The Irish fashion set on their ride or die denim
The Irish fashion set on their ride or die denim

Freya Drohan

It turns out friends are as important as exercise for your health
It turns out friends are as important as exercise for your health

Amanda Cassidy

This Monkstown home with sea views is on the market for €1.75 million
This Monkstown home with sea views is on the market for €1.75 million

Megan Burns

Simple ways to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary
Simple ways to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary

Megan Burns

13 original Netflix picks you may have missed
13 original Netflix picks you may have missed

Jennifer McShane

A beginner’s guide to journaling: Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the self-care ritual
A beginner’s guide to journaling: Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the self-care ritual

Sarah Finnan

This Sandymount extension transformed the space, but didn’t even need planning permission
This Sandymount extension transformed the space, but didn’t even need planning permission

Megan Burns

Looking for a treat to cosy up with? Try this ultimate millionaire’s shortbread recipe
Looking for a treat to cosy up with? Try this ultimate millionaire’s shortbread recipe

Meg Walker

Black lipstick: Here’s how to pull it off
Black lipstick: Here’s how to pull it off

Jennifer McShane

‘Meghan is right. Working mothers do have to choose between being present or being paid
‘Meghan is right. Working mothers do have to choose between being present or being paid

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

Boyfriend Ghosts of Christmas Past


by IMAGE
21st Dec 2013
Boyfriend Ghosts of Christmas Past

Going home for Christmas. Aah, the joys! Not only do we find ourselves reverting to our stroppy teenage selves for Absolutely No Reason Whatsoever – [whines] ?but mum, you know I hate brussels sprouts??- we also end up bumping into our exes. Back on our old stomping ground, it’s only a matter of time before we run into Conor (first kiss, 1990) at the pub, Brian (first fumble, 1992) at the petrol station, Ruairi (first heartbreak, 1995) outside the chipper, and Stephen? Niall? Sean?? (ewww? 1996) while buying haemorrhoid cream for housebound gran.

If you’re on decent terms with the ghosts of boyfriend’s past, it’s fine, but if not, it’s a pustule on the armpit of Christmas. Not only are you older, fatter and more wrinkly than they remember, but these throwbacks have a habit of appearing only when you’re in the fug of a Bad Hair/Skin Day post-Baileys hangover. Having forgotten to pack your foundation and GHD, you’re now borrowing your little sister’s BB cream (shade Creosote) and on the verge of actually ironing your frizz. (The only saving grace here is that your exes are also older, fatter, wrinklier and also balder than you remember).

For me, my Animosity Ex is like Cliff Richard – he only appears at Christmas time. A Brit abroad, I haven’t lived in my hometown since the year 2000. But just as Mistletoe and Wine is guaranteed to annually curb your festive enthusiasm, Animosity Ex will be in the pub on Christmas Day. Or, worse, the car park. Too far away to strut on over with my sunniest disposition, and shortly-but-sweetly tell him how well I’m doing these days, but close enough to feel his eyes judging me as I ?nonchalantly? ?chat? to my dad during the long walk into the boozer, it’s cringier than an errant pine needle.

Silly really, since I’d thought I’d made my peace with my past long ago. A few years back my long-term Irish boyfriend and I went to Wales for a mutual friend’s wedding, where Animosity Ex was best man. I was nervous but smug: Animosity Ex’s long-term girlfriend – whom he’d met within weeks of dumping me – had left him. He was working for the same retailer in the same hometown as when we were a couple. I, on the other hand, had lived in three different continents and enjoyed exciting and progressive roles in publishing and the arts – oh, and did I say I had a long-term, and hot, Irish boyfriend? I was so empowered that even the father of the bride didn’t visually recognise me; I had become the new woman I always wanted to be rather than the crushed, cheated-on, mascara-smudged flotsam of yesteryear. The best bit though: Animosity Ex and Irish Boyfriend, by sheer serendipity, ended up holding hands during the group dance to New York, New York. I will remember this delightful fact when our paths cross at the pub this Christmas. The circle of life, oh yeah.

@LucyWhiteDublin is the Deputy Editor of Cara, the Aer Lingus in-flight magazine

Also Read

Boyfriend Ghosts of Christmas Past
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

Boyfriend Ghosts of Christmas Past
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

Boyfriend Ghosts of Christmas Past
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

Boyfriend Ghosts of Christmas Past
EDITORIAL
‘Meghan is right. Working mothers do have to choose between being present or being paid

Not everyone was happy about the Duchess of Sussex getting involved in US politics. But her letter on behalf of...

By Amanda Cassidy

Boyfriend Ghosts of Christmas Past
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

Boyfriend Ghosts of Christmas Past
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

Boyfriend Ghosts of Christmas Past
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington