As it happens, my life has changed a lot in the last year. I’ve documented some of it here, and some of it I’ve kept to myself. I’m going to be starting a new blog in honor of my new life and I’ll be transferring some of the better entries and more memorable posts to that new site. Here it is: dreaminginnorwegian.wordpress.com
Hope to see you over there.
So Sunday night I’m watching Jersey Shore, which I recorded last Thursday night. Judge me if you must, I realize the show has virtually no value whatsoever; however, I find it highly entertaining because on the inside, I’m a gossip and enjoy watching other people’s drama.
That being said, on this particular episode of the Jersey Shore, Sammie is being completely tragic while Ron basically cheats on her. He goes out after she asks him not to, he “motorboats” a girl, gets the numbers of multiple girls, dances with them(and I don’t mean two-steppin’), and does various other scandalous things with random chicks. Sammie knows this deep down. She continually grills everyone in the house as to Ron’s less-than-scrupulous behavior sans her watchful eye. But in spite of her tingling Spidey Sense, the girl still allows him to come home drunk, talk mad shit to her, and then sleeps with him. She takes care of him while he’s falling-down drunk, even though he tells her, “I don’t need you. Realize that.”
It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You know where it’s going and you know it will be awful, but you can’t stop watching. And the worst part is that I KNOW GIRLS LIKE THIS. I’ve been girls like this.
So this got me thinking.
Everyone wants to make the world a better place, right? And this is my idea for that…
You know how some people get Bibles and Levis and give them to underprivledged Russians? Well, what if I got a whole bunch of copies of the single girl’s Bible: He’s Just Not that Into You by Greg Behrendt? Honestly, as much as I reference him, he should be giving me commission or something. But seriously. What if I could get donations and buy a bunch of copies, then hand them out at UCO? It would be like a tragedy-prevention program. And it might be even more effective than handing out Bibles.
Just a thought…
It’s a sad reality that I know a lot of tragic girls. They’re nice girls. They aren’t bad people at all, but they haven’t been schooled in the art of the breakup. Their relationships end and they can’t quit obsessing over Mr. Wrong. They call me up in the middle of the night to do a “drive by,” you know, just to see if he’s at home. All the while I’m thanking God that I won’t ever be on the other end of this situation.
It’s not a matter of thinking I’m better than them or feeling myself smarter at all. I feel as though I’m lucky. I’m fortunate because when I’m through with someone – I’m through. And it’s not a natural response, I know. It’s hard to cut ties with people – especially people who you share so much with, and in some cases live with. But ultimately, if you don’t have children together, once it’s over there’s really no reason to continue a relationship of any kind.
When it comes down to it, it’s a matter of not wanting to hurt anymore. It’s not being mean, it’s self-preservation. So my very first advice to anyone who is breaking up – do it for real. Break up with them and mean it. Cut them out of your life once and for all and move forward. It’s not easy, but it’s liberating, and it means a truly fresh start. So with that in mind, here are some Dos and Donts of The Breakup.
- Do NOT initiate contact of any kind. This includes text messages, phone calls, e-mails, instant messages, letters, packages, carrier pigeons, pony express, Morse code, and most definitely do not engage in any of the above mentioned methods of contact when under the influence of alcohol, Xanax, Ambien, Ambien CR, or any other mood- or mind-altering substances. It might feel warm and fuzzy while your mind is struggling to successfully use logic in your Jack and Coke haze, but believe me that in the lonely light of morning, all you’ll wish for is your dignity back when your inbox remains empty.
- Do NOT reply to them. Look, I know this is a hard one. Especially if you were the dumpee. There’s nothing more that you want than to hear that they miss you or that they can’t stop thinking about you. But keep it real – if things had been so wonderful between the two of you, you wouldn’t be in this Sad Sally Breakup Boat. If your ex is telling you they miss you chances are they’re just lonely and don’t actually want you to be a part of their life again. If you were that valuable, they wouldn’t have broken up with you!
