November 16, 2012
Mr. Perfect’s coming home on November 23, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl
Found your site when I had just broken up with a guy I dated for 7 years and it gave me some good laughs along with some good advice, so thank you…
Now I’ve gotten myself into this really weird situation and I’m not quite sure how to get out of it…or if I want to get out of it. After this breakup, I was feeling pretty down in general amd wound up taking comfort in the arms of this incredible guy…we had a little bit of a summer fling…which was actually great, my self esteem got a boost (this boy is beautiful) and I had a great time…then he went back to school (he’s 22, has one semester left at an almost Ivy League school, will be done in December and back in town, I’m 24, working in a big city, real life kinda crap).
Here’s the kicker — I’ve known Mr. Perfect for about 10 years…he happens to be my best friend’s little brother…and we chose not to let my friend in on this little fling because we weren’t sure how she’d react…in fact, our parents are friends with each other, and they have no idea either.
So we had this summer fling, that even had a little snag in it when I went up to visit my friend at their family’s summer house and the three of us spent the entire weekend together and we continued to hide the whole thing…well, we just stayed away from each other…then when we got back, we decided we shouldn’t continue the fling because it was too weird (he’s almost like MY little brother –we used to beat each other up…it was weird for him to look at his sister and difficult for me to look his mother in the eye, considering what I was thinking about her son…).
Well, that lasted about a week, until we went out to lunch and scrapped the idea of staying away from each other…it’s just too much fun…that was in August.
November 15, 2012
Changing his tune on November 23, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Hmm. Wow. This is weird. I never thought I’d actually be writing to you–I mean, like, ever, in a million years. It’s nothing personal–I think it’s just one of those male ego/”of course I know where I’m going, that farmhouse over there looks just like all the others we keep passing at regular 10 minute intervals because we’re in Nebraska–or is it Kansas?–for God’s sake”/”I don’t need your help, I can quit anytime” kinda things. Plus, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve needed any chick-type advice because . . . well, it’s been too long since I’ve, um, been in any kind of position to need any chick-type advice (which, of course, I will elaborate upon further when I’m done with my really long greeting-paragraph-type-thing). So, anyway, commencing with long-formulaic-breakup-girl- “help-me-help-me-I’m-in-such- utter-despair-and-inner-turmoil” letter version 1.0 . . . or .01 . . . or something like that. . . .
You rock. Your column rocks. Your Mom rocks, your dog rocks, your car rocks, etc. etc. (I mean it all sincerely, but I know you get that stuff all the time, and hearing it from me probably won’t send you up to cloud nine or anything–if, on the other hand, it *does*, then, well, I went ahead and said it).
Allow me to quickly tell you about myself (trust me, it’s all relevant–really, it is). I’m a 19 and a half (yes, I count “and-a-half”s) (okay, I’m going to stop it with these parentheses thingies or I’ll never get this letter written) year-old college student. And I’m a transfer student–I’m from down South, went way up North for a year, enjoyed myself, money and stuff like that didn’t quite work out, came back down South to an in-state school and am doing fine. I’m also–okay, prepare yourself–shy. But unlike a lot of shy people, including those among my friends and most of those who have written letters to you, I’m not really embarrassed about my shyness. In fact, I’ve kind of learned to accept it and to be comfortable with it. Maybe this is a little difficult to explain, or maybe I’m just deluding myself or something, but I figure that the world needs shy people just as much as, if not more than, it needs those who are outgoing; were it not for reclusive, creative people, we’d still be living in caves, wearing fig leaves, and competing with the sabertooth tiger next door for our dinner–nothing would ever get done and we’d all be fighting each other and confused all the time. And to me, shyness isn’t a form of “social phobia”; it’s just another way to be, not something that I need to change, something I need to overcome, or something of which I need to be cured. Besides, as Ralph Ellison so succinctly put it, “I yam what I yam.”
But, that said–how, then, does an introvert get along in such an indelibly extroverted society, especially in matters of the heart, without waning completely Invisible?
This time of year always brings back memories of one of the cooler annual school field trips Noah and I used to take: visiting to the living museum that is Plimoth Plantation. They’ve recreated the Pilgrims’ 1627 settlement, complete with interpretive guides living the lives of actual townspeople and speaking only the dialect of the time.
