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.
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?