Countryside Love – The Pub Full of Ex’s
Countryside love is the idyllic bliss of spring meadows, tussled hair and snogging in haystacks but only when you are 16. After that in rural areas when dating you’re doomed to forever meet your ex partners everywhere you go.
It’s the sort of stuff nightmares are made of but for people in rural and particularly farming communities it is the reality of life today. When there is only one village pub ex husbands and wives are bound to bump in to each other eventually (when I say eventually I actually mean everywhere you go on a daily basis).
Just imagine romantically holding hands with your new love and whispering sweet nothings in her ear with her ex 3 feet away, it’s a real passion killer I can tell you and doesn’t make dating in rural areas easy.
I almost never go into pubs but our local village pub is basically a community centre and everyone knows everyone, with strangers causing a ten minute silence and then an hour of muttering, specualtion and suspicion before everyone accepts they are not sheep rustlers and then makes them very welcome.
However a few months after I split up with my ex I decided to drop in to my village local one night for supper after a hard days work. As I walked through the door I nodded and said hello to my ex who was standing at the bar ordering drinks and kindly asked what I would like. I accepted the offer and then turned to say hello to his new girlfriend sitting in the corner glaring at me. Oh dear he was in for an ear bashing and any hopes of a night of passion with her were out of the window.
I ordered my meal, grabbed my drink and then did the rounds to say hello to everyone. My first stop was to say hi to my ex’s girlfriends ex who was having supper with his new fiance and his daughter – who was constantly shouting across the room to her mother, much to the annoyance of the new fiance.
A quick sweep of the room filled me with great relief to find my ex’s girlfriends ex’s ex was not in that night (are you keeping up with the ex’s? It’s not easy I know). She isn’t over the divorce yet even after 7 years, likes a bit of a tipple and tends to let the world know about the ‘love rat’ every time she has one too many, so at least I could eat in relative peace.
The local policeman was in with his new wife and he called over to let me know his ex and the boys were in the back room having supper and I should go to say hello. I dutifully wandered through to say hello and lord above she was having supper with her boys and Dave (that’s Sandra’s ex). Now I know why they were eating in the back room, they were not yet an official item. Sandra ran off with the neighbours ex wife and now enjoys a lesbian relationship, although it’s done nothing for Dave’s confidence so it’s good to see him back dating again.
Phew that seemed to be it for ex’s so I wandered over for a quick natter with Uncle Pete (he isn’t actually my Uncle and is in fact my ex’s uncle but he thinks of me as family, so more daggers from the corner as the new girlfriend was not yet in favour with the family).
My supper arrived and I was just getting started when the door opened and in came Claire, one of my ex’s ex’s with her new chap, who’s ex luckily never frequented the village pub or there would be trouble as she and Claire were school chums. Claire and I are good friends now so we had a natter and I will admit a five minute bitch about our ex’s new girlfriend, who neither of us approved of and you would think by now the man would have the sense to let us choose him a wife.
I finished my meal and joined the old guys for a game of dominoes. Honestly my life had come to this, sitting in a room full of ex’s playing dominoes with a bunch of guys in their 70’s and 80’s (although young Willy is only 68 and his wife won’t speak to me because she’s sure I am after him) and listening to them chunter about farming not being what it used to be. They are of course right but when you have the same conversation every day for 8 years it gets a little tedious.
As I was finishing my last drink in came my ex’s two lads, all spruced up and scrounging money off their Dad to go to town on the pull. The youngest explained that the eldest had dumped his girlfriend last week and was indignant that she had already taken up with his pal Evan and so needed to go find a new lass quickly before he became the laughing stock of his friends.
As I got to the car park Jill’s people carrier pulled in and out jumped Jill, her husband, her ex, his new wife and various children from heaven knows which combination of the marriages – we had all lost track by now. Good to see there was no jealousy there and the kids all just slept, ate and played at whichever farm they fancied that week depending on what was going on.
I stood in the car park, leaning against my car and laughed, a real hearty laugh. If I wrote a screen play about it no doubt it would be rejected as fanciful and not true to life and yet here I was in the pub night from hell.
The next day I met my ex in the paper shop and he was sporting a nasty black eye, his new girlfriends temper is one reason I do not approve of their relationship and is the reason her ex ran off with the local shepherdess. I asked the ex when he was going to learn, when we were together I was the idiot blonde that never did anything right and his ex (the mother of the boys) was perfection on legs. Once we split up she faded into insignificance I became perfection on legs and the new girlfriend became the dumb blonde. I laughed and suggested he tries a brunette next time.