Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Editing My Profile

It's my fifth day back home and I've settled back into everything but a sleep schedule that doesn't involve waking during those infomercial-only hours of the early morning. Flinging myself across the Atlantic was an excellent decision, I think, to help me brush the dust off my brain hemispheres and to give me a heavily-accented incentive to finally pack up my stuffed dinosaur and move from this tobacco-scented Southern town.*

What I haven't really dealt with is that shortly before I printed my boarding passes, my relationship status changed back to "Single". The New Boyfriend has been reclassified as The New Former Boyfriend and--for the first time ever--it was my decision to end things. I'd never broken up with anyone before, not even men who deserved it for removing my wisdom teeth,** having an abnormal fixation with all things Fleetwood Mac, or for spending our entire Saturday-only courtship thinking that my name was Teresa.***

I struggle to end relationships with anything, really, which explains why I still donate $2.99 a month for MySpace Mobile, never checked 'cancel' on those Rolling Stone renewal cards, and still shop at the grocery store that rewards my loyalty by occasionally selling me packages of rotten beef. But this was different, for some reason, and needed to be done because in the last three weeks of our transcontinental courtship, he stopped finding it necessary to call...or to respond to my emails...or to do anything that would even live in the same subdivision with Making An Effort.

We were 2,100 miles from each other, tucking ourselves in two hours apart every night and snuggling beside a huge chunk of the country, so we really didn't need any additional distance between us. That's what I thought anyway, but after being ignored like an after-Christmas poinsettia for almost a month, I got tired of making excuses, leaving messages, and being both halves of the relationship. If I wanted to be with someone who doesn't talk to me, that I can't see, and who rarely answers my questions, I'll just reintroduce myself to Catholicism.

So I broke up with him.

Having been on the business end of that transaction more than once, I expected it to feel the same way on the other side, for it to be the same mascara-wrecking, face-creasing kind of emotional upheaval that would make me throw open the door and run down the sidewalk in the rain. But it didn' wasn't even cloudy that day. No, what I felt was more wistful kind of sadness, like learning that a TV show you used to watch had just been canceled.

I had no idea what to expect of him, but he's responded by being 40-going-on-15, quickly de-friending me on Facebook and unfollowing me on Twitter. I assume if there's no room in his world for my frequent 140-character updates, than it's probably for the best. I also assume that he locked himself in his room, crossed my name off his Trapper Keeper and listened to a lot of New Order songs, but those thoughts all followed an intense night of wishful drinking.

So that's that. Now I just need to find a new grocery store.

* The more I think about my love of all things London, the more I want to live there. If somehow I can parlay my new Brit-based writing gig into a journalist's visa, my shrieks of joy will register on the Richter scale. For real, how can I move there?
** In fairness, he was my oral surgeon and that was kind of his job, but seriously, maybe he could've given me a stronger prescription or something.
*** This happened circa eighth grade. We met on a Youth & Government field trip--he was from one of the exotic suburban schools that had vending machines and mice--and went on one "my mom will take us if yours will pick us up" date to see The Sandlot. After turning my head every time he wanted "Teresa" to pass him some popcorn, he called me a few days later and said that we couldn't go out anymore because my hands were too sweaty.****
**** The last time I held hands with anyone? Circa eighth grade.


Wendy said...

Good for you for knowing what you want and being proactive about moving on.

*Akilah Sakai* said...

Sounded like it was time to move on. You made the right decision.

Sweaty hands? I once knew a guy that wouldn't even begin to date me 'cos my clothes didn't come fom Macy's andthe like. That whore!

Do you plan to publish one day? Your writing is bril.

JHC said...

Best thing I've read here in a year. Keep writing from the heart.

jen said...

Good call. :)

lacochran said...

Write a good pitch. In fact write two. One for the funny book you're about to write and one to a travel magazine for funny articles about off-beat things to see in London.

Then, use the checks you get as retainers to get you there.

(Oh, and then deliver what you promised and become rich and famous and hang out with Guy Richie.)

Just keep blogging. You know, in your spare time. :)

AlexMac said...

That's what happened with my last ex. He just stopped... responding. To anything. Granted, he was a jackass on such a professional level that he made donkeys look like they were slacking, so it was almost a relief.

As for your supermarket... honey, it's in your best interest to dump it. Clearly, it's trying to get you to. Rotten beef is just its way of saying "I don't love you anymore, but I'm too passive-aggressive to actually leave you."

