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Very Personal

I hope this post will be interesting to A and Y, who both asked me about my ex and got answers that were neither entertaining nor informative, and who both hear a lot about the ex (if you ever read this – sorry, A, I know you’re not really a romantic-relationships person either; sorry, Y, but you’re just way more experienced with relationships than me, and I come out of every rambly conversation with something new). This is both long and very personal and I can think of at least one subscriber who might not want to read it – and one other who would probably be quite interested. This post has also seen some minor addenda (more than I usually make) since it was originally published, so don’t worry if what you see in your email and what you see here are slightly different.


Last week I went for dinner with a girl from school. The term hadn’t started yet and people were still arriving on campus, catching up on each other’s summer shenanigans (oh, you went home? I went to Peru, then the UK, then Belgium, then Singapore, then Amsterdam, all while doing an internship with the United Nations and learning three foreign languages, oh no, I’m not jetlagged at all…), which was what we were doing when I mentioned – with a bit of hesitation – ‘so my ex came to visit a few days before I left…’

My dinner companion gave me a look of mixed horror and surprise. ‘Ah,’ she said, sucking the air sharply between her teeth in a sort of hiss of pity. ‘I’m sorry. Are you…you know, all right? How are you feeling?’

I didn’t really know what to say. ‘I don’t know, but I think so’, while probably the most truthful answer, seemed too negative and felt almost like an insult to what a nice time the ex and I had had together and how happy and comfortable I’d felt. So I brushed it off and started describing the museums we’d gone to instead.

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