I make shit up—that’s what I do. Also, it’s how I am acutely aware when people around me are doing the same. Most stories are bland without the spices of exaggeration, drama, and cattiness. The storyteller pads the story to amuse. Granted, there’s far too much padding at times as I wade through insignificant details toward the disappointing punch line.
When the story has to do with a relationship, it always has three sides: his story, her story, and the truth.
Look, people, we’re each somebody’s ex, right? The older you are, the more exes you’ve accumulated. Your ex is an ex for a reason (good or not). Your ex probably isn’t your biggest fan, putting it mildly. So, when somebody asks your ex for a reference, it’s probably not going to be stellar. Even if the ex gives you some high marks, rest assured that a hairy “but” will follow, which will detail your most undesirable traits.
“You should ask her out.”
“No way, dude. She’s your ex.”
“So? It’s all good.”
“If it were all good she wouldn’t be your ex.”
“Don’t you find her attractive?”
“Very much so. My compliments to you and your fine taste. Feel free to pick out a fine bottle of red for me. As far as the girl goes: I’m not going there.”
“I think you’d make a nice couple.”
“Seriously. She’s smart. In fact, she’s also a writer.”
I look at this the same way I look at investment advice or which flat screen to buy or which movie to attend. The advisor may have good intentions, but in actuality; the intention is to make the advisor feel better about his own investment. If the advisor can easily persuade the advised to follow him off the bridge, he’ll feel more secure.
“Let me introduce you two.”
“No, thank you.”
“There’s nothing between us. Honest. It’s cool.”
“Not doing it.”
“OK, tell me something about her you didn’t like.”
“Sometimes she could be overly emotional.”
“You just described every non-comatose woman I’ve met. What else?”
“She likes to drink—a bit much sometimes.”
“There’s plenty to go around.”
“See? She’s perfect for you.”
“You’re leaving something out. I know you are.”
“Nope. Meet her and find out for yourself.”
“You suck and I’m not doing it.”
“She’s great in the sack.”
“All right, that seals it. No fucking way I’m going anywhere your dong has been.”
If I took her out, the first topic of conversation after the normal pleasantries would be her ex-boyfriend. She’d first extract from me what he said about her. Based on her reaction to it, she’d dish on him. Of course, it would all be embellished bullshit from her as well.
Like with any investment, bet, or purchase, it’s best to do your own research and bet with your head, not your heart. I can’t recall any relationship with a friend’s ex that worked out, so my head says, Hell no.