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I didn't really see my ex today; I saw him last week. The funny thing is that he didn't recognize me.
But let me back up; I need to start this in a different place.
I woke up really early that day. Cade had to leave on a business trip, so I got up and for the first time in my life--practically--I did my hair and makeup.
After Cade got up (late), he didn't give me his regular goodbye. He didn't even really look at me.
Honestly, I don't know what I was looking for. Maybe I just wanted him to stay a moment longer and wish he didn't have to go--who knows--I'm a woman--this emotional stuff confuses the crap out of me too!
Regardless of that, he was in a hurry AND really stressed about work. It was still hard though. Instead of a kiss on the sassy, red lips, I got a peck on the cheek. He hugged me halfheartedly, grabbed his boots, didn't even put them on and ran out the door.
"Love you, Sweetie," he said. "Your hair looks nice. I wish we had more time, but I'm late."
I was alone in the cold doorway. The damn tank top I wore seemed terribly inappropriate, and I hate crying when I have mascara on.
I watched him speed away. The man didn't even wave because he was putting his boots on as he drove. Now, looking from a regular person's point of view, he was late. From a woman's POV--what the Hell was he thinking!
The Scribe and Hippie woke up since I was clanging and shoving dishes into the dishwasher.
"Wow," the Hippie said, and was so excited to see me all done up, she insisted on taking a couple pictures.
"So we can always remember you this way," the Scribe said.
That made me feel like my normal appearance sucks worse than pond scum.
The point is that, these are the pictures she took:
Maybe it's sad how I can fake "doing all right" even when I'm sad . . . I need to work on that. At least my feelings always come out in my writing.
And this is what I normally look like:
Minus the bill.
P. S. Isn't Melynda awesome! I LOVE that woman!You get the point . . . I hardly ever wear makeup. My hair stays in a ponytail. I'm just one of those fun-loving, natural girls who would rather spend hours writing, than fighting with a hair straightener. Maybe I should do my hair every once in a while though--moderation in everything? After all, I do have a theory that everyone can look nice, if they just try. For some it takes a few minutes. For me, it might take hours because I suck at applying base!
So, back to the point, I thought Cade had lost that loving feeling. He didn't call me. He didn't notice my powdery skin!
I ended up taking the kids to tumbling later that night. The Scribe got out early and I took her over to the gas station to get a cookie.
That's when I saw him, my ex. He walked right past me, turned, glanced at me again and smiled. THAT MAN had no idea who I was. I mean, I'm not asking for an award or anything, but am I that unmemorable, or did I never wear makeup even then? If he did recognize me, would it have killed him to say "hello?"
Anyway, I didn't tell him who I was, or say "hello" either (because apparently I'm a hypocrite).
"Mama," the Scribe said, "who was that man?"
"Just someone from a long time ago," I said.
"He sure keeps looking at you. I bet he remembers you, or thinks he knows you."
"He doesn't recognize me." I laughed. "My hair isn't in a ponytail."
We got the cookie, came back out and that man was still in his vehicle. He looked at the Scribe, it was this strange look. I still don't know if he recognized me, but that look he gave the Scribe and then me, like he'd always wondered what happened and finally had a sense of closure. He nodded, smiled, then drove away.
"He looked a lot like Daddy," the Scribe said. "He seemed nice and happy, but I'm glad you picked Daddy."
"Me too, even if he doesn't notice my makeup!"
"Did all of the guys you knew, look like Daddy?"
"Maybe some of the guys I dated. But most of them were named Jonathan, Mike or Adam. Seriously, if a guy asked me out, I knew he'd probably have one of those names."
She laughed so hard. "When Daddy told you his name was Cade, were you surprised?"
"Oh, yeah," I said. "It was almost a world record. Plus he charmed his way into my heart. He had a big black biker jacket. He could play the guitar, oh and his voice . . . he used to sing all of the time and his voice could just carry you away."
"Eew," the Scribe said and I stopped talking. I missed Cade so badly then, I wasn't even mad about him rushing out the door earlier that day.
My phone rang as we got into the car. "Hello?" I said.
"I just got reception. It was the longest day . . . You looked so beautiful this morning. What was the deal with that, you know I have to leave, so you got all dressed up to celebrate? I bet you looked nice all day and I wasn't even home. Who are you trying to impress, anyway? You never dress up like that when I'm home."
I smiled, this huge smile that wouldn't go away. "You noticed my makeup?"
"And you were feeling a little jealous?"
"Oh yeah," he said. "I have to leave, and you go make yourself look nice."
I told him how I'd been feeling and we laughed.
"So, after ten years, you still love me?" Cade asked.
"Of course! What about you?"
"I saw my ex today," I said. "I'm not sure if he recognized me, but he looked awfully happy. I heard he recently got married. I'm happy for him. But he looked so happy, it made me wonder . . . are you sure you're happy with me?"
"It's just that when I go after something, I really go after it. There's no halfhearted efforts from me. When I tied you down . . . I really tied you down. We've had five kids . . . a house by the time I was nineteen and you were twenty-two.
"That ex, well, he probably doesn't even have kids yet. That could have been you."
"And miss out on a life with you . . . never."
It's one of the sweetest things he's ever said. The day started out terrible; it turned into a mystery when I saw the ex (did he recognize me); but it ended with the best line ever.
I guess everyone has times like this in their marriage, where both people just need a little extra attention.
The next time we go through this, I'm going to take a break from whatever I'm doing and see if there's something Cade needs.
I'd felt lonely, worrying about myself . . . I guess I didn't realize that Cade felt the same way too.
Have you ever gone through something like this?
Have you ever ran into an ex?