I like to think of myself as a good person. Sure, I’ve made my share of mistakes, assumptions, and fake Facebook pages, but at my core I ALWAYS mean well. I know it sometimes doesn’t look that way when I’m tweeting shit about my husband’s ex-girlfriend, talking shit about my husband’s ex-girlfriend, or just thinking shit about my husband’s ex-girlfriend. But, like I tell him, I DON’T ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT. It’s just my shtick! Like how pretend I want to euthanize his asshole Miniature Pinscher when he’s not looking. Nothing I say should EVER be taken seriously. Unless, I’m talking about the Pinscher, in which case, yes, I hope he dies soon.
So Jason’s ex, Sam, and I were almost officially acquaintances who have no problem with each other until the fall of last year. That was when I published an adorkably wacky account of how obsessed I was with the fact that she was able to move on with her life post-my husband. This outlandish tale depicting me hiding in the trunk of a car, breaking and entering, and lying about my age was meant lovingly. However, after the article posted, she seemed to almost instantly disappear from my life. At the time, I guess I just assumed she was busy. This morning, I learned it’s because she fucking hates me.
My mother, Deb, and step-father, John, came up from San Diego to celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary with us. As a little treat before they headed home, I thought it’d be fun to take them for mani/pedis and lunch at the Ivy. Around 10 am we jumped into my car and drove to my favorite nail spot on Beverly Boulevard. It being my favorite nail spot has little to do with how well the girls do nails and more to do with the fact that it’s situated next door to the best coffee house in the city. Honestly, don’t go to this salon if you want gels because they will fuck your shit up and undoubtedly overcharge you.
The other annoying thing about this nail spa is that I have to drive past Sam’s house to get there. (Annoying = not annoying at all/secretly fun.) It’d been over year since we’d seen each other face to face and I hadn’t thought much about her in as long a time. (Except for a couple months ago when I wrote that story about how obsessed I was with her not being obsessed with my husband anymore.) But today was different. It was merely a coincidence, an auspicious gift from the gods that this girlfriend of Christmas past happened to be outside her apartment at the exact moment we drove by.
“That was Sam, Jason’s ex! Did you just see her?” I asked my mom as I craned my neck to get another glimpse.
“No,” she answered, as she and John turned to look.
“Should I go around the block?” I offered.
“No, Jenny,” my mom barked.
“You’re right. Honestly, I would have only been doing it to satisfy you guys’ curiosity. I’m totally over-harassing her,” I said, believing myself.
We pulled up to the nail salon and wandered in. My mom and I sat in tall pedicure chairs debating polish colors while John was sent on coffee duty.
“Two iced coffees, black!” I called out to him, still focused on the cyanotic polish every semi-current issue of Lucy magazine seemed to be pushing down my throat.
When I looked back up, John was gone. Standing in his place was someone else… Someone who, upon second glance, looked strangely familiar. Holy shit! It was SAM! Wha — Wait. What? I thought to myself as my mind melted into the hot water soaking my feet.
Unable to avoid direct eye contact, I preemptively blurted out a loving hello. Sam looked at me like I was Hitler raping a baby and paused before grunting, “Hi.”
I felt like I was going to throw up all over the room. Like when you see a cop flashing his lights behind you and you know you’re in trouble but you’re just not sure why. Scared, I tucked my face back into my cell phone and pretended to be busy. When I mustered up the courage to look again, I realized Sam’s MOTHER was sitting across from me also getting a pedicure! So there we were, the four of us in a nearly empty nail salon facing off in pedicure chairs. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide… My mom sat next to me, oblivious. I texted her to fill her in. “Oh my God! In a weird twist of karmic fate, guess who the fuck just sat down opposite us? Sam and her mom!!”
“They just put on their shades! I guess they think now we can’t see them,” my mom wrote back.
I glanced up again and now noticed that both women were bedizened in giant black sunglasses that looked like they were from Nordstrom’s “Blind People” collection.
“So there we were, the four of us in a nearly empty nail salon facing off in pedicure chairs.”
“The mom looks like she wants to kill you,” my mom wrote.
“Should I say something?”
“I’m not above clocking a bitch if I have to,” she answered.
Just then, John walked back in with our iced coffees.
“Hey girls! How’s it going? Neither of you are getting that crazy Smurf color, are you?”
I said nothing, praying to god that Sam’s toes weren’t blue.
“Ha. I — I don’t know,” I said, uncomfortable.
“What’s wrong?” John asked.
My mom whispered something under her breath, which I assume was, “Shut the fuck up and I’ll explain later,” because within minutes, John decided to wait for us outside.
Unable to help myself, I took another look at the two, seething Lt. Commander Geordi La Forges engaged in their own furious texting. I wracked my brain, going over the article I’d written. Was it perhaps more offensive than I had thought? Did she somehow misinterpret it as not being slightly tongue-in-cheek? Was there possibly some other offense I committed that I wasn’t even aware of? I really couldn’t think of anything that would have provoked this behavior. The way I saw it, I’d been good to this girl. I facilitated her making amends with my husband, I’d given her back a Nesspresso Coffee machine with milk foamer, and I even consoled her when her parakeet died. Why was she being so mean to me?
Since she seemed engrossed by her phone, I thought the easiest way to reach out would be through text. So, from less than five feet away, I shot her a message.
“Are you mad at me?” I asked.
Seconds later, Sam looked at me, horrified, and said nothing.
So I did what anyone in my situation would do… I sent another text.
“Hike Runyon this week?” I suggested.
“Have you seen American Reunion, yet?”
Sam grew angrier by the second and eventually shut her phone off.
Realizing she needed time, I, very maturely, got up to go. My mom also collected her things before sending me one last text: “I’m gonna walk past them so they can see how skinny I am. Meet you outside?”
I nodded, secretly paid Sam’s tab, and left.
After Sam never called to thank me for the pedis, I realized it was really over. Sam didn’t want to be the weird bearded lady in the cage I kept pointing at. She was my muse for over three years and it was now time to find someone else my husband dated to become obsessed with.
Jenny Mollen Biggs is an actress and writer living in Los Angeles with two poodle angel muffins and an asshole miniature pinscher. She also has a husband. Keep up with her at IMDB or on Twitter @jennyandteets.
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