Universal Rules of a Good Break Up

August 31, 2015

To me, there are two of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world: getting a call about a job you didn't get, and break ups. Or in other words, rejection makes me all sorts of uncomfortable. Like "Oh no I'm going to the dentist in the middle of the day and forgot to brush my teeth after lunch" uncomfortable. Like "Oh man I'm stuck in a room alone with a creepy high school teacher who gives lingering shoulder pats" uncomfortable. Like "Oh God they're playing that girl's interview on The Bachelor about how in love she is but I already read the spoilers and know she's going home in 2 minutes and is really, really going to regret saying this" uncomfortable. Like "Oh shit, my boss just got back from a meeting with the director of a corporation I applied to last night and I hope she hasn't seen my resume or recognized my name yet" uncomfortable. 

Got it?

Break ups are uncomfortable. 

However, I think that if the following rules (suggestions) were followed, we could eliminate much awkward feelings! Let us explore the universal rules of a good break up (to be read in the voice of Jane Austen or Helen Mirren for ultimate effect). 


"It is a universal rule of a good break up much acknowledged and accepted world-wide, that the following suggestions and regulations shall be observed in good faith by the two parties involved in a break up:

ONE: THOU SHALT GIVE A REASON FOR CALLING. Thoust shall not feel any shame for occassionally breaking into the temptation of a phone call, but THOUST SHALL GIVE A REASON. The reason may be as complex as "we need to talk" or as simple as "fuck I'm drunk," but thoust shall give a reason. Thoust shall not cause unnecessary anxiety to the other party by refusing to give a reason, and leaving them wondering whether you are between the parallels of 'thinking about getting back together' or 'drunk' or 'dead, see me in morgue.' 

TWO: THOU SHALT HAVE ONE HUMAN MOMENT OF CONFESSION. Thoust shall have one moment in said break up where both parties have a mutual human moment of confession, saying "This is hard" (or similar feelings as per the parties involved). Thoust shall recognize this does not mean thy are reuniting, but merely acknowledging the biggest, smallest thing of all -- thine parties are both humans with feelings. Thoust are not robots engaged in a system reset, thoust arst humans. 

THREE: THOU SHALT MAINTAIN BREAK UP ROLES. The instigator shall maintain the instigator role and the other the 'not so sure/bereaved' role, with the reversal of roles allowed at least once but no more than three times during the course of the break up. Otherwise, you will probably not end up actually breaking up. 

FOUR: THOU SHALT ACKNOWLEDGE THERE IS ONLY ONE SOURCE OF HEALING. And that is time. So do not excessively drink, eat ice cream, flirt, party, kiss a unicorn, etc etc etc in search of other options. Thou shalt not cause more emotional and physical harm to thineself in search of getting over the other party by excess of other activities. Thou shalt wait for time to do it's thang. 

FIVE: TO THINE OWN SELF GIVE GRACE. See above, rule 4. As time ist not thy quickest friend, thoust shall to thine own self give grace. Thy may see progress, and then end up breaking down in the cheese aisle of the grocery store or a park with a skunk or something. Give yourself grace. 


What break up rules would you add
to Dame Helen's list?

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CURRENTLY // 8.26.15

August 26, 2015

A little mindless typing seems like just the thing I need to wake up those ol' Hump Day bones. Or something. That got weird.

BEMOANING // The lack of a Starbucks on my way to work, and what this means for long, cold winter drives sans Peppermint Mochas. It's tough out here for a white girl like me.

DELIGHTING IN // The loads of leftovers from my two (TWO!) birthday dinners last night. Indulging in friends and good food is just heaven... and reliving that with leftovers is heaven, too.

