Wow, it’s been nearly a month since I put finger to key for the sake of this old thing. In case anyone’s wondering, I was feeling hurt and a bit isolated due to the total lack of concern you all showed when I had my first taste of bereavement (with the notable exception of Bryn). I’m over it now though, so no hard feelings, huh?
Anyway, the very briefest of updates: Back from the Cropredy festival, tired, sunburnt and quite ill, but the music was fab and the company fabber. It was especially good to see Bryn and Heather again.
And so to the reason for breaking my silence. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the best way to dump someone. Obviously, ending a relationship is often going to be pretty hard on the other person, but I think there must be some ways of doing so which are more considerate than others. Here’s an example of a way which seems a bit bastardy:
A young couple have been together for just shy of two years. For reasons which we will assume to be sound, the girl decides to end it. She calls her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend and tells him “I don’t know if I love you as a boyfriend or as a person”. He tells her to cut the crap and just dump him if that’s what she’s going to do. She gets pissed off and hangs up. The next day, he logs in to facebook to update their relationship status, and discovers a message from a friend on her wall which says “Congrats! You and [guy she met on a latin course] were meant to be!”. He calls her and tells her he wishes they’d never gone out, then goes to a club with his cousin, gets drunk, causes a nuisance and gets beaten to a bloody pulp by four bouncers. He goes home, calls his sister in tears to say he thinks he must be cursed and his life is worthless, and falls asleep, bleeding, miserable and alone.
This, I think, would be a prime example in the how-not-to-do-it column, even if the dumpee in question wasn’t my little brother. It’s left me wondering if there is a way to do it that’s just a bit less selfish?
I haven’t often been involved in dumping scenarios, most of my relationships having fizzled out without the need for The Talk, and hopefully I’ll never have to get good at them. However, from my inexperienced position, it seems to me that the onus ought to be on the dumper to try and be honest, in so far as this is necessary to prevent the dumpee from making the same mistakes again, and to be as unhurtful as possible. They also ought to resist the urge to use bullshit lines, even if there is some truth in them. Cliches may be cliches for a reason, but you could at least do the person you’re telling isn’t good enough the courtesy of saying so in your own words. Finally, I think the dumpee needs to be willing to take it. Dumping isn’t – or shouldn’t be – easy, so if someone has taken the plunge, chances are that the decision isn’t up for discussion.
It seems to me that this is an area which is woefully under-represented in traditional etiquette. Given how many relationships end in one or both parties deciding to move on, perhaps it’s time that ‘Good Manners’ came to include how to tell someone to get lost in a polite way?
I’m sitting doing some work on a web site for one of our clients, and Reb (you know, the ex-girlfriend) sends me another text message:
you around for easter? xx
As it happens, I won’t be. I could go visit my family for Easter, but this would result in two things happening:
- My family would eat lots of chocolate, and I wouldn’t, on account of the fact that if I did my head would explode and I would die horribley.
- I’d have to meet up with Reb.
I think I’ll stay in Aberystwyth. I’ve got heaps of work to do, anyway.
Kit and I ate at Burger King this evening, and each had one of their fantastic new special offer “Tex-Mex” burgers. They’re like their quarter-pounders, but with spicy cheese and spicy relish and… fresh jalapeno peppers instead of gherkins. Sweet.
Spent most of the evening playing the Alpha test of YoHoHo! Puzzle Pirates, which seems to occupy most of my time and probably my internet bandwidth at the moment. Ho hum.
I received an interesting text message from my ex-girlfriend Reb today. It read:
I was thinking, you know how you used to say i could have your diaries when you died. can i still? not that i wish you dead or anything, i was just wondering.
Yeh; sure – it sounds like you love me to pieces, my dear. This, interestingly, is the latest in a short string of text messages, including one that asked if I had any pornographic videos (I asked why she wanted to know, to which she didn’t respond), and one which asked if I ever missed talking to her (I responded to say “Rarely, and briefly.”).
And let’s just get this straight: “not that i wish you dead or anything”. What kind of person says something like that? I’m not sure whether I’m to be scared or amused!
What’s going on in her mind? Suggestions welcome.
Back in early 2002, right after a shitty break-up, I moved back in with my dad and spent my nights making an alternative music video to Scatman John’s “Scatman’s World” out of photos of me and my friends and snippets of badly-lipsynched webcam footage. It’s full of in-jokes and if you don’t already know me then, well, it’ll mean nothing to you anyway.