Friday, November 10, 2006

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart


I often give my students writing prompts which I think of on my way to class. A lot of it depends on my mood but strangely enough, the subject often corresponds to what people are feeling in class. You're a witch, one student gasped, as I wrote the words for the day on the board. That's exactly what I've been obsessing about all week! One that always gets the class moving is the story of their worst break-ups which I title "love among the ruins." I'm terrible at break-ups -- being a Taurus, I hate change, even necessary change, and take the prolonged, maximum pain approach. It's a testament to the kindness and forgiving nature of the human spirit that I remain friends with almost all my ex-beloveds. Fortunately, when I was doing most of my breaking up with people, I didn't have access to the plethora of options my students do -- they admit to dumping people and being dumped via text message (ala Britney Spears and K-Fed), instant message, e-mail, and voice mail. I suppose none of this tops the Newt Gingrich story about having divorce papers sent to his wife's hospital room as she recovered from her masectomy or Phil Collins dumping his wife via fax. When a letter just isn't fast enough . . .

Of course, none of your options for this moment are particularly delightful. Do you take the person out to eat to drop the bomb? Men have confessed to me that they do this as there is a set time limit and so the little lady doesn't make a scene. One man I know who had a daquiri poured on his head no longer believes this to be the case. Watch out for those frozen girly drinks that non-drinkers love -- they'll cause a lot more damage than a martini! My most memorable break-up was years ago when I had been going out with a very sweet man for a few months. He went on a week-long trip, and I decided to end it given the perspective his absence gave me. I took my friend Angela to the airport with me to pick him up. He'd been in Florida visiting his stepmother and had a great tan. We drove him home in a torrential storm, the kind of flash flood weather for which Texas is known. I popped out to walk him to his apartment while Angela waited in the get-away car. He knew the deal almost instantly without me saying a word. I remember standing in the airport while we waited for his luggage, commenting on how much color he'd gotten on his trip, how the tan suited him. "I feel burnt," he said. "I wish I could go back to the way things were before I left." Sometimes the dialogue writes itself.


Michelle's Spell of the Day

"If you have to be in a soap opera try not to get the worst role. " Judy Garland

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: Me and My Shadow -- Judy Davis (one of my favorite actresses) portrays Judy Garland in all her glory.

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Friday, dear readers! If you have any break-up stories or questions you'd like to share or ask, please feel free!

8 comments:

He's divine said...

Val Kilmer apparently has a great record(depends on how one looks at it, of course) on being the dumper or the dumpee. He's says it's 100-1 in his favor. With his looks, I'd have the same record. Or better.

Sheila said...

I loved your prompts in class and in fact still have them in a folder somewhere in my room. When I can't think of anything to type I run in there and get one and post it on my blog. I think its a great idea to get the creative juices flowing!

Bird on a Wire said...

The age of technology seems to make breaking up, and even divorcing, so easy. Via text message?!

John Ricci said...

Darling girl, if you are a witch, you are a delightful one. Interesting shirt, lovely view and post as always. Bravo!

Laura said...

Great way to get your students to write a paper. Give them one line and let them take off with it. Sheila would always talk about how great your class was and how interesting you made it.

JR's Thumbprints said...

It seems I was the one always getting burned; hmmm, perhaps this was the cause of my 2nd stage Melanoma? Nice tie-in Michelle, and quit breaking hearts and settle down, or as usual, do your own thing (which seems to be working).

Dan said...

I use the Seinfeld approach, suggesting a menage a trois. If this doesn't work (i.e., she's actually interested in the trois), I move to Plan B. I stop showering.

Bonnie said...

Honey,
You are so adorable. Here's a question: How do yoy manage to break up with somebody and stay friends?
kiss kiss
Bon