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October 4, 1999   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

Once upon a time, I had a friend; we'll call him ReboundBoy. We met through mutual friends and did the same sports, skiing, etc. We used to send each other e-mail pretty much every day and talk on the phone occasionally. RB is a lot younger than I am and married. Very cheerful stuff, ho ho. Every few months we might go to lunch and chat.

Jump a couple of months forward. RB and wife are having problems. Yours truly listens sympathetically. Cut to the chase: RB and I go to a movie and out to a bar when the next thing I know, RB's tongue is in my mouth.

Well! As I was flattered and incredibly horny, the next thing I know, we're almost doing the horizontal tango in a car. BUT, before RB can go all the way, he wants "closure" in his relationship.

OK, I can understand that; he's moved out, filed for divorce, and things are moving apace. I knew from the start that there would probably be no long term relationship due to the age difference. But I digress. Cut to the next week...repeat scenario....a little more hot and heavy this time, but no intercourse. He tells me that he wants it to be "no strings, NO PDA," but that he is definitely interested. I really was interested in a sexual, if not long term, romantic interlude with this man.

Cut to Monday morning. Yours truly opens her e-mail to find a long missive on how RB has told his wife it is definitely over, since he has met the woman of his dreams...his NEIGHBOR. She has a boyfriend, but he has all sorts of schemes to break up their relationship and spends the next MONTH letting me know in oblique ways how this is going.

I was a little stunned, to put it mildly. So, I told him that I was still interested but that I did NOT want to hear the details of his planned seduction of Miss Lotus Blossom. We see each other socially a couple of times -- no more tongue tango, no more plans. Suddenly, ReboundBoy evaporates -- no more e-mail, no phone calls, no nothing. Not being the dimmest bulb in the closet, I can figure it out..

I'm getting over it, but the difficult part is that I miss him terribly as a friend. I haven't spoken to him in almost a month, and it's killing me.

So, my questions are thus:

Is "I love you," a code for "You'll never see me again?"

Is "I need closure," a code for "so I can date my neighbor?"

And what can I do to be friends with this man again? The smart money would say, "Burn his phone number," but I miss him. We have a ton of mutual friends and WILL inevitably run into each other frequently.

I feel like I've been hit in the chest with a large, flat rock. I've had MUCH more intimate and long term relationships which I've not felt THIS kind of remorse about. I can't eat, sleep, or work. On the plus side, I'm losing a LOT of weight, since all I can seem to do is go to the gym and work out.

What's a girl to do?

--Village Idiot

Dear VI,

I'm sorry, but that's a code we're just not gonna bother to crack. IMPORTANT BREAKUP GIRL MAXIM: People ending marriages do not speak any sort of meaningful, consistent language to the person they're seeing while they're doing it.

So let's listen instead to the smart money, which is actually asking: "What's missing from your life -- not to mention your conscience -- that would lead you to pine so over a cheater and a poacher? Also, to be one?"

Of course you are sad -- feelings are feelings, regardless of how they got there -- and I don't mean to be mean. Plus I'm worried about the eat/sleep/work part, not to mention all your "tango" terminology. You might not be the dimmest bulb in the closet, but let me suggest this: next time, instead of going to the gym (to quote SARK), "shine a flashlight into your dark corners" and see what's really there. Now call a friend and go eat.

Breakup Girl



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