Last night, I was waiting outside a theatre for my friend to turn up. I'd bought tickets to say a tiny token of thank you for the support she'd shown me over the past year. I was really looking forward to it. And bloody early.
I flapped about in the cold, trying to keep warm, and took a glance into the theatre foyer where all were enjoying a mulled wine or three. Then suddenly - fuck me! - it's my ex! What is he effing doing here? He HATES the theatre! He was heavily involved in a conversation with a much shorter being, who was being shielded by the masses. Bloody hell, thought I. This is awkward. What do I do?
And so, lacking in the knowledge of Ex's Etiquette, I sent him a text to say that I was here, too.
After a couple of minutes, my friend turned up and we went inside. My ex had by this time magically disappeared (a bit like the shop owner in Mr Ben), and my friend and I agreed that the five minutes before kick-off could be pleasantly spent at the bar.
I'd just got my drink when I spotted him again. The multitudes had thinned out by this point and it was very easy to see his companion; a short, slim, blonde lady, mid 40s, quite attractive, bit posh looking. Holy shit. A date.
Now, first let me say this. My ex is allowed to date. I'd go so far as to say that I'm pleased he's dating. For me to get the willies about it would be hypocritical. But my reaction was odd. I grabbed my friend by both arms and span her round like some manical morris dancer, making sure that my back was to him. What was I doing?
"What's he doing?" I hissed to my friend. "What's she like?" "How old is she?" I couldn't contain myself. I was excited. It was the strangest reaction; I wasn't unhappy (why should I be?), I didn't feel an ounce of jealousy or regret or anything like that. I did feel a bit odd. And I remember doing a lot of hopping about from foot to foot.
After five long minutes of glorious spying, my ex disappeared up the steps to the cheap seats whilst we made our way to the stalls. The realisation that we were in the front row (hallelujah!) obliterated all thoughts of my ex and sent us both into happy swoons for the rest of the evening.
My one overriding thought from the experience was that she looked like a nice person; which meant that she would be kind to my kids, should things go well for my ex and her over the coming weeks.
And I hope they do. For all our sakes.