- Do NOT try to reclaim your stuff. Stuff is just stuff. You can, and most assuredly will, accumulate more of it. If it had been that important, you wouldn’t have left it in a potential breakup danger zone area. If you can live without it, count it as collateral damage and move on. There’s almost nothing that your ex has that cannot be replaced. What isn’t replaceable is your dignity, sister.
- Do NOT stalk them. In any way. This includes driving by to see if they’re home, driving by to see who’s at home with them, driving by their place of employment, looking at their Facebook/MySpace/Twitter/any other social networking site, and going places that you know they will be. All of these behaviors only make you pathetic and a little crazy. You’re not going to find anything that will make you happy in any of the above mentioned places(physical or otherwise). What is it your hoping to see? Them in pictures with someone new? A devastating status update talking about what a great person their new love-muffin is? Finding out what they did last weekend and wondering what “Ben Dover had the most amazing weekend… Thank God for Brazilians ;););)” means? And definitely do NOT go to a bar that you know your ex frequents. Nothing good will come of it. Yeah, you shed some el bees since the breakup, but you’re going to shed a few more when you shit a brick seeing him with a mutual friend. Just don’t do it. None of it leads to a place you want to go. Focus on rebuilding your own life instead of stalking theirs.
Now that you know the four major Don’ts of breaking up, let’s focus on the constructive aspects of your new life. Here’s a list of Dos for any freshly single person.
- DO join a gym. Nothing will relieve the stress you feel quite like breaking a sweat. Studies show that women who do strength training have a better self-image than women who either don’t exercise or do cardio alone. Toning your body tones your mind. You will have a positive and healthy outlet for the anger or sadness that you feel and you’ll be getting in kick ass shape at the same time. I recommend any workout plan designed by Jillian Michaels. And that cute guy at the Y just might notice your new glow of confidence…
- DO reconnect with friends. Tragically, many people(women in particular) alienate themselves from their friends during a serious relationship. Too many of us get caught up in the idea that we need a man to validate us and once we allow that thought process to begin, it’s only downhill from there. So schedule a Girls’ Night Out or a lunch with friends. A bitch session about the opposite(or same) sex usually does some good when you’re feeling the fresh sting of a breakup. And remember that relationships come and go, but true friends will always just be a quick dial away.
- DO find a breakup buddy. Chances are that you know someone who is or has gone through what you’re experiencing. They’ve probably experienced a rough breakup in the past or might be going through one right now. Nothing is better than having a partner in crime – someone who relates to your violent revenge fantasies and doesn’t get that deer-in-the-headlights look when you talk casually about illegal acts of vengeance. Of course, the point of having a breakup buddy is to keep you from acting on these fantasies and to keep you moving in a positive direction. Go to the movies, go to concerts, go to the gym together, volunteer together – the more you occupy your mind, the quicker the time will pass, and the more time that passes, the less you’ll care about what’s-his-name.
- DO celebrate being single. Being single isn’t the cross to bear that the world might have you believe it is. I feel sorry for women who’ve never truly been alone – or who are unable to be alone. Don’t get me wrong, having your heart broken and being thrust back into the shoes of a single girl is gut-wrenching and is not an easy road to walk. That’s why many couples get back together after a breakup and generally wind up resenting each other. Anytime you’re feeling down about being single or you’re missing Mr. Lamesauce, just take off the rose-colored glasses for a moment. Stop romanticizing the past! If things had been fabulous, you’d still be with him! Keep it real, girl. Remember in vivid detail all of his gross and annoying habits. If it helps, keep a list. It serves as a nice reality check. Don’t go back down the rabbit hole.
These are just a few tips, but there are many more. If you’re truly lost in the Land of Broken Hearts, I highly recommend you read It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. It will save you some heartache, help you keep your dignity, and allow you to come out on the other side with a little bit of wisdom.
