Thursday, September 28

I'm breaking up with you

A friend of mine recently broke up with her boyfriend. He put his hand on her shoulder, looked her straight in the eye and said, "I'm breaking up with you." Sure, "Breaking up is hard to do..." but there are some rules people should at least try to follow. When I was in high school my Junior year boyfriend broke up with me like this:

I went over to his house to pick him up, we were going out for an anniversary dinner- I think we had been together for 3 months- I was very excited not only to go out to dinner but because we hadn't kissed all day (keep in mind I was 16 1/2 kissing was HUGE). Our friends had gotten sick of all our kissing in public so we had put it on hold for the day. I went up to his room as he got ready to go. I was sitting on the end of his bed, I can still picture the set up of his room- where he was standing, where I was sitting. He started talking... "Adrienne, you know how a girlfriend or boyfriend is kind of like friendship with lust?" At this point I started to get nervous, where was this conversation going? I soon realized, no where good. "Adrienne, I've lost the lust for you." I immediately thought, what if we hadn't not kissed all day, would he have realized he lost the lust? As much as I remember the details of his room, I don't remember what I did next. I know the night ended abruptly even though he suggested we still go to dinner, I drove home in tears and immediately had two friends come over to vent with. My Dad even offered to go "beat him up." in that cute protective joking Dad way. Sitting on my couch, talking to my friend who has just gone through a shitty break up talk I offered to go beat him up, I guess I do have a lot of my Dad in me.

Houston (that was my Junior year boyfriend's name) and I had talked during a walk once about his homosexual experiences with a couple of guys a few years earlier, he was curious, but confused as he really liked women too... I didn't think too much of it- he was a pretty eccentric guy and I didn't judge. I told a couple of friends about this after we broke up, joking that "he must be gay if he lost the lust for me... I mean look at me, right?" Unfortunately this got back to him, as most information does in high school, and we never were able to be friends.

It is something I've always regretted. We had a good connection, Houston and I, and I never wanted him to think I spread rumors he was gay. During college I tried to find out what had happened to him, where he'd ended up, I wanted to reconcile- I wanted us to be friends. The last I heard he was moving to Russia to marry a Russian woman.

My friend suggested remaining friends when her boyfriend broke up with her. Hand on her shoulder, serious look in his eyes, telling her he was breaking up with her, she wanted to stay friends. He said it could be awkward, she said only if we make it be. Post break up talk, he left her notes, tried to be friends, it was too hard. So she went to him, like a mature adult. She talked it through with him, told him what a jack-ass way that was to break up with her, told him everything that had been running through her head since the night of the break up. Suggested that in time that be friends, but not right now. That should be a rule. Get it all out there, so you can actually be friends. Sure vent with your close friends, call him names and convince yourself of how bad the person is, but ultimately go to the person... maybe you can be friends.

Granted I was a Junior in highschool and technically we're now "Adults" but I still look at how my friend handled the situation and want to highlight it. She took a jack-ass way of breaking up and didn't make the person suffer, as I inadvertantely did, she told him what she thought, laid it out for him... and I think they will be friends.

Thursday, September 21


The colors are returning to the leaves, I drive the pike and notice the pop of color along the road. Its fall. Today is crisp and windy, perfect sweatshirt weather. I'm so ready for fall, I don't know if I've ever been this ready.

I realized recently, that maybe it’s because it marks the end of the year nearing and I want this year to be over. Technically because I'm Jewish, my year ends Friday night... I've never felt like it signifies the end of the year for me, its more like a milestone in my religious year. My Bubba called me Sunday night to say hi. We did the "How are you..." and started to skirt around the obvious, I'm crappy because my father/son died... but we finally somewhat, sort of acknowledged it. Then, the reason for her call, she started to wish me a happier and healthier New Year and I could tell she was holding back tears. Yes it’s true that I've never acknowledged Rosh Hashanah as my new year, but this year I definitely can't- I'm not ready to say "Okay time to have a better year." I don't think my Bubba was ready to wish it upon me either, she couldn't get it out without the reality of why she has to wish it becoming too much. I'm just ready to feel like something is changing, something is shifting, and maybe I can start to put some of it into the "___ sucked" category. Like in June I could say, "May sucked." and now that its fall I can say "summer sucked." Soon, I'll be able to say "2006 sucked."

For my Bubba I'll try to stay positive, a New Year will come whether I acknowledge it now or in January, and I'll hope for it to be happier and healthier too, as much as saying it makes me choke up a little too.

Saturday, September 9

Reality Check

If you've noticed the books I'm reading sidebar you'll see one of them is a self-help book for the grief process. And, if you read my blog you can clearly see it is definitely a process I can use self-help on.

The book is broken into days of the year, each day is a quote related to grief and the grief process, and then the author writes a small commentary on how she reflects on the quote and how it could relate to the general grieving population.

My Mom visited a family friend on Monday evening, one that she hasn't really seen since my Dad died. She was walking in her neighborhood and decided to stop by. As soon as she walked in and sat down the friend expressed her sympathies, "How do you do it? You have to start your life over! You have to learn how to live your life all over again, this time alone." As my Mom relayed the story to me the next day, we both laughed, and then we both talked of our appreciation at someone letting us speak of the reality of the experience. She does have to start over and it is really hard and she doesn't really know how she's going to do it, she just is.

And, overall it really fucking sucks.

We talked more about how good it feels when people let you speak the truth of it, when even though they may be totally freaked out and scared, they let you share that fear and help you process it by just talking about it, admitting it, letting it live outside of our jumbled minds.

After we got off the phone, I picked up the Grief book to read that days entry. It was so fitting- as many of them are, a reason I really like the book- I never thought of sharing pieces of the book here, yet since Tuesday's caught my attention and so was fitting to something my Mom and I are both experiencing, I thought it could be good to here it is:

"I sometimes hold it half a sin

To put in words the grief I feel;

For words, like nature, half reveal

And half conceal the Soul within. "

-- Alfred Tennyson

It's so hard to explain how we feel. When friends ask, and we sense that it's more than a routine polite inquiry, we want to tell them. Yet what to say?

The same anxiety besets those who try to express condolences. How many times have we heard people who've come from visiting a grieving friend lament, "I don't know whether I was any help at all. I didn't know what to say."

We know, since we've been on the receiving end of expressions of sympathy, that what is said is not as important as that the person has come to be with us, though it is possible to say "the wrong thing." A couple of mine are, "It's providential," and, "I'm sorry your daughter has graduated to the higher consciousness"!

But with few exceptions, the expression of love and the caring is what matters, not the words. In the same way, we who are groping to express our grief don't need to worry about acuracy or whether we're getting it all just right.

Friday, September 8

When the Moon

You can be driving down the highway, thinking of dinner, of what you've made with certain ingredients before and then the moon- enormous, perfectly round, lit up, appears in front of you- mouth gaping big. Reminding you of everything that exists beyond your reach.

Sometimes you need a shock that wakes you up from your dailyness, causes you to drive home without realizing you've gotten there, because all you can do is gape at the moon.