I’ve gone through a few break-ups lately that I’d like to share with you. No, this isn’t some sappy, “This is how you can get through this really tough time”. Here are four different types of breakups that I happen to think are sometimes worse than the ever-popular-star-spangled-five-alarm-real-relationship-breakup.
Breaking up with your old lifestyle
This has to be, by far, the hardest type of breakup. Because first of all, who wants to break up with themselves? You’re awesome! No one would ever want to breakup with you. However, there comes a time when we have to say goodbye to a few of aspects of our lifestyle.
Style: Alright. I’ll say it. I once wore overalls to junior high. I KNOW. How was I to supposed to know that the cutoff for “appropriate time to wear overalls” was the sixth grade?! As you can imagine, I quickly learned to stay ahead of the fashion game.
While it definitely hasn’t been easy learning when to say goodbye to certain items in my closet over the years, it is something that had to happen. You may be thinking the halter-top that you’ve held on to from 2004 will come in handy some summer, but I promise you – – It will not. Just let go.
Diet & Nutrition: I’m the absolute last person that should be doling out advice about what someone should and should not eat. However, I do know that I should be adhering to the following dietary break up rules …
- Your digestive system can no longer handle 3am Taco Bell trips – – Just say no.
- A box of Wheat Thins and a Diet Coke does NOT constitute as a meal.
- Breakfast is not just something made up by fictional doctors – – EAT BREAKFAST.
- A pack of fruit snacks does not apply to one of your allotted fruit groups for the day.
- Water does the body good. Whiskey does not. (Hard to remember this one…)
Toxic Friends: These friends, the ones that you actually don’t really like, are usually left lingering around from an old lifestyle that you just can’t seem to kick. These friends have “gots to get got”. These are the types of friends that:
- You find yourself censoring your good news from them because they always somehow manage to make you feel undeserving of whatever great stuff comes your way.
- These friends are never at fault for anything. They hurt you and pretend that they had absolutely no idea what they did was going to upset you. “If I had known it was a big deal, I wouldn’t have slept with you fiancé!” Ummm. Okay.
- They tell everyone your secrets.
- You always feel like you’re competing for their attention… and sadly, you’re always losing this game.
- You’ve used the line, “But we’ve been friends forever…” to justify staying in the friendship.
It’s time. Breakup, already.
Breaking up with a television series
I’d be lying if I said I liked TV. I’m obsessed with TV. Okay, obsessed is probably taking it a bit far, but let’s just say my DVR is busier than most H&R Blocks around this time of the year.
My addiction to TV stems from my inability to stop myself from getting extremely attached to a show. As I sat catching up on The Office this weekend, I realized just how much Pam, Jim, Dwight, Michael and myself had been through. Remember when Pam broke Jim’s (and every other person in America’s) heart on Casino Night? Or when they saved my belief in marriage by tying the knot over Niagara Falls? Or when Dwight set the office on fire? Or when Michael, gracefully (and much to my chagrin), bowed out of the series?
It may not be The Office, but I’m willing to bet that most of you have a show that you’ve grown attached to, whose characters have accompanied you throughout life, and that you will never stop watching until the show ends, no matter how bad the show may get (i.e., My relationship with The Office right now…). Regardless, I intend to see the story through, if nothing else, just to make sure Jim and Pam don’t get divorced.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we get so attached to characters and their stories? I’d argue that there are a few things working together here…
First, suspension of reality. These shows, whether they be Friends, Game of Thrones, Friday Night Lights, The Bachelor, Entourage, Seinfeld, Breaking Bad, HIMYM, Greys Anatomy, Sex & The City, CSI (people still watch this right?), One Tree Hill, or Parks And Rec, these shows allow us to forget the real world, even if only for 24 minutes, and replace it with something much more appealing than what is actually going on in our lives.
On the other hand, we tend to see a lot of ourselves and our lives within the characters. Yes, I just completely contradicted what I just said. But while we like to escape through our shows, we also like to relate. I can’t watch an episode of Friends or Sex & The City, without picking out which character I’m more like. I’m completely a Monica (who wishes she was a Rachel) and definitely a Carrie (who wishes she was a Charlotte). That’s what TV gives us… The perfect mixture of difference and similarity. It’s really in our human nature; we fall in love with these moments.
