Tuesday, 5 April 2011

My Dad's Lesbian Ex-Wife

No, the title of this blog is not inspired by a 'Friends' storyline, it's based on almost true life.  My old man didn't have a lesbian ex-wife; he was in fact denied the chance to marry his lesbian sweetheart.  It was only only a couple of years ago I learnt he was engaged at the ripe old age of sixteen to a young lassie who later - so he claims - went on to become a lesbian.  In the twenty odd years since she came out of the closet my dad has managed to keep this story firmly within it.  I don't blame him.  He must have known that given this delicious gossip my brother and I would indulge in childish teasing along the lines of, "haha...you turned her gay dad..!!"

Which we did.

Once I'd finished teasing - if I'm honest I haven't - I started to think, it couldn't have been easy being caught up in a broken engagement, even if it was at the tender age of sixteen to a lesbian.  When your future wife turns out to be gay it must be like getting hit in the bollocks, as painful as it is you have to accept that to those around you it's actually quite funny.  But breakups, any break up, especially at sixteen years old, are horrible.  Usually - for one person at least - a 'breakup' often results in a 'breakdown'.

Not that a broken heart is anything new for a Scotsman.  Thanks to our sedentary lifestyle and horrendous diet we have amongst the highest rates of heart disease in Europe - when my girlfriend recently split up with me I though I was suffering from a broken heart...I was actually having a stroke.

I've not had contact with a few of my ex-girlfriends for a while, but, as far as I'm aware, none of them later turned to homosexuality.  I have however been dumped more often than Andy Murray's coaching staff, and I'm willing to admit that some - in fact most - of these have actually been quite funny.

A few of my breakups have been 'mutual' but this is a false economy, they were only mutual in as much as I agreed they were dumping me and there was nothing I could do about it.  My first came as early as primary one.  My girlfriend at the time, Lynn, was more than a girlfriend, she was also my wife.  We had a beautiful ceremony in the playground at lunchtime.  Everything was perfect until my best mate, and my best man, decided he also had designs on Lynn.  Soon we were engaged in a Tommy Sheridan style love triangle - when I say 'Tommy Sheridan style' I should point out we were five years old and the only swinging taking place was at the park.  When I told my mum about my girlfriend - and her boyfriend - she advised me to confront Lynn and tell her she had a decision to make it was either me or my best mate Judas, sorry Gary.

Apparently Lynn wasn't into emotionally needy five year olds, and she got half of my stuff in the divorce.  Still, I like to think that to this day she regrets choosing Gary over me.

When you reach early puperty you obviously crave more attention from the opposite sex.  The only problem is you've spent thirteen years ignoring girls - unless you live in Dundee, at which point you'd be considering antenatal classes or childcare options - and have no point of access into the female world.  What's needed is a dating diplomat, an agent who can orchestrate deals, source potential interest and maximise you eligable status.  For me this invaluable source was my cousin Aimee.  She managed to pull off some impressive Downie deals, deals that were all the more unlikely due to an unfavourable reputation I had acquired amongst the first year female population after I dumped a girl because she changed her name - as if being in the 'witness protection programme' wasn't hard enough.  The fact my older brother was a dick didn't help things either - his name isn't Richard he's just a dick - older siblings would always advise their younger sisters against dating a Downie.

Aimee's biggest coup came when we were thirteen.  I was still suffering the effects of 'namegate' however despite this Aimee had somehow managed to convince one of the hottest girls in first year to agree to go out with me.  I was delighted when she phoned me with the good news.

Not my longest relationship admittingly but I'd still say it was one of my best.  I suppose there was some deals that even Aimee couldn't close.

The worst breakups are the one's you're not expecting.  They are often the pinnacle of a particularly rubbish day or week.  I had such a breakup when I was sixteen years old.  I was watching our local team take on bitter rivals Inverness Caledonian Thistle - shit team with a shit name.  It was half time and we were being beaten convincingly, so in an attempt to cheer myself up I got my Nokia 3310 out ready for a game of 'Snake 2' when the following text came through...

Somebody told me recently that moving house is supposed to be as stressful as a breakup, well unless you're moving out as the result of a breakup, or you're moving into the Fritzil household, that's a load of bollocks.  But then perhaps I'm only saying that because of my Roma-Gypsy/Native American background.

Surely moving wigwam isn't as stressful as the deleting of messages, the cancelling of plans, holidays, not to mention the cards, photos, and letters kept in a safe place like propaganda you once believed but now have no idea what to do with.  My recently ex-girlfriend was - and still is - a world class artist.  Looking at the drawings and paintings she once drew out of affection has been heart-wrenching.  It is only now I can finally empathise with English football fans, because everytime I set my eyes on the portrait of Maradona she gave me as a Christmas present I get the sickening feeling of hurt, disappointment, heartbreak and 'what could have beens' - this actually reminds me of a 'Maradona incident' I had while attending a party with my girlfriend.  I was the only Scotsman at a party in England and decided it would be a good idea to get stupidly drunk and sing Maradona songs, (to the tune of the Hockey Coakey), "...You put your left hand in, you do the Maradona and you score a goal, he put the English out, out, out....Ohhhh Diego Maradona, Ohhh Diego Maradona..."

And that was after I drank the hosts rather sizeable whisky collection, I was probably lucky to have survived that particular incident to be perfectly honest.

I suppose I shouldn't expect any sympathy from English football fans at the demise of my relationship, but I'd like to take the opportunity to apologise for drinking a twenty year old botte of malt and singing inflamatory football songs.  While I'm at it I should also appologise for 'outing' my old man, offending anyone in the gay community and for dumping my first girlfriend purely because she changed her name.

For those of you just out of a relationship or going through a breakup I hope your breakup is a 'breakup' and not a 'breakdown'.  I'm sure you'll take absolutely no comfort when I say 'there's plenty more fish in the sea', and besides, going by recent fishing quotas that's just not the case anyway.

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