When I first started road-testing The Frisky 30 Breakup Guide, I didn’t even know what calm looked like. Seeing photos of my ex was enough to make my hands tremble, running into him at a party inevitably meant that venom would threaten to roll off my tongue and I would take on a Cheshire cat grin, trying madly to disguise and displace the feeling of a miniature ice-pick being twisted repeatedly into my heart. “Calm” meant drinking a half of a bottle of wine in bed and being able to wash the tears off in the ladies room at work without anyone noticing. Looking calm was physically impossible. Keep reading »
Tag Archives: 30 day breakup challenge
Ever since I got dumped, my confidence has taken on a new level of manic that I hadn’t experienced since I realized that I had boobs and got my first massive zit on the same day. I vacillate between the first person to suggest we all strip down and jump in the ocean to the girl who hasn’t worn a bikini since 1996, at which time it was striped cotton from Gap Kids. This has had a major effect on my personal loving time. All of the sudden, I turn off the lights and hide under the sheets. My vibrator went from being a friendly reminder of my empowered sexuality to a sorry plastic accessory of my depression. Suddenly I didn’t have time to make myself pant and moan because work was exhausting me to the point of brain numbness. And you know that once you think your day job is more important than orgasmic relief, you are taking the express route to a nervous breakdown. Keep reading »
I think that when we are part of a “couple” for a long time, we get so used to sharing experiences that everything from the coffee spilled in our lap during a meeting to ordering in Chinese is a moment that belongs to both of you. One of the hardest things of finding yourself newly single (other than the infrequent sex and the frequent bar hopping) is that you have to relearn how to experience things without sharing them with someone. Sure, it sounds easy. But if no one is around to watch you get sick from the seafood lo mien, did you even spend those hours vomiting? OK, maybe that’s not the best example. But you get my point, right? Keep reading »
Father’s Day was a little over a week ago, but doesn’t Dad deserve a call any ol’ day of the week? As part of her 30-Day Breakup Guide Challenge, Maude gave her pops a call to shoot the breeze and discuss her future, the latter of which is decidedly more … open, now that her five-year relationship is over. As she says in her third video blog, above, when a man breaks a woman’s heart, it can be hard to separate him from the rest of the male gender, at least temporarily. Talking to Dad is a great reminder that men, for the most part, are awesome. Keep reading »
Yesterday a tornado hit my ex’s apartment, chewed out a section of the brick wall, swirled the red bricks all over his apartment, flattened his car, and then rained on everything he owns. As I write this, the mean cat we owned together is trapped on the 4th floor (the firefighters won’t let my ex go get him) mewing alone in the rubble. I’m not even sure how to process this. When I first heard, my heart started to race and I ran into my work bathroom and frantically tried to call him. I know we weren’t supposed to talk for 60 days, but I also knew that if I didn’t find out for myself that he was OK, my heart would continue to beat at the steady pace of “cocaine fiend about to have a heart attack.” So what am I going to do? Keep reading »
On Sunday, per the suggestion for Day 14, I made eyes at a random little girl, which, yes, reminded me how great it was to be young. Do you ever feel like as you mature into adulthood, you are just becoming more and more like the person you already were when you were 5 and had older male imaginary friends named Diaper Clip and Cheese Spreader? It also was like a drop-kick to my ovaries, which have been in overdrive ever since my friends started getting engaged en masse and I was forced to see “Babies.” Literally, I’m at four engagements so far this summer, and the solstice was just this week. But anyway, on Monday (Day 15), I embraced the modern 26-year-old me and planned a lady party. Well, really a lady reunion of my best friends from college. Keep reading »
In her second video blog, Maude Standish embarks upon a dangerous, uncharted mission for The Frisky — her first pedicure ever. When The Frisky 30-Day Breakup Guide instructed her to “buy something pink,” she decided to play footsie, getting some pink polish painted on her virgin toes. Of course, it wasn’t as easy as that… Keep reading »
When I’m feeling down there are three books I turn to: Matilda by Roald Dahl, Alice In Wonderland by
C.S. Lewis Lewis Carroll, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion. This has been pretty consistent throughout my life. When I was 14 and all my friends decided they didn’t like me in one of those ways that only needs to happen to you once to scar you into thinking that large groups of girls are terrifying, I locked myself in my moodily painted deep purple room and read each one of these in a row. When I was 18 and my boyfriend dumped me three days before prom to go with another girl, I once again turned to these books. When I was in college and I walked in on a guy I thought I was in love with having sex with another girl (his argument was because he didn’t know her name it didn’t matter), the first place I went to was the library. And now, once again, I’m turning to these books to help me through a breakup. Keep reading »
One of my ex’s and my favorite pastimes was going thrifting. We’d take long road trips, crisscrossing around Texas, getting fat off of pounds of barbeque and chocolate malts (with real scoops of ice cream), listening to Townes Van Zandt, taking photos of plaster Statues of Liberty growing old with roadside cactuses, and stopping in small towns for their church-basement thrift stores and roadside junk shops.
