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Where Are They Now?

We may never know what happened to Charlene Tilton, C. Thomas Howell, or Tommy Tutone. And well, we'll live. But here at BreakupGirl.net, there are some old friends we're dying to hear from.

El Duderino!
Compass Rose!
Brad! (update: Brad is back!)

All the rest of you frequent fliers!

We're back -- where are you?! Team BG, and BG.net's readers -- still, God bless 'em, loyal after all these years, legal disasters, etc. -- would love to hear what you've been up to, and with whom! Please write! bg@breakupgirl.net! If you record-setters do have a question for BG, well, while we still aren't able to do weekly regular-season advice, we can always squeeze in some All-Stars.

For example! Look who's here! It's Broken Heart Bob!

Dear Breakup Girl,

So glad to see you're back on the Internet.

I again need some advice from the bestest superhero around. I have read through your archives and I have found some good info but not exactly what I needed to hear.

A lot has changed in my life since you last advised me. I've grown up, graduated college (not in art -- a compromise that took a while to make), seen many of the women for whom I've built lofts graduate / get married / have children / throw their lives away on losers or drugs or both.

I have become a community-minded person. I was set to join the Peace Corps and would have been in Africa for my first Christmas but I had to make another compromise (the largest thus far in my life) along the way. Now I'm starting a business, and that is stressful to say the least.

I have stopped being the "nice guy." Though I'm still nice, I have not built lofts in some time. Nor have I carried big heavy boxes on my head for no rewards.

I have a combination of problems, though. I've had a long and continuous series of first dates for too long. I am in a drought -- not the four-year drought before your help -- but it's been a while since I've had a date. And an old flame has been reintroduced into my life, but not the good way. And I have become a big country music fan (old country, some of the new and indie / underground stuff that sounds old), which has not helped the "no lady friend" situation.

I've met a lot of women in the last few years. College is good for that, but the ones I'm interested in are not interested in me and the ones who are interested in me I'm not interested in. So I'm just being cool and hanging out hoping the right one comes along.

The drought is kinda hard though. I've graduated and I'm unemployed currently, and I live in my home town (another compromise). So I'm stuck. I can either go to the high school parties and be "that guy," which I won't do. I can go to the college parties, but the college in my home town is a very small very religious college that I didn't go to so those doors are closed. I can go to the local honkytonks, which I've done but they are just like the college bars: 87,089,706 guys and five women who want nothing to do with any of those guys. I can meet women on the internet but I'm broke and those tokens / messages cost money, and how many women want to go to Wendy's for the 99-cent menu on a first date? So mainly I'm being cool and waiting for the money thing to fix itself.

The old flame is a toughie. This is the first woman I ever loved. She and I went to the same college for a while. She hooked up with a real piece of work who convinced her to go to a different college. But they both missed the application three semesters in a row while living around the college. Then she got pregnant and he got gone. She moved in with her mom and raised her daughter. I did not keep in touch for some time. Then we talked off and on, then she married a friend from the college that she and I went to, devastating me in the process. I cut all ties for some time. Then we talked some and she posts in an online journal as do I so we kept in touch there. She went to college and became a photography major. I got a tattoo of the world on my shoulders -- I now literally carry the world on my shoulders -- and she wanted to photograph it. So we set a date for the shoot. At said shoot she was complaining about her husband going out of state for a job. Everyone including her told him not to go, but he went. Leaving a wife and a child who considered him a father. I was her friend and did what I could. I worked on her broke-ass van cause it was unsafe to drive -- no lofts, but basically propped her up and set myself up for a fall).

And fall I did. He stayed gone for about nine months, three more than he said he'd be gone. And, well, I wasn't so welcome when daddy came home. He went back to his old job and works 20 to 30 hours a week making $9 an hour. Now she is pregnant and they are months behind on bills. While yes, I'm not working now, I could be working tomorrow. 40 hours a week, making a lot more than him and with full benefits in not a lot of time. So suffice it to say I'm not taking her situation so well. Any advice?

Yours truly,
Broken Heart Bob

Dear Bob,

Ooh, OOH, I'm just over the moon to hear from you! But oh, man. You do indeed have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Plus the weight of her world, am I right? It's like, you couldn't do the Peace Corps (which breaks my heart!), so she, and her child, are your village.

But you know what, Bob? I think we can fix your broke-ass heart.

First, about your old flame. It just doesn't add up, does it? She's sitting watching the parade of flakes go by, while there you are, right there, stock still and sturdy, wrench in hand, heart on sleeve. There are roughly three possible explanations:

she dates (marries) flakes

she likes you, but for whatever crappy reason (or non-reason) she simply does not LIKElike you, or

she had he have got something good going on, amidst the bad, that is not visible to the naked (or green) eye.

Or, some of at least two of each. You are left, in any event, with two viable options.

Do as The Guy at the End of the Bar wishes he had: declare your feelings and then step back, giving her a chance to spot a glimpse of a shimmer of a wisp of a chance of a future promising more than an ever-growing stack of bills. (Your judgment is better-informed than mine was to whether her husband, were he to find out, would leave you with a broke-ass face.) Or,

Skip the declare your feelings part and just step back. (I know that the husband has already, to some degree, enforced that move.) But do it anyway, as your choice. No e-mail, no visiting her blog, no calculating how much more you're making per hour than whatshisname. Your goal here is not to neuralize, Men in Black-style, all your memories of her, nor to feel zipadee-doo-dah free and terrific about the whole thing. I just want you to get some distance, cause at least at press time, she's not coming through for you -- and that's one broke-ass van I don't want you lying under.

So what do you do with yourself instead? I hear you that dating's a drag right now and not just because you keep meeting girls who don't like country. (For God's sake, people! You don't all have to like country. But you have to actually listen to it, and not just Shania Twain, before you decide, okay?) I get that the party pickins are slim and that the cyber-services can be spendy. But Bob, BG's supercomputer shows that you are wicked into cars. And, looky looky, so are all these people.

And I know there are girls there, in the pits and under the hoods. I just know it. Girls who can build you a solar car while you build them a loft. (And then take them out for dinner.) I'm not saying the only gal for you is one who knows her way around a fan assembly, but come on, Bob, how stoked would you be to find one? In any case, I think hooking up with some new bunches of auto enthusiasts would give you just the jump-start you need.

When some people look at a stack of two-by-fours, or under a hood, they see a pile of wood or a jumble of wires. You see a loft, an engine; you see construction, locomotion; you get inspiration. The right gal -- one of many I know are out there -- will look at you and see a clever writer, tinkerer, and provider. You might just need to get in your car, or on the info superhighway, to find her. Gentleman, start your engine!

Breakup Girl

Where Are They Now? II:
Brad is Back!


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