Exes.  We all have ’em.  I don’t care if you’re blissfully married and in love (please, that’s an oxymoron once you’ve seen someone clip their toenails) with a collage of family stickers on the back of your minivan.  At some point, you had a fling. Maybe it was in elementary school.  I remember when Jamie ‘married’ Keith on the playground, only to be dumped 3 days later for Blondie McPigtails.  Jamie was a woman scorned, and poor Blondie ended up rocking an asymmetrical, Edward Scissorhands ‘do long before it was cool.  (Sidenote: I desperately wished someone wanted to marry me, but then I learned about sex and developed a prolonged phobia of a penis jumping out at me post-matrimony.)**

The older you get, the worse the Ex situation gets (though chopping off another woman’s pigtail in a fit of Ex Rage is a possibility at any age).  In middle school, you might get a little frisky with Matt McHandsy at Youth Group while playing Sardines, and pledge to give your (eventual, only in the sanctity of a teenage marriage) virginity to him.  But while you were listening to Reverend Tim-Tom preach about monogamy, good old Matt was busy feeling up your bestie in the choir loft.  Now there’s an Ex Rage that will make you throw your broken heart ‘BE FRI’ necklace right into the Biblical garbage. (Because you weren’t the ‘ST ENDS.’  No one wants the ‘ST ENDS.’)

In high school, you might risk a school-wide alienation by breaking up with Mr. Popularity.  (Not me, of course.  In addition to my penis-pop-out-phobia, I also had braces, glasses, and a love affair with Doritos.  I was more likely to catch a ride to the library than The Clap.)  Once you’ve been EXiled by the cheerleaders, you might as well put on an ankle-length jean skirt and start homeschooling.

In college, you can’t play beer pong without hitting an Ex.  All that booze + a lack of supervisory adults with actual consciences = more hookups than Bachelor in Paradise.  One of my classmates (his name was Colt or Cain or Palomino or something that sounded like a sturdy cut of beef) was on a similar reality show, and his Ex was less than pleased to be dumped in such a public fashion. She gathered up Polaroids of Beef Bourguignon wearing nothing but her high heels and super glued them to his car.  And his front door. And the bulletin board of the student center.

As J. Lo will tell you, the Ex Factor reaches its glorious climax in adulthood.  Something about signing divorce papers turns you from a mature adult with a landscaper on your payroll and a 529 savings plan, to a deranged bunny-boiling stalker who is perfectly willing to run your Ex over with the sticker-family-covered minivan.  While (sadly) I have never participated in an Ex Rage clothes-in-the-car fire à la Waiting to Exhale, I do know a divorced woman who still wears her wedding ring and tells people her Ex is “out of town on business.”  She must have been the ‘ST ENDS.’

** Which I now know is the very definition of marriage. 

© Calling All Cool Moms 2017