Another Encounter

I don’t have many ex-boyfriends.  There’s no long list, there’s just four of them.  But after last Friday night I’ve now had encounters with three of them after having no contact for more than 20 years and all of these encounters have been in the last 15 months.

Just over a year ago my sister and her partner returned from New York for their Sydney wedding.  It was a held a few days after Christmas and I had been asked to make the cake and be the emcee.  No pressure!  On Christmas Day I was in the kitchen with the bride-to-be and I asked her who had been invited to the wedding but all I was told was that there were over two hundred people attending.  I then asked, ‘Well what are the seating arrangements?’  Because I didn’t want to be in a back corner of the room if I had to keep popping up and down to be the emcee.   And she said the seating arrangements had all been finalised and she didn’t want to let anyone know what those arrangements were because that would just lead to an enormous discussion and she didn’t want anyone requesting changes.  Fair enough.

The Wedding Cake. The flowers came from a shop in NYC and were shipped to Sydney

So the wedding day arrived and we had the ceremony and then the photographs and then the pre-dinner drinks that were in an outdoor area of the function centre and then it was time to head inside for the reception.  I found the table where I was to be seated and that was front and centre so that was a relief and then I found my seat and I was expecting Carl to be beside me but he found his seat on the other side of the round table.  I was curious to know who was next to me and I looked down at the vacant chair and saw the place card and read the name.  I was completely shocked but then more startled when I felt a tap on my shoulder and looked up to see Paul standing right beside me.

Flowers on the Tables

Well that was awkward.  I hadn’t seen him for such a long time.  He wasn’t as shocked as I was because of course he was expecting me to be at my sister’s wedding but I had no idea he’d been invited.

Someone needs a wine!

I met Paul when I was 18.  I’d been invited to a high school formal and Paul was hosting the pre-formal drinks so I met him that night.  A few months later I was starting a degree at Sydney Uni and I was sitting outside in the sun and he walked past, recognised me, sat down and said he had two tickets to The Blues Brothers that night and would I like to go with him.  Well I had nothing on so I met Paul in the city and we went to the movies.  And it seemed every day after that that Paul had tickets to something.  Tickets to the Royal Easter Show, the ballet, the theatre and musicals.  And if he didn’t have tickets, he had something planned like dinner at restaurants in the Eastern Suburbs where he’d grown up and entry into nightclubs in the city.  I no longer sat at home and watched TV.

On the job as emcee

One weekend he invited me to a B&S Ball.  I’d heard about these bachelor and spinsters balls that were held in country towns but had never been to one.  He picked me up in his father’s vintage car and off we went to Bathurst where out in a paddock an enormous marquee had been set up.  We changed into formal wear with me in a skimpy green dress on a freezing cold night and Paul in a tuxedo.  Once inside the over-crowded marquee Paul kept buying me gin and tonics that I had no trouble drinking it’s just that I wasn’t used to alcohol at all and a few hours later I passed out in his car, missed the Ball and didn’t wake up until the following morning.

And now, here he was twenty-five years later looking the same and again, dressed in a tuxedo.  It was a bit surreal and I started to panic when he realised he was sitting next to me because I’m sure he would have thought I’d engineered the whole thing.   His wife was banished to the other side of the table just like Carl so Carl and Paul’s wife got to know each other while Paul and I chatted about old times and the gap between then and now.  After he finished law school he worked for a while in Sydney then moved to LA and that’s where he discovered my sister was living nearby and they became good friends.

Between being the emcee and having a very close encounter with an ex I’m not sure how I made it through the night but somehow we both had a great time and it was actually very lovely to see him again and have that time together.  I told him I can’t have a gin and tonic without thinking of him!

And so over the last year I have had encounters with three of my four ex-boyfriends.  I keep looking over my shoulder for the fourth to appear because clearly, it’s only a matter of time.

Internet update:  Still no connection.  Both the phone company and the internet company have offered me one month’s free line rental as compensation for their incompetence!  Now there’s something to celebrate.

