I have concluded that I am a bad breaker-upper. At this very moment there may be a group of men meeting in a church basement somewhere to talk about the trauma they suffered during our break-up. I’m not quite delusional enough to think they are all still mourning the loss of the goddess that is me. No. The trauma these men suffered was caused by my behavior after the break-up; no matter what side of it I was on.
My most frequent break-up blunder can be traced back to my semi-lesbian upbringing. My childhood was blissfully surrounded by wacky Birkenstock wearing lady-lovers who taught me how to scramble eggs, tend camp fires, and love without prejudice. But lesbians are famous for keeping their dating pools small and thus remain friends with nearly all of their exes.
This set an example that is difficult to replicate in the hetero world. I confused a LOT of men in my twenties by calling to check in on them weeks after we’d made a clean break. Most straight men view such a call one of two ways: you either want to yell at them or hook-up. Sometimes it’s both. But in my case it was usually neither. I wanted to know how they were doing, if they needed my address for their christmas card list, and did they have any cute friends they could introduce me to?
My second most common break-up blunder is to go crazy–in a different way than I’ve described above. I’ve been the girl who shows up at your house at 3 a.m. and screams at you for half an hour while your housemates hide in their rooms, pretend not to listen, and thank God they are not you. The highlight of my crazy-career was a day when, fueled by heartache and extreme PMS, I drove over to my ex’s house and threw rocks at the side of it for 45 minutes. I didn’t do much damage (the aluminum siding was crappy anyway) but I kept thinking how I should stop because I was an adult with a job and this would be a really embarrassing thing to be arrested for.
Luckily I seem to have mellowed and matured. This go round I have no desire to inflict pain (hasn’t there been enough already?) and the lesbian lessons are finally paying off: I have two sweet kidos who have two wonderful parents who need and want to stay friends. Let’s hope my bad breaker-upper days are behind me!