If you follow me on twitter, you may have caught a few of my outraged tweets after Private Practice ended on Thursday night. Not to go into too much detail for those of you who aren’t into the show, but it ended with Addison getting together with her best friend’s ex-husband.
I freaked the fuck out. Which led to a big discussion with my sister about whether it’s ever okay to get it on with your friend’s ex. See my sister, far more benevolent and level-headed than I, is of the probably correct opinion that we cannot make unilateral rules about whom our friends can date. And while I partially agree with her, I do think that in this particular case, what Sam and Addison are doing is unilaterally foul.
So does this mean that it’s never okay to get with our bestie’s ex? Depends who you ask. My usual internet poll yielded a whole lot of “it’s not okays”. But surprisingly, I don’t agree. I actually had a similar discussion with the lovely _melissa of commenting fame not too long ago in which we both expressed that we don’t believe in the hard-and-fast “absolutely not” mentality when it comes to sloppy seconds exes. At the time, I shared with her my rules of thumb for gauging whether it’s safe to tread into ex territory and now I will share with you.
To get the greenlight to thronx an ex you have to answer the following questions correctly:
1. How good is the friend?
If you are talking about your bff, the number one on your speed dial, the only one you told about your drunken hook-up with your boss, your most trusted confidant, you must cease and desist immediately. Especially when we’re talking about women. You never know until you get in the situation how the friend is really going to react and it’s not worth putting the friendship in jeopardy.
However, if you’re talking about an air-kiss friend, a new friend, a work friend or something of that ilk and you know that you will skip along your merry way when if the friendship mashes up, proceed to step two.
2. How significant is the ex?
Significance comes in many forms. If it’s an ex that your friend was in love with or a relationship that was longer than a year, abort the mission. You’re wading in shark-infested waters my friend. Those are obvious ones; but short relationships can be dangerous ground as well. Bad breakups, tumultuous and dramatic relationships, and unresolved relationships are all landmines you probably don’t want to be dragging your private parts through.
3. Where were you when the relationship (and especially the breakup) was happening?
This is the most important variable as far as I’m concerned. If we’re talking about a new friend and an old ex, I could deal with it. The friendship might end, but I wouldn’t slice the bitch’s throat over it or anything like that. However, a friend who was there during the whole relationship, who hung out with me and the dude, witnessed our struggles, and provided a shoulder to cry on when shit went sour? Oh no she’s dead if she goes anywhere near him. He should be dead to her after the relationship ends. Okay that might be a bit over the top, but you get what I’m saying.
Sidebar: Not to beat the whole Private Practice reference to death, but this is the part where I just can’t with Addison and Sam. Addison was there for their whole marriage. She delivered their daughter! She witnessed the whole thing and to then up and get with the man causes Naomi to go back and question everything that has ever happened between the three of them. That is effed up in my book. But anyway.
4. What’s your objective?
Now this may be slightly backward, particularly in light of my views on the subject of casual sex, but a friend who just slams my ex for the sake of filling up her sugar bowl is a dead woman walking. We know I love pipe more than life, but it is so not worth the level of aggravation that will ensue when I find out. And I will find out. However, if they are genuinely in love, if there’s a future, if it’s something…real (for lack of a better word) then I probably won’t kill her.
So if you’re my friend and you’re contemplating retracing my steps, you have my blessing so long as you land on the right side of the line on these variables. I’m not sure that’s possible….but give it a shot. Plus all my exes are so worthless you deserve whatever disease you get if you mess with them.
Sidebar: When I was in love with Snickers but before we got together one of my good friends asked me if I would still be her friend if she got with him. I told her no and she was crushed…but she did it anyway. Obviously, he was her ex when I finally wore him down got with him but I did it anyway and felt no shame about it.
That’s my take on it, but what say you, dear readers? Have you gone there with your friend’s ex? Would you? How would you react if your friend did this to you?