Dateland: Hell Froze Over

This morning, as we were sitting on the couch drinking coffee, my girlfriend turned to me and said, “Do you think it’s odd that we feel so calm after what’s happened over the past 24 hours?”I had no idea what she was talking about. But then, I often don’t. She’s the type of person who starts a conversation in her head and doesn’t begin to include me until she’s well into her internal dialogue. After having a silent debate with herself for 15 minutes, she’ll look at me meaningfully and ask, “Don’t you agree?” I usually say, “Absolutely not! Your reasoning is deeply flawed!” This generally starts an argument, even though I have no clue what I’ve just disagreed with, which typically ends in awesome makeup sex.But, back to this morning.

Since I was a bit hungover and didn’t feel up to arguing or makeup sex, I responded, “What the hell are you talking about?”

“Don’t you think it’s strange that we had friendly encounters with four of our exes over the past 24 hours?” she explained.

“Oh, that!” I exclaimed. “Yes, and it all took place on Dec. 21, 2012, the day the Mayans predicted the world would end.”

This column will appear in Lavender in January, but I’m writing it on Dec. 22, the day after the Mayans said the world would end. Here are the remarkable events that happened to me on that day:

• At 6 a.m., one of my exes, who once vowed to never speak my name or any other female name beginning with the letter “J”, sent me an email warning me of an impending crisis that threatened one of my large work contracts. I was able to prevent this disaster thanks to her communiqué. Even though she addressed me as “Ennifer,” clearly telegraphing that her boycott of the letter “J” was still in place, she signed the email with “xoxo.”

• At noon, I got a call from my girlfriend’s ex, who wanted to commiserate over their 12-year-old son’s new flirtation with teenaged sulkiness. My girlfriend had ended a long-term relationship with this woman shortly before we got together, and for years I was terrified that her ex blamed me for the breakup. But, now, we get along so well that my girlfriend fears that I’ll leave her for her ex.

• In late afternoon, I got a text from my most recent ex. We live across the street from each other, which had once created an East/West Berlin situation in our small town. Friends who wanted to visit me (the villain in the breakup) would have to do so under the cover of darkness so that gunman from my ex’s side of the street didn’t shoot them down for treason. But middle-aged malaise and new romantic dramas have established a fragile peace in the neighborhood. My ex wrote to alert me that my  dogs had escaped my yard while I was at work, and that she had corralled them and returned them to my house.

• At 6 p.m., we met my girlfriend’s former mistress for dinner. She was so jealous when my girlfriend and I got together that she’d loudly broadcast angry messages from the answering machine demanding that we take our hands off each other and get out of bed. I refused to meet her for years. Now, we meet for dinner regularly and exchange gifts at Christmas.

Looking back on the events of Dec. 21, 2012, it’s clear to me that the interpretation of the Mayan prediction was wrong. They didn’t predict that the world would end. Rather, they said that it was the day that hell would freeze over. And they were right.

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