And you make me want to go to London sooo badly.

Mike said...

Like it's going to take you another day or two to find another boyfriend. Go to a bar, sit in the corner looking sad and then start doing interviews.

Wv (word verification) - innest - Where the bird is.

Hot Librarian said...

I am mentally making plans to visit you in one year. Please move someplace interesting in the meantime (if that's not motivation, I don't know what is).

Also, that guy was a dick.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Sorry to hear that, but glad it hasn't affected the quality of your writing.

I've been the dumpee in all but one of my failed relationships. The one exception involved my splitting up with a girl at her parents' house while they were on holiday.

I told her I was breaking up with her, and she hid behind the sofa. Literally.

At one point I was sitting on the sofa, wondering what to do next. She crawled out so I could see her head, said "Is this a joke?" with a big smile on her face, and backed up behind the couch when I replied in the negative.

That really was one of the most surreal nights of my life.

FunnyGal KAT said...

Ok, I have to know... how did you break up with him if he wouldn't return your calls? Did you have to do it over email?

And the line about Catholicism-- that genius. Well played.

inflammatory writ said...

Ah, sounds like you made the right decision, and his petty reaction should really reinforce that for you. But it's unpleasant anyway. :( Wishing you the best! <3

Joy @ Big Time Fancy said...

UNFRIENDED ON FACEBOOK? Jesus,that kind of stuff is reserved for people who run over your dog or insult your mother or something.

Angela said...

Move to London. Just go. You can scrape by there the same way you scrape by here. What have you got to lose? This has been a long time coming. Pack up the Boxer-Beast and GO FOR IT!!!!!

Beth said...

Oh, I WISH I could move to London. I love it there. But it's so freakin' expensive. Angela's thought is nice, that you can just scrape by, but in London, you need to scrape by x3. Or x10.

Sorry about the boyfriend. Ass. I, too, have only broken up with someone once (I'm usually the dumpee, not the dumper), and while I felt bad for hurting him, it surely wasn't the same as all the other times I'd be on the receiving end of a break-up.

Carebear said...

You're better off without him! And if you only feel a "wistful kind of sadness" when your favorite tv show is canceled, then you're watching the wrong tv shows! I've been known to write letters and send peanuts in the mail to networks who've axed my shows, all while sitting unshowered in a dark room wearing unwashed pajamas for a week. Or maybe the problem is not the shows you're watching, but that I may need some kind of therapy or medication. In any case, I really enjoyed your post. More than a bad episode of my favorite show.

dmb5_libra said...

boy, he sure showed you! de-friending you on facebook and stuff!

sounds like you made the right decision.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Money, i'll be sad to see you leave this place, where kudzu and religion cover everything the eye can see. I'm sure you'll be happier elsewhere, and as usual, you're writing is top notch.

cappy said...

Trapper Keeper! How do you remember these things?

The Facebook Flip-Off? How lame. His loss, London's gain.

Cloven Hoof said...

If I lived in the south I'd happily put you up for I feel your general - and I mean this in a nice way - craziness would make life interesting. As it is I live in the better part of England - the north*.

Seriously though, congratulations on making a conscientious decision to move on for greener pastures. I made a similar decision last week and will now be putting more effort into job hunting so I can get outta this rut. Here's to moving on to better things for you, for me... um, the entire human race.**

Good luck, lady.

* All you southerners who would now like to spit and curse at me, calm down. The sooner we determine that I'm right the sooner we can move on. ;)

** But not the southerners.***.

*** I kid, I kid!****

**** Not guaranteed.***

(If you got here you haven't been following the rules of recursive footnotes correctly.)

Laughing Soul said...

I love your writing, very nice, and im sorry to hear things didn't work out, but Im happy that you are moving on for something better.

Leigh said...

wow, it's like reading my life (except i'm less funny). my current relationship is more like 4000 miles and a 6 hours time difference, but it's like you said... you just don't need any additional distance. i, for one, am still holding out hope knowing the distance will change in a couple months... but i'm proud of you for knowing when to throw in the towel. i hope i have the same guts if the time comes.

ps- to post this, it's making me write "shpeau"... just sounds like something that you'd find amusing, too!

Mw said...

I grew up in your town. Leave. Now. While you still have humor in your life. The wannabe Twin Cities will bring you down.