So please, I beg of all of you, don’t be tragic. Don’t call him. Don’t text him. Don’t say you can’t live without him – because you can. The unfortunate reality of a breakup is that as much as it hurts, you’re not actually dying. The Grim Reaper isn’t going to come and relieve you of your pain. The only way out is through, my dears, and it’s a long road. Don’t lose hope, though. Because once you’ve navigated these scary waters, there isn’t a whole lot you won’t be able to do.
I have the kind of fury inside of me that causes me to get tunnel vision. I kind of have this feeling that if it was ever entirely tapped into, I could probably do some serious damage to another person or to myself.
I don’t really understand people who don’t get angry. I don’t understand people who stare in horror when I describe in detail what I’d like to do to the people who have garnered my anger. Like, seriously, I’m not going to act on any of my revenge fantasies… Except the one where I get ridiculously skinny and live a successful and happy life. As Joyce Carol Oates says, “Revenge is living well without you.”
I think that anger is one of the primal forces of motivation. I’ve never been more productive in my life than when intensely angry. And some people think it’s bad to be angry, that it’s better to sing kum-bay-yah and hold hands with your enemies and break bread with the backstabbers. I disagree.
Angry people get shit done. We find our motivation and follow through. We have a goal in mind — it usually is spurned on by the vision of plotting someone else’s death(all fictionally, of course[for the most part]). And somehow, the fire burning inside of me when I’m pissed makes me feel clean. It’s like it burns away all the bullshit. It allows me to say what I need to, to let go of who I need to, and to move on and forward.
So some people might say that my anger only means that others have power over me, but I disagree. The only power being generated here is the power that I feel inside to accomplish all of the things I want to. I just have that much more reason to see it all through. And if that’s not healthy, then I’d rather be sick.
So if I seem different these days, it probably because I am. I’m digging through the layers of bullshit that I’ve covered myself in for the last several years, trying to uncover the person I really am. If I seem mean, I don’t apologize. If I seem brutally honest, I’m not sorry.
The truth only hurts when we aren’t strong enough to stomach it. So everyone stock up on Pepcid AC and Tums, because I’m ushering in an Age of Honesty.
I’ve got a bad, bad feeling…
It’s gonna take a long time to love
It’s gonna take a lot to hold on
It’s gonna be a long way to happy…
Sometimes, I think that one of the hazards of being alive is how the world has the capability to make you weird. We come into this life undamaged, innocent, and perfect. We don’t have scars yet. We haven’t gotten our hearts broken. We haven’t learned to cope with our existence through destructive means. And then we grow up.
We grow up and we make mistakes. We let people in. We fall down. We bruise, bleed, break… We get our hearts torn to shreds and lose our dignity. We pick the wrong people and even worse situations. We give our bodies and minds and souls away for the possibility that another warm body might love us — might validate us. We blame others for our pain when most pain is self-chosen.
A series of unfortunate events that lead up to November of 2007 brought me to where I am today.
I think I was fucked up beyond what I was willing to admit. My drinking accelerated after that point and came to a head in May of 2008. I was partying all the time and saw alcohol as a means to an end of numbness. I wanted to numb out the fact that my dad was dead and that even had he been alive, he wouldn’t have been sober or healthy enough to protect me. I wanted to numb out my affair with a married man. I wanted to numb out the “I love you”s and the broken promises. I wanted to numb out the ache left by my broken family – once five solid members, then down to three.
With the drinking came promiscuity. Before then, I’d been with two people, both of whom I loved. After then, I didn’t care. A piece of me had been taken and it didn’t seem to matter who got more of it. My body was a temple desecrated by alcohol and lust and the need to make the pain go away at any cost.
And in the midst of that, I lost myself. I forgot the girl who earned a brown belt. I forgot the girl who wanted to be a writer. I forgot my dreams of a degree. I lost my sense of self. I quit going to class. I started eating like shit. I didn’t care what I looked like. I stopped working out and quit seeing my friends. I went from bad relationships to worse ones and didn’t care about the damage being done to myself in the process. I let someone tell me who to be. I let someone dictate who I was. I centered my life around a person who in the end let me down.
