NOTE: This blog post, and the previous post, are dedicated to the group of loving friends that make my studio the heaven it is. These incredibly intelligent, stomach-crunchingly funny individuals are possessed of a Zen-level patience and tolerance of my “okay, let me read THIS draft to you: I changed a syllable, so I have to read the entire thing again…” They are futon-draping, chair-grabbing, pillow-lounging folk whom my daughter calls simply “The Cool People.” Today, in particular, I send my love to Aris*, the willowy and graceful beauty who allowed me the honor of photographing her last night, preserving the rare and unique beauty she someday will know she possesses.
Let's look at The Book.
(Drum Roll, Please…)
More Dumpage Tips from
The Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual.
In the highs and lows following a spectacular drop from a great height, many of us make mistakes we later regret with the same shuddering horror with which we look back upon our school pictures: what was I thinking?
Clearly, you were NOT. Thinking, that is. Thinking is NOT something you will be good at for the next little while.
You have suffered what we can term an “emotional concussion.” The Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual provides for this, offering guidelines of what you SHOULD and SHOULD NOT do immediately after someone tells you they want nothing more to do with you.
#1: Your comprehension skills are at an all-time low right now.
Know this, embrace this, and STOP. LOOK. LISTEN. Be slow to act, and even slower to respond.
For example: when your former “significant other” tells you it’s over, they COULD mean anything from:
“I’m a: complete jackass/player/fool/commitment-phobe/blind in one eye/liar/coward/<<insert any number of possibilities here, including (I hate to break to you) Just-Not-the-Right-Fit, and Mr.-Not-Right-Now, or even – and this DOES happen, because no one is all bad, even your ex’s… I’m-a-nice-guy-and-I-see-it’s-not-working-so-I’m-letting-you-down-easy-now-instead-of-later-when-it’ll-only-be-tougher.>>
The Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual, however, deeply encourages you to interpret WHATEVER is said to you, at least for now, thusly:
“You are: wonderful/fabulous/exciting/any person’s dream come true. For some reason, I’ve experienced some brain damage and cannot perceive all your unique and charming qualities, so you’d best either simply be my friend, since I could obviously use all the help I could get, or forget me entirely.”
Then – and this is the most important thing of all – DO IT.
#2: Your literary skills are not what you think they might be at this vulnerable time.
So stop e-mailing all those WAY too long, really stupid, soulful volumes that belong in your diary instead.
There are several reasons why this is an abysmally bad idea.
Unless you are a woman, and your ex is a woman, too*, you might as well be writing: “I really want to have your baby, spend all your money, and your penis? I’ll keep that safe in my hope chest; you won’t need it anymore.” If you listen carefully after you hit the SEND button, you’ll hear the musical “beep-beep-ZOOM” of the Warner Brothers Road Runner. It’s him, running for his life.
[*N.B. – Deeply soulful, heartfelt outpourings work far better on woman-to-woman relationships, although tread carefully here; the line between deeply heartfelt and profoundly pathetic is thin indeed.]
Pouring your heart out like that, although you want to everyday, all day, several times a day, is worse than useless. It’s not that he doesn’t care – after all, if he was with you once, he certainly DOES care. THAT’S why it’s so bad.
Heartfelt outpourings make him twitchy, itchy in his own skin, guilty, and miserable. Yeah, yeah, you might initially be pulling a joyful fist down and shouting “Boo-YEAH,” but what’s really happening is this:
Who wants to feel twitchy, itchy, guilty and miserable?
Remember that weirdo with the crush on you from Starbucks a couple of months ago?
The short, creepy dude who kept staring at you and your girlfriends?
The one you guys laughed at, especially when he kept giving you free lattes, and trying to strike up a conversation, but you kept shutting him down because he was really starting to make you feel uncomfortable?
Now that’s YOU. How’s THAT for some perspective?
Suddenly, you don’t feel like sending those e-mails anymore, do ya?
#3: Mention no names, but start telling strange, cute men that you just got dumped.
Sub-tip: Do not EVER leave your house without looking your very best.
Chances are, in your misery, if you are thin, you will have gained a few needed pounds. If you have been looking to lose a few, you have. Ergo, one delicious benefit to your agony is that you are, in all likelihood, looking better than ever.
Doll yourself up – not ridiculously so, of course. You’re not going to the grocery store in a little black dress. But instead of a tank top… maybe… throw a halter on. Show a little shoulder. Wear your nicest jeans, with some awesome shoes. Stand up straight; you look confident and thinner.
Casually mention to hunky guys that you’ve just been dumped, but be sure to say it in your most cheerful voice, with your most dazzling smile.
Guaranteed: you will be consoled, flattered, and told what an abominable half-wit he was.
Enjoy this, but TAKE NO NUMBERS. You are not ready for a new relationship; just revel in the glory of the insults he cannot hear, and the joy of hearing how wonderful you are – for you are, and soon you will be fine, and you won’t need anyone to tell you.
You’ll just know.
* Aris: Not her real name. Her real name is cooler, like she is.