Volume 4, Number 7
Trauma Made Easy
Skippy in the housssse!!!! What? Too much? Oh well, thought I could pull it off. I guess it's important to know one's limitations. Like you for instance - tying your shoes probably takes up pretty much all of the brainpower you have available. Making cold cereal is a two day project. Bathing yourself on a semi-regular basis earns you a gold star (don't lie, I've ridden in elevators with you). But that is OK, because you realize that you're not the sharpest knife in the drawer, hell for that matter, you're a spoon. But you know this and you compensate by receiving my wit and wisdom monthly. That's very good, together we just might pull this off.
You know kids, I was thinking as I was driving home from the gas station tonight that I have been remiss in your romantic education. Oh sure, I've hit some important stuff in my time. Talking to women, what men are thinking, the loss of the disconnect, the many uses of condiments (it's all in the archives you pervert). But I have missed one of the most important parts of any romantic entanglement. That's right, breaking up, getting dumped, being shown the door, getting tossed off the nookie express, getting to know Rosie and her five daughters...OK, that's probably more than enough, you get the idea.
I've heard it said, well, sung actually, that breaking up is hard to do. Well that is just bosh and bunkum. Remaining alive and functioning after breaking up is hard to do. Hell, the breaking up part is a piece of cake, most of the time that's done for you. No, the hard part is keeping it all together when the love of your life informs you that it's not you it's them (it's you) or that they need some time off (the rest of their life) or they aren't ready for a commitment (they've met someone else). That's when you need Ol' Unca Skippy's wisdom the most, and Lord help me, I haven't been there for you. Until now.
First off let's clear up what I'm talking about here (you quicker folks feel free to help the slower ones along at this point). I'm not talking about the woman you met last month that just sobered up for the first time and realized that you don't have a job and still live at home. If that's your situation, go out, get drunk and find another one, but do not waste the time of serious emotional cripples with your pathetic tale. No, I am talking about her, you know the one. The one that you've woken up next to for the last five years. The one that got out of the house when you were watching football with the guys. The one that you (God help you) went shopping with when there was a sporting event on television. In short, the woman that took the If we're still together then out of your vocabulary. You know what I'm talking about. You meet someone new, they are pretty cool. You start planning, but not really, because you preface everything with If we're still together then so it doesn't really count. Then you meet someone and you're together for awhile and the next thing you know, If we're still together then doesn't exist anymore, because you know that you will be together then until she dumps you.
Which leads us to really important point number one in breaking up. Get Dumped. Do not, under any circumstances, for any reason, do the dumping. I don't care if she's stealing from you to make the payments on her boyfriend's Harley. You stick it out. If for some unknown reason, you do actually dump her, you have forfeited all the rights and privileges you are entitled to as the recently dumped, and yes, that does include pity sex, but more on that later. For some unknown reason, if you do the dumping, you are automatically the asshole. If you are the one getting dumped, you are the sweet victim guy. I know, it doesn't make any sense, but that is the way it is, so deal with it.
Really important point number two, stay busy. I know it's cliché, but it happens to be true. When you are suddenly single after a long period of couplehood you will get a tremendous surge of energy. You won't need as much sleep. You won't eat as much. You will be able to drink staggering amounts of alcohol. It's God's way of compensating for the massive void where your life used to be I guess. At any rate, don't waste it, do something, do anything. Surely there is something that your former significant other didn't allow you to do. Well now is the time to do it man, get out there and have a life, you're going to need a new one anyway.
Really important point number three, wallow in popular culture. This is the one time in your life that Full House will actually speak to you, don't let it get away. Every song on the radio, every show on the television, every movie in the theaters, will hit you in a way that they have never before. Some would say this is a bad thing, I disagree. Part of this whole exercise is to embrace your pain. Wrap it up in a little ball and carry it around with you proudly. You have just had the next fifty years of your life taken away, you are supposed to hurt. Screw being stoic, weep at phone commercials, sing along to Journey songs, get kicked out of movies for curling up in a fetal position and crying on the floor, it's all about your needs now.
Which brings us to really important point number four, be a selfish bastard. You've just had your heart ripped out, think with your penis for a while. If you get the opportunity for pity sex, take it man. Don't feel you need to call the next day. If she wanted you to call she wouldn't have had sex with someone who just got dumped. You want to take the day off and go fishing? Do it. Work will be there when you get back and if isn't who cares? You have no life anyway. Take what you need from anyone willing to give it for as long as you can or until you don't need it anymore.
Which brings us to the most important point of all. It does get better. I know that if you're reading this at three o'clock in the morning because she just walked out the door fifteen minutes ago, that is the most meaningless statement you have ever heard. It gets better. What the hell is that supposed to mean? When? What's the date that it gets better, I'll mark my damn calendar. Well I'll tell you what, I will make you a promise. If you can get through the next six months without completely cracking up, and I know that is a very big if, but if you can do it, I promise you will be better.
Will you be over her? Don't be insane, I said better, not healed. But trust me, six months from now you will be driving down the highway and a song will come on the radio and you will be tapping your toes and humming along with a silly grin on your face and you will suddenly realize something very important. It will hit you that this is the first time in six months that you have had an emotion that had nothing whatsoever to do with her. You will then know that even though you won't ever be whole in the way that you were before you met her ever again.And I'm sorry but that's the facts my friend. You aren't ever going to feel the way you felt about her with anyone else. It just doesn't happen. You might fall in love again, but there is a piece of you that she took with her when she left and she isn't ever going to give it back. But, and this is an important one, you are capable of experiencing and enjoying a life without her in it. Once that realization hits you, you are pretty much on your way. Yes, you will still have bad times, lots of them, but you'll have good ones too and pretty soon the good will outweigh the bad.
So go ahead, mark your calendar. Six months from the day that your entire future walks out the door, you will be a reasonably functioning human again. It's a long time and most of it is an absolute bitch, but if you can stick it out for six months, you'll get through it. Who knows? If you're lucky she'll dump your ass is August and you can get through it by watching football. I know it worked for me.