Want to keep in touch?  Let’s be friends on Facie!



  1. Very pretty cake. And, even with the unexpected meeting, it sounds/looks like it was a fun wedding.

  2. I had a similar issue with the internet – it made me so grumpy. But at least they’re compensating you for the trouble, which is more than I can say in my case 🙂

    It’s lovely to see these photos of you and your family, you’re all so photogenic.

    I’ve had really awkward encounters with my exes, although I don’t have very many either. Looks like you handled your encounter gracefully though.

  3. Oh no, I hope the internet issues get resolved soon. It can be so irritating!

    Wow, what an amazing event with glitz and glamour!! Say Hi to Naomi on my behalf 🙂

  4. Thankfully I haven’t bumped into many of my exes, although like you there isn’t a cast of thousands 😛

  5. What a stunning cake!!! Oh, my goodness that is just so perfect but, yah, the ex-thing… who set that up? Just wondering? I always feel like I’m on some surreal “ghosts of the boys from Christmas past” thing when I run into one… it’s gotta be the most awkward ever!

  6. What an amazing night from all perspectives. You did an amazing job on the cake too – absolutely beautiful!

  7. What a night! Sounds like you carried it off with style.

  8. Kris Radge says:

    I just can’t let another story go by without saying how much I devour every piece of your writting and then there is the beautiful recipes. Laughed my head off amongst shocks of horror and then there’s been the tears. Congratulations on an awesome blog. These wedding photos are brilliant.

  9. Wow what a surreal occasion on many levels!

  10. I loved the cake, so beautiful… And seems that it was a great wedding party and you seem so beautiful. Your dress too. Thank you dear Charlie, I enjoyed to read and to watch. Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

  11. Wow what an occasion! Great work on that cake!

  12. Totally Gorgeous Cake lovely. Looks like it was a beautiful wedding xx

  13. OMG, I can’t believe you’ve had that many ex-boyfriend encounters in such a short timespan. It sounds like you handled it with humor and grace, but I’m not sure I could be counted on to be as collected. Although I daydream that I will be stunning and fabulous…ha!

  14. Aren’t your children beautiful!

  15. Yum on the cake … good pics too.

  16. You did an amazing job on the cake and I am sure on emcee as well. You looked gorgeous as did your sis and Arabelle (so beautiful). I felt like I was watching the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon and every new photo with Archie would hold another fun surprise. Very fun read today.

  17. You look absolutely gorgeous.

    And that cake, lovely.

  18. Wow, you look absolutely fab in your gorgeous dress! It’s great to bump into in ex when you look THAT good. The cake, is, how do I put this, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I can’t believe you were sitting on this post for so long!!! I would have been bursting at the seams!
    I am sorry to hear of all your internet troubles, our service provider for telephone also does the internet so it’s a little more seamless; that’s not-to-say they are perfect…far from it! Needless to say, we have had a few freebee’s from them over the years!

  19. This is a wedding? I thought it was the golden globe or something! You and your kids are so sweet, the cake is so elegant and amazing and your sister the bride so beautiful!
    I find it always very interesting meeting with my ex-boyfriends (my list is also small) from times to times, I consider them now on my good friends list. I dont think there’s something strange about it after all these years..!

  20. Ohhh my comment disappeared 🙁 I think I forgot to press ‘post comment’ LOL silly me ~

    Another ex ~ wow i’m so glad I haven’t had the chance to bump into any of mine lately! But last time I did I literally ran away hahaha

    Even though its a little late still would like to say Congratulations to your sister 😀

  21. I had no idea you could get flowers shipped over to decorate a cake!! I’ll have to look into that tip! Your cake turned out so lovely and the bride was as beautiful as brides always seem to be!! I’m not sure how I’d feel running into ex’s, but I see you handle it very well!!

