In the ongoing saga of the single woman, an ex-boyfriend is a particularly tricky thing.
If he was the Love of Your Life, just thinking about him will bring up all kinds of emotions you would rather have safely buried away. Like regret. Which should always be buried in a thick concrete case and then blasted into deep space inside another concrete case.
Regret is the worst kind of emotion to feel about anyone, let alone someone whom you’re pretty sure might have been The One. It’s that sneaking suspicion that you were so close to true happiness, that you had the Birkin Bag of Marital Bliss within your grasp. Only to lose it because of your insecurity, your mother, your unresolved father issues, or your equally sure knowledge that you could do better.
And before you know it, you find yourself spending your days walking around with a cheap Gucci knock-off from Bangkok.
But if, instead, he was the Mistake of Your Life, if he was the one who’s turned you into this emotionally bruised, messy pulp, riddled with relationship baggage – if he was the reason you let The One go in the first place…Well, this brings us right back to regret.
See? Ex-boyfriend. Tricky.
A few days ago, the Cockroach walked back into Amanda’s life. Leave it to Saffy to add, “And by ‘Amanda’s life’, you mean, of course, our life! Seriously, what is wrong with her?”
For years, the Cockroach – so called on account of his close physical and facial resemblance to the insect, and the fact that we only ever see him at night – has had a rollercoaster on-again, off-again relationship with Amanda. One minute, they’re happy as two doves in a Hallmark card, the next they’re at each other’s throats with a lot of door-slamming, tears and late night ice-cream sob fests. And faster than you can say ‘Kim Kardashian’, they’re back together again.
Saffy says the whole thing is exhausting her. “Not to mention aging! I’m sure these wrinkles between my eyes are caused by all this drama! I need to get Botox. Come with me?”
The recent split has lasted a year which, in itself, is a new record, the previous being six months. During that time, Amanda looked happier and lost the haunted look that would suddenly creep up on her whenever she found herself watching old Oprah re-runs.
And then one day, while shopping at Prada, she stepped out of the change-room and ran into the Cockroach.
“What was he doing at Prada? Isn’t his style more G-2000?” Saffy asked, her voice loaded with cheap innuendo.
“He was buying a wallet for his brother-in-law’s birthday.”
Saffy’s eyes narrowed. “You spoke to him?”
“Well,” Amanda shifted in her chair. “Kind of. Maybe. Why?”
“Because I’m judging you.”
“It was only a coffee!”
Saffy’s bosom inflated with outrage. “You had coffee with him? Are you mad?!”
“He’s very buff now, he’s been going to the gym!” Amanda said, desperately trying to change the subject.
“Who cares?” Saffy snapped. “That man is toxic! He cheated on you. And he didn’t even buy you Cartier diamonds to say he was sorry! You spent months crying over him. And please tell me that he’s not still living at home with his parents!”
“Yes, why?” Amanda said cautiously.
As Saffy later said to me, and not for the first time, it’s a travesty that Harvard ever gave Amanda a law degree. “She really does give that university such a bad rep! She could have any man she wants. This town is now crawling with cute French bankers, and she’s still giving that low down scum sucking mother loving fat pig the time of day?”
“Ay, he very good looking now, you know,” Sharyn said, happily adding fuel to fire. “I saw him the udder day at G-2000. Wah, very han-sum!”
“I swear, if she gets back with him, I will be very upset! Because I am not going through another one of their break-ups again!”
Meanwhile, Amanda thinks that this time, it’s going to work. “He’s changed!” she told me, her eyes shining. “We’ve just always had this connection. Even during the worst of our fights, I somehow always knew he was an important part of my life.”
I told her she sounded just like Kim Kardashian before her wedding. “I’m not judging you,” I said. “I’m just saying. That’s who you sound like.”
Saffy says that at least Kim Kardashian got a big fat diamond ring and an obscene amount of money out of all that drama. “What do we get? Another guy who leaves the toilet seat up! I’m so writing to Harvard to complain about Amanda!”