So obviously, it’s pretty awful breaking up with a TV show. For this, I usually follow the five stages of grief.
- Denial: Deny, deny, deny. Once I hear that one of my shows is getting cancelled or I’m about four seasons into a series on Netflix and I realize that there are only two episodes remaining… I don’t believe it. As I attempt to accept the reality of the loss, I start to ask myself questions to begin the healing process.My thoughts during this time:Nooooooooooooooooooooooo.This can’t be happening?
There’s been a mistake.
But what will Patrick Dempsey do now??
You’re a liar.
I don’t believe you.
This show is that network’s gold!? They can’t be cancelling it…
- Anger: This, my friends, is a necessary stage of the healing process. I’m willing to bet there are many other emotions that people get when their shows get cancelled, but anger seems to be the ticket we are most wired to manage. During this stage I usually spend my time furiously plotting a way to corner the network CEO and demand the show to remain on the air. (I’m half-kidding about all of that…)
- Bargaining: After the loss, I will next think about all the “What ifs…” and the “If onlys”. “What if I just watched more of it “live” instead of DVRing? I’m sure that has to play into it!” “If only less people watched that stupid Big Bang Theory, maybe this show wouldn’t get cancelled!” (I apologize if you fancy Big Bang, I’m clearly in a dark place during this stage)
- Depression: After the bargaining, my attention moves squarely to the present. I become sort-of depressed for a few reasons. First, I’m sad because this show that I’ve devoted so much of my time and energy to is just gone/done-zo. And secondly, I’m depressed because… I’m depressed that a TV show has ended. Snap out of it, Stacey!
- Acceptance: Once I’ve woken up from the fog of being an insane person who was overly attached to a fictional entity, I feel better. I’ve accepted the reality that the show is gone and yes, there may not be another show that leaves me on the edge of my seat just as much as LOST did, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other shows out there to tackle…. And I fully intend on tackling them all. I really do have a problem.
Breaking up with your hairstylist
I’ve always had issues finding a hairstylist that I would like for more than two visits. For starters, I’m not the type of girl who likes to constantly gab with her hairstylist. After I’ve been asked all the go-to small talk questions (What do you do? Where do you live? Are you married/seeing anyone? Don’t you have anything interesting to say? Yada yada?) I like to just sit back and relax. On it’s own, small talk is the worst. Add in someone whose hands are in complete control of your appearance and is trying to keep up a shitty conversation, while whisking a blow dryer around your head – – No thank you. The other reason I have a hard time holding down a regular hairstylist… I’m kind of a nightmare client. Let me explain.
I don’t ask for much when I go into the salon, I really just want a color update and a trim. While I’m spending upwards of a $100 each visit (aren’t women ridiculous?) I would like to get my money’s worth. The problem rises when the hairstylist doesn’t understand what I mean when I say the words “update” and “trim”. When I say “update” I literally mean I would like to freshen up my color that may have faded between my last visit and now. This is when the stylist usually says something like, “Oh don’t you want to spice things up for the summer, like high lights or something??” Um no, no I do not.
The next problem happens when our definitions of the word “trim” don’t exactly match up. I love my long hair and I have a very difficult time parting with it… Even centimeters or millimeters of it. So, when I have a stylist who is willing to just chop-chop-chop, I have a problem. Let’s be honest, when I walk into a salon, I like to walk out looking almost exactly the same, just freshened up. I’m boring — so boring. Obviously, I’m sure I’m not exactly the picture of a perfect client.
About a year or so ago, I changed salons and picked a brand new place. I didn’t have a specific stylist in mind when I called to make an appointment so they just set me up randomly with Vince. Now, I know this will go against everything that I stand for, but I completely followed the stereotype of presuming a male stylist would be gay. I know, I’m awful. To make a very long story short, Vince turned out to be straight. Very straight. Straight to the point of telling me super uncomfortable stories of his late night romps with various women and to asking me out on numerous occasions. (NOTE TO MEN: Don’t tell women about your “Playboy” moments and then ask them out)
Anyway, most women would have just said screw it and change stylists, right? Well like usual; I don’t fall into the “typical women” category. The problem… he was the first stylist that I was satisfied with. Alright, that sounded wrong. He was the first stylist that actually listened to what I wanted and I left happy. Okay, I really can’t make this not sound sexual. BASICALLY, he was doing such a great job on my hair, I couldn’t bear to leave… no matter how uncomfortable things got with his stories or his persistence in “asking me out to the bar”.
