Home was fun enough while I was there, but events conspired to ensure that I didn't enjoy my holiday's full potential. You see, I think each holiday is for something, and unless you discover what that is, that holiday is wasted.
The Ex had informed me that she had moved on and was now seeing a musician. My own investigations revealed that The Ex was seeing a musician alright; a guitarist in a live band. I, on the other hand have no musical instrument capacity so far, and at the time, no showbiz girlfriend to enter in the Best Rebound Contest, which The Ex seemed to be winning. Jealousy is often reasonable.
My friend Dave had lately become a father. This meant I couldn't derail him into my own never-ending fickle distractions and trifling amusements. He said I was lucky I had just one parent; nowadays he had four, and he was seriously on the verge of yodeling out a "Papas and Mamas Don't Preach" Karaoke! David's hands were now full with relatively superior concerns, and he could not bear to let his baby mama think he was dumping child-rearing in her lap, just like he had done with child-bearing. As if he had any say in the matter. I nodded with understanding and went off in search of fun-headed people.
I came across Jennifer. Best Friend of the Ex. Naturally, she was anti-climaxing on the whole “now the chick her ex left her for has birthed his daughter, yay!” thing. I can say I was there when she finally let hope die on David, because I saw the dead hope on her face. I even heard her saying good words about Carol, the girl she had earlier said stole her ex and had struggled against for years to reestablish things as she felt they should be. Fortunately, Jennifer was so absorbed in salving her wounded pride that she forgot just how much she hated me. I left before she could remember.
I came across Sister of The Ex, and shortly remembered why she was taboo. She and I have a strange sort of understanding, an instant connection which really resonates weirdly harmoniously at a much deeper level than English can define. I remember the one time we argued – it was about an instrumental track we were fluking out of newfangled computer software. We couldn't decide whether there would be bridge in the “song” or not. The issue was minor, and the decision was purely yes/no, but we argued too passionately about it. It was obvious to everyone who overheard us that the argument was our indirect way of murdering other taboo issues which we couldn't address directly. Talking to Sister of The Ex that day, I remembered that fate must not be tempted, and I kept it short. She invited me to tennis and I promised to show, I asked her out swimming and she agreed to come – but we both knew that because of The Ex, nothing we promised could ever happen.
I came across Brother of the Ex. Young, single, free-spirited, hot-tempered, fast-talking young man, with nothing to do with his holiday time other than TV all day when he wasn't out “for a walk” up to no good at all. A smoker, drinker and argumentative know-it-all. A fast runner when the situation called for your accomplice to be a fast runner as well. A person who knew people who did parties where parents were banned. A cheeky guy I had once mused would become my in-law. Viola! I had found my holiday plot-guy.