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October 30, 2000 e-mail e-mail to a friend in need

It's Mischief Night...Not!
BG Revisits Revenge

Tonight and tomorrow's calendar are traditionally marked "MAYHEM" in fake blood and Silly String. It's also the time of year when some of us are willing to compromise not only our non-shaving-cream-proof clothing, but also (by wearing a clever yet necessarily unflattering costume) -- our dignity. (Some of us. Not so BG and her friend Amy, who always measure costume ideas against, "Okay, but will we look cute?" Weeell, except for [1] my 1979 Princess Leia costume -- even Breakup Grandma's sewing skills could not override my Cokebottle glasses and Hamill haircut -- and [2] Amy's recent brilliant rendition of Wienerdog.)

But please, guys and ghouls: save the pranks and the props for your holiday, not your relationship. Even if you think your ex deserves to be treated to nothing but tricks. Even if you've just found out that the eyes you thought s/he had only for you were just...gooey peeled grapes that the whole town had touched. Please, oh please, keep it all under your funny Harry Potter hat.

Why? Click here to read Breakup Girl's requirements for revenge, and why you probably don't meet them (more archives here). And to find out why this town -- not even this town -- probably isn't big enough for your revenge and -- much more important -- your dignity. And because -- here's the mischievous motive! -- your not TPing his/her house will leave him/her wondering not "How did that psycho hose beast get so much TP when s/he could never be bothered to replace it at home?!" but rather "No revenge? Doesn't s/he care that I left?"

Now, if you really must exorcise your revenge demons, then here's what you can do: construct an elaborate revenge plan down to the finest, most beastmasterful detail. Involve the perp's parents, boss, entire hometown, and the Spielberg people. Laugh maniacally like this gal, rub your hands together, and then...?

Don't do it.

As Stephi recently wrote: "Just having a plot has been a release for me." (No, I'm not telling.)

More treats from some recent letters:

"She called me 'a little boy.' So I egged her house and car...like a little boy. She found out and I had to pay her parents twenty dollars." -- S

"I thought revenge was the answer, and yes, I attempted all those horrible deeds like Saran-wrapping cars and toilet-papering his house. Unfortunately, I feel horrible about it and on top of it all, his parents caught me. (I have a feeling that if I try to officially apologize, that wouldn't go over well.)" -- Moon [Oh, I disagree. -- BG]

"I've been cheated, mistreated, and every other rock-song theme you can think of. But I've kept my head high and gotten on with my life, not wasting a bit of precious energy trying to figure out how to get back at someone who obviously had no clue as to the true value of a relationship with me." -- DK

"My boyfriend set me up with someone else to get me out of the way so he could go out with someone else. About four months and three girlfriends later he asked me out again. But the new guy and I were still together...and now we're married. Be patient: revenge will come on its own!" -- SD

And before I move on to a few more letters, let me leave you with this:

Wanting revenge can be normal. Plotting it can be healthy. But if you find yourself doing even that, year after year, relationship after relationship, ask yourself if you're the one knocking on doors where the lights are off in the first place.

Should I get back at my boyfriend by telling his girlfriend he cheats...with me?


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