I think one of the craziest things about the breakup with Grant is that in a matter of three days he went from being someone I confided everything in, to someone I wasn’t even facebook friends with. During the breakup Grant had said he wanted to stay friends, which seemed absurd considering while he was speaking I was imagining my own episode of Dateline;
“And why on the same day that Grant disappeared had Becca bought a shovel? She claims it was a coincidence, she had simply decided to take up gardening. But it was well known that Becca hated the outdoors unless it involved a patio and vodka. Her alibi was falling apart…”
I couldn’t imagine phoning him to chat about work and pretend like I was ok with everything that had happened. So I said no to being friends… well, technically I said a lot of profanities that added up to “no”.
Right after the breakup with Grant, I was trying to rationalize everything (because breakups always make perfect sense). I needed to figure out what I could have done wrong, so I phoned the one person I knew would tell me. I phoned Parker. I know it seems weird to go to your old-ex and ask how to get your new-ex back, and it was. It was super weird.
My life is not a romantic comedy. If it were, this story would end with Parker and his British accent riding in on a white horse, and us riding off into the sun together. It would be perfect, except I’m terrified of horses and I’m really pale, so the sun is my sworn enemy.
Parker was great to talk about the breakup with because he wasn’t nice about it. He gave me the kick in the ass I needed (not literally, just to be clear, no violence occurred). He reminded me that I’m more Rihanna than June Cleaver, and what Grant considered my weaknesses are actually my strengths. Most importantly, he told me to stop feeling sorry for myself… then he drove off in his white car into the night, alone.
My relationship and friendship with Grant is done, much like this bottle of Prosecco I just drank… But I hope he’s doing well (just not as well as I am) and I hope he’s happy (just not as happy as I am) and I hope he finds someone really nice one day (that’s a lie, I hope she’s insane and writes about him on the internet…).
One of the biggest fights Grant and I had was about me spending a weekend with my best friends instead of going to his friend’s Christmas party (and I didn’t even tell him we ended up dancing on a stage with a band that night). I loved Grant, and I tried to compromise about that weekend, but my best friends had to come first then.
My friend Camilla is my “life partner”, when you date a lot of different people you want someone who is a constant in your life. Not going to lie, some men I’ve dated have thought I shared too many personal details with Camilla.
We are fiercely protective of each other, especially when it comes to men. About 3 weeks after the breakup with Brent, Camilla and I were in her car on the way to her apartment at about 10pm, when I saw something on the floor and reached down to pick up what turned out to be a tomato. I showed it to Camilla, she said it must have fallen out of her grocery bag earlier… then without hesitation she hit her left turn signal. I knew immediately where she wanted to go and what she wanted to do. (If you plan to screw around on a girl, it is highly advisable that you have secure parking for your car, there’re a lot of crazy girls out there.)
I told Camilla that I didn’t actually want to tomato Brent’s car, but she was a woman on a mission. We listened to easy rock (Phil Collins in particular) to pump ourselves up, and ended up driving past the entrance to Brent’s building about 4 times before I remembered which one was his.
As we pulled into his parking lot only large enough for one car to drive down at a time, I pointed out Brent’s car – it was parked right by the back entrance to the building. I now had my hat and sunglasses on, which definitely didn’t look suspicious at all…
Without a second thought, Camilla had gotten out of the car and was strutting towards Brent’s car, tomato in hand. As she approached a motion sensor light turned on revealing Camilla in all her badass glory. She froze then quickly turned and looked at me, then back at the car, then back at me, and finally back at the car. She decided to run up to the car, lift up Brent’s windshield wiper and proceed to delicately place the tomato under it. Camilla then bolted back to her car, hopped behind the wheel and we reversed out of the parking lot at top speed. I am quite positive a raccoon probably got the tomato off the windshield about 10 minutes later, but I’m sure the raccoon delivered the message to Brent not to screw around, they are reliable creatures.
We are very protective of each other, but our revenge plots need a touch more planning. I asked Camilla what she would do if she ever runs into Grant. She said she would kick him in the balls, and as he falls to his knees point at him and say, “you know.”
Then she laughed and said, “Not really, I’ll probably just give him an angry stare.”
