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Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Monday, June 05, 2006

Making Simple Things Complicated

It's funny how you can begin a weekend with the best of intentions and then on Monday look back on the two days that were with a mixture of extreme sadness, anger and confusion. You know the drill. It's Friday afternoon, you're shutting down your computer, tidying up your working area, maybe even making a to-do list for the coming week. You're making a mental list of everything you're planning on doing over the next two days, which friends you'll see, where you'll want to go. If your personal life is a prone to drama as mine is, you'll probably also find yourself wondering what traumatic event will go down and in what way it will effect you. What you don't expect is that you'll spend the next two days rehashing the same story to your girlfriends in some attempt to make sense of a totally random and harsh situation, drowning your sorrows in liquor and wine, breaking down in an ATM vestibule and sobbing into your friends chest, and exchanging emails that grow progressively more bitter and sarcastic with every round.

Ending a relationship is never a simple thing. But there are a zillion ways of making it more complicated and painful than it needs to be. Ignoring somebody for days and then hinting of wanting to break it off over a series of vague emails is a terrific example. Acting as if you've had a lobotomy, you've been replaced by an uncharming twin, or you've switched places with a clone invented in the lab of a scientist with no sense of humor whatsoever are also good strategies. I don't know if its a universal-boy strategy (the kind they teach at the secret boy conferences--the same ones where they learn arcane sports facts and how to crush a can of beer on their heads) but I've noticed that many boys think that I good strategy for getting rid of a girl is to simply act like an enormous jerk. Perhaps they think the girl will just grow exasperated and dump them first and feel less regret because who could possibly miss somebody who acted like that. But here's the thing: this never works the way you think it should, and the girl will still be sad. She'll be sad to think that somebody who was once so charming and who seemed to have her interests at heart could change so dramatically and in such a short period of time. The fact that you're not around will actually hurt less than this. And then she and her friends will spend hours analyzing the situation (because, to quote a boy I know, "girls over-analyze. It's what they do") and then you'll just become "That Guy". And nobody wants to be "That Guy". Ever.

I don't think I can offer many great alternatives, other than to be honest and to not cower from a situation. I certainly am no expert at ending a relationship, but I can say that I remain friends with some of my exes, so in a few cases I guess I've handled things pretty well. In fact, acrimonious breakups are not something I have much experience with. I'm normally pretty nice to the other person. If I'm upset I save that for my girlfriends. Guess there's a first time for everything, eh?

In situations like this you can be grateful for the endless patience of your friends, Jack Daniels shots, and L's favorite toast: Here's to Making Simple Things Complicated. Chin chin.

4 Comments:

Blogger Michael J. West said...

I'm sorry.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secret boy conferences aren't nearly as informative as they are made out to be. You can pretty much learn all you need to know from a season of the OC, an afternoon of Sportscenter, and "that friend" in college who becomes a member of a fraternity.


And I'm sorry you're in that kind of situation. But yes, as a general principle, boys are dumb.

DS

7:32 PM  
Blogger reluctant dater said...

not to be cynical, but maybe just take some comfort in knowing they're all the same? and by same i mean assholes.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when I started toasting with 'to making simple things complicated' I never thought that it would be something that so perfectly could describe so many situations. I guess this weekend was the time to be dissapointed by the boys in our life. Like my underwear by David and Goliath say, "boys are stupid. Let's throw rocks at them"

3:42 AM  

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