01 September 2007

Soap Opera Sunday: Episode One—The Break Up

Small Town New England, Summer 2000.

Tourists line the streets of a quaint little town, teenagers and early twenty-somethings—who have yet to figure themselves out—roam the back alleys smoking cigarettes and looking dangerous. They all work for the man, and they all resent the money that has forced them to serve the industry keeping their little town afloat.

A girl, let's call her "N," was about to be dumped by the latest in a string of meaningless boyfriends. This one lasted a grueling two years, during which N shrugged her shoulders in abject apathy as she waited for someone better to come along.

They had the kind of relationship in which he would swear his undying love and she would make non-committal noises, or drop the occasional affirmation. She saw him through a lens of superiority, he let her do whatever she wanted, be mean to him, etc, and she looked down on him for it. She cared about him, but not as much as he cared about her and the power of it had gone to her head.

She wasn't a heartless girl, but she was not particularly thrilled about the idea of hanging out at all of the local clam bakes alone either, so she stayed with him because it was easier, and she was in what we call a rut. One she had created for herself, a long, deep, steep-walled rut.

This particular boy had a flair for drama, so of course he couldn't just break up with her quietly via answering machine or something, oh no. But N bided her time and kept herself amused with various obsessions with crushes on other boys. Eventually, her patience paid off.

One morning, he arrived at the retail store where N was working, before opening, and banged on the door until she obliged and opened it. He then informed her that he had spent the previous evening with some ex-girlfriend N had never even heard of, and felt that the noble thing to do was to end their two-year relationship and go spend more time with the aforementioned ex. N shrugged and said fine. Her sense of relief was almost tangible.

The boy moped around for a while, but N returned to her co-workers choking back laughter as she explained what he had wanted. Literally, laughing hysterically. They didn't even believe that he had just dumped her, she was laughing that hard.

N spent the next month or so hanging around and preparing for the next big step in her young life: moving to The Big City (Boston) in September. And, of course, finding a fun guy to spend the rest of the summer with – in a completely non-committal, good times only kind of way.

Next Week: Enter "S" – just in time to be a summer fling! Ha!

Soap Opera Sunday is brought to you/us by Twas Brillig and Walking Kateastrophe. Click here to read other exciting soapy episodes in the lives of bloggers across the sphere!


Cathy said...

Aack! I had one of those.

And then, when he moved away, we just never officially broke up. It ended, but there was never any discussion.

Bizarre, but such a relief.

Bradley said...

I love those that you are just relieved when it's over. No matter who does the breaking!

Bradley said...

Sorry, Bradley is really Dedee of the Quiltmakers Gift in disguise

Kateastrophe said...

Haha. There's nothing quite as funny as being dumped by someone you're not interested in!! I love this story!

Fourier Analyst said...

Yes, those kinds of breakups are not as bad as others, but still good blog fodder for SOS!!

andi said...

What a great post. I can't believe you had a "string of guys" - you naughty Nell, you. And I too have had a relationship where I stuck around instead of being alone. I think everyone has had at least one of those - thank God for many of us, we didn't marry THAT guy.

I keep reading about this Soap Opera Sunday. I really must get myself together and actually participate one day.

Jen said...

It's always good to be laughing at the end of a break-up. Or is it? Great SOS - I'm looking forward to next week's!

Stepherz said...

That's an awesome post!

I never really had a boyfriend like that. In fact, I don't remember much about any boyfriends before Jeremy. Weird, huh? Or maybe he's just ALL THAT. :-)

I like learning little things about you!

Brillig said...

I can't believe I'm just now getting to this comment--I read it last week, but I've sort of fallen off the comment-block lately. Anyway! I had to tell you that I was here and that this is fantastic! Now I'm on my way to read this week's installment...