Obviously I’m hilarious, I’m also a bit delusional though so I might only be moderately funny, either way I crack myself up. One of the things that attracted me to Grant was that he had a good sense of humour and never took anything too seriously. He could match me pretty well for jokes, and it’s important to note that I’m very sarcastic (if you hadn’t noticed). I only mean about 70% of what I say, which is great when people understand that. Grant understood and would laugh, but towards the end he took all of my jokes seriously, which was frightening since I said and did some pretty crazy things.
There was the everyday sarcasm, like when he asked me why I always chose to wear black and I responded, “well it’s because it matches my soul.” Or how I put a nutcracker holding a knife in the kitchen for him to find in the morning when he got up to make breakfast (it was meant to be helpful).
There were also the more elaborate jokes that he didn’t laugh at, like when I went into the bedroom the night before he was going on a trip. He had just gone to bed about five minutes earlier and all the lights were out, I crept in and began to whisper to him;
Me – “Grant… are you awake? Grant…”
Grant – “What is it?”
Me – “I was just wondering… since you’re going away, I thought maybe you’d like a lock of my hair?”
Grant – “What? Why?”
Me – “Well to remember me, obviously.”
Grant – “No.”
Me – “Oh… ok. Well can I have a lock of your hair then?”
Grant – “What? No!”
Me – “Ok, it’s ok. You just go to sleep, I’ll just cut a small piece from the back, you won’t even know.”
Grant – “No! Stop, it’s enough.”
Me – “Ok, Goodnight babe… I’ll be right back. I’m definitely not going to get the scissors.”
But the funniest thing of all happened during the breakup, Grant suddenly laughed at my jokes again. It was rounding the second hour of the breakup and it was clear at this point the relationship was over. We were sitting in the living room in silence when I made a sarcastic remark and he genuinely laughed. I was caught off guard because I hadn’t heard him laugh at something I’d said in weeks.
I asked him, “Oh, you think I’m funny again?” and he replied, “I’ve always thought you were funny.” I asked him to tell me the last time he had laughed at one of my jokes. He couldn’t do it.
In hindsight it was simply another sign I was ignoring that something was wrong. But the upside is that now I have the opportunity to charm other men with my sarcastic and often borderline-crazy humour, and hopefully they’ll laugh… or call the police, either way it will make a good post.
Rumours – I love and hate them at the same time. There’s something that makes you feel undeniably like a teenager when someone has really good gossip for you. Sometimes I’m grateful people gossip because it can save you from awkward situations, like the one in my work meeting the other day.
As I sat down in the boardroom one of the women looked across the table and said “So are you ready for the gala this weekend?” I knew what was coming next, it was so obvious, but I simply said “Yes.”
She quickly followed up with, “Do I finally get to meet your man?!” A co-worker beside her was visibly uncomfortable. I smiled politely and said “He actually won’t be able to attend, he already has plans in hell.” Not really, people at work already think I’m a touch unstable, I just said that we broke up. We proceeded with the meeting which included the topics of Valentine’s Day and what couples like to do. I didn’t have many constructive ideas to contribute.
I’m guilty of precipitating rumours with my writing it’s what I’ve always done though (I’m kind of like the Taylor Swift of the blog world, except for the famous, rich, blond and dating celebrities part). The day after the breakup I wanted answers so badly I went to a psychic and had her do a tarot card reading. I didn’t like what she told me, although it’s what I had been theorizing, but how could I phone Grant up and start yelling at him for something the universe said. I walk a fine line, but I have limits to my crazy.
One thing I didn’t expect is that Grant would be telling people what happened during our Chernobyl of a breakup. I sat down for dinner with my friend who recounted the events of that fateful day to me. When I asked how he knew, he said that a girl I didn’t know told him, she had run into a girl at a bar who knows Grant, and heard about it from her. Apparently the girl just wanted to know if I was ok, which is thoughtful for a stranger. If I were actually Taylor Swift I would send her a gift basket of some sort, but I’m not, and I’ve just added vodka and shoes back into my budget, so money’s a bit tight.
I’ve had to work hard to not listen to the rumours and the theories people have for me. I feel like if I start to believe them I will turn into Carrie from Homeland and transform my living room wall into a giant investigation board.
