August 8, 2012
Talking is overrated on November 2, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
A year ago I walked into the first day of class and saw the most beautiful girl I had seen in a VERY long time. I had a huge crush instantly. Everyone has certain criteria, whether they know them or not, and She meets all of mine. Intelligent, funny, caring, active, silly, an incredible smile, beautiful eyes… ouch!
Anyways, a few months later I noticed her talking to me more frequently and had the feeling something was happening but thought nothing of it. While we were in Toronto for a conference, we went out with mutual friends one night. Her friend, whom she was staying with suggested I crash at her place since it was closer. I’m thinking, “great idea, She’s staying there!” Anyways, the friend, the crush, and I went back to the friend’s place, and we stayed up talking for a while, then went to our respective rooms. 45 minutes later I’m woken up by my door opening and She’s crawling into my bed saying she was cold. I’m thinking “I will keep my hands to myself,” but that quickly changed when she started kissing the back of my neck. Anyways, skipping ahead two hours,we both agreed that we were not looking for a relationship since our course/work-load simply didn’t leave enough time for one. After getting back to school, we found that the course-load did not decrease our sex drives.
We both found that while we had trouble keeping our hands off each other, the most important part of a relationship, communication, was going nowhere. Auuugh!!! It would seem like we’d just run out of things to say. I don’t think there was anything worse than feeling like I didn’t have anything to talk to her about. I even started to plan ahead what I could talk to her about at one point! Anyways, we broke up after about one and a half months because we agreed that we were missing something pretty and important; communication.
December 15, 2010
The above, posted by Gwen at TheSocietyPages.org (and spotted/snapped by one Rachel K. in Toronto), should leave little doubt about how the ringless (and evidently friendless) masses are supposed to feel about themselves. But I’d venture to say it sucks to be the mastermind of an ad campaign that, in addition to being hell on the eyes, makes no sense. So if you buy a ring you’ll meet someone? That seems forward. It also seems capitalistically unwise to be harsh on the unmarried, who might, with another ad on another day, have been encouraged (though there are other reasons I don’t love this gambit) to purchase some sort of splurgy, sparkly single bling.
Anyway, back to Gwen: “…I’d say that what sucks isn’t being “alone,” it’s being told constantly that you must be sad and miserable since you aren’t coupled up.” Rah.
More on the ad, others like it, and “singlism” in general from Bella DePaulo here.
August 27, 2009
From CityTV.com in Toronto, via Bitch Ph.D.:
…It appears a growing number of young girls are not only being sexually assaulted [in school], but have come to think of it as a normal part of their educational experience.
Recent studies from both the Board’s Safety Panel and the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health show some shocking stats at one school: 33 per cent say they’ve been sexually harassed in the past two years; another 29 admit to having been touched or grabbed inappropriately and seven per cent have actually been victims of a major sexual assault.
“You just hear jokes [being yelled out] all the time that have to do with girls doing sexual things,” said Madison Fitzgerald, a Toronto high school student.
“There’s a lot of groping and touching in our school.,” said another.
But Connelly believes it’s a problem that’s endemic to halls of learning across the country. “One of the concerns is the alarming rate of gender-based violence, and 21 per cent of the students that were surveyed said that they knew at least one student who was sexually assaulted at school. Now there’s sexual harassment, which is talking inappropriately and there’s sexual harassment which is being touched inappropriately. So the 21 per cent are talking about sexual assault.
“Twenty-nine per cent of Grade 9 girls … felt unsafe at school partly due to sexual comments and unwanted looks or touches; 27 per cent of the girls in Grade 11 admitted to being pressured into doing something sexual that they did not want to do; 14 per cent of the females reported being harassed over the Internet.”
She worries that’s becoming the ‘new normal’ and an accepted mode of behaviour that’s just part of going to class everyday. “They take it for granted that this is the way they should be treated,” she concludes.
Some experts believe the situation is exacerbated because most kids don’t understand exactly what “sexual assault” actually entails.
But at least the grownups are finally starting to call it that. Though they may need to move a little more quickly to educate everyone about what’s appropriate and what’s just … no. Then — holy grail — you need to get the popular kids to call out the others when it happens.
Me, I remember a bit of vaguely line-crossing stuff that happened when I was in school, shortly after the Peloponnesian War. Whether or not I told, which I probably did not, I remember that in general the adults’ response would be “Eh, he’s just doing it because he likes you.” And I remember that weird mix of feelings that I didn’t know what to do with, that uncomfortably prickly mishmash of “Eee, really?! and “Eeuw.” Not helpful.
Q: What kind of sexual harassment is — or was — considered “normal” at your school? What, if anything, was done about it?
July 28, 2009
[Note: We are powerless to remove the italics from this post. We believe that at this point only robots can help.]
The Canadian Press’s Things That Go Pop! pop culture blog has listed the five best breakup movies of all time. I was with them on “Casablanca” (1942) and “Annie Hall” (1977), but then the blogger decided that the 00’s was a decade that ranked three spots on the list. Of the three, I’m willing to give him “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004), because who amongst us HASN’T wanted to have the memory of a very bad breakup erased? But there’s nothing better from the 50’s, 60’s, 80’s(!), or 90’s that outranks “All the Real Girls” (2003) and “The Break Up” (2006) — a movie that even Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn didn’t bother to see? (And that is misspelled. Breakup, noun, is one word, as in Breakup Girl, the superhero/grammar stickler. Break up, verb, no hyphen, is two.) Posters to the site seem to be favoring “High Fidelity,” which is also from the 00’s (2000, to be exact), as missing from the list. What’s your vote?
May 27, 2008
Maybe it won’t surprise any of you to find out that roughly 50% of Canadians — reputed to be the politest people in the Northern hemisphere (the Minnesotans being too polite to challenge them) — break up in private places, mainly their own homes, so as not to embarrass the other person. (Or, um, because it’s cold outside?)
The Vancover Sun article bearing the news — based on a recent poll by Ipsos Reid — quotes psychology professor Guy Grenier as saying, “I suppose that’s probably a good indication of relationship etiquette.” I suppose. But just because a breakup happens in private doesn’t mean it feels private. I mean, the most humiliating place I was ever broken up with was in my own bedroom. Would have been private, I guess, if there hadn’t been a PARTY going on downstairs. I’ll cry if I want to, thanks!
By the way, call me an impolite New Yorker, but aren’t they focusing on the wrong half of the respondents? I mean, where are all those other people breaking up? Gretzky’s?
(By the way #2, the comments section here would be a good place to share your own good/bad/ugly breakup-location stories. Especially you, our neighbors to the north.)
May 7, 2008
Check out what our neighbors to the north have discovered: men are about twice as likely to report depression stemming from divorce than women.
According to the AFP news agency, men aged 20 to 64 who had divorced or separated were six times more likely to report an episode of depression than those who remained married, according to Statistics Canada. Women, however, were only 3.5 times more likely to have had a bout of depression after a marital breakup than those still in a relationship.
Neither the study nor the news report on it gave any real indication of why this was. What would have been interesting is if they paired these statistics with ones on who initiates divorce and reasons cited for the split. I wonder, for example, if women are initiating the divorces more because of cheating spouses and the like. In which case they are probably six times more likely to be pissed off after divorce than men. Or hey, vice versa.
But do check out that little happy nugget of news at the bottom. Turns out it takes only four years to get over the complete and utter devastation of losing the person you love. Well sheesh, if they can solve that one, now can they tell us how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?