Trapper-Keeper? Amateur. I have J-Money written in the waistband of my underwear. In Boston Red Sox red Sharpie.

menanddevils said...

I'm also in the moving to London basket. I'm pretty sure immigration to London involves a basket.

Abby Spice said...

I suggest turning to women. They are awesome. Also, try Twitter as dating service. I found my girl there. Hey, she's even in England! Yeah! Try that!

Maxie said...

I thought girls were the only ones who did the de-friending thing. Silly boys.

Sorry it didn't work out :-(

Perfectly Shelly said...

I just want you to know that I would TOTALLY date you.......if I were single.....and a Lesbian.

But all the same, I just wanted you to know.

J-Money said...

wendy: Thanks. I’m not sure I know exactly what I want, but I know what I don’t want which is probably just as important.

akilah sakai: What? That guy sounds like a total dicktrumpet. Glad you didn’t end up with him.

jhc: HOLY. CRAP. I had no idea you were still reading. Thanks for the note…

jen: Or good series of unreturned calls…however you’d look at it.

lacochran: I’ve been a pitchin’ fiend lately, but never thought about travel mags. That’s a great idea! Also, Guy Ritchie won’t be first on my “to hang out with” list…

alexMac: You’re right. My grocery store and I need to split. It’s not me, it’s him. And his salmonella laced peanut buter.

mike: My luck with dating is rivaled only by my luck with job searching. Also “where the bird is” made me laugh for a solid 45 minutes.

hot librarian: February 18, 2010. It’s a date. I’ll bring the tater tots and the Veggie wings that taste like spicy paper.

the imaginary reviewer: Were you by any chance dating Bjork?

funnygal: Yes. After sending several “Can we please talk?” emails, he shot back a pair of sentences implying that he was “Too busy”. So I e’d him back and essentially said it didn’t matter. Tacky? Probably. Essential? Yes.

inflammatory writ: Thanks for the support… I’m just using it as an excuse to mope for at least another couple of days.

joy @ btf: I sincerely hope you’ve never had to unfriend anyone for either of those reasons.

angela: I think it may take a bit more scraping in London. While the museums are free, nothing else really is. But I’ll figure it out. With y’all’s help of course.

beth: Exactly. Maybe I should accept donations. Or start busking in the parking garage, settling in beside the stairwell and singing acoustic versions of Goo Goo Dolls songs until people pay me to leave.

carebear: I didn’t say my FAVORITE TV show! Trust me, if my fave show (House, obvi) were ever yoinked from the airwaves, there would be a protest on a massive scale, quite possibly involving my very public, very naked self.

dmb5_libra: For real. I’m glad he showed me the error of my ways.

anonymous: You know, sometimes I think I know who Anonymous is and sometimes I’m totally perplexed. Please start leaving me Zodiac Killer-style hints…but without the, um, killing and stuff.

cappy: How can you NOT remember your Trapper Keeper?!

cloven hoof: That part about my general craziness? Is quite possibly the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.

laughing soul: Thank yew vurrah much.

leigh: Good luck with your relationship. And if, for some tiny reason, it doesn’t work, shpeau on them.

mw: I am so turned on right now.

menanddevils: No kidding. Keep me posted…maybe we could share a basket.

abby spice: I’m writing all of that down.

maxie: I’ll be fine. Everything in my apartment’s already covered with a thin layer of bitterness, so nothing will really change…

J-Money said...

perfectly shelly: Could you please embroider that on a throw pillow for me?

Dazed and Confused said...

Good for you, it is so nice when you realize that you are strong enough to do things that you absolutely need to do, but don't neccessarily WANT to do. An email responding that he was too busy? WTF? I've been married 19 years, and I've NEVER received a "too busy" response, even he WAS too busy.
And I'm a big proponent of moving. It really isn't a big deal to do it, once you figure out what you need to do and start working toward it. Even if it isn't London, there are so many great cities in the US, and it might be easier to move somewhere domestically with Pigpen.
Rock on!

amindinmotown said...

Crappy, yet clearly needed. And it's SOOOO much better being the one breaking up than the one being broken up with...

emmysuh said...

Sounds like a good call, but still a sad thing to have to do.

I will live in London someday at any price.

Start sending in your stuff, you're definitely smart and funny and dare I say gorgeous enough to find something over there?