There’re two sides to every story, I have mine and Grant has his. Somewhere in the middle is the truth. I will of course always prefer my version, unless Grant describes himself using the same profanities I do, then maybe I would like his version too.
Parker was a man I pseudo-dated before I met Grant (if you’re wondering what pseudo-dating is, it’s basically seeing each other on a regular basis for an extended period of time, hanging out, having the occasional dinners and sleeping together, but never committing to anything resembling an actual relationship). Parker is quite the catch – funny, intelligent, charming, very attractive, kind, employed, athletic and he has a British accent just to top it off.
I pseudo-dated Parker for six months but I was still nervous around him. When we were together I would repeat a fun chant in my head to the effect of ‘be breezy, be calm, stop shaking, I bet he saw you shaking, shut up brain, be breezy…’
I wanted our pseudo-dates to be perfect, and I remember one particular dinner that stands out for this. I had just come back from a weekend away, he picked me up and we went to a restaurant, I ordered a salad and he had a burger. Everything was going swimmingly until about a quarter of the way through my salad when I saw a black hair. Parker was about half way done his burger and I played out two options in my head;
A) I could call the waitress over and point out the hair. She would take my salad and insist on replacing it. I did not want another salad, but if I refused that would mean I basically didn’t get to eat dinner. But by the time they brought out a new salad for me, Parker would probably be done his burger. The hair was also sure to be the only thing we remembered about the evening.
B) I could wait for him to look down and take a bite of his food, then pull the hair out of my salad and pretend nothing happened. It didn’t look long anyway, and this way our evening wouldn’t be ruined.
I chose option B, and I regret it every day. It wasn’t a short hair it was a very long hair. But now I’d taken it out so I couldn’t very well put it back in and call the waitress over. So I ate around the outside of my salad and chanted in my head to ‘be breezy’.
One of the reasons I fell for Grant was because he was the spazzy one.
The first time he phoned to ask me out he opened with “I’ve just given blood and I’m kind of light headed, so I think I’ve worked up the courage to ask if you would maybe like to get a drink sometime? You can say no.”
On our second date we were supposed to meet halfway between our places to walk to a restaurant for dinner. Enroute to meet him he called me and said, “would you be able to please go home and get some band aids, I’ve tripped over the curb and my toe is bleeding quite badly.” When I met him he wasn’t lying, there was blood everywhere and we had to stop and administer first-aid in the street.
I was comfortable with Grant, I was calm, I was the breezy one without even having to try. And I loved it.
As I move on from the disaster that I affectionately refer to as ‘my last relationship’ (which I know seems harsh, but you wouldn’t call the Titanic a ‘lovely cruise’ just because the beginning was good.) I do so with all the grace of a baby deer learning to walk. I’ve had a few ups and downs with sporadic crying followed by a solid hour of female empowerment music, but I’ve mostly evened out now.
The only trick is to avoid things that remind me of him, which is much more difficult than I imagined. I am one of those people that forever attaches meaning and significances to useless things. When I dated that guy Brent 2 years ago we had a joke about pineapples, I just sent him a picture of a crystal pineapple a few days ago because it reminded me of him. Two years later and pineapples still remind me of a man who never came close to meaning what Grant did to me.
From the beginning I knew Grant was different than the other guys I dated, so I started keeping silly things from dates. I’m not saying I’m a hoarder, but I’m not not a hoarder. I’m not Grey Gardens level yet, but you know, another 30 years, some scarves and a lot of cats and I can probably get there.
I’ve had to collect the things I was saving and put them all in one place so that I can stop seeing them around. For Christmas Grant gave me a custom made version of my favourite book that has been hollowed out so you’re able to store things in it. My favourite book is The Great Gatsby – if you haven’t read it, it’s a wonderful love story that ends in abandonment and murder.
Things I’m packing up that remind me of Grant
1. The book he lent me after on our first date
2. The picture of the egg I accidentally smashed on his counter after proclaiming I make “the best eggs”
3. A tab from a beer can on our first date and napkin ring from a restaurant on our first trip together
4. A ticket stub from a hockey game and our winning raffle ticket from a charity event we attended
5. A t-shirt I wore the first time we made pizza together and he made fun of me endlessly for that says “Mikey’s Friends” across it
There is one thing I took during the breakup that won’t fit in the book and I can’t stand to look at. I took the pizza oven I bought him, with my exact words being “I’m taking the pizza oven, and I want you to know I’m never going to use it, I’m taking it out of spite because you don’t deserve to have crispy crusts.”
