Three Strikes

In which The Author’s ex-girlfriend is ‘out’

Back at the end of September, Rhian and I had a very pleasant day out in London, as I told you in Two Days on the Road (Part 1). A couple of days later I posted our photos on Facebook (as you do), as it had been Rhian’s first time in the Big Smoke and they made a nice souvenir of our trip.
The following day I fired up Firefox in the Library, went to Facebook, and found a notification from the very useful FB Purity add-on. Apparently Gema the Bi-Psycho was no longer on my Friends list. I thought maybe she’d deactivated her account, and thought nothing more of it.
It wasn’t until the middle of November that Gema messaged me, asking me why I wasn’t on her Friends list any more. I messaged her back, saying that she’d unfriended me. She replied that she must have done it ‘by accident,’ and sent me a new Friend Request.
Now I’ve been using Facebook for quite a few years, so I know that’s impossible to unfriend someone ‘by accident.’ You have to go to that person’s profile page, click on the ‘Friends’ button, choose ‘Unfriend’ from the drop-down menu, and then confirm your decision. It’s not something you can do with a slip of the thumb – even after at least eight cans of lager – no matter how hypersensitive your touchscreen might happen to be.
Rhian and Gema haven’t seen eye to to eye since our friend Jon W. took his own life, over three years ago. I won’t go into the gory details, but after an incident outside the pub one evening, they haven’t even spoken to each other. The timing of Gema’s unfriending, only a day or so after I posted our photos on Facebook, seemed to be too much of a coincidence. (Before you say anything – yes, she really is that childish!) So I decided to delete the Friend Request, but I didn’t go to the next level and block her entirely. I decided that she’d probably come round eventually and apologise.
It must have been a few weeks later that she sent me another one. I deleted that one as well. Not long after that, I bumped into our friend Michael, and we chatted about this and that. He asked me if I’d seen the Bi-Psycho, and I told him what had happened. He laughed and told me that they’d argued as well. In fact, he’d had to walk away from her when she kicked off in the pub, before getting chucked out and barred. I thought, ‘Been there, done that, got the tattoo.’
Yesterday afternoon, in the pub, when I logged onto Facebook, I found a Friend Request waiting for me. At first I thought it might have been from Jason, a Trecynon lad who’s been enjoying my blog. Believe it or not, it was from Gema (again!)
I was sitting at the bar chatting to Rebecca C. and Joseph S., and his face fell when he saw her name on my screen. Through his own friendship with Michael, Joseph had an encounter with Gema a little ago. It seems he still bears the mental scars, too.
As with her previous calls for attention, I chose to delete this one. Then Facebook did something unexpected (what’s new, eh?) It gave me the option to mark it as Spam. That was too good an offer to pass up. I immediately clicked ‘Yes’, and was rewarded by a message saying ‘This person won’t be able to send you any more Friend Requests.’ The job’s a good ‘un.
You might be wondering why I didn’t just block her (as I did with Jenny, Lynne and Clare) and have done with it. That’s easy. She’s still cyberfriends with a (steadily dwindling) number of other people I know. It’ll be really annoying for her to see my name pop up here and there, but she won’t be able to contact me directly. It’s a simple but guaranteed way to piss her off – along with talking to Rhian, being in the pub, breathing, and simply being on the same planet as her. What’s not to like?
I’ve still got her phone number, by the way, not that I intend using it any time soon. I keep it for one simple reason. After one of our frequent arguments (I was still working in Waterstone’s, so that’s going back a while!), I deleted her number. Gareth B-D and I were walking out of the shop at the end of day when my phone rang. I didn’t recognise the number (and neither did my phone), so I answered it. It turned out to be the Bi-Psycho, ringing to see what I was up to. When the call ended, I turned to Gareth.
‘Useful tip: Keep your mental exes’ numbers on your phone, so that when they ring you out of the blue, you’ll know to ignore the call.’
He laughed and agreed that it was good advice.
So far, I’m pleased to say, the phone calls haven’t started. At least I can go on Facebook without worrying about any new Friend Requests, though. That’s got to be a decent start to 2015.

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