So it’s no surprise my whole house is now filled with debris from these adventures. Also, since Mister Frenchy Fry is an artist, I have little watercolors he painted for me, like the one of the albino alligator we saw in the New Orleans zoo (which, rumor has it, wandered loose around the streets after Katrina before being re-caged), and big paintings, Polaroids of storms coming in and of the birthday barbeque he threw for my 21st birthday (when I lost my ID and went back to using my fake for a whole year), and a psychedelic green chair—the one I made him pull over to buy and put in the back of his car. You get the picture: It’s a lot of stuff.
Knowing that not all of it was going to fit in a single box (and that, let’s be honest, I didn’t want to get rid of ALL of it), I opted for two huge plastic containers. I took down the photos of us, even if they were group shots, and put them in. I packed up sweaters of his, a white lace dress he gave me for Christmas and the dress my mom lent me for our first “official” date. I kept packing until they were filled and put them in storage.
The hardest thing to pack up was a tin of our old letters. I met Mister Frenchy Fry when I was still in college and he lived 90 miles away (a two-hour ride on the commuter train) in New York. When we first started dating (even before we became Friendster friends or said we were the big E: “exclusive”) we sent real, paper letters to each other weekly. I would go to campus mail and there would be a package filled with funny drawings, designs for the boat he was going to build for us to ride down the Hudson, a drawing of what he thought the inside of my brain looked like (a lot like Chutes and Ladders with ideas zooming about), our flag featuring an octopus which he sewed by hand, a zine about the feelings I inspired in him, and worst of all, detailed letters written in guy scrawl about the places we were going to go together and how we could take over the world.
Even just writing this my heart is beating faster.
So instead I shoved it into storage and took a 20-minute hot shower.
A lot of people (including commenters here) have been asking me why I’m not angry. Well, I am angry. I’m so mad that sometimes I just start screaming after we talk, or I write him long, verbal-diarrhea emails that tell him just who I think he is (at those moments it’s usually a jerk). But the truth is, I bear as much guilt in the dissolution of something magical as he does, and for every jerky action of his, I’ve responded with an equally bitchy reaction. Neither of us is the villain or the victim—we’re just people trying to figure out how to live in the wake of the disaster called heartbreak.
I hadn’t talked to him since I started living by the book. And then he called, late last night. Every time we talk it’s so confusing. I have to work so hard to fight off the urge to vomit and sob uncontrollably that I’m only half-present in the conversations. Add in a glass or two of wine and a late night and I actually often struggle to figure out what was really said. But basically, he had heard that I had started dating again and wanted to know if I still thought about him. It was all I could do not to tell him about this blog and say, “Hell, yes! I’m basically in a 12-step recovery program, complete with a support group (albeit an online one) to get over you.” Instead I’m pretty sure I just repeated the sentence “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do” over and over again in various tones of pathetic and agreed to meet up to talk this week.
I’m messing this up, aren’t I?
For the next month, Maude will be road-testing our new book, The Frisky 30-Day Breakup Guide, written by Jamie Beckman, documenting her experience along the way. For more information on the book (including where to get your own copy!), click here!