Friday, September 28, 2007

Breaking Up is Hard to Do or "Men in Trees"

As relationships go, there are two schools of thought:
A. ‘Love is Lovely’ School
B. ‘Love is the Pits’ School

Over the past few years, I’ve evolved into a full-fledged pupil at School B, and when I graduate, I’m considering applying for the headmaster’s position. Don’t get carried away thinking, “Oh Big Apple Ang, you’re such a cranky cynic!” I’m not a cynic, ya’ll – I’m a realist. According to popular practice, we’re all supposed to be frantically dating in the hopes of finding “THE ONE” – I write it in CAPS because it is apparently of utmost importance – and finding THE ONE is often on a person’s “Life To-Do List,” right up there with skydiving, shark cage diving and climbing Mt. Everest.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, one of my dearest NYC girlfriends shared an email with me from a recently soured relationship… and after reading it, I was mystified. Why even bother dating? If there really is only one ONE, shouldn’t we have enough faith to wait for God to introduce us to him? I’m not saying a gal should sit in the house all day watching romantic comedies in the hopes that Prince Charming will warp through the time-space continuum from 18th century France to whisk her away to his castle on the Seine. Like I said, I’m a realist.

The point is - dating is a ghastly pastime. Horrible. Petrifying. Crummy. I think married people forget about the horrors - post traumatic stress sydrome will often make a person block out certain terrible events. Dating is like Hell Week at the fraternity house but it lasts indefinitely until you meet THE ONE. It could turn into Hell Year or Hell Decade. It’s like climbing Mt. Everest only to find at the top, instead of a breathtaking summit, there’s THE ONE and a brand new washer/dryer set. I mean, really? Seriously? That’s what we’re all up in arms about?

According to Shamarah*, she’d dated Lance* very briefly, despite the fact that he was a tattoo-covered vegan anarchist who once lived in a tree. (Aside: When she first told me he had lived in a tree, I thought she said Crete. That would’ve been cool. But no, she said he lived in a tree. Only Tarzan, Winnie the Pooh and the Swiss Family Robinson have a free pass to live in a tree without being judged. That’s it.) When she broke things off, it was because -SURPRISE- they didn’t have much in common. (She lives in an apartment.)

Anyhow, this email just serves as another indicator of why dating is whack. Yes, he was a tattoo-covered vegan anarchist who lived in a tree, which is a bit extreme, but the moral of the story still applies. Dating sucks, people end up with hurt feelings and outrageous emails are oft exchanged – unless of course, he’s the mythical ONE. (For real, what are the chances of finding THE ONE in NYC? About as good as the chances of working out a relationship with a man that lives in a tree.)

With Shamarah’s permission, please find the post-breakup email below… edited slightly for language. Enjoy.

Hey Shamarah,

So before I go, here are a few quick thoughts, off the cuff. I was thinking about what you said yesterday, and came up with three ways of digesting it. Your reasons for sending me packing were so, um, absurd I guess is the word, that I'm thinking that either:
a) You meant everything you said, as you said it, in which case I seriously misjudged you. (btw, I don't have a record, but I'm a little sickened at the idea that might matter to you) Please EFF off.

b) The truth would be so incredibly ego crushing to me that you decided to withhold it rather than face the discomfort of being honest with me. If this is the case, once again, please EFF off.

c) You somehow reasoned that this was a necessary thing to do so that there were no hang-ups while I was away. Really wouldn't have been necessary but I'd like to pretend the whole thing was just a big performance you staged for the greater good. If this is the case… just EFF off.

I'm going to try to forget your name. That being said, I had fun. Thanks. Now leave me the EFF alone.


Now, ask me again why I don’t date. Seriously.

*Name changed to protect the hilarious.

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