There are certain rules with exes, no matter how good terms you’re on, aren’t there?
My ex also knows never to question the fact that I prefer watching Nashville to Japanese art house cinema and I’ve stopped asking why he keeps doing Master’s degrees as a hobby.
If you want to stay on good terms with an ex, you never, ever talk about dating. Or why you broke up. And unless one of you requires the Heimlich manoeuvre, or someone has died, there’s a strict no-touching policy in effect at all times.
It’s just common sense.
Anyway, this weekend Flea and I were watching a box-set of Miranda when my ex arrived to take her out for the day. Flea begged to watch the end of the episode that was playing, so the ex plonked himself on the other end of the sofa to wait. It was cold so Flea snuggled right up to me, her legs tucked over mine, her head resting on my arm.
She started to stroke my feet.
She’s such an affectionate little soul.
I kept watching TV for a few minutes. LOVE me a bit of Miranda of a weekend. But then something made me pause. Hang on…
I looked down.
Flea’s hands were both wrapped around my arm.
I had one of those horrifying-life-goes-into-slow-motion-realisations. IT WAS NOT FLEA who was rubbing my feet.
I repeat, IT WAS NOT FLEA.
I’ll let the full horror sink in for a moment, shall I?
I snuck a glance at the ex. He was laughing at Miranda, oblivious. Obviously, he thought he was rubbing Flea’s feet.
Let me tell you friends, the only thing more horrifying than realising your ex is inadvertently giving you an affectionate foot rub is realising he’s been doing it for about five minutes before you noticed it was him. Because what can you do?
You could say something, but you both know he’s been giving you a foot rub for five minutes and he’s bound to be wondering why you didn’t mention it earlier, and the thought of THAT is too horrifying to contemplate.
Or you could not say anything, but then what if HE realises what he’s doing and thinks you knew all along and secretly wanted him to give you a foot rub. It doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?
I was having hot, uncomfortable flashbacks to that time I accidentally held my teacher’s hand on a field trip (don’t ask).
Clearly, the only decent thing to do in this particular crisis was to deploy the adult equivalent of the, “Look there’s a squirrel!” school of parenting. In other words… pretend to have a coughing fit, during which I subtly shoved my beloved child towards her father, while subtly withdrawing my own feet under the cover of a handily placed blanket.
Just call me the ninja ex.