Image: iStock. By Patty Blue Hayes for Your Tango.
On the day my ex husband got remarried to his young new wife, I had a guy at a bar steal and eat my dinner. I like to think of myself as a creative writer, but I could not make this up.
I know it’s not very spiritual of me, but I do like to emphasise the remarrying part; I was the OW (original wife) before our divorce. I suppose that’s typical First Wife bravado.
Finding out my ex was remarrying awoke some complicated feelings. (WATCH: Is cheating physical or emotional? Post continues after the video.)
While a part of me wondered which beachfront hotel they’d chosen for their weekend wedding, another part of me spoke up and asked, “Would you really want to be married to the man he became?” Thankfully there was no hesitation in my unequivocal, “Hell, no!”
But I’d be lying if I didn’t say how much I miss the family I’d known for so many years. Knowing they were all gathered nearby did have me in tears a few times. And even though I know how much he changed, I miss the good guy I married.
Friends who’d attended my wedding sent warning texts of impending Facebook posts and to let me know they were thinking of me. I entertained the idea comparing the two weddings starring the same leading man.
I like to think I married him before his ego grew and his heart shrunk. I swear I felt like he loved me when he said, “I do,” but not knowing when the betrayal started and experiencing the cold disposition he developed, I’m not really sure he loved me at all.
Did I want to torture myself to know the details of what she wore, the vows they exchanged and if the food at their reception was better? (Post continues after the gallery.)
My wedding to Mr. Ex was at a quaint event centre in the years long before we’d discovered oysters on the half shell and fine California wines. Of course, those became the wines I sucked down to numb the pain of his harsh, disapproving words about how I just didn’t measure up to his expectations.
My defense against those ex-centered thoughts was to have a nice time at a restaurant with friends.
I tried to keep my mind off those thoughts as I sat eating my Capellini Pomodoro at the restaurant bar while catching up with friends from out of town. A peripheral male acquaintance of the group sat a little too close to me and even boldly grabbed my glass of Pinot Noir to take a taste.
I made sure to drink from the part of the glass with my shimmer of lip gloss after that. He clearly didn’t need another glass of wine but ordered one anyway.
As if trying to get to second base, his hand slowly made its way to my plate where he gently grabbed my unsuspecting fork. Three times this happened and each time I guided his hand away from my dinner fork. But he was persistent.
I invited him to ask the bartender for a fork, that I was happy to share my food if he wanted some. I wasn't really.
I'd had my back toward the hungry man while conversing with my friends and when I turned to get another twirl of pasta, my plate was gone.
The hungry guy was curled around my dinner plate, shoveling my tender Capellini Pomodoro into his mouth as fast as he could. My jaw dropped. And I couldn't fill my open mouth with pasta because he had stolen my meal!
"Did you really just steal my dinner?" With his mouth full of that delicious Capellini, he mumbled something in my direction.
So on the day my ex remarried, a drunk guy scarfed down plate of Capellini—very funny universe, very funny.
The irony was not lost on me that while my ex husband, who for the most part had decent manners, was most likely displaying his best behaviour toward his new bride at their wedding; I've got some drunk slob stealing my supper.
I'm single and haven't been on a date in over two years. But I'm not letting myself get depressed over it. I'm stronger, way stronger than I was during the time I wrote about in my book, Wine, Sex and Suicide—My Near Death Divorce, when I felt so broken and lost after my husband walked out.
I saw the pasta incident as a clarifying moment. My standards are incredibly elevated from the time a few years ago when I sought out any guy to bring home for sexual validation.
No matter what happens, I'll look towards my future love life with an earnest optimism.
Now, I don't need, seek or desire external validation. I'm clear on the values and aspects of character that a man worthy of my time will have. He'll feed my soul and we'll happily share our meals together.
In these celibate years I've worked on learning to love and appreciate myself so much that it would be impossible for me to accept anything less from a partner.
I've worked on my feelings of being worthy and deserving of an awesome, amazing man who loves and respects me for who I am. I'm looking forward to expressing my love to such a wonderful man.
I'm excited and ready to meet him but I may have to pack a snack to go on this dating adventure in case I run into more hungry thieves.