Still Fuming

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I got divorced six years ago. It was a nasty bitter prolonged process,
initiated by my ex-husband after what I thought was a great thirty-
year marriage. It’s a classic story of “needing to do something
different” (translation: schtupp the young woman from work). He did
this to the family just before our son’s senior year in high school and
was a cheap s.o.b. about paying his share of tuition/dorm/travel/etc.
I’m a lawyer and he’s in sales, but that shouldn’t have let him so far
off the hook. My mother just called to tell me that Neil invited her out
for lunch when they met in market, and she didn’t know what to say
so she went. She described him as cheerful, doing well, and full of
questions about me and my son. I am angry at him, angry at my
mother, and generally feel soiled by his intrusiveness and her stupidity
in saying Yes. I’ve had almost nothing to do with him since Ben
graduated. Do I let it alone or give him a piece of my mind.
Still Fuming

Dear Still Fuming:
Reading into the ages of those involved I’d say cut your mother a little
slack. You’re probably quicker on the uptake than she is, and as an
attorney more used than the average senior to fending off unwanted
questions, even than a Jewish mother. I suspect she responded
politely and innocently. The best you can do is indicate your
unhappiness and ask her not to repeat the occasion. Tell her it’s fine to
say, Thanks but no thanks, and then not offer any alternative for a
future date. If he presses, she can say, I don’t think it’s a good idea.


As for him, you have to decide if you want to let him know that he got
under your skin, which he clearly did. While it’s tempting to send a
howler of an email or voicemail, it’ll likely give him more satisfaction
than you. Better to rant to a good friend, or write yourself an email
that you then discard. Also good to howl in the shower, though
preferably when the neighbors won’t dial for 911. Other people are
hard to control and ex’s even harder. Instead of swallowing your bile                                and letting it fester, spit it out, scream it out, write it out, and only if
you cannot get to peace with it, leave him a voicemail at home (while
he’s at work) saying, Leave my family alone please. You’ve caused
enough damage already. If there’s any honor left he’ll heed you.