(Just Finished) READING // "My Grandmother Told Me To Tell You She's Sorry" by Franklin Backman and holy shit I am obsessed. I want to start over from page 1. A grandmother tells her granddaughter a series of wild fairy tales, and then upon her death leaves the granddaughter letters which will take her on 'the last big adventure.' Along the way, the girl finds out that the fairy tales were more truth than fiction, and all reveal something about her grandma. Holy shit PRECIOUS. PRECIOUS. It's just everything you could want in a book: cozy, endearing, entertaining, fun and PRECIOUS. I want everyone to read this.

(Currently) READING // "The Truth and Other Lies" about a man who kills his side chick when he finds out she's pregnant, and spends the rest of the book running. Something about owning up to the truth blah blah. (And yes, upon re-reading this summary, I too am wondering why I'm reading such a depressing book....)

WATCHING // "Being Mary Jane" with Gabrielle Union on BET. Why? Umm. Good question. I just have a penchant for strong female leads with hot mess love lives who have all the career and none of the lurv. It makes me feel like maybe e'rything will work out (sans the small detail that my life is not a BET drama....).

LISTENING TO // The Hills by The Weekend. Can we stop playing that dumb ass face song of his on repeat, Radio Stations? Try this one on for size instead. Thanks.

THINKING ABOUT // A side hustle. And you. Always, you.

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How to Recycle Your Old Love Letters // #CuratedLove

August 23, 2015

Recently, I was gathering up old love letters for my friend Alaina to use in her Art Prize piece #CuratedLove. Similar to last year, she is gathering up old love letters from hundreds of people and going to make a sweet ass art piece out of it and cover a bridge in love letters.
While gathering these letters, I couldn't help but reminisce... and laugh (a lot), and smile, and then laugh even more. There are some good memories attached to these letters. While I was sorting through them, it came to me how each letter reflected the tone or characteristic of the relationship. Which was weird (hindsight, and reminiscing with wine, is 20/20). And I mean, the very physicality of the letters directly correlates to how the relationship was -- the letter's length, handwriting, frequency, ery'thing. Not just their content, but the literal, physical, tangible letter.

The Steady Ones

The year before I went to college (so the year after I graduated high school, gap year, kgotitmovingon), I had a long-distance relationship that was pretty much solely based on letter-writing. We rarely talked on the phone, and instead I was left with a collection of 20+ multi-page letters that tracked our relationship's progression. You can see how they changed, because as we grew more comfortable with each other, they got a little less formal. You start seeing doodles in the margins, and multiple dates in one letter as we wrote, fell asleep, and picked it up the next day. 

It's safe to say that for the first few months after this relationship ended, I had a permanent lump in my throat every time I went to the mailbox. However, these letters very, very much reflect the relationship: measured, slow, tight (he had very tight handwriting, and he also very closely 'guarded his heart' as those Kids call it). 

These letters reflect our relationship. Intentional, steady, slow. 

The Bright Burst

I only have one love letter from this relationship, which was the longest official one. But even this, to me, reflects the relationship overall: so many times where it was a bright burst of right, against a multitude of 'just not hitting the spot.' There was a lot of love, but we never were very good at communicating it the right way for the other person. 

The letter itself is so endearing, and the person who wrote it was endearing too. So to me, this letter and our relationship match by being: a bright burst, so much trying, and a lot of comic relief (shoutout to the Triple R's who plan romantic getaways to Toledo, am I right?). 


The Chaotic One

This one is written in the margins of a piece of paper you found on my desk, and I didn't even find it until a week later. It's messy and jumbled and chaotic, written with a rushed hand. I am confident there is no one else in the world who could read your handwriting. It's a letter that was meant for my eyes and my eyes only, written on your way out the door while I lay warm and ambivalent and half awake in bed.

This letter mirrors our relationship: Hidden. Combustible. Chaotic. Incomprehensible. Rushed. Passionate. 

The Forgotten One

Aaaaand then I found a pack of 20 letters from someone I didn't even remember dating soooooo..... bitch moment, right there. Oops. From his letters, he sounds like a good guy, just not for me. I can only handle someone calling me a "daughter of God which was given to them to protect" so many times before I lose my shit. Lose. My. Shit. 
These letters were: drawn out, old school (old school handwriting, old school language, old school emotions) aaaaand.... unappreciated. I didn't appreciate the letters and I didn't appreciate him. Ya win some ya lose some and even better -- ya let some go. 

