June 30, 2011
A happy ending from July 13, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl
My letter was published in your ”Prom” series. I don’t really have a question, just an update! As of last week, I am back together with Brendan! It seems that he had not really moved on, but was really just confused and needed some time…that girl he was seeing was, in his words, a “huge mistake.” I just thought I would share this with other Breakup Girl readers to prove that love CAN happen the second time around AND be two times better! Thanks for listening Breakup Girl, a nand don’t worry, just because I am no longer a “breakup girl” doesn’t mean I will not be visiting your site, because I will! IT is the the best!
June 29, 2011
Reestablishing contact on July 6, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
First off I love your page. It’s been a great help to me. Well, I broke up with my boyfriend in March (right after spring break). We really haven’t talked since then and I miss our friendship. Well his birthday is coming up in July and I don’t know if I should tell him Happy Birthday. Do I call him or do I send him a birthday card in the mail or do I even do anything at all? Would it be inappropiate for me to even do this at all? Will his family think less of me if I do or don’t? Please help me make my decision by the middle of July. What do I do?
Actually, sending a birthday card sounds like a perfect way to make a small but nice move toward reconnecting platonically. I wouldn’t call, because if you haven’t talked at all, it might put him on the spot, and you don’t want to hang up the phone with an awkward echo in your ear.
About the card, though: don’t expect a response. I’m not saying he won’t give you one; I’m just saying don’t expect one. Or, to put it another way, don’t make the “success” of your venture contingent upon whether or not he calls you the minute he gets it to thank you for the card and lock of hair. You send it, it’s a nice thing to do, end of story. Oh, and forget about what his parents think, either way; God forbid they should be reading his mail or tallying his birthday correspondence. Finally, when you select the card, keep it simple and pleasant — do not make it MEAN anything — by following these basic guidelines: (1) no 2-layer cards with raised script and inspirational poetry, (2) no crass jokes, and (3) no Ziggy.
June 28, 2011
The “looks” theme generated quite a few responses, including one from an earnest Swedish boy — “Are Americans that obsessed with looks?”– who somehow thought that all my columns, every week, and all my letters, were all about this theme. I took a moment away from “House of Style” to gently set him straight.
Next, here’s a pic of the Bride of Wildenstein (thanks, Kathleen and Linda). Breakup Girl is unable to write a joke about it at this time because she is hiding under her chair.
And speaking of plastic surgery, remember Mole Boy (as in, one of last week’s letter writers, not as in, “Mulder, do you mean to tell me that this young man with no eyes has learned to survive by burrowing underground and eating only insects?”)? He evidently felt some sort of cosmic/cosmetological link to Sunkissed, the young woman wondering if a face lift would boost her prospects with boys, and here is what he wrote about it. Everyone who’s ever wondered “what’s missing?” (from your face, your weekend, your soul) should read carefully; everyone else (like, both of you), should enjoy the lovely ride.
Dear Breakup Girl,
It’s Writer Boy / Nothing Like The Sun again. We can stick with Writer Boy. [This repeat-writer is a man of many aliases. -- BG] I was so pleased that you did several questions on the looks issue. I actually was a little worried about asking the mole question because I knew it raised some serious self-image issues, but the answer in one case is not necessarily the same in another. A haircut that makes you feel fabulous is a healthy self-image adjustment, but not so much for massive plastic surgery in most cases. Anyway, seeing everything in a larger context was very cool.
Oddly enough, I was more struck by Sunkissed’s issue than your admittedly spot-on advice about my own (If you had advised the other way, I guess it would have been “spot-off”, hehe.) Suddenly I remembered what it was like to be me at 15 and discovered that in the past decade I’ve already made the most important self-adjustment I could make–transforming from shy, neurotic Antisocial Boy into Very-Much-OK-With-Himself Boy. [More aliases! -- BG]
So, I have a shout-out snippet of advice of my own, for Sunkissed (and anyone else who’s recently been Dumped or Slumped for that matter). Dancing is my personal prescription panacea for relationship woes.) I’m cribbing a little from your notes to her, but consider my plagiarism a mildly devious form of flattery.
Take heart. At 15, you have had more boyfriends than I had had girlfriends by age 21. In fact, Writer Boy remained un-kissed until he had notched off two decades on his belt and just begun his third. But that same Writer Boy is now mostly happy, well-adjusted, and can find no bigger relationship problem in his life than a silly mole (which I am pleased to say I am keeping!).
June 27, 2011
A low point from June 22, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I moved 2000 miles to live with “the love of my life.” Once I got there, he broke up with me. I was stranded, broke, and alone. It was hell. I am now back home with my parents, trying to move on. But I am haunted by questions of “why” and “how.” Last night, I talked to him, and the same subject came up as to why I’m “not his type” — not attractive enough, not thin enough. I accept the relationship is over, but now I have the leftover feeling that I was dumped because I’m unattractive. I’m now terrified of meeting anyone, because I fear it will just happen again. And now my self-esteem is zilch, since I see myself as fat and unappealing. (Especially since I have gained about 15 pounds since the breakup, and I just took my exam to be a registered dietician! I feel like such a failure.) How do I go on and repair this damage? Will I forever hear him in my head saying that I am unattractive and not thin enough? I feel like our whole society is obsessed with looks. On TV, on the radio, and in my relationships, that’s all I see. It just makes me want to hide away forever. Please, can you help me see things differently?
BG responds after the jump!
June 24, 2011
Keeping up appearances on June 22, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
If a guy is interested in you, the only thing that you can find wrong with him is his looks and on that basis you reject him, does that make you the most shallow person on Earth? Please reassure me that you have to be attracted to someone, or else it wouldn’t work…please?
