Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

September 10, 2008

Worlds Collide

Hard to believe it, but I’ve been going out with Wine Guy for almost a year and a half and he and Only Child have yet to meet. Granted, I don’t see OC all that much and we only talk every month or so, but meeting and moving in with Wine Guy is the first major development in my life that he hasn’t had any part in since we first met in 1999, and it feels kind of strange.

Wine Guy and I are “unconventional” when it comes to our exes. I know people cringe when they hear how he and I have Ex-Wine Gal over for dinner just about every week. Or how she regularly calls him for career advice, or how they’ll gab on and on and on and on (infinity) about wine to the point where I’m hungover just listening to them.

Yes, I get jealous, but not romantically. Their relationship was more one of friendship than romance, so I have no fear that something would happen with them along those lines. My jealousy has actually only emerged since we moved in together and it revolves around what they have in common (gourmet food and wine) and how I feel like an outsider when they talk about it. Not that I don’t enjoy good food and wine. I just refuse to dedicate excessive amounts of brain space to all theknitty gritty details required to make one a “foodie” versus a regular run-of-the-mill face-stuffer like me.

And, yes, I do get kind of pissed when Wine Guy excitedly calls me asking if I want to go to dinner tonight at the latest new restaurant with him and Ex-Wine Gal. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy her company and she is nice as can be. And I know he probablywouldn’t go if I said I couldn’t make it – he wants to experience it with me. What pisses me off is that I know that he wants to go so badly because she suggested it - he values her opinion on these matters that much. But if I had asked him to go to that very same place without any prodding from Ex, I can almost guarantee you that WG would say, “well, I’d rather work tonight,” or “I don’t want to spend the money.” But because she has an opinion about food that he respects, he jumps on it with rare enthusiasm.

That. Pisses. Me. Off.

And I’m not anyone you want to be around when I 'm pissed off. I sulk. I make snide comments. I zone out of the conversation. I take an extra long time in the bathroom. In general, I’m an immature bitch. Nobody wins.

And, yes, this is causing Wine Guy and me the tension you would expect. See why I haven’t written much lately? Who wants to hear about these lame problems? Okay, maybe you do. But, see, Ex-Wine Gal reads this blog from time to time and I haven’t wanted to put my feelings on this matter out there for her consideration. But to hell with it. She’s not the one I have the problem with anyway.

When it comes to Only Child, Wine guy seems 100% uninterested. From what I understand about men, they generally want nothing to do with knowledge about their girlfriend’s past, while women want to gather every piece of information they possibly can to understand what level of competition (real or imagined) they are up against. Did you say I love you to her? How often did you have sex? Why did you break up? All those fun little details.

Whether or not he wants to hear it, I tend to bring up Only Child occasionally anyway. Not to bother him really but because, well, we were together for 6 years so there is bound to be a relevant story involving him every so often. Why should I refrain from sharing it just because of the Ex Factor?

When I do get the chance to see Only Child, we usually meet for dinner, usually on a night that Wine Guy is busy. But I haven’t seen him since we moved in together and am eager forOC to see the new place, meet the new dog, see our old cat (AppleButt, who lived with OC and me for awhile before I moved out) and generally understand my life as it is now. Just like I want all my friends to do. But since it’s not just MY place but OUR place to show, I realize the time for Wine Guy and Only Child to meet is, indeed , now.

Tonight, my friends, my worlds collide.

My gut has always told me that they will get along. Possibly even like each other. They are both smart, into photography (and all the gadgetry that goes along with it), like to talk about politics (soapboxes included), and enjoy food and wine (thoughOC is not as verbal about it). So on paper they should gel. But the paper doesn ’t record all that other mushy stuff in between likes and dislikes, so who the hell knows what kind of mess we’ll end up with. Actually, I’m sure it will be civil, perhaps enjoyable. But God, I hope either (or both) of them don’t end up thinking, “What the hell was she thinking falling in love with him?”



Jaclyn said...

Oooh - that's a tough situation to be in. It would drive me nuts if my fiancee valued another woman's opinion more than my own. And I get what you are saying - his ex-girlfriend might be the nicest person in the world, and she can completely support your relationship, but if he values her opinion that much it is going to be quite painful. I hope that everything goes well at dinner with OC.

mimi of 'sexagenarian and the city' said...

a really good post. i have nothing wise to say, nothing to say at all except, 'hmmmmm.'

and i'm wondering if there's a word for the phenomenon you're describing, not so much 'baggage' as 'part of the package.'

something semi-wise just occurred to me: the very fact that you've confronted & articulated this problem with typical dating-trooper honesty & directness suggests to me that a solution is on the way. i don't know what it will be, but bravo to you for getting this far.

Anonymous said...

Oh my - WG and OC are at opposite ends of the universe politically. This should be VERY interesting!So - are you going to have dinner at OC's with his girlfriend? this is all too civilized for me

A fair fairy said...

can't wait to hear how it went! no matter what, you will be fine. Mutual respect will most probably happen. What else?

When my ex husband is in town with go for coffee with my new husband and him. They like each other. So I can relate :)

I think your part is a little tough though about WG keeping such strong ties with his ex. I personally could have been tempted to do so with mine but resisted the temptation. I think he might be slightly and most probably unconsciously taking advantage of your love for him. Actually, the fact that she is his ex matters little i suppose... but rather the fact that he puts you in a tight spot. If the situation is painful for you, you will have to find a way to tell him and shift the balance. But maybe you will have to find wine truly more interesting ;)

A fair fairy said...

I will add that he might also compromise and spend a little less time or energy enjoying wine with his ex if it uncomfortable for you... after all he chose you right? but everything is subject to adjustment.

Forever In school said...

Wow! I can't wait to read the rest of the story. I hope you write about it soon.