end of a long-term relationship? Did Sara’s story encourage you to get out there and date again? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments and stories may be included in a follow-up article discussing the series’ overall impact and what Sara sees for herself in the future.
Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.
Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 131