Most of us in our late twenties and early thirties have a reasonable number of love and lust experiences. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and even the worst things that happened to us made us people who we are today. However, sometimes we’re not so proud of something we’ve done and even though our closest and dearest know about these things we don’t like to be reminded about them. Today, Dear Rinsers, I’ll tell you about the skeletons in the closet.
Cape Town is a small place. Especially if you’re one of the expats you tend to hang out with certain groups of people. The fact that everyone knows everyone can be a positive thing but if you happened to be single in this environment at some point it’s more of a curse than a blessing. One of the most awkward situations is bumping into your exes (that’s assuming you’re like yours truly, meaning NOT Mature and Best Friends with all of them). You’re having time of your life at a party when suddenly you start feeling uneasy on your stomach. Someone’s staring at you, you can tell. You look around and you can see him pretending he’s looking in another direction. Say hi and make sure that he saw your engagement ring? Ignore and pretend you didn’t see him before if he approaches? Options are many but from my experience such encounters are often awkward, unpleasant and a bit sad. With or without your new partner at your side it’s never nice to encounter the failed project of yours.
As bad as meeting your ex can be, meeting your partners ex isn’t much better. Sometimes they’re actually nice people and then you feel bad for disliking them because of the space in your partner’s heart they used to occupy and the inexplicable jealousy for the unknown life they shared together. It’s obviously worse when they’re just bitchy to you and hate you by default. In an understandable self-defense mechanism they need to make you inferior to them in their minds. Even if you look like Miss Universe, have a PhD from Cambridge and have a successful company, you’ve lost this competition. You can’t win in their eyes. Very few specimen will understand that you guys are neither better nor worse than them, just a more compatible match with the guy. Most will badmouth you with or without meeting you and be prepared for encountering randoms who’ll give you a stink eye just because they’re their besties. We’ve all been in their position at least once in our lifetime so whatever the reaction to us we shouldn’t take it personally.
Last but not least, there are the skeletons that have to do with some embarrassing events of the past: a break-up over whats-app, being the sponge in a relationship, excessive drinking, offending someone, random making-out partner you met in the bar when you were sad and said “see you in next life” to… We all have things we regret and we’re not proud of but the truth is if they were singular actions and they don’t usually speak of a person we are or were but the person we were being. In other words, we’re not what our worst actions would say about us (not what the best would say either). Some people just like to cause a stir, others don’t do anything but their mere presence reminds us about things that makes us feel like we don’t want to be ourselves anymore. The funniest part is that we’re our harshest critics and usually when things surface they’re a source of a laughter, compassion and sometimes even indifference.
To sum up, you have a past and I have a past – we all have a past. Treat others like you’d like to be treated and if something was confided in you in secret, keep it as such.
Are you eager to share some of your skeletons, Dear Rinsers? Any embarrassing stories you care to share? Maybe you were the evil one and spread the gossip that caused some chaos?