ast night I took part in one of the more bizarre rites of lesbian courtship--my girlfriend dragged me to an intimate dinner with her ex-lover and her ex's new girlfriend. This social mingling of ex-lovers takes place with alarming frequency on the lesbian scene, and so I'm sure the evening described below will sound eerily familiar to many of you.
Shortly after I began dating my girlfriend, she phoned her ex to tell her the news. 'Great!' said the ex, 'let's get together for dinner!' The dinner was postponed for several years while the ex busily hunted down a new girlfriend and bought a home with her. These dinners are not allowed to take place until both exes are happily planted in new relationships.
The drive to dinner with an ex is my favorite part of the evening. This is the point at which my girlfriend is holding me in the highest esteem. It will all be downhill once we enter the ex's home. But during the drive, my girlfriend is so grateful that I've agreed to attend this dinner with minimal fuss, that she is regaling me with horror stories of her relationship with her ex. Her ex was selfish! Conniving! Needy! Her ex wasn't anything like wonderful me.
We arrive at the ex's house and my girlfriend exhales a sigh of awe. The ex's home is gorgeous! Apparently, the ex has done very well for herself since breaking up with my girlfriend.
When we enter the home, we are overwhelmed with the hardy smells of a homecooked meal. The ex mentions that she took special pains not to use bleu cheese, lemon, mushrooms, or any of the other dozens of ingredients that my difficult girlfriend does not eat.
It is at this point that my girlfriend gives me the first sidelong glance of the evening. When I cook, I never bother to consider my girlfriend's ridiculous dietary demands. 'If you don't like it, don't eat it,' I say merrily while placing a plate under her deep scowl.
Then the ex's new girlfriend sweeps into the room. She is beautiful, droll, and at least as funny as me. The ex smirks at my girlfriend pointedly. There is an imaginary blackboard hanging over our heads keeping track of wins and losses, and the ex just placed another hash mark in her column. The ex is clearly winning this contest—better house, better food, better girlfriend.
My girlfriend stares daggers at me. This is all my fault. Why can't I be blonde and hold a degree from Radcliffe? Why can't I afford a million dollar mortgage? Why can't I cook without mushrooms?
Now we enter into my second favorite part of the evening. As we begin dinner, the ex launches a full-scale charm offensive on me. She ladles seconds on my plate and keeps my wine glass filled to the rim. When I mention that a very expensive bottle of French wine tastes a bit musty, she dumps it in the sink and opens another one.
When the ex is confident that she has won me over, she seals her victory by making out with her beautiful girlfriend. In retaliation, my girlfriend gives me a quick peck that is filled with hostility.
We ride home in silence. For the rest of the evening I let my girlfriend fantasize about how much better her life would be if she had stayed with her ex. I know that when I get up the following morning at 4 a.m. to take the dogs out without complaint, she'll remember why she loves me.