NEXT LETTER >
Even superheros have maxillofacial surgery. As I mentioned last week, all
four of the Breakup Wisdom Teeth were forcibly removed a few days ago. They
were so impacted that the difficulty and duration of the procedure -- which
involved a drill, a scalpel, and a hammer -- set some sort of folk
record around the oral surgeon's office. Also, through the miracle of "conscious
sedation," your hero was actually aware of the use of said
hammer. That's all I'm gonna say about that. Except to assure you that these
were not circumstances under which this patient was like to experience
"daydreams with sexual content."
So, you ask, how am I doing? Well, codeine and I have become more than
friends. And I look like Violet Beauregard when she turned into a blueberry.
But controlled substances and jaunty images notwithstanding, I FEEL LIKE HELL.
And I regret that my efforts succeeded in delaying the impeachment proceedings
only by one day.
So: I seek not only your abject pity, but also your understanding: this
week's column will be about as long as my short-lived moments of pain-free
lucidity. I'm truly sorry, but it's the best BG can do.
And if you are celebrating Christmas this week, my wishes, though perhaps
less effusive, are sincere as ever: warmest, loveliest, cinnamoniest holiday
cheer to you all! I also hope that your week overflows with yummy, hard,
munchy, crunchy treats. Think of me and chew for two.
Dear Breakup Girl,
I am an attractive young girl (22) in college, working, and in a band. In
high school I had a boyfriend the entire 4 years (2 separate relationships).
After high school I met my love and we lasted 1 year. Three weeks after the
breakup (he left me) I met my new boyfriend. That lasted one year (common
theme?). Since then I have dated, but nothing serious. The reason that I write
to you and ask for your wonderful advice is because I hate to be alone and I am
going CRAZY! It has been over 2 years since I have had a serious and meaningful
relationship. I can't stand dating around and getting tangled in meaningless/
casual affairs. That kind of lifestyle doesn't suit me. I try to focus on
studying, work, or the band, but I find myself obsessing on BEING ALONE. Does
everyone hate it as much as I do? I feel like I am going to be alone forever!
Especially during the holidays -- how much harder can it get? I'm freaking out
here. I miss having a partner, being in love, and feeling really good about
someone. What can I do?
About hating being alone: you are not alone. Yeah,
lots of people hate it. I mean, really hate it. That may, in fact, be why you
-- and millions of other folks -- go through serial S.O.'s as force fields
against loneliness. And yes, I know that there's a difference between Needing a
partner and just being plain sick of not having someone to share the driving
through an otherwise lovely landscape. Especially, yes, during the holidays.
Anyway, point is: hating being alone is not weird.
Hating being alone is also not fun. I know, I
So what to do? Well, so far, you're doing the right
thing ... sort of. Breakup Girl has no fixed, universal position against
"casual affairs," but you have evidently sussed out one of their potential
pitfalls: that one step forward (into bed) can also be two steps back (into
deeper loneliness). Like how one Snackwell makes you realize how much you
really need two Mint Milanos. So yeah, right, now's not the time for Boyfriend
And about the focusing-on-your-projects thing. Yes.
Fine. Good. In principle. But it's not really working, is it? I bet what you do
is heave a sigh and buckle down, thinking, "Wow, great, I have so much
time and energy for work and school and music BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE A
BOYFRIEND." When you say "focus on," I bet what you mean is
"grudgingly accept as Plan B," "try really hard to be a good
person and enjoy," "perform loser penance by doing," etc.
What has to happen here -- you guessed it -- is a bit
of an attitude adjustment. What I'm about to say may sound corny, but I
promise, it's way more than a feel-good go-girl chuck on the cheek. About being
on your own: I'm thinking that you -- and millions of other folks -- can't see
the forest for that one forlorn Charlie Brown Christmas tree standing there
alone. And what is that forest? It's all the things that are truly delicious
about being alone. All the things that -- yes -- our married friends miss. Like
what? You don't have to discuss the movie afterwards. You can read one more
chapter without adjusting the light. You don't have to coordinate.
These points are both literal and symbolic. And here
are some more from BG's fave water-color philosopher SARK: "I began to
have conversations with other [people] about being alone and what it meant to
us... We spoke of 'celibate dating, of [opposite-sex] friends, and mysteries of
romance, of claiming our own time, of sculpting, jewelry design, and of the
wonder of being happily alone, and how couples are sometimes held up as the
ideal. I said, 'People don't talk about how much work it is to be a couple!'
[One woman] said, 'When you're alone, you can create your own mythology and
nobody challenges you. In a relationship, your own bull gets reflected back
much quicker.' ... We don't commonly celebrate aloneness the way we celebrate
couples. Nobody says, 'How's your love life? With yourself?' Finally," --
listen up, Tristisimo -- SARK stopped "waiting to be loved. I took
vacations alone, bought clothes for my tastes only, read books undisturbed, and
turned off the phone for days at a time..."
I'd even say, in that "Ugh, I wish Breakup Girl
hadn't said that" sort of way, that learning to love being alone is an
excellent -- if not wholly necessary -- prerequisite for not being alone. Now
go take yourself out to dinner. People will wonder, "Who is that
fascinating and mysterious woman?" Hmm. You tell me.
NEXT LETTER >