This blogger was dumped via text message.
I was floored when I read it, and then wondered if this is “The way things are done now”, because while everyone was spending their late 20’s figuring out dating I was out of the loop, but the shocked reactions of my friends on Facebook confirmed it: you can’t text message breakup.
We’d been dating six months, and it was getting serious. We’d just gotten back from Barbados and he’d told me mere hours before the text that he was in love. I was just getting around to introducing him here properly, figuring six months (and two vacations together) was a good benchmark.
Friday he had been feeling ill, and on Saturday I texted to see if he needed anything.
“I’m fine,” he typed back, “but we should talk.”
That’s the moment I was supposed to know, right? “We need to talk?”, the classic line that leads to a not-so-happy conversation? Except that it never occurred to me that he would type out a breakup, and, in fact, I didn’t see a it coming at all, so I was all, “Oh, sure!”.
It wasn’t even good: a thoughtless, three-line string of cheap cliches – one of which was “I love you but I’m not in love.” – and I was disposed of like a snotty tissue.
I asked if he would do me the courtesy of a face-to-face conversation, and he responded “It’s over. Please leave me alone. I just can’t.”
Since then it’s been like an episode of Sex in the City over here. Katie rushed over an hour after the bomb went off with gin and cheese and we watched a chick-flick. I sighed at one point, and she smiled.
“You want to cuddle?” she asked, extending an arm.
“Ha! No… Yes.” I dropped my head onto her knee and burst into tears while she patted my hair.
I went to brunch with a couple friends who listened to the whole story and said, “What the fuck?!” and “What a d-bag!” and “You’re waaaay better off!” in all the right spots. And of course I’m way better off – what kind of person does that?! – and I’ll be fine in no time, but right now… it just sucks. And hurts.
Not so Sex in the City: I have yet to take a handsome-but-inappropriate lover, or buy expensive shoes, or even wash my hair, but maybe next week. However, in a very Carrie Bradshaw moment, I’m tip-tap-tapping all about it on my laptop.
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Speaking of which: ought I write about stuff like this? I’ve struggled with that and honestly don’t know, but plenty of authors and bloggers before me have done a wonderful job at flipping heartache into heartfelt writing, and while mostly I think of myself as a photographer, writing has always been my first creative love.
Grace Bonney said in her talk at AltNYC that if you aren’t alright with anyone commenting about something you’re writing, you shouldn’t post it. (For instance, there was flack for posting a bikini photo of myself, but I honestly, truly in my heart-of-hearts did not care what anyone thought about either my figure or the fact that I was photographed mostly naked.) I thought that was a brilliant rule of thumb, but this feels different, as it involves another person. It’s a person who isn’t tech-savvy enough to be significantly linked to me on social media, and I’m not sitting here typing out his home address or anything like that, but still.
We all know pregnancies are best announced after three months, but how do you know when to show off a new relationship? Do you pull a Dooce and start with Instagram? Blab it all at once? Wait until six months, a year, or when there’s a ring? How do you draw the line at how much to say about someone, both during and after a relationship? And the big one: am I making myself un-dateable by blogging about my dating life? (For the record, there’s been a small sprinkling of semi-serious guys that ended just fine, and that I never talked about.) And hey! Why has this not been a topic at one of the dozens of blogging conferences I’ve been to?
Fellow bloggers: what do you think? Because I think I just started writing a presentation.