I spent the weekend with my ex-boyfriend's mother at her home in Brooklyn. To some the preceding sentence may appear to describe the type of torture that is strictly prohibited by the Geneva Convention. I assure you, it was not as awkward as it sounds, in fact, I asked for it. No, I am not a masochist, but I do live within a geographically low-lying area of lower Manhattan that became known as "Zone A" during hurricane Irene.
On Friday afternoon, Mayor Bloomberg called for a mandatory evacuation of Zone A and other low-lying areas in Queens. Forecasts indicated that New York City was directly in Irene's path. It occurred to me that the logical step would be to evacuate to my boyfriend's apartment in order to weather the storm in a state of romantic bliss. It seemed as though that was what most of my friends were doing. Well, I don't have a boyfriend anymore. Thanks for rubbing it in Irene! What I do have is an ongoing relationship with a woman who, lets face it; I hoped one day would be my mother in-law.
So, what happens when a friendship with an ex's mom outlives the romantic relationship that connected the two of you in the first place? In my case the dynamics appear to be healthy. My relationship with her son ended a few months ago, primarily because we spent 10 months of a two and a half year relationship on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. We couldn't agree on "where things were going." With him in Greece and me in New York the relationship just did not make sense anymore. (I can hear my friends clearing their throats, to interject. There is more to the story. Click here if you care to read about it.) My ex and I are still on good terms, but my friendship with his mom is not a contrived effort to resurrect our relationship. He left New York a year ago, in that time his mother and I have created a friendship with its own autonomy. We have had numerous lunches, exchanged text messages and celebrated Christmas and Easter together. We spent the weekend cooking, eating, watching DVDs and my personal favorite, browsing through her collection of designer fashions. In other words, it was a typical weekend at home with the family.
Of course I know we are not really related. As a result, I can foresee a time when our relationship may not be as smooth as it is today. From what I gather these types of friendships are typically ill advised. What will happen when she has a real daughter in-law to be friends with? Frankly, at this point I'm not sure that it matters. When romantic relationships end I am always tempted to look back and wonder if I wasted my time in some respect. In this case, the romantic relationship did not work out, but my friendship with his mother provides further confirmation to me that I have learned, grown and ultimately gained from the experience.
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