Then I can come visit you. I know you didn't invite me. I'm still coming.

Where'smymom said...

I agree with Hot Librarian on both counts and would like to note that there's a Bar on Ninth Avenue right here in NYC that serves up some really good tater tots. No pressure...I'm going to order up some right now.

Heather Rose said...

I'm not sure I can add anything else here. Everyone has been as supportive as I'd like to be, and praised you as much as I would have.

So...yeah. Support and praise. ^__^

Anonymous said...

From your description (i.e., his unilateral cessation of all communication and acknowledgment) it kinda sounds like he dumped you in the laziest possible way and then you just made it official to gain some closure. Or was there more happening on on his end that you didn't get into?

Anonymous said...

Love the new blog site design!

emmysuh said...

Days when I comment after the J-Money reply and don't get a reply make me sad. Anyway, I really like the new lay-out.

Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

I just started reading your blog because you were dating my cousin. Sorry it didn't work out. I can't say I blame you, though -I'm a big fan of my cousin but not returning calls is lame. Also, when Hugh Laurie asks you out, it will be easier if you're single already.

Anyway, I'll keep reading your blog because it's funny. It's too bad we'll never be related.

I think that last line just took this message to a whole new level of creepiness.

Chub to Chic in Chicago said...

hey :) just surfing over from 20 something bloggers and wanted to say hello!


Dexter Colt said...

I remember the days when I used to be on the receiving end of the break-ups. I've long since learned that it is better to give than to receive.

California Girl said...

they have machines for that condition: hyperhidrosis ***

you'll be able to hold hands again.

lfar said...

Good for you, J-money! Breaking up is SO hard, but hooray for not tolerating being treated less that stellarly. I like your really sincere posts like this one.

hirez said...

How can you move to the UK? (Oh lord I sound like Canter&Siegal)

Marry an EU citizen, arrive with $bignum ($25k I think) for the purposes of starting a business, or become employed by a multinational and get seconded here.

Don't just turn up randomly. People with one-way tickets are viewed with maximal suspicion by The Authorities and it's a really good way to be banned from entry in perpetuity. (Unsurprisingly, there's an EllJay community for this sort of thing.)

Yer man Robyn was very good in Bristol, too.

J-Money said...

dazed and confused: The fact that your husband’s never been too busy is exactly why you’ve’ve been married 19 years (congrats, btw) and why Mister Too Busy and I lasted just short of five months.

amindinmotown: For real, although I’d be pleased if the rest of my life could stay unbroken for a bit. Or at least only crack enough that I can fix it at home with duct tape and booze.

emmysuh: No, it’s cool. You have an open invitation, assuming you won’t mind the dog hair or the fact that sometimes I play the same CD for several days at a time.

where’smymom: I now simultaneously miss being your roommate AND eating tater tots. Also, it’s Sunday, which meant that in 102A it would be pizza night.

heather rose: Well thanks anyway. You guys are the best ever.

anonymous: No, I think he honestly thought I’d be cool with being ignored and working our relationship around his “whenever, whatever” style schedule. After I decided to end it, he did send me an email that said (and this has been copied and pasted) “the bottom line is if you want to discuss things and make an effort, i'm willing. but if you've made up your mind it is over and only want to take things out on me, i'm not.” And I, of course, responded with profanity.

anonymous: Thankyew! It was about time…

emmysuh: Sorry, dear. I hope you’ve had a swell weekend too and don’t worry, we can still be best friends.

anonymous: I was a big fan of your cousin too… I just wish he’d been a little nicer to me. And, creepiness aside, I’m equally sad that I won’t be related to the lot of you. You’re good people. Thanks for the note.

chub to chic in chicago: Hello! Please come back!

dexter colt: True. Both of them kind of suck dogs for quarters though.


lfar: I’m working on my sincerity. It rears its earnest little head ev’ry once in a while.

hirez: Thanks for the info. I don’t have $25 grand nor any chance of getting employed by, um, anyone really. That leaves marrying someone. I’M SINGLE AGAIN, PEOPLE! Please forward my email address to your handsome friends.

Also, you went to the Bristol show? ROCK. He was pretty stellar on the Indy Spirit awards last night. I’m counting the days till he rolls into my home state…because I am obviously unstable.

Jessica said...

You are so clever! You made me laugh this morning and I needed that. Good job in the dumping department, he deserved it!