Before you start calling "T" and telling him I'm running around town having liquid lunches with a man who may or may not have seen my breasts before, let me tell you that I'm talking about about an ex-coworker, not an ex-boyfriend (and no, he hasn't seen my breasts - unless he was at Key West Fantasy Fest in 1998-2000). Our breakup was somewhat painful, I didn't want to leave, he didn't want me to go, but due to circumstances beyond our control (the massive layoff my previous employer went through), things just weren't going to work out. So about a month ago, we hugged goodbye, went our separate ways and promised we'd stay friends. It's not you, it's me.
As I bussed-it across town wearing a cute-but-casual outfit, the kind you always wanted your co-workers to see you in, but just couldn't get away with at the office, I wondered to myself what we would talk about. Would we keep our distance and keep it all business? Would the conversation revolve around the co-workers we used to share but he now has custody of? Or we would "go there" and talk about the stuff we could never talk about when we were "together", entwined as professionals.
I got my answer about 10 minutes after we hugged hello. As soon as "The Ex" said, "UnPlain Jane, let's have wine," I knew where it was going and within five minutes the conversation turned from "How's Business?" to "Tell me every last dirty detail of your trip to Vegas and I'll tell you how I was no different from you 8 years ago." I guess some things never change. All it takes is an expensive meal and a $16 glass of wine (which is better than the $1 pitcher of beer and plate of hot wings it took in college) to seal the deal. By the end of the meal we were both fully aware of a) how funny we each think we are and b) how awesome his wife and my future husband are for putting up with each of us.
As sad as it is saying goodbye to the people you spent at least 40 hours of every week with, there's something especially fun about getting together, after you've split, and getting to hang out without the looming threat of "Monday Morning" and revealing just a little more than you ever would've in the office over a muted conference call.
I would love to have the opportunity to get to know all of my "EXes" is this way, but I think it's best kept to those I've always had the sneaking suspicion are "just like me." I have a reputation to maintain and I wouldn't want to ruin the image of the sweet-nice-class act-UnPlain Jane. After all, if I wanted them to know who I really was, I would've owned up to spreading the funniest-but-most-vulgar-joke XYZ Company has ever heard. Instead, I gave credit to a man, because that kind of joke couldn't have come from the mouth of a woman and certainly not UnPlain Jane. Not the one my ex-co-workers know anyway.