Thursday, February 11, 2010
Here it is... ugly story for Valentine's Day and a contest WINNER!
The first Valentine's Day that I remember was in kindergarten. I was living with my family (obviously) in Iran and I went to an international school that is probably not there anymore, called Piruzi School. There was a boy in my class named Tyler. Ty and I used to lay our mats next to each other during rest time. There was a big chart on the wall with everyone's name on it. If you were quiet during rest time, you would get a shiny star next to your name. One girl, Peggy, had about a million stars. Ty and I had none. Valentine's Day was Peggy's birthday, so when our teacher, Miss Penny, handed out Valentine's crowns, hers had two hearts instead of one which was infuriating.
The playground of Piruzi School had a little playhouse and a sort of triangular jungle gym thing. At recess that day, Ty and I and Peg and some other kid I don't remember all decided to get "married." The ceremony took place under the jungle gym. Then we played family in the playhouse. When recess was over it was time to go back to class where Miss Penny handed out the Valentine's cards to everyone. My mother never got me the cards that had lollipops on them, and that stunk. Some of the kids were sitting on chairs and some were sitting on the floor. I had a chair. I looked across the circle and my new husband Ty was motioning for me to come sit next to him on his chair. To share. He was sticking his lower lip out in a pouty kind of way. It might be really cute to think about now, but at the time I was indignant. Share his chair? What was he, nuts? I had my own chair. All to myself! Why would I give that up to have half of his chair? I told him I wanted a divorce.
Not an auspicious start to my romantic life, to be sure, but the worst break up of my life came years later, after college. I think I was really in love with my college boyfriend. It is tough to say because when we broke up I had graduated, moved to New York City, was totally broke, depressed and terrified. So I'm not sure if it was that I was actually in love with him, or just that he was (I thought) the only thing in my life that was not adrift.
People joke about being broken up with via text message or email, and I'm sure someone has been dumped on Twitter by now. But what this guy did was worse. He came to visit me in NYC and then went back to school (he had taken time off and had one more year) and then... he just didn't call. He never even gave me his new phone number. Nobody really had a cell phone then, or even email, which makes me feel really really old. In any case, I didn't hear from him for a month. When he did eventually call, he was evasive, and weak and in general, a total pussy. He wasn't going to say anything about it, but when I pointed out to him that we hadn't spoken in a month, he got really flustered and then we broke up. He made me drag it out of him. Ugh.
My friend Ned - thank God for NED! - was working as a production assistant for SNL that day and had gotten me hired to drive around in a van with him running errands. My job was to just sit there making sure we didn't get a ticket while he fetched stuff like Kevin Nealon's wig. Every time he got out of the van I started to cry. We blew all the petty cash on Twinkies and Marlboro Lights. That's what friends are for.
I found out later that the boyfriend had cheated on me. A lot. I didn't say anything to him because he wasn't in my life anymore anyway. But he called once when he was in NYC. He had just graduated and found himself in the same awkward limbo I had been in the year before. We had lunch. After lunch he asked if I wanted to get a beer. I declined. I also declined to pay the check. I think the reason it was such a bad break up was not necessarily that he was a wonderful guy - clearly he was not. But it was because I was in such a precarious place emotionally anyway.
There were other breakups, of course. Many tears were shed at the loss of a later boyfriend but mainly because his drinking problem had rubbed off on me and I was angry with myself that I had ever gone out with him in the first place. And after one breakup I lost about fifteen pounds, so I can't say that was really horrible, because I had never looked better. The loss of the college boyfriend just came at the wrong time. Or maybe, in hindsight, it was exactly the right time.
And with that I congratulate Claire for her story she sent me. I will not recount the gory details here, but suffice it to say that "Don" from Palo Alto is a total douche bag and should give Claire back her iPod and also you owe her $3500. Jerk. Claire, your copy of Eat Your Feelings is in the mail. You deserve it.
Happy Valentine's Day.