I should have known this was a bad sign: no matter what you do, you can’t get them to talk about the future.
So, too, may you notice seasonal signs of unrest in your relationship. Perhaps a certain separatism, even Puritanism — dare I say Miles Standoffishness — on the part of your settler? If so, it’s only natural at this time of harvesting, reaping, taking stock, deciding if you’re Taking Him/Her Home (or deciding which friendfriend to take home as a parent decoy). Don’t let it get to you.
But if your relationship truly is on the rocks, do not hold out just for Auld Lang Syne’s sake. (Otherwise known as “sticking it out for the stockings.”) Mark my words:Wishing you were under the mistletoe is better than wishing you weren’t. So if necessary, do the deed. With any luck, your ex-intended will still be groggy from the tryptophan.
And if you’re alone already, well, what can I tell you? Just be thankful you won’t have to hear Breakup Mom say, “We’re just thankful to have you here with us, sweetie. Especially because your father and I aren’t getting any younger. Did you sit with anyone interesting on the train?”
In all seriousness, Breakup Girl is truly thankful for: you. Thanks for visiting, writing, reading, laughing, shopping, and helping make breakups so much fun. I am also endlessly grateful to my trusty behinder-the-scenes pardner, Chris, who not only makes this site pretty, he also makes Breakup Girl exist. As And thanks to Breakup Belleruth — BG.com’s Actual Credentialed Expert in Residence / Someone Else’s Mom — for the generosity and infinitude of her wisdom. Chief Massasoit would have said: mad props.
December 8, 2009
The New York Post reports that Columbia University will, likely this fall, implement a new “gender-neutral” housing policy, meaning that sophomores, juniors, and seniors may select roommates from either gender. Not hallmates or floormates, roommates. Reactions — decidedly mixed — range from “Yay, singles won’t have to put up with their roommates’ sex lives” to “Wait, boys and girls are sharing BATHROOMS?” (Where have these people been?)
From my own four years on that very campus, I can tell you for sure: this is a tempest in an electric tea-kettle. For one thing, there’s no “walk of shame” associated with sleeping in your boyfriend’s dorm room. I mean, I shacked up with Andy C. on the first floor of Ruggles Hall for most of my senior year. I just moved my crap into his place and voila, cozy dorm coupling. My room was used for storage.
In retrospect, that was a hideous idea. I had a great room, Andy was totes codependent, and I ended up pledging a co-ed frat just to get some non-couple time. But whose college experience is a study in good decision-making?
The other truth that’s being ignored here? After freshman year at Columbia, nobody — but nobody — has a roommate to begin with. So the story here isn’t “Yikes! Free love on campus!” It’s pretty much “Gay students don’t have to live with weirded-out homophobes.” (Though maybe also “What happens if you break up by Thanksgiving?”) In any case, it’s nice to see my alma mater tossing passé Puritanism out the ivory tower window.
December 1, 2009
Male marrieds: When your wife shot you that “Perhaps no sevenths on the pumpkin pie, yo,” glance, or suggested lite mayo for your next-day turkey sammich, then was the time to give thanks. Science says her health-centric concerns could help keep you from a premature date with that big, fluffy bowl of mashed potatoes in the sky.
A recent study by the Swedes finds that the more educated and intelligent the wife, the longer-living the hubs — regardless of his I.Q. or schooling. Why? Hypothetically: (her) higher education leads to increased enlightenment about nutritious, healthful eating, which she passes along to him. Let’s just hope most wives, Ivy League or no, are educated as to this: candied yam casserole, once a year, totally won’t kill you. (Rather, it makes you happy to be alive.)
November 25, 2009
friends, more than friends, and family. Especially Adam Lambert’s mom. Have a lovely, restful, sweet-potato-casserole-with-marshmallows-ful holiday!
Further reading: Breakup Girl’s Thanksgiving files.
September 10, 2008
I remember family reunions and Thanksgiving dinner tables that occasionally turned into the freaking Nuremberg trials when family members debated politics.
And weren’t we supposed to absorb those sorts of lessons and avoid repeating those mistakes in our own adult relationships?
Wait, or are we supposed to transcend the pettiness of politics in our quest for true love?
I’m so confused. But I now know this: I’m relieved, all partisanship aside, that I will not be present at The McCain Family Christmas.