Petty Confessions: Are We in an Imaginary Competition With Our Exes?
While watching a rerun of Grey’s Anatomy, more specifically season four, episode 14, Cristina Yang said something very profound. The character, which is played by Sandra Oh, was discussing an ex who recently won a medical award. She said:
“It is not difficult sir... it is simple. Burke is not here. He's gone and he's better for it. He's winning the Harper Avery award and being celebrated all over the world. That is not difficult. He's out there and I'm here where everything is the same. I still live in his apartment, I walk the same halls of this hospital, I wear the same scrubs. It is not difficult. This is where I chose to be. But sir, when his hand was shaking, I performed the surgeries, I kept his secrets, I nursed his pride... you know it and I know it, he knows it. He knows it and yet nowhere in that newspaper article does my name appear. I am the unseen hand to his brilliance. And yet while everything is the same it is very, very different. Now I'm lucky if I get to hold a clamp. Hahn treats me like... I was his hand and now I'm a ghost. That is not difficult... it's unbearable. Everybody is proud of him... but I'm not... I do not wish him well.”
Her speech resonated with me and brought me back to a lunch date I had a couple of weeks ago with my former high school English teacher, who was in town visiting (FYI my class was her first teaching gig out of college so she’s young and super dope, and has become an older sister/friend to me). We were discussing failed relationships and our current love life or lack thereof. While discussing her ex-husband she jokingly said, “I just hope if I run into him I am remarried or engaged....he cannot be remarried before me.” I laughed, but I totally shared the same sentiments.
As I watched Yang recite that quote on Grey’s Anatomy and as I thought about the conversation I had with my former English teacher, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is there an imaginary competition we hope to win against our exes? I mean here was Yang: she nursed her sick boyfriend back to health, she stroked his ego and while they did have issues, he left her at the damn alter. Then he goes and wins one of the highest accolades a doctor can receive (at least on Grey’s Anatomy) and doesn’t even acknowledge how she helped shape him and made him a better man as well as a better surgeon. How f%$#ing insulting is that?
I already have one ex (B the star basketball player, read about him here) who is married with children and at first I was crushed, but truth be told I was only upset because he stole my wedding at least that’s how I felt at 21 (his wife’s bridesmaids wore green gowns he knew that was my favorite color). However, honestly I don’t and still don’t care and I guess that’s because he didn’t cut me as deep.
But with P (aka Mr. Sloppy Toppy and the guy that broke me so bad I lost all confidence at one point, but we’ll get to that over the course of the next few months) there is an imaginary competition. I am positive I have helped shape him into a better guy for his current girlfriend (insert emoji roll eyes face here). So I have to get married first and excel in my career. My glow up has to be first. Not that I remotely care about him in that way, but because I have to be the one that gets married and have children first. I know this sounds ludicrous and insane, but hey at least I am honest.