Between last April and July, I was suicidal. I contemplated my own death daily and felt there was no way out of the downward spiral I’d set myself spinning into. I begged whatever gods that might have been to just kill me in my sleep. I’d sit at home on Friday nights eating a pint of Ben and Jerrys watching 48 Hours and wishing I was one of the dead people they were telling a story about.
I’d allowed myself to be defined by what other people expected or wanted from me. From that moment in November of 2007, I’d been broken into a million little pieces and it seemed like any time I had gathered a few up, someone or something would knock them out of my hands. I was a mess, and it’s easy to manipulate a mess.
My self-worth was so low that I listened to all the criticism. I believed every negative word spewn at me. I was such a worthless piece of shit – “a non-productive member of society” – I “do nothing,” I was told. And all of that in my darkest hour.
But I think it’s like John says about his own life experiences: Once you’ve been broken, they can never break you again.
I’ve done some soul-searching. A lot of thinking. I’ve slowly begun to put my life back together. I’m not a mess anymore. I make straight A’s in literature courses in college. I’m really smart. I perform all of the yardwork on a 5 acre lot for my mother. I do the stuff around the house that my dad used to do. I craft beautiful pieces of writing that college professors tell me are better than stuff in our textbooks. I am a loyal and fierce friend. I can be counted on. I’m the one everyone goes to when the shit hits the fan and gets tragic. I’m responsible. I love those close to me with all my heart. I work my ass off at the gym five days a week. I’m strong and have survived some traumas that some of you will never even see in your lifetime. I’m beautiful. I’m rebuilding myself and my life. And I’m never looking back. I deserve more than what alcohol or Ambien CR can give me. I deserve more than hateful comments about my future and my dreams. I deserve more than to be used. I deserve more than fake friends. I deserve more than to be belittled in a relationship because the person I’m with is terrified for me to outgrow them.
Well, guess what? I’m growing now.
And I want to thank the people who got me to this place. I want to thank the universe for the deaths my family has suffered, and the hardships I’ve faced in my life. I want to thank God for making me a cutter. I am thankful for all these things, because they make me a damaged person. And damaged people are dangerous – we can survive ANYTHING.
I want to thank the people who put me down about graduating late from college because none of you have a degree, and it will just make it all that sweeter when I do.
I want to thank the people who have doubted me. Your doubts just keep the fire under my ass burning to be more and more every single day. Your doubts encourage me to blow my own expectations of myself out of the water. And ultimately, your doubts speak more to your own shortcomings than mine.
I want to thank the people who have belittled me. It makes me feel good now to realize how small of people you truly are to need to keep someone else down.
I want to thank the friends who weren’t really there, who only needed me in their own darkest hours. The ones who can’t seem to exist without a man in their life – it is a great reminder of how I never want to be.
I’m just done. I’m done with pretense. I’m done with keeping quiet. I’m done being nice to people who don’t deserve it. I’m done being treated like property. I belong to me and deserve the world. So to all those who helped to get me to this place, I want to say goodbye. I’m cutting my losses and moving on because I know that in the future there are amazing things for me. You won’t be a part of it, but at least you’ll get to witness.
And as T. I. says, “If you didn’t like me then, you’re gonna hate me now.”
It might be a long way to happy, but I’m buckled in for the ride.
There are people in the world who have the power to change our values. Have you ever been with a girl who made you want to quit the rest of your life? Did you ever say, ‘I want to quit my life and just fuckin’ snort you?’
That’s a quote from John Mayer’s recent interview with Playboy. While most people are pretty adamant that this interview solidified his douchebag standing, I’m starting to think in the opposite direction. I think after reading this quote, I actually may like John Mayer more now. And the reason is that I’ve never heard something quite so honest.