Well, like most of you ladies can probably agree, a girl can only take so much. After a year and a few months of Styles By Vince I made my exit. Well, kind of.
This past week, I had a scheduled appointment for Thursday evening. My hair needed a trim extremely bad and a color refresh. I realized that I had plans on Thursday that would interfere, so I rescheduled for the following Tuesday. Then I realized that I had plans that evening, as well. So, I call back again to reschedule and I was greeted on the phone by the sassiest receptionist of all time.
My conversation with someone who should be fired:
“———— salon, this is ———–, can I help you?” – Sassy McSass-a-frass
“Hi, yes I have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday with Vince, but I just realized that the timing won’t work so I’d like to reschedule.” – Me
“Um, ok.” – Sassy McSass-a-frass
“Okay… Do you have anything open on Saturday? Or Monday? I know it’s short notice but I really would like to get in ASAP.” – Me
“Nothing Saturday. We aren’t even open on Monday.” – Sassy McSass-a-frass
“Alright. Anything earlier on Tuesday? Or even Wednesday?” – Me
“Nope.” – Sassy McSass-a-frass
“Thursday, Friday, next Saturday?” – Me
“He’s booked. Look, there’s really no openings.” – Sassy McSass-a-frass
“Alright, well I’m going to have to go somewhere else then. I really can’t wait that long, thanks for your help.” – Me (Trying so hard not to kill her through the phone)
“Yep.” – Sassy McSass-a-frass
So yeah. I guess Sassy McSass-a-frass did the dirty deed of “breaking up” Vince and I. But isn’t that how it goes sometimes… Sometimes, someone else has to step in and break it off for you. It was very junior-high-esque, but I’m relieved. However, I am still waiting for a text from him wondering why I cancelled my appointment… Stay tuned for info on that, readers.
Breaking up with your car
Whether it is the first car you ever owned or the best car you ever owned, letting go of your vehicle is never easy.
The first breakup I ever had was with Peaches, my beloved first car. She was a beautiful 2000 Dodge Neon. Peaches and I met right around the time I turned 16. I remember she wasn’t in the greatest shape when my parents bought her for me, but I could tell she had potential. Once she was cleaned up a bit, we were ready to cruise.
I think it’s amazing that when I talk to people about their first car, they can vividly remember the first time they ever drove their car. I remember my first adventure out with Peaches. I had just gotten my license and my parents had finally allowed me to go somewhere by myself. In their defense, I have a winter birthday and the roads were always pretty terrible. Nevertheless, we were finally on our own – – Peaches and I.
After five years together, I ended up selling Peaches when I was a sophomore in college. I wasn’t sad about getting rid of her at first… mainly because I was getting a shmancy new car with power windows and locks. Yeah, you could say I was moving up in the world.
However, when the time drew near and my dad found a buyer for my beloved… I wasn’t ready to let go. I sat on my front porch one evening and saw Peaches sitting in the driveway. I got so sad. I wasn’t sad because this hunk of metal was no longer going to be my possession, I was sad because I was saying goodbye to something that held my youth. Getting rid of Peaches was like closing a chapter in the book of my life. It’s funny how many memories can be wrapped up within one object.
There sat the car that took me back and forth to high school, every day, for 3 years. There sat the car that took my friends and I on an unforgettable trip to Myrtle Beach when we were 18. There sat the car that I had my first real make out sesh in. There sat the car that I cried my eyes out in after my first boyfriend broke up with me. There sat the car that I packed up and drove to college in. There sat the car that I grew up in.
My friends and I actually had an “Ode to Peaches” evening right before she was sold. We drove around, windows down, singing songs, and celebrating Peaches. The evening ended and we said our goodbyes. I drove home and parked in front of my house. Before I went inside, I hid a letter my friends and I had written to the future owner. The buyer that my dad had set up was purchasing the car for his daughter who was in high school. The letter detailed how much fun we had with Peaches and how we hoped she would find the same with her friends.
I really hope she did.