Old lovers are like socks. They show up out of nowhere, full of static, and missing a mate.
It took a while for Spouser to finally create a Facebook page, but when he did, the surprises came pouring in.
“It’s just to reunite with old friends from India,” he said.
Reunite was right. It didn’t take long before we received word that one of his former girlfriends, on her way to South Padre Island for vacation, was stopping by to visit.
“What do you mean, one of his old girlfriends?” Mother asks on the phone. “You’re letting her in?”
“I don’t want him to think I’m insecure and jealous,” I reply.
“But you are!” she says.
“Yeah, but he doesn’t need to know.”
A week later, while Mom’s lighting a candle for me at church, I’m greeting Spouser’s old girlfriend at the door.
Strolling past me, her long, black hair whips around and slaps me across the face. I had heard she was pretty, but now I’ve seen her, and she puts the Bollywood actresses to shame.
“Yes, I’ll have chai with a spot of cream,” she says with a smooth British accent.
Staring at me up and down, she sips her tea and waits for Spouser to arrive from work. Her diamond-clad fingers and sparkling gold bangles reflect the sunlight into my eyes.
“So, an English degree, huh?” she says, handing me her business card. “You’re not the kind of girl I thought he would end up with.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not the kind of girl you would ever get to know,” I reply, putting on my sunglasses. “So I hear you’re a doctor. You must put in a heck of a lot of hours.”
“Yes, of course,” she says, dabbing her red lips with a napkin. “When will he be here? I’ve got things to do and can’t wait around forever.”
Now and then, you meet a woman who’s your instant soul mate. And then there are the women you’d like to chop into tiny pieces, mix with Cat Chow and feed to the stray cats outside.
Spouser arrives just when I’m getting ready to put Miss Fancy Pants in a guillotine choke hold.
We eat supper together. Most of the time I can’t understand a word they say because they’re speaking Hindi.
The girl says something that sounds choppy to me. Spouser laughs and then replies in words equally choppy, reminding me of my yearly visit to get a pedicure when the Koreans or Vietnamese sit and talk to each other while they work. It’s amusing, really.
“Mom, she’s gone,” I sigh into the receiver, watching from the window as Spouser walks his ex to her rental car. “I wonder how I ended up with him when he could have had her?”
“I imagine she’s like a Persian cat — expensive, pretentious, requiring a lot of work,” Mom replies. “Your husband’s a smart man and sees wisdom in spending his life with your garden variety alley cat — cheap, friendly, and happy to have a meal and a warm place to sleep.”
I’m washing dishes and wondering if I should take that as a compliment. Spouser comes back inside the house, wraps his arms around my back as I work and thanks me for ordering in Chinese food.
“She’s just like I remembered her,” he says, “smart, pretty but impossible to be with more than an afternoon.”
I smile, knowing Mom is right. Spouser’s Facebook flame has been reduced to ashes.