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November 30, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

My ex-girlfriend is getting married. This upset me, BG. When I heard it, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Seriously.

Since we broke up about 1 1/2 years ago, I've been in touch with my ex in a very lite sense of the word. We had a little post-breakup flirtation that nearly destroyed me since I fell for her again and she didn't fall for me. She never really gave a reason for our breaking up other than "a lack of a gut feeling..." which drove me crazy. So for the last year or so when we've chatted it's been about my family and her job and things like that, not about whether we were dating or not. So the first I hear of this new guy in her life is that she's marrying him.

She's been seeing this guy 7 months and all I know about him is that his name and his age. She's my age (34) and she's marrying someone twenty years her senior. I use the word Senior intentionally. She's moving in with the guy in a house they bought together (this was the girl who wouldn't let me keep underwear at her place after a 2 1/2 year relationship--who says it's just men who can't commit)? It's a lot to process and I'm not sure what to say other than I'm happy for her (which I'm not) and I wish them the best (which I don't). Someday I'm sure I'll grow into a mature state of acceptance but right now I feel like Dustin Hoffman at the end of the Graduate. Except I don't have a convertible or attractive older women hitting on me.

What does one do in this situation? Help me, Breakup Girl Kenobi. You're my only hope.

--Bummed Out Boy

Dear Bummed,

Ouch! Punched in the gut, indeed! Just because he pays half-price at the movies doesn't mean this guy don't pack a wallop.

What do you do? Just as you have. Clutch your stomach, squeak out a weak "Mazal tov," and stumble home. Write to Breakup Girl; make fun of him; explain how you feel. Be immature. In private. For a while. Don't try to be "friends" (or, God forbid, a wedding guest). You will eventually accept it, but it's not like you'll celebrate it. Leave it at that. And perhaps, ultimately, it'll be easier for you this way. "Presence of an engagement ring" -- over-doubling though it may feel -- offers a firmer sense of closure on this relationship than "lack of a gut feeling." And just think (while you're still being immature): when the Senior is convalescing in his adjustable bed, you'll still be tooling around in your mid-life-crisis convertible.

Breakup Girl



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