Yes, you have to be “attracted” to someone. Or at least feel the potential stirrings thereof. So answer me — and yourself — this: When you decided to take a pass, what, in essence, were your thoughts? Can you honestly say, in good conscience, that you rummaged through all of your hormones and neurons and other chemical apparati and came up with no gut-level attraction whatsoever? Or did you think, “Well, he’s not the biggest hottie in the world, I’m afraid of what people will think…” ? Breakup Girl honestly doesn’t know which it is. But you do.
June 23, 2011
Quoting Shakespeare on June 22, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
You are the most level-headed and genuinely thoughtful advice heroine in all cyberspace. And so, I submit my problem to Your Superness…
I am an attractive person; I want to make it clear that my comfort level with my admittedly-rather-average-but-unique-and-therefore-desirable appearance is satisfyingly high. I also sighed right along Will Shakespeare when he wrote “My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun…”, because sometimes a lover’s so-called imperfections are her most perfect attractions.
My problem is a small one: one small mole, present since birth, on the left cheek. Now, I will normally be the first to champion the fact that beauty is in the details, that it’s the tiny unique things about each person that makes him/her desirable. And it’s not as if this is a particularly ugly feature–it’s basically just a big 3-D freckle. No ugly discolorations, no honking huge black hairs growing out of it.
June 22, 2011
Cutting class on June 22, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Okay, here I go. I am 15 years old and in high school the past few years I have only had one boyfriend. All my friends tell me that I am pretty and that I should have a lot of boyfriends but not to worry about it. Well, I am and I am begining to think that it is the way I look so I am thinking about getting plastic surgery to change the way I look so maybe I could get a boyfriend. I have been told from a few boys that they think I am pretty and nice but they would never go out with me. I have no clue why that is the way they feel. I would love it if you could help me with this little problem.
Hey, can anyone help me find a photograph of Jocelyne Wildenstein on the web? Breakup Girl’s supercomputer was unable to locate one. NYers, at least, will know whom I mean. Seeing a photo of her may be just what I need to scare Sunkissed straight.
June 21, 2011
Looking for love on June 22, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I am 19 years old and have scoliosis and a cleft palate. I am not ugly but not a stud either. I have a great mind, though. But still I can’t find a girl who appreciates me for me and can accept my disabilities and have a real relationship. Why can’t girls look past appearance?
Breakup Belleruth lent a hand on this one. For starters: “Yes,” she says, “it’s too bad the culture is so driven to admiring conventional appearance and rejecting all else. And it takes extra work to maintain self-esteem in the face of the barrage of shallow bulls***. But in the best case scenario, it really does build character and sensitivity to not be instantly fawned over and accepted by the superficial morons whom we desperately want to include us, for reasons that grow hazy as we age, thank God.”
And she’s right. But you’re like, “Shut up, I don’t want ‘character,’ I want a girlfriend!” I know, Bobby. But stay with us for a few more points.
June 20, 2011
Guess what I found in my advice mailbox: a letter from my best friend J. from seventh grade, back before my historic rendezvous with Unreliable Man gave me the powers I now use to serve this great megalopolis. You may remember her from such entries as “How’s my love life? My CAREER is going great!” Of course, we give each other advice all the time (the kind where one of us says, “So, should I give that Bally’s trainer with the house in Steamboat who voted for Robertson and doesn’t like dogs one more chance? You’re supposed to say ‘Yes, but only one,’” and the other says, “Yes, but only one.”). I just didn’t expect her to go through such formal channels. But as always, her timing was uncannily perfect, practically clairvoyant. Little did she know I’d been searching for a fun way to introduce this week’s theme, the one where I am going to tell you to
worrying so much about your
to Breakup Girl instead.
So here goes.
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow. My dilemma: do I just trim it and keep it at the current, face-framing, bobbish length — or, do I go back to the ultra-short Winona do? (Note: my obsession with Winona’s hair began WELL BEFORE she met Matt Damon. It’s legit).
So you might ask, why am I writing Breakup Girl with this question?
a) She’s seen my hair through the years (isn’t that a 70’s song?), and can offer a personal opinion.
b) Well, duh– as with any hair dilemma, this is not about hair — it’s about life as a woman, femininity, following/resisting stereotypes, inner strength, etc. etc. See, I love how short hair feels. BUT — it brings up all my worries, namely: do I have a striking enough face to carry it off? Will men ever look at me? Do I need to be a waif with a model’s face for this haircut? Am I too fat for it? Will I look more butch than I really am at heart, or, worse yet, like a matronly housefrau with sensible hair? Do men really like long hair better?
In short, will I be cutting off my hair to spite my face?
And then, of course, the meta level: why do I care so much what men think? Why am I worried about the ramifications of looking “unfeminine?” Why am I trapped by the stereotypes even as I try to be a strong, freethinking female?
And finally: WILL I RESOLVE ALL THESE ISSUES BY 11 AM TOMORROW?
Thanks, Breakup Girl. You’ve got great hair, by the way.
BG on J’s hair, looks and the Little Prince after the jump!
June 17, 2011
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From All Facebook:
Last year, more Facebook users changed their status to single than in a relationship — 24 percent versus 31 percent.
That juicy tidbit counts among many that lie in this infographic on how Facebook affects our relationships, rendered by our friends at Online Dating University.
Only three out of every five users show their relationship statuses at all, and such listings appear more frequently among Facebookers in the U.S., South Africa, Iceland, the U.K. and Canada.
Collaboration between All Facebook and Online Dating University