Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It's Not You, It's Me

Celebrities are constantly breaking up. I don't know how these Hollywood-types do it; one minute they're in love, the next they're canoodling with someone new at a booth at the hottest club. Don't they feel any kind of remorse?

Me, I could never break up with people.

Seriously, I’m amazed that I’m not still dating my junior high boyfriend.

My first boyfriend was Rob and we were in the sixth grade. Our first “date” was with a group of people at the movie theater. We sat next to each other and held hands. The first time we kissed (with tongue!) I was so nervous we just stood forever under a pine tree in the snow just staring at each other. (I’m not quite sure why I was such a loser back then. What the hell was I afraid of?)

Two days after the pine trees, Rob told me it was over. Eight years after the pine trees, Rob told everyone he was gay. For me, it was a big relief. In the back of my head I always wondered if he dumped me because I sucked at French-kissing.

Next was Mike. He was younger and we dated for over a year. I actually tried to break up with him, but it didn’t stick. The next night we got back together at the school mixer. We avoided each other all night (I was very mature even back then, obviously) then ended up slow dancing 8th-Grade-style to “Crazy For You” by Madonna in the very dark cafeteria. Our conversation went something like this:

Mike: “I miss you.”
Me: “Um, yeah...”
Mike: “Let’s get back together.”
Me: “Um, well...”
Mike: “Great!”

We dated a few more months until I couldn’t take it anymore. I broke Mike’s heart one afternoon when he was walking me home from school. It was awful. I swore I’d never break up with anyone again.

Twelve years later I found myself in a different city (Boston) and in the same dreadful position with Brian (whose claim to fame was sharing a hometown with the New Kids On The Block).

I dated Brian for seven months or so – about five months longer than I had intended to.

Brian was very nice, which made it very difficult to break up with him. He hung out with a group of about 20 friends whom he’d known since he was in diapers. He drove a 10-year-old light blue rusted station wagon affectionately named (by him) “The Shaggin’ Wagon” – I kid you not. Even I couldn’t make that car look good.

My breaking point came the night before his nephew’s baptism. If I didn’t break up with Brian tonight, I would never do it; I might as well just have the priest marry us after the christening.

My roommate got me ready for Operation Break-Up: “Do you want to ride around in the Shaggin’ Wagon for the rest of your life?”

Easy one. “No.”

“You said he’s an awful kisser. Do you want those lips on you for the rest of your life?”

Yuck. “Nope.”

And then the clincher. “Do you want to move to crappy Dorchester and hang out every night at the local tavern with his townie friends?”

Absolutely not. “Negative.”

And thus, after guiltily paying for Bri-Bri’s Broken Heart Dinner, the Break-up Dance Of Joy was born.

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