Though having said that, it’s worth mentioning that “enemy” may be too strong a word to refer to my ex-husband, and my boyfriend’s ex-wife…. although certainly at a time of awful endings we often of course do feel anger and hurt and it is tempting to relegate exes to that category! I have had dinner with both in the last week!
The first dinner was with my second ex husband, and whom I have not had significant contact with for the last nine years since our relationship ended. Through quite a stange confluence of events, we needed to resolve a minor legal issue which was still unfinished between us, and then we decided that we may as well do it over a glass of wine or two and dinner. His favourite Italian restaurant in Parkview is closed on Monday nights(as most restaurants are wont to be) so we went to a favourite Italian restaurant of mine in Melville. It turned out to be an evening of good food, lots of wine, lots of laughs and some tears, just remembering especially the nice connection we’ve always had around cooking and eating nice meals together. He has in the mean time, also bought a pasta machine: making basil pesto is still a favourite too, exactly as he taught me all those years ago; and a bread maker and in detail described how he has perfected making a pizza in an ordinary home oven: the secret is to heat up a flat iron griddle to almost white hot, put the grill on high, put on it the pizza base and very quickly the toppings, and have it under the grill for not even five minutes!!
He told about a recent dinner which he hosted, for some friends including one whom we still share, where he cooked to perfection a leg of Springbok which he had hunted himself earlier on this year, and how his girlfriend is learning to love eating venison.
We parted with a promise of having dinner together as couples, since quite interestingly, I met my boyfriend through him years ago, in fact we had socialised as then married couples around 15/16 years ago…which gives me a nice seguae into the next dinner with an ex, but with my boyfriend’s ex wife this time.
Last week Wednesday, I invited my boyfriend’s son over to join me and my sons for our usual midweek pasta. His dad is still in Canada, so he was happy to come over and have a home cooked meal here. It was a lovely evening: all the boys and a girlfriend and a friend getting along, sitting around the table eating and talking: I felt like the proverbial Italian Mama, or is it Jewish? Knowing that everyone is well fed and taken care of!!
So this week Wednesday, I invited him again, also his mother who is visiting him from Grahamstown while his dad is away. I was pleased that they accepted the invitation, and even though I had some twinges of anxiety, the evening went wonderfully well, with easy conversation, and as I sat at the head of the table looking around at my son(my youngest could not make it) and his girlfriend and my boyfriend’s son and his mom, eating, drinking wine, laughing, I had such a sense of wellbeing and deep appreciation of how our lives are richer when we can transform our relationships with exes, and how shared meals are still the perfect ritual to celebrate those old connections and create new ones….