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Published on September 30th, 2014 | by The Town Crier


Horse’s Mouth

At Town Crier, we occasionally get letters from readers seeking advice on all manner of personal situations. They could be questions of etiquette, social faux-pas or family matters. We are always happy to help and so we have enlisted the help of a local stalwart who in her own words has seen it all and calls a spade a gardener. Lady Ophelia d’Knight, (Offa to her friends, but we’re allowed to call her lady d’Knight), will be happy to answer any of your queries in future issues.

Dear Lady d’Knight

How can I avoid getting discombobulated by running into my ex at parties? We work in the same – small but sociable – industry, and wherever I go, there she seems to be, talking to the people I want to (or ought to) talk to. We say “hi” awkwardly and then what feels like a terrible silence falls. If I were “myself” I would manage a situation like this OK – but she has a knack of making me feel like I’m not, and it’s always me that ends up mumbling an excuse and moving on. Any tips?


Dear CM

In an ideal world, our exes would run off to the Foreign Legion, join a witness protection scheme or, at the very least, move to Stoke-on-Trent. Out of sight truly is out of mind and getting over heartache is so much easier if you are allowed to go cold turkey. I remember chatting to a friend of mine on the phone and I mentioned I had seen his ex the night before. He later told me he hadn’t slept all night. I felt awful on two counts: first because I had upset him, and second because I knew exactly how he felt – all the men in  my life have been completely devastated when I find pastures new.

None of this is helping you, however, since you do not have the luxury of avoiding this lady who once had the keys to your heart. I feel the lack of surprise in these encounters should be your greatest weapon. You know you will bump into her so don’t be thrown by it. Plan lists of banal questions or non-personal bits of news you can share. No, scrap that, it will only make her think how dull you are and she’s better off without you. The fact you have a past isn’t something to regret or to be embarrassed by. Own it. Pretend you are fine about spending time with her and, lo and behold, one day soon it will come true.

Or you can wait for her to move on at the party and let slip that she was a terrible nose picker when you were seeing her. It really depends how grown up you want to be about it. A new romantic interest for you (fictional if need be), always helps to give you the upper hand.

Lady Offa d’Knight

From now on you will need to cope on your own I’m afraid, my pearls of wisdom will no longer be available to you as I’m close to snaring husband number 5 – a filthy rich octogenarian Texas oil man. I can spend his money whilst he gets the benefits of my English class. A quid pro quo I think you’ll agree.

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