Since I had been seeing my boyfriend for a year before we broke up and then never heard from him again, I was definitely not in the comfortable orbit of my ex's existence. My friends told me I was most assuredly not getting my proper post-dumping checkups. When I first heard this I instinctively defended my ex: Well, since ours was a long-distance thing and we didn't really see each other all that often, maybe ours is a special case and the checkup rule doesn't really apply here. No, they explained gravely, shaking their heads, even long-distancers are supposed to check up.
What was this checkup business? I wondered. To me it seemed so ridiculous, but everyone else was acting like it was perfectly normal. My friends would proudly tell me things like, Yes, my boyfriend checks up on his ex-girlfriends all the time. Or they would brag, I'm best friends with all the guys I've hooked up with. At first I felt kind of bad that I wasn't getting my proper checkups. But then the more I thought about it, the more I was glad my ex-boyfriend wasn't calling me because, really, what in the world would we say?
"Oh! It's you -- it's really you. I was hoping you would call. I've missed you so much."
"Yes, it's me. Don't get too excited, though. I'm just calling because it's time for your checkup."
"Oh. Well, still that's awfully considerate of you. I have so much to tell you...."
"Hmm. Not too much, I hope, because remember, this is only a checkup."