I broke up with him like a ninja.
It was a quicky sneak attack that hit him before he could even figure out what was happening. I broke it off and then faded into the night. Well, actually into the light because I did it at work during a break. But I’m sure darkness descended shortly after that.
I almost immediately regretted my decision. I wanted to feel Girl Power Amazingness, but 12 hours after the break-up, all I was feeling was Wimpy Girl Neediness.
I know that technically there aren’t supposed to be any winners or losers in a break-up, but judging by the amount of sobbing and obsessive phone watching I did in the first few days, I was definitely not a winner.
Truth be told, I was completely cuckoo. Here’s an example of a typical conversation I would have with myself.
Me: “What if he was just about to make some grand declaration of love and because of my obstinate impatience, I ruined the whole thing?”
Myself: “Fuck that. You waited for a year for a grand declaration of love and got nada. You deserve better.”
Me: “But there was that one time when he did that super sweet thing…”
Myself: “Shut up. I can’t be around you right now. God I wish we smoked.”
<Silence, followed by quiet, barely perceptible sniffling sounds.>
Myself: “Oh, Christ on the cross! Are you crying again? Over a guy?! You can’t be serious.” <Sound of imaginary door slamming.>
Me: “But… I Love… Him…!”
I was in a dark place.
For the first few weeks, I would breezily (i.e. desperately) email or text him some random fun facts. I felt this was better than calling him 12 times a day or even worse, showing up at his doorstep sopping wet from a rainstorm (If movies have taught us anything, it’s that we are most likely to show up at an ex’s doorstep to declare our love during a torrential rainstorm in a beige J Crew rain jacket and no umbrella).
He would respond to my breezy random texts/emails, which only drove me more cuckoo. Here’s another example of a conversation I had with myself:
Me: “He wouldn’t respond if he didn’t still love me. Now how do I get him to say it?”
Myself: “You texted him that Lindsay Lohan got arrested. His response of ‘LOL’ is not exactly a groundbreaking emotional confession.”
Me: “Yes, but he’s keeping the string of conversation going. See – he just sent me a link to a story about her!”
Myself: “He has interpreted your light-hearted little messages as an effort to transition into friendship, you dummy.”
Me: “But –“
Myself: “Let me remind you that you are the one that broke up with him. Now you’re just screwing with his head and torturing yourself in the process.”
I was the worst breaker-upper ever.
I decided to break off communications and get myself together. There was a reason why I had broken up with him in the first place. Now where was that reason hiding? I needed to dust it off and put it on my Shelf of Shame as a reminder to stay tough.
A few months passed and my dating life ranged from slow to non-existent, with more emphasis on the non-existent. It was summer and I was looking for a nice little make-out session. After reviewing my options (which were none), I convinced myself that I could handle a little hook-up with my ex. I mean, the break-up wasn’t that bad, really.
I emailed with the perfect reason for a stopover – I needed to borrow something! Could I have borrowed this item from any variety of other people? Of course. But those people had already refused to make out with me. All systems were go.
I arranged for a late-afternoon stopover, thinking that I could hang out for a beer, and then hang out for another, and then another, and then somehow ease him into a horizontal position.
The first few hours were great. It was like the good ol’ days!
The next few hours were flirty. It was like the good ol’ days!
The next few hours were a little blurry. So, maybe like the good ol’ days?
I apologized for my ninja break-up and confessed that I doubted my decision to break up with him and missed him. Then I excused myself to go to the bathroom so I could keep myself from making any other confessions (I still have the salad we made together back in April!).
I eventually asked if I could crash at his place since I was in no condition to drive. He said that was fine, so I took the initiative of taking off my pants and settling into bed. I assumed the kissy-face position.
Almost immediately, bad things started happening in my digestive area. The worst case scenario was that I crapped the bed. The best case scenario was that I threw up on his clean sheets.
I shoved aside these warning signs as we began kissing (Sweet!). I (hopefully) imagined that I burped beer and pizza into his mouth. I’m sure I just imagined it.
I made it a heroic 10 minutes before I realized my stomach wasn’t just teasing me and I needed to throw up everything I had ever eaten, right now. I excused myself to go to the bathroom and turned the exhaust fan on full blast to drown out the vomit sounds.
I emerged after 10 minutes feeling, well, great! What’s a little vom between friends? He didn’t seem to agree with me and settled me into a snuggle position with my head/mouth as far from his as possible.
It turns out he made the right decision as I was up and in the bathroom again within 15 minutes. Such a cruel, cruel world.
The rest of the night was fuzzy. I curled up into a ball of shame in the corner of his bed and hoped I hadn’t really just farted. I had truly lost control of all of my faculties and was waiting for snot or blood to start pouring from my other orifices. I needed a fire hose and a priest.
I woke up at 7 a.m. with a pounding head, roiling stomach, and squashed self-esteem. I needed to get the hell out of there. I had a plane to catch at 11 a.m. for a work trip and needed to pull myself together. I tried to focus on remembering the good parts of the night (the brief pants-less make-out) and forgetting the bad (confessing my devotion, vurping all over his mouth, destroying his toilet and surrounding area, etc.)
I crept from the bed and went to splash a little water on my face. I wasn’t expecting that I’d be greeted in the mirror with a face that resembled one of the tortured prisoners from Zero Dark Thirty.
I had a bruise on my forehead from repeatedly hitting it against the toilet lid while throwing up. I also had a broken a blood vessel in my right eye, also from violently throwing up. Add this to my pale morning-after-a-bender complexion and messy sleep hair (that was equal parts standing on straight end and plastered in sweat to my face) and I looked like a zombie. A sad, horny, desperate, thirty-something zombie.
I high-tailed it the hell out of there before he could see the rabid mess I had turned into. I drove myself immediately to Wendy’s for my favorite hangover cure – a giant chocolate Frosty and fries. When I greeted my coworkers for my flight, I had carefully hidden the bruise with my bangs and when asked what was wrong with my eye, I told them that I had accidentally poked myself in the eye the night before.
At least something got poked, even if it was just in my imagination.