"Thanks for holding the party here," said Pauline as she arrived, fashionably late as always to the apartment.
"Hey, it's the least I could do for my fourth child," I replied, ushering her and Amber into the place. "Can I take your coat?"
"Oh, what a coincidence!" called out Josie, from the living room, as the three of us moving into the center of action. Josie was snuggled up next to her fiancee, Andrew. "We were just talking about you."
"We just had a question in the game we're playing that asked, 'If you could ask one question to someone and get an honest answer, what would it be?'" explained Annie, sitting across the table.
"And Annie said, 'Is Amber really Ted's other child?" chimed in Chad.
"Well, she might as well be the fruit of my loins," I replied.
"Although I don't really remember that night of loinmaking," laughed Pauline, and headed into the kitchen to start spreading out the goodies she had brought for our love child's birthday party.
"Josie, how are you feeling?" I asked, glancing over at her on the couch. Earlier she said been complaining about not feeling very well, and possibly leaving early.
"Oh, I'm fine, honey," she replied, and then paused, looking over at Andrew. He frowned and rose from the couch to smoke a cigarette on the deck.
"Andrew was not happy that Josie called you honey," said Corb, later on that night, as we were going to bed.
"Yeah, what was all that about?" I asked, folding over the sheets. "It's not as if we're going to run off and get remarried again. That ship has sailed."
"Maybe he doesn't think it's sailed far enough away. Besides, you're not divorced yet."
"We will be soon, though!" I said, remembering our looming meeting in court. Funny that. Our first date was at an ice cream place when Josie was seventeen. Our last one will be in front of a judge, in a few weeks. I grinned, wickedly. "If he hated that, he must have loved it when I pinched her on the butt."
Now Corb frowned. "I don't think I liked that, either!"
"Oh, relax," I said, and removed my socks. "It's all innocent. Really, do you honestly think it means anything? It's just a force of habit. I mean, we were together for over a decade. Things like that are going to slip out."
Call me naive, but I honestly don't see what the big deal is. I mean, so what, Josie slipped and called me 'honey' by accident. I've called her honey tons of times!
Oh, I know, I know, I need to put myself in his shoes. Think about how it must feel from his perspective.
I try, but all I come back to is: who cares if two old friends call each other honey or some other term of endearment? Frankly, I'd rather have two exes talking to each other in those terms than the alternative. Terms of engagement, not terms of enragement.
I can't think of any other relationship in my life where I've parted ways where I've actually been able to maintain a connection. That's something pretty special, and I'm awfully happy that it happened with the mother of my children. That deserves some honey, every now and then!