There are also a few things I left at his place that will remind him of me until he gets rid of them too.
1. My poncho and sombrero that I wear while preparing Mexican food (apologies for any cultural insensitivity)
2. My ice cream (which I hope he cried into while eating)
3. The pizza slicer (because I totally forgot and would have taken it out of spite too)
4. Strands of my hair (because I shed more than a cat)
I am lucky to be a person that immediately sees the good in a breakup and wishes their Ex all the success and happiness in the world… I’m just kidding; I’m pretty much a basketcase until I’m ready to let it go. There are of course different stages of a breakup, and for me it went, denial, sadness, anger, acceptance and rebounding.
- Pretend the breakup isn’t actually happening
- Tell only close select friends that the breakup has occurred
- Tell yourself that he will change his mind
- Talk about it endlessly with close friends trying to figure when he will call and apologize
- Leave all pictures, facebook and desk photos intact
- Change profile picture and take down desk photo
- Cry more, but this time awkwardly in public
- Stare at phone, mentally willing him to text you
- Don’t eat, then finally eat and demolish entire veggie party platter
- Listen to all the songs that remind you of the relationship
- Talk about how he never appreciated you
- Drink prosecco to try to feel fabulous
- After too much prosecco, passive aggressively ‘like’ his changed profile photo
- After he unfriends you, send him insane text messages channeling all the rage of 1,000 feminists.
- Angry cry
- Feel like you could be heading for your own episode of Dateline
- Drink Bailey’s with coffee
- Have sense of inner calm
- Laugh about insane text messages
- Buy new Taylor Swift album and listen to it on repeat
- Get asked by neighbour to “please keep it down” while jamming to Taylor Swift at 8am.
- Inform neighbour of the circumstances surrounding the breakup
- Get blessing from neighbour to continue to sing loudly
- Inform little black book of newly single status
- Book girls getaway at fancy hotel
- Find clothing previously deemed ‘too low cut’ to be acceptable
- Rock red lipstick
- Accidentally get red lipstick on fingers and then wipe hands on white shirt thinking it was white napkin
- Move on
There are a lot of things I consider cute, like kittens – actually that’s about it. Understandably not finding a lot of things as adorable as some people, I hate couples that use “cute” pet names in public – I feel like it would be less offensive if they just made out. Mostly I don’t know where people come up with the names, and why the other person lets it happen. I think I was most offended when my ex Adam addressed me as Kiddo and then on a separate occasion as Little Lady (this story was close to ending with “…and he was never seen again”). Being called kiddo especially bothered me because nothing says I respect you as an equal like using the same nickname reserved for parent/child relationships. Brent used to call me Rockstar which I actually didn’t mind, and it goes very well with what I call him now – Jackass.
But maybe this is where I’m going wrong in my relationships; maybe I’m just not letting the cuteness in. I decided to seek help from a website that has thoughtfully compiled loving pet name suggestions for that special person in your life. I now feel that I am set up for success and will be trying a few of these out on my next date. Below are my personal favorite choices from the list of what to call your guy;
Animal Cracker – excellent childhood associations, solid choice.
Butterball – ok, this could work in an ironic way… right?
Casanova – this one kind of screams “I think you’re a manwhore”, but whatevs.
Chef Of Love – …because he’s always cooking up something steamy.
Choo Choo – I would need a wooden train whistle for this one.
Diamond In The Rough – because underneath the ugly, he’s alright.
Huggy Bear – he was the missing Care Bear all along.
Lady Killer – this would only be cute in an alleged kind of way.
Ninja In Training – but how would I know when he’s a full ninja?
Old Faithful – this one may get confusing if there’s a dog in the room.
Wild Turkey – I think I might just be hungry at this point.
Wookie – this pet name would come with a gift certificate to the spa for back waxing.
You can see the full list of excellent suggestions here.