The Breakup Chronicles: Part 1
Spinster friends, I was in relationship bliss over the past several months. We’ll call him Francois the Dapper because he really is dapper and he’s kind and interesting and smart and funny and pretty damn attractive. So you can imagine my…
…when he texted me the other night and asked to come over. I knew something was up, as he never asked to come over before (we’re, after all, of the generation where nobody can seem to make a decision: “What are you up to?” “Nothing much. You?” “Nothing much.” “Wanna do something?” “Yah, what were you thinking?” “Not really sure. You?” “I don’t care.”). He walked through the door, stopped me when I tried to kiss him, and my heart plummeted. A chill of dread spread through me, I felt hot, and all I could do was look at the floor, avoiding eye contact as I stated to myself over and over, “I will not cry, I will not cry!” I’ll spare you the upsetting details but suffice it to say it involved a past relationship, lingering baggage, and confusion over his feelings. My heart was wrenched apart, but I quite calmly offered my support and understanding. I also offered him a piece of cake. Then that night that I poured my feelings onto 4 single-spaced pages of nearly 2,000 words. Y’all, I could not stop the words or the feelings. I knew I was in…
There weren’t enough tea bags in the world to shrink the bags under my eyes. You know the feeling; it’s where the tears roll down your cheeks in fat drops and you’re just not sure they’re going to stop this time. It – I – was just so sad. I re-lived every good time, every future plan. I tried outlining the bad times I could think of, hoping they’d make me feel better, but they were only a reminder of how well I felt we worked through our problems. I texted Francois, and asked to meet him again. He agreed. It gave me…
Not only did we chat, but we got pastries. I poured out my feelings. I told him all my fears about the situation and my hopes. He listened, he told me he had a lot to think about, and then he asked me if I wanted to hang out. Can you blame me for saying yes? And it was pretty nearly great, save for that two hours of a movie we spent without holding hands for the first time since I’d known him. We parted ways in the evening and I sobbed my feelings to Grace and to my mother, but I maintained the day meant something. He was thinking about it. The next day I contemplated all the possibilities. Things were looking up so I took a walk around the lake which only served to send me to a whole new level of…
Shut up. That’s a word. And that walk? It was to take advantage of the sunshine and the beautiful weather! To clear my mind and increase my endorphins! To watch the sunset! Or so I fooled myself to think. I looked in every parking lot for his car, hoping that the distant runner was him coming toward me. By the end of the walk, I was dragging my sobbing, puddly mess into the car, dialing Grace and asking her to tell me that I wasn’t the most pathetic person that ever lived. She’s a good friend, she told me I was normal. And then later that night, Francois called me. We talked for 30 minutes and my hope was renewed. And it was then that I began seeking …
…from nearly anyone who would listen. Grace and my mother? Check, check. My coworkers? Check. The mailman? Check. It was really important to talk it out. Really damn important to tell my side of things and have others tell me that my feelings were reasonable. I need them to confirm my interpretation of how he should feel and how it made sense.
There was also a really low moment in there. Like, really, freakin’, low. As in, I figured out the mysterious her. And when I say “figured out” I mean I went through every length of internet stalking I could think of. I’m so good at it, people should pay me. We went to the same college. We share a couple of friends. She’s funny. She works in advertising and marketing. She’s a runner. She has a gummy smile. The list…it goes on. You can bet I revisited the same pages over and over and over again, obsessing about why she should have left such an impression on this guy that I cared about, why their old relationship was ruining mine.
6. Anger at Him
This came on just a fast as it ended. I think the outrage of my friends seeped into my own mind and I was so angry that he would contemplate giving up on us and giving in to something that wasn’t ever going to be. There isn’t doubt that I won’t feel anger again, but it was short lived because I soon directed all my…
7. Anger at Her
Sure, this might not be the most logical thing, but I go back to what Francois told me about the relationship and it makes me steaming mad. They were that on-again-off-again couple, and based on what very little I know (read: I’m a writer and I’ve crafted an entire relationship story from a few limited comments), I’ve concluded she was a terrible, no-good person who didn’t deserve Francois. That’s a little harsh. But you know, people you care about deserve better. Also: sometimes I’m petty and I act like a 12-year-old.
Rehashing every look, action, and word of this breakup sent me into confusion in the end. Francois never called it a breakup, he just said he had to think about things. I gave him so many easy outs in our conversations, and he never took them. I even asked that whatever the answer was, that I just got a clearly defined one. None of this casual conversation that fades into nothing because he’s trying to spare my feelings. Please not that. He agreed.
So here we are. The stages aren’t complete. I don’t doubt that most people feel they can see this for what it is, but I’m still confused and waiting. There’s also the responsibility that one needs to place on Francois, lest you think I’m ignoring that. But I gave myself permission to stop feeling embarrassed about my feelings – my hope – and I’m just riding the emotions for now, rather than forcing myself out of them. It was a debate to share this with you, Spinster friends. There’s always that fear of looking ridiculous, but I can’t be the only one who has experienced all of the above, and sometimes it’s good to put it out there because someone else might read it and have that sigh of relief that their own similar situation is… normal.