Oh my god, this is going to be so juicy. I'm spilling the beans like never before.
And I'm going to do it with 27 years of panache.
When someone is dealing with a breakup, their friends often have to deal with a narrative that, frankly, isn't all that tight.
But I'm nailing that aspect of the split.
For future reference, you should have a 15-second explanation of your breakup at the ready. Feel free to use this template I'm providing.
- We decided we wanted different things.
- I'm going to stay with my [friends/parents] until I find a new place.
- It was hard, but for the best.
- Anyway. What's YOUR dick look like, homie?
Remember to shrug at the end, and don't overthink it. The sooner everyone knows, the sooner no one will care.
There is, of course, the long version.
I know the modern reader loves other people's pain, and I would never deprive you. After all, you're the one I've secretly always wanted. Leave your address in the comment section, and I'll be over once I'm done painting my nails.
Part 1. Chaos
This breakup was a whirlwind. Things were great, and then they weren't, and our relationship dissolved over the course of a mere 4 days. One minute we were deciding where to put the Donald Trump Piñata, and the next I was shuttling around my Donald Trump Piñata in my trunk, as I crashed at a series of friend's houses.
This is a stupid problem to have:
I spent the next couple of weeks imagining how I would have to change all of my routines to avoid a run-in with my ex-boyfriend.
We used to always get breakfast tacos from the same sweet taco spot. I imagined the people working there saying, "Did you hear? One vegan taco, one avocado taco split up with one vegan, one sweet potato chorizo. They're going to be ordering separate tacos from now on. God, I'm going to miss that taco order."
We have a tendency to overestimate how much our breakup effects others.
Someone saw me drop a cabbage while I was at my office co-op. I had a cabbage with me due to a series of logistical problems caused by my nomadic lifestyle.
"Fuck! My cabbage!" I screamed.
Then I self-consciously announced that I had a cabbage with me because of a breakup.
"I knew something was up when I saw your cabbage," one onlooker said, subtly pointing out that no one cares that you have a cabbage, and no one is interested in your boring broken heart.
Part II. Stifle
I've made a lot of good friends in the past year, and a couple of them let me clog up their houses with my sadness.
I watched 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt almost nonstop. It's important to never give your brain any space to waggle its pain receptors, which can turn into a pretty exhausting routine. "Stifle. And stifle. Keep stifling. That's it! You're doing great! Remember, silence is trying to kill you!"
At some point you'll need to loosen up. Beer is a no. Wine is a hard no. Gin always treats me right, but you'll have to experiment.
When you drink, you will have a sudden urge to say some very, very mean things to your ex. This brings me to my next point: Tinder has its uses (definitely not sex). Why say something spiteful that you'll regret, when instead you could say something weird to a stranger?
Choose wisely. You have but one life to live.
Part III. Return to The Birthplace, Much Like a Sea Turtle.
I went to stay with my parents in my childhood home until it was time to move to my new place.
It's not until you're swimming away from the sinking wreck of H.S.S. Love Boat that you truly appreciate your parents.
Where you know there will always be a stack of anti-Clinton literature in the bathroom, within easy reach of the toilet.
And three bottles of the same amount of crusty honey.
Important: Do not move the bottles of honey to a different shelf. They can only live on that one shelf. "The ants don't know about that shelf yet," my dad explained.
My parent's creativity has always been the doomsday-prepper variety. Let nothing go to waste! Not even defunct electronics! And so this old TV transformed into a coffee table.
I found it at the foot of the bed, under some laundry.
This wasn't the only new addition to the decor. As soon I stepped into the living room, I sensed a presence.
Let's zoom in, shall we?
His hand is poised suggestively above his waistband, his legs splayed. His hat, erect.
And straight into the trash he went. No, he doesn't belong to me. No, it's not my house. But my parents are getting old, and whoever tricked them into buying this should be ashamed of taking advantage of such soft, soft marshmallow people.
When I re-entered the room he had mysteriously reappeared on the bookshelf.
I complained. And then, because my dad thinks he's Amelie, this little nugget started popping up in the worst places imaginable.
Go ahead. Molest the butter. I'm a single woman now so I guess I have no rights.
Part IV: Onwards and Upwards and Outwards
I dreaded moving the most. I'd have to see my ex-boyfriend, and we'd have to review the terms of our separation. "Keep the ladle. I want you to have it," etc., etc.
My friend Katie helped me move. With nothing but her and another friend's minivan I moved absolutely all of my shit.
We were so proud of ourselves. No men, no trucks, just "Ladies! Doing it for themselves!" Katie screamed.
I have very little furniture and we carried everything in the tiniest possible amounts. But that doesn't not make us feminist icons.
Ye Olde Silver Lining Committee is my sponsor this week, and they wanted me to tell you this: If you never went through a breakup, you might not get the chance to take a step back to admire your friends.
Look at them! All shiny and helpful! "Sure, sleep in my bed!" They said. "Do you need some booze? Drugs? Salmon? Help with Tinder? You have to swipe left. No, left. The other left. Jesus Christ, just give it to me. This guy? Really?"
It's enough to make a beefy, grown woman weep tears of happiness and gratitude into her iced tea, while she sits on her new bed, in her new house, and feels relatively positive about the future.