My spouse read that last post about how I was hurt by a friend who we loved. “Do you ever see his news?” I asked.
“No,” my spouse said.
“Maybe would you look him up?” I asked. “I’m just curious if he’s alive.”
“Ok, I can do that.”
“Would you look up my ex-husband also?” I asked.
“Ok,” he said.
“I just wanna know if they’re alive. Also what town they live in,” I said. “I don’t want to know other stuff.”
My spouse got on his phone and went to facebook. “I don’t know how to spell his last name,” he said.
So I spelled my ex-husband’s last name.
“I can’t find him,” he said.
“You could look with his middle name.” I spelled his middle name also.
“I still can’t find him,” my spouse said.
“Hm, he’s not on facebook anymore?”
“No! Well, there’s someone who has the same name as him, and lives in the last town he lived in. And it says he works for _________ Construction. But it can’t be him.”
“Why not?” I asked. “Is he a white guy?”
“Yeah, but this can’t be him.”
“He’s at a baseball game with some thin lady.”
“Why couldn’t he go to a baseball game?” I asked.
“Of course he could want to do it with a thin lady!”
“Will you look at the picture and see if it’s him?” he asked.
“Sure!’ I said. “Can you zoom it?”
I gazed upon the face of my ex-husband, in facebook profile pic form.
“That’s him!’ I said.
“Yeah! Same shape face–same eyes. Same cheeks. His hairline is a little more receded. But his hair is like that. That’s him. He’s not wearing glasses.”
My spouse stared at the pic of my ex. “You never knew him that well. White people age differently than other people,” I said. “I think because their skin is so light, the sun affects them differently?”
“Wow! There are all these motorcycle pics. He’s in some motorcycle club…”
“He could ride motorcycles! Why not? If he looked at my facebook, he would see some things that surprised him too!”
“Ok,” my spouse said.
“Jeeze!” I said. “You’re doing the exact thing I asked you not to! I wanted to know just if they were alive and what town they lived in.”
“Oh, sorry,” my spouse said. “I just can’t believe that was him.”
“Honey, he wanted to be a normal person. Looks like he accomplished that.” My ex was working at his dad’s construction company after all, the company he was paid off to forsake. He’d fled that family that hurt him so badly, and then he was back. They were millionaires. Of course he went back.
“You think he was my partner all those years, and I made him weird. But that’s not how it works. He was normal that whole time. When we moved in together, he wanted me to do all the cooking and cleaning, and he would pay extra money,” I explained to my spouse.
He nodded. “Yeah,” he said. He’d heard that story.
“He was trying out different things. But he was a Democrat that whole time,” I said.
My ex was anti-radical. He believed in the system, incremental change, working within the law, and success. He wanted to be successful really bad, to prove his worth–success as defined by mainstream culture.
One day I told him his dad’s fortune was built on the backs of the people he’d exploited. Wow, he really didn’t like it when I said that. I had to apologize pretty hard for that.
After we broke up, my ex had kids, got plastic surgery to remove the distracting lump he had, and that was always him. The privileged white guy who wanted to be seen as valuable and was willing to play by the world’s rules to get that.
The news was sad and disturbing. Five years ago when his partner had a baby and he stopped speaking to me, that hurt, but it makes more sense now.
Of course he would not want to stay in touch with his crazy ex. I’m a symbol of his failure. I was the mistake first wife he could try to forget about, who he’d sacrificed years caring for.
I felt annoyed that my spouse did exactly what I asked him not to, giving me too much news information, and I criticized him for having bad boundaries. But I wasn’t mad at him–I was sorry.
The news was derailing, and I didn’t even get the info I needed. His facebook profile hadn’t been updated in years, so we don’t even know if he’s alive, or if he still lives in that town.
My quest for news didn’t go well. I’m still getting used to the ideas, disoriented. But maybe it’s ok to have this info. I have more truth-light to shine on my past, why things went wrong with that 13 year relationship.
It’s easy for me to blame myself for being a bad partner. But we were super-mismatched to begin with.
I don’t think the world needs more people with normal values, trying to amass money and fortify their little castles for their families. He thinks business as usual is ok because it works for him.
We met in grad school–that was the peak of his rebellion, doing something with art that his family could not understand. Then when he took me to his homeland to meet them, they hated me so much I was banned from their house.
“They’re recreational shoppers,” I told my spouse. I had no interest in living like they did, and no ability to.
I wonder what his current partner thinks of his porn habits. That ex liked things I did not like and tried to get me to participate with him, making porn that just annoyed me. I said no, multiple times. It drove us further apart.
Maybe he gave that up, or maybe his current partner likes the same. Yes, his dad took him to baseball games, when he was a kid. I’ve never been to a baseball game in my life. I could not be normal for him or anyone.