My Christmas Day is going to be very easy. Presents in bed, a walk on the beach, a couple of friends will pop round for drinks, we’ll eat seafood, chat and chill out.
Enter wide-eyed friend with wild hair currently battling sleepless nights whose Christmas Day is shaping up to be the total opposite. Hers will involve hours of prepping, cooking, four kids, in-laws, endless relatives… and an ex.
It’s that last addition that has me totally flummoxed. Why the ex? He has no business at the (already packed) Christmas table. They broke up five years ago, have no kids together, he hasn’t moved on but she has. Except, she hasn’t because he still gets a spot on the sympathy guest list to important events.
I’m not thanked for trying to suggest that he isn’t her responsibility and if she doesn’t really want him here, she shouldn’t feel obligated to invite him. When stress is dispensed, there are no brownie points for being nice to an ex.
There should be no guilt in letting go.
“When it’s over, it’s over. He has to move on,” I said, rolling my eyes down the phone.
“I can’t do it,” she replied, before rattling through the seemingly endless list of shopping she still has to do. I had to sit down.
I don’t get it. When you call time on a relationship, you don’t demote it and awkwardly work around it like the elephant in the room. It’s dissolved. Discontinued. Expired. You cry, perhaps you throw up, you stare at the TV through the entire night until it gets light again, you walk for hours, you breathe, it settles down and eventually it gets easier.