What not to say after a breakup

OPINION

  • Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in "The Break-Up"
Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in "The Break-Up"
March 19, 2013|By Katie Killacky, @katiekillacky | For RedEye

Breakups are hard. In other obvious news, crackers are crunchy.

Whether it's a long overdue parting of ways, an infidelity of Tiger Woods proportions or flat-out dumping someone you don't want to hurt, breakups are never easy. Heartbreak is the pain that keeps on giving, and your circle of friends and family will spend months looking at you as though you're about to crack and asking tentatively "How are you?" as they give you sympathetic—or just plain pathetic—hugs.

If comedy = tragedy + time, I would say that enough time has passed for me to now find the comedy in the breakups I once found so tragic. While I may have appeared comatose at the time, I was making mental notes of cliches I would like to never have repeated to me.

When I make the first call or text to declare that "Joe" and I have broken up, please don't ask me—after you OMG and give the obligatory "I'm so sorry"—"Was it mutual?" If I'm crying like a bobblehead, is it going to make it better if it was my doing?

Next up, you will begin your tirade about how you never liked him. It doesn't help. Truth be told, I never liked him. What you're really mad about is that you thought I was one step closer to joining you in a life of suburban hell with screaming babies and a husband who doesn't appreciate me. Instead, you're gonna have to go through another year, minimum, of living vicariously through my one-night stands and enviously watching me flirt with the men who buy us drinks on our "girls night out."

Speaking of "girls night out," those will now consist of you begrudgingly coming into the city, not being able to drink because of your sick kid at home and feigning encouragement as I sloppily declare my love for Peter, the old guy with the fake tan who wears too many silk shirts, gold bull necklaces and Drakkar Noir.

It's not necessary to tell me how much more attractive I am than his new girlfriend. I know this. He certainly knows this. And for every mention of her sun-damaged, troll-like face, I am reminded of how badly my personality must suck.

You will try to tell me how much better off I am. While I realize living off of whiskey and cigarettes has brought me back to my college weight, one good, hard stare into my now-soulless eyes will tell you I am nowhere close to being better off. In fact, I also may be taking some hard-core prescription meds, so by you telling me I'm better off, I start to rationalize that this is as good as it gets. You see, I can't think beyond what I had and what I know now, so for you to tell me there's something better makes no sense.

When you tell me I will find someone better, it makes me angry. You have no proof of this. You think any of George Clooney's exes ever topped him?

Just tell me it's totally possible—though not likely anytime soon—to enjoy my life without him. Tell me time will pass and even if it doesn't get better, it will get different. Tell me to keep breathing and to start eating if only to nourish my body so I don't just gain back all the weight when I'm happy again. And tell me he'll never find anyone as pretty or funny as me. I just like that part.

Katie Killacky is a RedEye special contributor.

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