Custody battle

It is already annoying enough when you live in the same building as your ex. The chances of you running into each other in the small lobby are already more than you would like to deal with, but in addition to that, you have also both established your go-to grocery stores and restaurants. And the last thing I want is to find myself standing in line behind him while holding up a jar of Nutella and a giant bag of popcorn alone on a Friday night while wearing my 9-year old pair of faded black Maryland sweatpants. This has meant that I have wasted more time than I would like to making myself look presentable on a Saturday afternoon for errand running in the small chance that I will cross paths with him. Before this, I had no problem running around Shaw with no make-up, an old sorority shirt from 2006, and athletic shorts off of the Target clearance rack. However, now I found myself carefully applying mascara and spending fifteen minutes putting together an “effortless look.” My fear of running into him while looking anything less than decent was so intense that one afternoon I found myself locked out of my apartment for eight hours while my roommate was in a wedding in rural Maryland, and I literally ran to the closest clothing store and purchased a new outfit. That is right, I was so afraid I would see him while dressed in my ratty running shorts and what-used-to-be-a-white-linen-vneck-JCrew-tee-but-is-now-more-of-an-eggshell-shade that I went to 14th street, and purchased a maxi skirt and tee shirt to change into immediately. Yes, I do realize that sounds a little unnecessary and extreme, but nothing brings out your insecurity like having the constant existence of a recent boyfriend within 100 feet of you.

And then, the custody battle begins. I assumed we could share equal custody of the dry cleaner/tailor down the street, but I realized I was wrong when one Saturday I had to quickly make a u-turn with my eight jackets and speedily walk away after spotting the ex waiting in the tiny shop. It did not make it any better when I returned and had to spend ten minutes dodging the sweet Korean owner’s questions about the details of my now-cancelled trip to Vietnam with the ex (“You haven’t bought the plane tickets yet?? What if you don’t end up sitting next to each other on the plane?? That would be so awkward!” Actually, what is awkward is the conversation about an imaginary romantic trip to my homeland with an imaginary boyfriend). Soon after that, I realized I would have to resign custody of the dry cleaner to him. After all, he had introduced me to it and it seemed like more effort to have yet another place I would need to apply mascara on before going to. So good-bye sweet dry cleaning lady, good bye overpriced tailor.

Then, there was the issue of the google documents. As someone who loves eating, is always thinking about her next meal, always trying to plan her next restaurant trip, always trying to squeeze in reading about food during her work day, it is hard to keep my food-centric thoughts organized. So I started a google spreadsheet (keep in mind, I am definitely more proud of this than I need to be). It contains a list of DMV restaurants, and their specials for each day of the week. I shared this document with the ex, and we would often use this to plan out our dates. Once we broke up, I continued updating this spreadsheet and using it to plan happy hours with my friends. Then one day, I logged into my google drive and discovered that the last edit had been made the day before by my ex. My eyes narrowed. This is my document. I have spent literally hours on this, and research (AND HYPERLINKS) has been poured into this (again, I realize I am more proud of this than I need to be). You do not get to just come in here and make any changes you want to this document. In the custody battle, this is my baby. So I removed his access to the document, and felt a strange mix of sadness and satisfaction.

Next up was our travel google documents. Every time we have traveled, I have created a google spreadsheet to list all potential eating spots. This includes breakfast spots, happy hours, cocktail bars, restaurants, along with yelp recommendation, critic reviews and links to the menu. I logged into google drive and found that he had shared our Boston trip spread sheet with someone a few days later. He did not edit it this time, he had actually invited somone else (yes, a female) to view a spreadsheet summarizing my eating desires (the second most intimate of my desires!). OH hell no, nobody else gets to use something I created for a romantic trip. It is an intimate experience when I eat with someone, and you do not get to share the dirty details of it with someone else, especially not another female. Access removed. Again, I felt a strange mix of sadness and satisfaction. Sadness because this seemed to make things a little more final, but satisfaction because there it was another step of removing someone out of my life (since I cannot remove him from my building).

Okay, I realize this entire post is about something I have totally created in my mind. But these are the the kinds of things you do not think about, and suddenly in a post-break up world they consume your mind. I miss the simpler times before I wasted my time thinking about all of this…


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