  22. It looks like a beautiful wedding–ex- boyfriends and all!

  23. As long as the next ex you run into is a real one, and not PT!
    Why does Archie need to study, couldn’t he just call up one of his good mates and ask if there’s any parts they don’t want that they could throw his way? And I certainly hope those photos are part of his resume package 🙂
    Lovely cake indeed!

  24. Love the cake!

  25. That looks and sounds like it was quite the wedding to be at.

    Hope your internet returns soon. If not just have another drink and enjoy as the free months of service keeping racking up.

  26. What a great wedding! I bet Archie and Arabella had a ball.

    I totally understand your sister’s comment about the seating arrangements. I’m figuring mine out at the moment and don’t want input from any outsiders!

    Good luck with the internet. It’s such a pain when you have no control over it.

  27. you look absolutely stunning

  28. Looks like you all had a great time, despite the odd seating arrangements. Just whose idea was that? No matter. You could not have handled the situation any better. And those dresses! You and Arabella looked beautiful!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks John, that’s so lovely of you. I’ve been over to your blog and wrote a comment on your St Joseph’s post but it came up saying, ‘You have to be logged in to that email address to post a comment’ which is very strange because of course, I am logged in. I had the same trouble this morning with Celia’s blog from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and you both use the same format. I had new software uploaded onto my computer last night so I’m wondering if that’s the problem. Strange but also annoying!

      • Some days, I have the same problems. If I fill in my name, password, and web address in the spaces provided by the comment box, it will accept my comment for that post and hope that it will be good for the rest of the day. Oftentimes it isn’t and I’ll have to sign in again when I post a comment on another blog. Annoying is a good word for it. I’ve never noticed the themes involved, though, but I will take note. Thanks for the tip!

  29. Ex-boyfriends…I’d say that was quite a momentous event. Your cake–now there is a star. Simply gorgeous! It looks like a perfect wedding for your sister and a memorable time for you, which makes it doubly lovely.

  30. Magnolia Verandah says:

    Great Cake! I don’t run into any old boyfriends they are on the other side of the world – mind you I bet you didn’t expect your sister to bring one from the other side of the world either!!

  31. Whoa, something must be in the air to be running into so many exes in such a short period of time. But then again, it’s always interesting to see them now to determine if they’re still the same or if they’ve changed. I find that a lot of times they’re still the same. LOL

  32. u made that fabulous looking cake? awesome! the table arrangements look so pretty.. mustav been a beautiful night

  33. Beautiful cake, beautiful wedding, beautiful children, beautiful guests!!!
    So many EX-counters all at once, the planets must be shifting or something 🙂

  34. You did a wonderful job on the cake, very elegant!
    All I can say is, at least you didn’t bump into your ex wearing trackies on the street and it was when you were looking perfect!

  35. What a coincidence! I am wondering in what circumstances you will meet the fourth one 🙂

  36. I still see one of my ex-boyfriends once or twice a year just because we were together so long that we keep in touch out of habit. The other ones…I really hope I NEVER see again. It would NOT be this pleasant!

  37. That is TOO funny! Well, they say things tend to come in threes, so maybe you won’t run into that fourth after all 😉 I can’t get over the cake you made for your sister – it’s just exquisite!

  38. Gosh, what a stressful evening – well… you sound like you had fun and handled it well – I’d find it stressful as anything 😀

  39. Wow.. just look at the ambiance. So romantic. And I love the table settings and that cake… stunning. You did a great job on it. And I’m sure you wowed them as the emcee 😉

  40. Amazing, and you were seated next to him. The world is certainly small.If you don’t meet the 4th soon, maybe you will meet him at the next round in 20 years time:)

  41. Wow! Both the cake and the author look stunning! And you know the best thing about having run into an old boyfriend? At least you were looking “hot!” (I know, it seems petty, but it does feel good for that moment in time, as in “eat your heart out, kiddo, cause I’m going home with Carl tonight!”) 🙂

  42. Nice weeding cake.

  43. Great story Charlie. Oh the sliding door moments one has in life.

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