If you are interested in joining the #CuratedLove party,
you can!
Send your old love letters here
and Alaina will use them to cover an entire bridge. 
I'm so excited to see the final results I could pee myself. 

What's the best and worst love letter you've ever gotten?
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5 Questions Not To Ask on a First Date

August 10, 2015

It turns out that I'm a pretty big bitch on first dates (aka first weeks and first months of talking to anyone new). First Date Autumn is amuck with pet peeves, and pretty much everything is a pet peeve to First Date Autumn. The same thing that bugs First Date Autumn will not bug Fifth Date Autumn. In fact, Fifth Date Autumn will probably ask all five of these questions -- and 27 more -- that First Date Autumn felt were nails-on-chalkboard, jeopardizing-a-second-date questions. 

But. I'm starting to like First Date Autumn. Her constant annoyance at everything is a pretty good barrier for assholes and nice guys alike, so she's doing a pretty good job keeping me from getting into any future harmful (or beautiful) relationships. Here are 5 questions First Date Autumn hates, and thinks that you should hate too. In fact, First Date Autumn recommends removing these questions from your next first date.

Don't make your date throw this face,
avoid these 5 questions today!

1. What do you normally order here?
WTF. First of all, if I confess that I have a "usual" I look like someone who doesn't like being adventurous. Or, if I admit I don't have a "usual" I look like a commitment phobe. Cool. 

Also, this just rubs me the wrong way. Like when somebody suggests you like something, or your parents try to shove youth group or, later, Christian Mingle down your throat. You just automatically start resisting. So now, because you have implied that I have a "usual," I'm going to go third-grade-brat-style on you and order something completely opposite just to prove to myself that I can order whatever I damn well please. This will end in disaster because now I'm going to be a hangry bitch because I'll order something I never normally would eat just to prove a point. 

2. Are you close with your parents? 
That's where you wanna go with this first date, really?
Bite me.

3. When was your last relationship? 
This question is just a passive-aggressive, shielded way of saying "how mentally and emotionally fucked up are you, so that I can thereby judge whether you're emotionally stable enough to start a new relationship or whether this is just a rebound fling?" 

First of all, that question actually tells you something. "When was your last relationship" tells you nothing beyond a numerical answer which you will arbitrarily judge as either good enough or a flight risk. It doesn't matter how long ago my past relationship was, it matters how ready I am for a fresh start. It could have been two days ago, to a nice, but just-not-magical-enough-in-the-spark-department. If I tell you two days, you'll think I'm a serial dater (true story, this has happened to me). It could have been a year ago, to a total abusive dickwad fucker. If I tell you a year ago, you'll think something's wrong with me (true story, this also has happened to me). 

4. Do you have a list?
I have a list of things I'd rather be doing than be on this date, yeah. 

This question may also masquerade as "what is most important to you in a relationship" or "what do you look for in a relationship" or "what qualities really turn you off." I dare you to find one person who asks this question and then honestly replies "Oh shit, honesty is important to you? And monogamy? Good thing I asked -- I'm actually super into cheating! Let's just get the check and leave before this goes any further." Find me that person and I will date the fuck out of them give them a high-five for honesty.

5. Why are you still single?
Well, if I weren't still single we wouldn't be here on this date soooooo... 

Also, this question sounds like something my Grandma asks me every time I am dumb enough to answer the phone. So now, I'm thinking about my Grandma. And no man wants the girl they're on a date with to be picturing dinner with their Grandma. 

Here's a good rule of thumb --
If it's a question your Grandma would ask you on the phone,
don't ask it on a first date.

Are there any questions that just rub you the wrong way?
I'd love to hear them, and mock them.

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