Isio Knows Better is an attempt to capture the shocking and highly entertaining conversation within myself. The conversations between my mind (the sharp witty one), my soul (the lover and the spiritual one) and my body (the playful one concerned with the more mundane things of life). She is the eternal referee between the caustic mind and the sensitive soul. This is Isio. So, here’s to making private conversations public.
English language is yet to coin a word that quite defines what ‘ex-girlfriends in law’ is.So, permit me to call someone who once dated (but is not currently attached to) someone you once dated (but are not currently attached to) an ex-girlfriend in law.
Imagine such a one, and then now consider this- can you be friends with her? I don’t mean BFFs and ride-or-die “chic-ism”. By “friends” I mean can you be friendly or civil with that person? Can you comfortably share space and/or words with them without animosity? Think about it. Same goes for the guys…
So back to the ladies, being friends with your ex’s current mate is something entirely different, just as being friends with the one who was instrumental to the crumbling of your relationship, or even the person your man left you for. No, I don’t mean being friends with the girl whose heart he had to blast-scatter to be with you. (She probably despises you sef…) But what could possibly be your quarrel with your ex’s ex? She is just a girl who dated him and has moved on, just as you dated him, and have moved on…
So, can you be friends with your ex-girlfriend in law?
Once I posed this question to my friends on BBM, and the answers I got from many of the ladies were as alarming as they were funny. Things like…
“Ehhhhh?! How? That useless girl!”
“Over my dead body! Never! I can never be friends with such.”
“Ahhhh, no o. Which kain friendship be that na?”
“Hahhahahahhhhhaaaa, that witch. God forbid!”
“Eh, if I hear! None of them should even come near me…”
“Ahan, no o! Abeg-abeg make water find im level, mbok!”
Truly hilarious stuff. Yet again, I ask the question, “Can you be friends with your ex’s ex?”
Let me tell you a story about meeting my ex’s ex. Or exes as the case were…
Once I met an ex at the mall. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, and because it had been an amicable separation between us, we were friendly. Few minutes later, a female friend of his walks into the shop we were in. He introduced me to her as his ex amid our friendly hugs and banter. She appeared confused and in turn we beamed mischievously at her confusion at our friendliness. She told me later that she had dated him briefly when I was out of the country. I was like, “Oh, cool!”
She and I became friends after that. She was quite open-minded, and she made it easy. Over time, we developed a relationship between ourselves that was independent of our ex. We would go to the movies, have dinner with friends and exchange the occasional phone calls. We are not BFFs, but we are good friends. And she is a good person. I am glad I met her.
On the flip side is my other ex’s ex. I met her at my friend Susan’s birthday dinner. I sat down to eat, and then Susan decided to introduce me to the girl seated beside me. The conversation went thus:
SUSAN: Isio, do you know Oluchi? She used to date that your ex-boyfriend Mr. Man.
ME: Oh wow. What does it matter? An ex is an ex. (Then I chuckled and turn to Oluchi) Nice to meet you.
OLUCHI: (Ignores me and then turns to Susan and huffs). What do you mean EX?! (Turns to me as she flicks her weave) I was still with him last night; we are still enjoying each other.
ME: Well then, I am happy for you. (I smile and turn my attention to my food).
Five minutes later my friend calls out to me from across the table. I look at her, and then she signals to yet another girl on the table. The girl looks up.
SUSAN: (Loudly so everyone could hear) Shalewa, meet Isio. Isio, meet Shalewa, who also dated your ex Mr. Man at some point…
Odiegwu. I found the direction of this conversation distasteful.
At this point I drop my cutlery, nodded politely a greeting to Shalewa. Then I turn to Susan…
ME: Susan, Susan, my friend my friend… what exactly am I supposed to do with this information? Shall I walk up to her and say, ‘‘Hi, my name is Isio, I hear we’ve ridden the same horse, but it’s nice to meet you.’’
I paused and smiled.
Everyone at that dinner table went silent.
Then I picked up my glass of wine and sipped slowly; my eyes daring her to test me. Some ‘‘friends’’ sef. Whatever happened to keeping it “drama-free?”
My friend Susan was sufficiently embarrassed by her bad behavior. And that was that. Needless to say, I am sure neither Oluchi nor Shalewa would have wanted to be my friend even if their entrance to heaven depended on it. And that was okay too.
If you are really honest about an ex being done, dusted and buried, why should you care enough to dislike someone who loved and lost the same person you loved and lost? If anything you should be friends; the Association of Former Girlfriends in Law. She is your FOGIL. (Chuckles). In any case, if you really are safe and secure in your new relationship and love le boo, what le ex does with his instrument should be no concern of yours.
Unless you have been lying to yourself and you want le ex back…
Then you should be honest with yourself, le boo and stay away from the others in le ex’s life who are like you before you kill someone.
Personally, I have no quarrel with anyone who has dated any of my exes… simply because it serves no purpose. It is an irrational expression.
If you are fortunate (or unfortunate enough) to have dated a man who is loved by many women, how many women are you comfortable alienating just because they liked who you liked? You never know if she could be a good person. You never know if she might be the person God has placed in your life to bless you. You will never know her quality as a human being, because she chopped le ex’s banana briefly in 2008, while you are still hung up on the fact that you loved him loyally from 2002 through 2005. This is 2014, and you are annoyed at her and anyone else who dared be with the man you once loved after you’ve both moved on.
The world is indeed a magical place filled with people just waiting to be offended by something, anything.
Have a truly lovely Tuesday, my friends!