A Cautionary Tale: Why NOT to give your ex that perfect gift

3 Dec

ImageOn a beautiful autumn Saturday afternoon I was of course indulging in a trash-TV marathon on my parents’ couch when our dog started whining to go out. I reluctantly paused Millionaire Matchmaker and took my blanket with me to the front door to let her out. When I opened the door, I noticed a white envelope with my name on it on sitting on the doorstep. Weird. Now this was way back in the year 2011, but even then we had relatively modern modes of communication even if we didn’t yet have the iPhone 5. Why would this person not just send an email? or a Facebook message? or a text? or even snail mail? who hand delivers a letter and why?? Then of course, more importantly, who is it from? Ooo maybe a secret admirer? Maybe the ex things seemed to rekindle with at our friends’ wedding a few weeks ago? Or maybe it is anthrax and I will die when I open it. Maybe I should wait until my parents get home so that someone will at least know the cause of my untimely demise…

Well curiosity of course got the better of me, anthrax be damned, so I opened it to find 2 tickets to the Nutcracker. And not just any Nutcracker, but a very expensive, renowned performance. I took the tickets out and searched for a note, even holding the envelope upside down and shaking it violently….but nothing. It was likely someone who knew me very well because ever since I was a little girl, my mom would take me to see the Nutcracker ballet around Christmastime. It was kind of our thing. But why wouldn’t someone take credit for such a great gift?

I crawled back onto the couch and into my cocoon to continue watching Patti Stanger verbally rip apart blonde bimbos’ outfits, this time filled with an eerie sense of foreboding…

A whole entire day passed without any clues as to the mystery gifter. I talked to every single one of my friends, trying to feel out if they knew the culprit, but no leads. I even cross referenced handwriting samples from the ex I hoped it would be to no avail. Side note: I had totally forgotten about the handmade Valentine’s Day card he made me while we were dating…he actually cut a somewhat jagged heart out of felt and glued it to the card, 3rd grade style. I would give it a “needs improvement.” Maybe it’s a good thing the tickets probably weren’t from him…

The following day was just a typical work day afternoon: I was sitting on Gchat and playing sporcle with a blank email at the ready for when my boss decided to start shouting dictation at me in the middle of a rant about how fluoridated water will kill us all. All of sudden, just as my boss had begun to wax poetic on the virtues of eating fermented vegetables, a Gchat window popped up from my ex…and not the ex from the wedding, but the guy who broke up with me a mere 2 months earlier, Beer Loving Bassist (as you can tell from his name, it was probably not the worst thing that we broke up). We had barely spoken since, as I told him it would make it too hard for me to move on (and he proceeded to tell me that I was being cold since I had been such a big part of his life and now I wasn’t there for him anymore…but that’s neither here nor there).

BLB: Did you get the tickets?
Me: IT WAS YOU??? Are you kidding me? I have been freaking out about this for days, racking my brain wondering where they came from. Why didn’t you leave a note?
BLB: I didn’t? Oops, I guess I just forgot. I didn’t mean to make it anonymous. Sorry about that.
Me: The real question though is why did you give me such a nice gift? Or any gift at all for that matter? We broke up.
BLB: Well I had the idea for the present and it was just such a good idea and so perfect for you that I had to give it to you. But I know you said you weren’t ready to see me yet so I didn’t want to give it to you in person…so I just left it on your doorstep. (n.b. he lives an hour and a half away…so he drove 3 hours total just to drop it off.)
Me: Ok…so this is awkward, but there are two tickets here… So am I supposed to take you?
BLB: Oh no, sorry, I didn’t mean for it to come off that way, I figured you could take your mom like you  usually do.
Me: Ah ok good, because I mean I wouldn’t have taken you anyway, no offense.
BLB: None taken, I wouldn’t want to see a ballet anyway.
Me: I feel kind of weird accepting this.
BLB: Well I can’t take them back, so just keep them.
Me: Ok…thanks.

As it turns out, those tickets, much like a divorcee’s wedding ring, were cursed. The ballet was on a Friday night and my boss kept me late at work, my mom wasn’t ready when I got home to pick her up, and there was an INSANE amount of rush hour traffic (thanks for not picking a Saturday or Sunday show, BLB). So naturally when the start time of the show came and went and we were still sitting in traffic about 45 minutes away, I pulled over to a church parking lot, got out of my car, and starting bawling. My mom drove us home.

A few days later when BLB asked about the ballet, I told him it was lovely.

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