December 29, 2004 – An awkward meeting and an awkward movie

During the afternoon I met up with Brother X, one of my pledge brothers from when I joined the fraternity. Brother X was usually a pretty good guy, but had some bad habits that got him kicked out of the fraternity. We had been keeping in touch, so it was good to see him again. After catching up for a bit, we went to see Meet the Fockers at the cheap theater. MTF is a sequel to the hilarious “Meet the Parents”. It was disappointing.

In the evening I met up with The Ex. When I had originally decided to move to Japan, we were having a lot of problems in our relationship. We had been together for about 5 years, but weren’t sure where the relationship was going. I wanted to have an adventure before I got locked into a career, and after studying Japanese in University, I decided a year overseas to teach English would fit the bill.

It would be hard to describe the current status of our relationship. Ironically the word “complicated” is the simplest way to describe things. When I decided to go on an overseas adventure, I asked The Ex to come with me but she had no interest in living in Japan for a year. I asked if she was interested in coming to visit, but she wasn’t completely sold on the idea and was also planning a major trip to visit her cousins in Portugal. Before I left Canada, we had agreed to go our separate ways and to reassess the situation when I moved home.

For the first part of my time away, we had exchanged some phone calls to keep in touch. We switched to emails to try and get some distance. The emails were generally friendly, but it was a strange situation that we were both having trouble navigating. My decision to stay longer in Japan was also a bit of a stress point.

Before I left Japan, The Ex and I made plans to meet for coffee at Perkins while I was in Canada. We met in the entrance way and then moved to a table. It was strange to talk to the woman I had been in a relationship with for 5 years but hadn’t actually seen in a year. Things started reasonably well; we hit the safe topics – catching up on how our mutual friends were doing, and exchanging some of our current adventures.

The topic then changed to relationship stuff. She told me that she had been dating a coworker for several months now, and made a point of telling me that he was really tall. I told her that I was dating The Penpal (which understandably got a negative reaction), and that my parents had already met The Penpal’s parents. One of my biggest complaints about my relationship with The Ex was that in the 5 years we were together, our parents had never met each other.

I’m not really sure what either one of us was expecting out of this meeting. It was an extremely awkward situation and one of my least favourite trips to Perkins, but I think we both walked away with a bit more closure than we had before.

Perkins was close to Cinema City 8, the discount movie theater. Instead of being left by myself to over-analyze the uncomfortable conversation I just had with The Ex, I met up with my sister and we went to see Napoleon Dynamite. The movie was a collection of loosely related events in the lives of some very strange people in Idaho. It was weird and funny and very quotable. Napoleon Dynamite was a good ending to a day with some uncomfortable moments.

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