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Grudging acknowledgments

February 21, 2013

According to Facebook and one of my good friends/fellow relationshit survivors, it’s my ex’s birthday today. I wouldn’t have remembered the occasion if not for those reminders–I’m worse than your stereotypical dude’s dude at attaching significance to given dates, and the only reason I was ever able to avoid spending days in passive-aggressive hell was the flurry of packages and cards from his family in the days leading up to the occasion itself.

But thanks to Facebook and that text yesterday–“I see that tomorrow is [his] bday. Are you going to text him?”–I can’t feign ignorance. And since several of our mutual friends have already wished him many happy returns, I feel obliged to say something to prove I’m not feeling bitter over the breakup. I have no right to be; ending it was my decision.

On the other hand, I also have no wish to initiate contact. I am still bitter over what I regard as an invasion of my privacy, and since all of the friends I’ve told about the matter, including mutual friends of ours, agree that was a douche move on his part, I feel vindicated in my lingering resentment. If I were to contact him and he to respond, I have a feeling all that resentment would come spilling out, and I’d hate to have a nasty comment I made diminish our mutual friends’ opinions of me.

Fortunately for me, we really have no need to stay in touch. There are no further property divisions to settle and no kids to shuttle, thank any higher powers that might be blissfully ignoring us fleshy mortals. Our friends in Colorado were actually my friends who welcomed him along for the ride while it lasted, and the friends who wouldn’t and shouldn’t have any loyalties either way live in distant states. Given how hard it is to get in touch with my ex, it seems likely that I could attend an East Coast get-together with our college buddies without fear of an awkward encounter.

And yet I feel like I must make some acknowledgment of the date for the sake of all the friendships and memories we shared together, even if I can’t stomach the thought of giving him a call or a text. So here goes the lamest, most passive-aggressive birthday wish ever:

I doubt you’ll read this. I know you haven’t checked Facebook in months, possibly years, because according to your profile, you still live in the East Coast city where we met and are still in a relationship (presumably with me, although the lack of a name next to that status leaves some room for interpretation). But if you are reading this, I wish you luck with your professional and romantic endeavors, and if we do happen to be in the same place at the same time, I’ll muster up the effort to smile and ask about your life. Happy birthday.

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