Trying to be friends with an ex is a special kind of hell…

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…).

 

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I was always told that living well is the best revenge, but I really hate ‘healthy living’ blogs, so I’ll stick with my crazy…

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.”

If you don’t laugh at my joke, I will repeat it at least 4 more times just to make sure you heard it correctly.

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.

“That’s not what the psychic said!!” – Turns out, not a valid argument

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.

I’m trying to avoid music that reminds me of my Ex, so I mostly listen to Hasidic Jewish songs and the occasional banjo anthem now.

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)

Coping during a breakup is pretty much reverting back to being 16, except you can buy your own alcohol now.

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.

  1. Denial
    1. Pretend the breakup isn’t actually happening
    2. Tell only close select friends that the breakup has occurred
    3. Tell yourself that he will change his mind
    4. Talk about it endlessly with close friends trying to figure when he will call and apologize
    5. Leave all pictures, facebook and desk photos intact
  2. Sadness
    1. Cry
    2. Change profile picture and take down desk photo
    3. Cry more, but this time awkwardly in public
    4. Stare at phone, mentally willing him to text you
    5. Don’t eat, then finally eat and demolish entire veggie party platter
    6. Listen to all the songs that remind you of the relationship
  3. Anger
    1. Talk about how he never appreciated you
    2. Drink prosecco to try to feel fabulous
    3. After too much prosecco, passive aggressively ‘like’ his changed profile photo
    4. After he unfriends you, send him insane text messages channeling all the rage of 1,000 feminists.
    5. Angry cry
    6. Feel like you could be heading for your own episode of Dateline
  4. Acceptance
    1. Drink Bailey’s with coffee
    2. Have sense of inner calm
    3. Laugh about insane text messages
    4. Buy new Taylor Swift album and listen to it on repeat
    5. Get asked by neighbour to “please keep it down” while jamming to Taylor Swift at 8am.
    6. Inform neighbour of the circumstances surrounding the breakup
    7. Get blessing from neighbour to continue to sing loudly
  5. Rebounding
    1. Inform little black book of newly single status
    2. Book girls getaway at fancy hotel
    3. Find clothing previously deemed ‘too low cut’ to be acceptable
    4. Rock red lipstick
    5. Accidentally get red lipstick on fingers and then wipe hands on white shirt thinking it was white napkin
    6. Move on

 

I appreciate the breakup advice, but I’d really just like to watch a lot of Dateline

The holidays have always been my favourite time of year, I eagerly countdown starting in September. The family time, the love, the fancy parties and the fact that you can wear glitter during the day without being questioned. I could never understand why people get so stressed out… but then again, all those years I was always single during the holidays. Single is something I can do well, I built my short lived freelance writing career around it. So I hadn’t dealt with what seemed like a never ending stream of problems that arose in a relationship during the holidays. Turns out, there’s a reason why this time of year has also been deemed “breakup season”.
So here I am, about to ring in the New Year, single, well not totally single, I took back the pizza oven I bought him, so my date for the evening is actually Mr. Crispy Crust. We didn’t make it, our relationship was pronounced dead (by him) three days short of NYE. And for the first time ever in my life, I am heartbroken about it. It seems over the last two days I’ve gotten a lot of advice from a lot of different people, some of it similar, some of it out of left field. But never the less, I thought I would share the sentiments.
1. There are a lot of guys out there, don’t worry, you’ll find one. – Ok, so the thing is, I’m not worried about finding another guy. I would actually be very content getting 10 cats and calling it a day. I bet if I wrote a blog about my days with the cats I would have more followers than my blog about dating. Cat Ladies have much more time to read frivolous writing. It’s not about finding another guy; it’s about losing the one I had.
2. Better now than 6 months from now. – I’ve heard this from a lot of people, and I’m not sure I agree. It’s like when you play Monopoly and it always ends in a fight, but at the same time, you can’t resist playing again, because this time it might actually work out well. I would have enjoyed another 6 months of it, I would have kept unfolding that game board and saying, “let’s see if we can do it better this time.”
3. This is why tequila was invented, nothing a little family drinking can’t solve. – Solid point. I fully agree with this one, and now I know where I get it from.
4. I bet his real reason for the breakup was actually (insert theory here). – The problem with our breakup is that there wasn’t a fully painted picture for me, which left things open to speculation. I have heard just about every theory possible on this one, even from a psychic.
5. You two obviously weren’t right for each other. – I mean, I don’t know, I’m a strong believer that it all comes down to timing, just look at Romeo and Juliet.
6. You should get revenge. – I feel like I go through waves of sadness and anger. During the sadness I have an overwhelming urge to phone him for no particular reason. Then during the anger I have the overwhelming urge to egg his belongings. I have decided it’s best to not act on any urges and write about him instead.
7. We can burn the photos of you guys, would that make you feel better? – To be honest, I thought about putting photos in the pizza oven and turning it on, however, all the photos are digital. That means that I would actually have to get the photos printed just to destroy them. I guess the modern day equivalent is photoshopping him out of the photos, but that seems like a lot of extra work for me. So I’m still undecided on this one.
8. I bet he’ll change his mind. – Well wouldn’t that be awkward after I spend all this time writing about him. But I doubt it, the whole thing played out as more of a series finale than a midseason hiatus.

