Breaking up the new relationship
Once you’ve accepted the fact of the divorce, you begin to get on with your life. There comes a day when you look at people of the opposite sex with some interest (and not with horror because they are the same sex as your ex) or, you may discover that you are gay, or you may, defiantly turn gay (this is a joke, let me quickly add before I am lynched at the gay parade on the 19th of November in Delhi – and I will be there to support them).
BURNT FINGERS This renewed interest (often tentative, as many will point out the difficulty of trying to burn your fingers again – it takes some courage – once bitten twice shy) brings with it its own pitfalls. Of course no relationship hiccups can be as bad as that first big failure, so whatever goes wrong in subsequent relationships is usually rather funny. I say this to reassure you and to encourage you to burn your fingers again – so that we can grow the numbers of our burnt fingers club.
PERMANENTLY IRRITATED Well… thanks to the divorce I am now in the unlikely position of having to deal with courting males. Last month I noticed that my state of permanent irritation stemmed from my relationship. I became more and more aware that the guy I was going out with was on a completely different wavelength from me so we decided to part ways. Well, rather, I decided…
We meet at Barista for coffee – and he knows why we are meeting because I have already told him. However, he says it’s not fair to break up over the phone. I agree and wanting to be fair (don’t ask me why I did this, nobody has been this nice to me when they broke off with me, but I wanted to be a nice person, sigh) agree to meet. He pushes to meet at my apartment because he says he misses my cats.
(Does he really believe I will fall for any of that? The transparency of his ruse is an insult to me). I insist on Barista. I arrive to find him sitting in the couple’s corner, ‘invitingly’, on a sofa. I firmly seat myself in the noisiest part of the coffee shop, choosing a table with upright chairs. TOO PAINFUL TO BE TOLD What proceeds is too painful to be told, but it must be told. He spent an hour persuading me to see the sense in our remaining together. The reasons he gave were – because we are so well matched (only he sees it that way), have so much in common (I can eat out every single evening and must watch every film in town) his favourite pastime is watching TV at home every evening and he had, in the short space of three months reached the stage where he was attempting to get me to ‘mend’ my bad habits! His dabbling in astrology was used as another pressure tactic because he, God forbid, had ‘seen’ that we have a life together. I point out to him that this is not what I want. His line of persuasion at this point has to be heard to be believed – “Sometimes we must bow to forces greater than ourselves and follow what the stars have in store for us.” Eh?
THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF SELF FLAGELLATION This was getting nowhere. He just did not understand that it was over. After wheedling, he switched to offensiveness, being rude, making odious comparisons, which frankly I could only laugh at. The next step was sliding down the slippery slope of self flagellation – “tell me what is wrong with me, I will improve and you will never find me doing that again.’ I resisted this oh-so-tempting offer. Why? Well because I had no desire to see him improve, as I’m not even interested in the new improved version and so didn’t wish to waste time and energy going into all that was wrong with him. There’s also no need to be unnecessarily hurtful.
ROUND AND ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH Finally, when we had gone round the break up spiral for an hour my friend (skulking around the same market, scoffing margheritas with her husband and keeping an eye out for me should I feel the need to yell for help) phoned and I bid a hasty farewell and scooted. But that was not the end of the story…