Isn’t it the truth, though? Have you ever had a person like that in your life? I know I have. A couple of them actually. And there’s no accounting for why or when or how. They come in and literally turn your world on its head. Your values don’t matter anymore and suddenly you’re looking in the mirror each morning and not recognizing who(or in most cases what) is staring back at you.
That’s how I felt in my last relationship. Like the last sentence of his quote. And a healthy relationship shouldn’t make you feel like you want to quit life. I hope for the day that I’m in a relationship that makes me have more zeal for life. The relationship that makes me write corny poetry and want to be a better person and all that romantic BS. I hope that day comes for me.
But if it doesn’t, I’m okay, too. Being alone is preferable to being with someone and yet feeling lonely all the time anyway. Trust me.
I don’t know about you, but I sure haven’t met a guy at a book store or a coffee shop these days. You can’t drive down the road, order a latte, or pick up a copy of a bestselling novel without running into at least twenty-five to thirty single people – who are all on their iPod, their Blackberry, their iPhone, their Bluetooth, their Greenthumb, or their portable ultrasound machine. Technology has enlightened us, but it has also alienated us from one another. Try striking up a conversation with one of those people, especially the guy with the portable ultrasound machine. You won’t be able to get a word in edgewise as he’s checking to see if that lump on your thyroid needs a biopsy.
Our high-stress fast-paced society has left traditional means of courtship in the dust. This leaves most of us with little other choice but to sigh resignedly and give in to those high-pressure commercials and sign up for an internet dating service or two, or three, or five.
This can be stressful for some of us concerned about safety or privacy, and that is why I’ve put together two simple lists of the Dos and Don’ts of internet dating. Follow my simple guide and wedded bliss is surely just around the corner for you!
Dos of Internet Dating
- DO post the best pictures of yourself that you can. Even if these pictures show you 50 pounds lighter, in a bikini or Speedo, attending a wet t-shirt contest in Cancun 10 years ago. You want your potential match to see what they are getting, potentially.
- DO judge people by their pictures. If all you’re seeing is a profile shot, the guy or gal is probably concealing a lazy eye. No body shots? Possibly disguising the fact that they’re in a wheelchair. Only wear long sleeve shirts? Beware of disfiguring birthmarks. Any pictures of them with dogs or children should cause an amount of skepticism. They are either a pervert or trying to come across as nicer than they are. Just use caution and trust your judgmental impulses.
- DO ask up front about their sexual history. Nothing is more awkward than making it to the bedroom tipsy on that third glass of wine and finding out that Daddy needs to be punished. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.
Don’ts of Internet Dating
- DON’T create an e-mail address specifically for internet dating. Use your work e-mail. Nothing will make you seem quite as popular to your boss as receiving random e-mail messages from total strangers proclaiming how hot they think “u r” and asking “wut u doin 2nite?” Your boss will see how great you are and you might get a date. Win-win.
- DON’T tell your weird and judgy friends about your escapades in internet dating. They will think you’re a loser. In fact, don’t tell anyone when you go on your dates. Just tell them you’re going to the library to read up on recently passed state legislatures. They’ll think you’re smart, and then if the date goes well you can convince your friends that your new love interest is also smart and up on today’s political happenings. And don’t worry, you will totally be able to tell if your date is a psychopath by reading their online profile.
- DON’T be afraid to go back to their apartment or home with them. Inviting you back to their place is just a gesture of hospitality. You’re a douchebag if you don’t accept it. Don’t be alarmed by animal pelts and carcasses adorning the walls – lots of people are into hobby taxidermy. Ask him or her if they’d like to teach you sometime.
Follow these six simple guidelines and you’ll be sure to find love online in no time! Oh, and when you sign up for your eHarmony, Match.com, Chemistry.com, Flurv.com, SandMmatch.com, singleQuakers.com, jDate.com, and Mormonlove.com memberships, please be sure to tell them Marnie Vinge referred you so I can get credit to my accounts. Thanks!