Breakup Plan: Showtime


[This is the Finale of the Trader Joe’s Guy Series: click for Part One and Part Two and Part Three and Part Four]
There are times when it is cruel and unusual to break up with someone. Like on Halloween or on their 21st birthday. The night I realize I have to end things with my Trader Joe’s Crush, BOTH these scenarios are true. It is Halloween tonight, his 21st birthday is literally 3 days away. The timing couldn’t be worse. I may be flattering myself to think I’d have such an effect, but there is no way I will risk ruining anyone’s birthday, especially the big 2-1. So I’m stuck for a few days, which gives me time to formulate a plan: attempt  to foreshadow the impending end up until after the birthday, then take him out to dinner and end it. Seems simple enough- but as someone who’s used to being the dumpee and been hurt as such, I agonized over it. I’m a firm believer in “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” and hope to do this as nicely as possible.

As Halloween winds down, I know he’s expecting to come home with me- he even mentions something about it to my roommate, creating a mildly awkward situation. In my own personal belief, I’ve been horrible to him all night- distant, paying more attention to my friends, disengaging, kissing my roommate rather than him (“I’m gay tonight” the easy excuse). I’m not exactly mean to him, but I’m certainly not being nice. Like the popular cheerleader to the socially awkward nerd, it fits with our perspective costumes. I’m certainly not behaving in a way that should make him want to go home with me (unless the kissing-my-roommate thing…backfired…shit.)

I’m in a weird mood…I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to come back to my place.

The actor in me is enthralled by the drastic, immediate effect this statement has on him. From the happy and friendly face I’m used to, to disappointment and concern that is almost a different person. “I understand,” he says, “Are you sure there’s nothing I can do?” You can stop being so nice to me! Stop liking me! Save yourself! I kiss him goodbye, (feeling bad that I know it’s our last kiss when he doesn’t,) and he gets off the subway, while I continue home- minus one boy but plus my friends. The Asian Tourist berates me, “That’s a great way to get him the message. He’s really going to see this coming with you making out with him.” I burst into tears. Shut up! What was I supposed to do? Not kiss him? I don’t know what I’m doing! This sucks! Mascara forms streams down my made-up face, glitter pooling in zigzags. I imagine the sight through the eyes of the anonymous  passengers on the subway and smile through tears. What a sight I am- a cheerleader crying over a boy. What a cliché.

In the days following I carry out my BreakUp Plan to a tee. Staying distant, excusing myself from the actual birthday, taking him out the day after. We end up sitting in a park afterward. I know it’s show time. I’ve thought out what I need to say, anticipated possible reactions, but as soon as I open my mouth my “script” dissolves into Real Life Improv. It takes mild prompting from him, “So, what’s up?” to make me deliver my monologue.

As I conclude: I’m not feeling what I need to feel to be in a relationship with someone. I hold my breath and look at him. My worst case scenario anticipation: tears. There are none. Second worst: anger. Nope, not there either. In fact the look on his face is less devastating than the aforementioned one on Halloween. “Yeah, I kinda saw this coming. Especially after Halloween.” Yeah. I reply and pat myself on the back. He saw it coming! I avoided the shock-and-awe-surprise-breakup-attack! He then says, “I just want to ask you one thing.” Sure, breakup clarifications- typical, anticipated. I brace myself as possible questions whiz through my mind. Of course. You can ask me anything you want.

“What are you going to write about this in your blog?”

I stare at him flabbergasted. Dumbfounded.

At the time there was no answer for this question except You read my blog!? and If you don’t want me to write about it, I won’t. Now, however, I have the answer. You just read it. And I have no doubt he’s read it too.

Post Script

From the look he gave me when I was at Trader Joe’s the other day (I have to buy food! I can’t avoid it!), I am inclined to believe he hates what I wrote in here. It seems the most likely explanation for the uncharacteristic harrowing look.  I long ago decided not to censor my blog for people who might read it, not even my mother. That was a big decision. Of course had he said anything along the lines of  “I do not want you writing about this“, I  certainly would have honored the request. But he said nothing of the sort.

In this day and age don’t we all expect people to write blogs about us? I try to aim for anonymity and respect (and of course humor), but do I succeed? Do I go to far? When I step over the line into Too Personal, do I always know it? If I don’t know it, will my readers tell me? Where should the lines of what I can and cannot, should and shouldn’t write about be drawn?

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

5 thoughts on “Breakup Plan: Showtime

  1. Good for you for not censoring, and for making it very clear to everyone that they must tell you “I do not want your writing about this”. Good rules. Very good. When I was 16 my guy-of-the-moment broke up with me on Halloween. We were at his apartment (shared with 2 other friends). Took me out into the van we had purchased together to dump me. I was so angry. Hurt. Everything. Glad you were respectful of Trader Joe Boy’s Halloween memories and his 21st birthday. I’d say keep on movin’, Mr. Big will show up in your world someday soon. XXXOO

  2. Don’t feel bad you’ve gone about this in the best possible every which way you could have. I wish guys were as sensitive as you (at least in my experience)! You gave it an honest shot, and I don’t think any of what you wrote would be offensive. Are you sure he knows your blog? I don’t see your name on here so that’s odd!!

    I think the ask and ye shall receive policy is perfect regarding the line to be drawn. The attractive thing about your blog I find is the honesty and funny thoughts we all have when it comes to relationships, and that can’t come across as well as when you’re concealing things. I applaud you for being brave, and know that the right guy will be there one day!

  3. Get out. Did you KNOW he was reading your blog? How in heck did he find it, if not?

    I learned (hard way) that people will inevitably and invariably interpret things you write about them in the *worst* possible way… not the best. Which is a little sad, if you think about it, and probably reflective of human nature.

    Kudos to you for the honesty, and y’know, no one gets through the single years unscathed. Being as respectful and kind as possible is the most anyone can ask of you. Dating IS a selection process, after all!

  4. Google stalking at its best. My friend once found that a guy she was seeing had a profile on a male modelling website. Complete with black-and-white-unbuttoned-shirt-pensive-shot. But unfortunately she couldn’t make fun of him for it, because then he’d know she’d google-stalked him.

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