That Awkward Moment When You Realize An Ex Has Been Talking Sh#t About You

All this is probably fermented karma. You can't call someone "Cornrows" in the Washington Post, and not expect some type of payback from the universe.

Oct 25, 2011 at 4:00pm | Leave a comment

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All this is probably fermented karma. You can't call someone "Cornrows" in the Washington Post, and not expect some type of payback from the universe. 

"I went on a date last night with Cornrows," Andrews says, using the nickname that her friends have given the man. "I got in his car and there was this strawberry smell fragrance. I had to roll the window down by hand. I assume it's paid for."

Yeah I said it. I  was upset that a man, a very very nice man, had been sorta thrown my way vis-a-vis the, "Oh my god you're black? So is this guy who's been potty trained recently. Fall in love. Now!" theory. Seriously the lady who hooked us up told me, "I've found your future husband." Only later did I find out she'd never actually met the guy. 

So. Shit-talking karma. To add to my epic tantrum in the Post, I also wrote a book (which I don't always link to only because I mention it a lot seeing as how I continue to explore its major memes and I don't want to look like a self-promoting schmuck) in which no less than 10 men get raked over the coals of any given chapter. 

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I always wondered how Carrie did it (I also feel badly every time I make a SATC allusion, but I couldn't help but wonder, something banal but deep, Doogie Howser ellipses). Like the time Ms. Bradshaw wrote about that politician who wanted her to give him a golden shower. Did he call her after? Curse her out? Nothing ever seemed to touch her.

Because I write about, among other things, my own romantic relationships (except for the one I'm currently in) a lot of one-sided stuff is out there. My last two "boyfriends" (in quotes because who really knows these days), in my humble opinion, were not good fits because they were fascists. The guy I dated after those alleged relationships had previously dated people that were not women.  I've written about all of that at some point either indirectly (turned them into characters that get blown up) or directly (changed their names but kept the quotes the same).

And like Carrie, so far not much has touched me. I even wrote that one guy's penchant for the "reverse jockey" position during sexicles made me question his sexuality. Of course I changed his name and some other identifying characteristics, but if he was as self-absorbed as I can be I'm positive he could've figured it out. He didn't. We're still very good friends. 

So it came as a surprise recently when in just one week I was confronted with the rotten fruit of seeds I'd sown long ago with words and pages and what not. 

First, I was out having a very fancy grown-up dinner at one of those secret restaurants that only have seven seats and no menus. I spotted a friend of an old flame and said hello because how could I not. He gave me the squinty eye and then a look of recognition flashed across his lips.

"Helena? Helena ANDREWS! Oh, I've heard about you. Ken told me allll about you. Damn, you were like..." I sushed him before he could Scarlet Letter me in public. But the entire rest of dinner I'm thinking, "What does this man think he knows about me?"

Not a week later, I'm standing in line outside the White House when a friend of an ex-boyfriend gave me the up and down with her eyes in a very "this bitch" type way. I pretended like I was happy to see her and maybe that's what gave me away, my horrible faking-it skills. She was unenthused, offering me an equally weak "hello" but strong eye roll. To save face, I quickly re-read a ton of very important spam emails. The whole time I'm ghost scrolling through Groupon offers, I'm thinking, "Sheesh, what did I do to her? Him?"

The answer is probably nothing. Or, more likely, exactly what you know you did.

And that's the thing. Too often I assume that, like me, most of the men I've dated know exactly what they did. So then it shouldn't come as a surprise that I might rehash our tour de fling for all you good folks. But really no one, not even the only-child-who-lives-in-her-head, knows what someone else thinks of them. That is until you spot the back of his head running through the crowd in the opposite direction.