Only time can heal your broken heart, just as only time can heal his broken arms and legs. – Miss Piggy
It’s an adage that needs updating, for it seems to me there are
three things in this world of which you can be certain: death, taxes
and break-ups. Nowadays, I would venture to say that most of us who
have experienced the pure bliss and euphoric highs of falling in love
have also descended into the depths and agonizing hell by having our
heart ripped out of our chest, thrown onto the sidewalk and smashed
into a pulpy mess.
Apparently, the bitter end of relationships also turns out to be a
good marketing tool. A quick Google search for “breakups” yields no
less than 1.82 million results for how to survive through them or get
your lover back, how to reconcile your finances, where to place the
blame and which celebrities are doing it in style.
Then there’s The Break Up,
the new “romantic” comedy with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn that
depicts the wretched snowballing effect one breakup has on a two-year
relationship gone sour. Witness the painfully petty antics and gruesome
games one couple goes through, proving they can hate with the same
intensity with which they once loved each other! Now that’s
And naturally, there are tons of books on the subject. Like last year’s It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Breakup Buddy by Greg Behrendt—the author of that annoyingly over-hyped self-help guide He’s Just Not That Into You—and his wife, Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt.
In the book, the happily married couple (blech!) provides tips on
how to get over Revisionist Romance Disorder and Dumper’s Remorse, how
to get out of bed and not hide at the bottom of a pint of Ben &
Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, how to divvy up the mutual friends, how to not
answer calls from the ex, including ringtones to program into your cell
phone so you don’t pick up late night booty calls, notes on rebounding
and buying a vibrator, and even a recipe for brownies to make in
appreciation of your poor friends who have to put up with you during
this excruciating phase of often embarrassing conduct.
My general modus operandi of breakup behavior entails about a month
of hibernation, wherein I soak in bubble baths and the occasional
bottle (or case, let’s be honest) of vino, listen to Mazzy Star and
Sade, read lovelorn poetry to myself—my heartbroken favorites being
from the compilations To Hell With Love and Kiss Off: Poems to Set You Free—and
excessive crying, after which I move as far away from the scene of the
crime as possible. Oh, and lots and lots of chocolate.
But everyone deals with a break-up in different ways—whether they
adeptly recover from it and move on with lessons learned, or end up
forever tormenting the rest of the dating pool with exponentially
increasing self-esteem issues and unresolved relationship baggage.
“Joe,” a 30-something welder from California, told me his recent
break-up happened over the phone. He and his girlfriend had been going
out for eight months when he got recruited to Maui for a job. Two
months later, his lady-in-“waiting” said she could wait no more and
dumped him. At this point, he doesn’t even want to consider friendship.
He’s bummed but resigned about the whole thing.
“You can’t beat yourself up about it,” he said, over a beer at the
Tiki Lounge in Kihei just two days after the break-up. “If it’s good
enough for her, it’s gotta be good enough for me, right?”
Obviously, not everyone is as decisive. One high school teacher I
met at LuLu’s, “Bob,” said he and his girlfriend of six years have
broken up three times in the past month. But the reason for the
break-ups—infidelity on her part, he said—is not as harrowing as the
reason for the reconciliations.
“It’s better than being alone,” he said, staring at my cleavage.
“Besides, I would rather find someone better while I’ve got something
going on with someone else so I’m not ‘desperado.’”
Yeah… I’m gonna pass on that drink, Bob. Thanks.
Samantha Campos is pleased to
discover that she has not yet succumbed to presbycusis and is therefore
in the market for the 17-kilohertz Mosquitotone so she can text message
all her friends during class. MTW