Anatomy of a Rebound

If we were to play the word association game, what words come to mind when I say “breakup”? Probably not positive ones – personally mine would be tequila and rebound. I think as a society we’re trained to think of all the negative aspects of a breakup before we allow ourselves to think about all the positives. I mean have you Googled the definition of a breakup? Wikipedia harshly describes it as “the termination of an intimate relationship by any means other than death.” (Any means? So wait… hypothetically it means we’re not together anymore if the judge ordered me to stay at least 100 yards away at all times?)

But the best part of any breakup is the rebound. I like to think of a rebound guy the same way I think of candy – it keeps you entertained in a superficially delicious way, and as fast as you crave it you start to get sick of it. Besides everyone deserves carefree fun after the termination of an intimate relationship, right? The thing to remember is to always tell your rebound that that’s what they are to you. Technically you don’t need to call them a rebound to their face, but don’t leave them totally in the dark about your intentions – that’s mean. The problem with rebounds is that sometimes you actually start to fall for the person. To avoid this I like to choose a guy that’s extremely attractive and that I’m completely incompatible with so nothing gets confusing.

Very recently I was someone’s rebound, let’s call him Brent. Now, I knew from the beginning that he had just gotten out of a long term relationship, not because he told me, but because we have a mutual friend in common that he didn’t know about. So I actually knew everything that was going on behind the scenes, which I think in the end, was a blessing and a curse. He never told me I was his rebound and the lines got very blurred over the 3 months we saw each other. And now? Well, now he goes on the blog in as many posts as it takes to tell the story.

It’s a breakup, it’s not really open for negotiation…

I’ve been through a few breakups, some of them actual breakups where we sit down and talk like adults, and in my not so proud moments, some of them over text message.  The hard thing with a breakup is knowing what to say. You don’t want to outright hurt the other person, so how do you say “I can’t be with you anymore because everything you do makes me want to hit you with a shovel”? I think the funniest breakup I ever had was when the guy I was dating refused to actually accept that it was happening.

I had been seeing Josh for about 2 months and everything had started out great. He was an amazing guy, unbelievably thoughtful, super successful, good looking, great house, car, motorcycle, etc. Honestly, I felt ridiculous because I had really hit the jackpot finding him but there was something missing. It was the spark, there was just nothing there, I thought at some point it might show up, but I was ready to finally breakup with him. Also he was looking for a serious relationship and I just wasn’t.

I decided to do it the day after his birthday, so we were already off to a not great start. He came to my place to pick me up and I decided that I would go out and do it in the car. This is how the break up went;

Josh “Hey, you look good. So what do you want to do? Do you want to go for a walk or go to my place and hang out?” (I felt because he complimented me I would try to be extra nice.)

Me“Actually, I need to talk to you about something. I think that right now isn’t really a great time for us to be doing this. You’re amazing and so considerate, but I’m super busy with work and I just feel like it’s not fair to you that I can’t give you the time that you deserve. I’m sorry, I’m terrible person for doing this, but I think it’s best that we stop seeing each other. “

Josh “Wow, I think we can make this work though.” (Right, here’s where it starts to go downhill because I hadn’t prepared anything past that first part.)

Me“Yeah, I just don’t see it happening. This is really all about me, and I’m terrible. I like to go out with my friends and have fun, and I’m not ready to settle down. I’m sorry”

Josh “Well, you sound like you have low self esteem, and I think this is something that we can work though.” (And this is where I stopped trying to be nice, because my self-esteem is not low, if anything it’s delusionally high.)

Me“Right. You know what? This actually isn’t about me, this is about you. I can’t see you anymore because you’re driving me crazy. We’ve been dating for barely two months and you’re planning an insane two-week vacation for us. I’ve told you I don’t want to go on your motorcycle and you wont let it go. You keep trying to sneakily take candid photos of me on your phone; do you seriously think I don’t notice? And honestly, do you need to document every moment of your life like a 15-year-old girl? And for the love of god, the attempts at pda – why can’t you understand that I don’t want to make out with you in the coffee shop I have to show my face in everyday. And since I started going there with you, none of the straight male baristas give me free coffee anymore, so you owe me like $30.00 in damages.” (I may have been too harsh)

Josh“I really think you’re confused right now. We can work.” He said nonchalantly as he smiled.

[me staring at him with look of half shock, half disbelief]

Josh“So did you want to get coffee before we go to my place?”

Me“What?!? Did you not just hear any of that? We’ve broken up; we’re not seeing each other anymore. Ever.”

Josh“I’ll tell you what, how about I’ll give you some time to really think about this. I don’t think this is really what you want. (yes it is) So I’ll give you 5 days. If I haven’t heard from you in 5 days I will call you and we’ll talk about this some more. But I know you’ll change you’re mind.”

[Still look of shock on my face]

Me“Right. I’m going to go, and I’m not going to call you, and please don’t call me.”

[He leans over to kiss me]

Me“OH MY GOD! ARE YOU KIDDING RIGHT NOW?!”

I got out of the car and left him sitting in front of my building. He did call, I didn’t answer. He also started showing up places randomly for a while, which is really the sign of a terrible stalker when you can’t even stay hidden. But as far as break ups go, that really has turned out to be the funniest one.

And who knows, maybe he’s still stalking me and he’s just gotten really good at it.