By the time we got to my door, we were having one of those arguments that is careering madly, terrifyingly, out of control. I was selfish, he was selfish. I was drunk – which I really, really was – and he was sober, and of course he was, because he was no fun. I was flirting with everyone there; he was barely talking to anyone there. We stomped up to my bedroom; I felt self-righteous (I was right! I was just having fun!) but also sick, like I was preparing to hurtle headfirst across a dark field.
We yelled; my ears roared and buzzed. And finally, charged on alcohol – I doubt I would have been so direct otherwise – I demanded, “Are you breaking up with me?” He said yes and then he left. Now, when I want to garnish my anecdote with real tragedy, I comment that my boyfriend broke up with me after I tossed a line from Legally Blonde at him (YouTube it). In the right circles, this really gets the laughs.
Everyone came back to the house, and I cried, of course. I threw myself at my mates and swigged vodka and someone decided I should have carbs so my mate’s boyfriend made me that ravioli. I texted my boyfriend – “my ex-boyfriend!!!!”, I wailed, smashing my paw at the touchscreen – and carried the vodka around the house. My undignified antics overshadowed my poor housemate’s birthday. I passed out in bed, woke up, and heralded the beginning of an extended, self-indulgent period of mourning by watching the Disney tear-jerker Up, until a housemate came and took my MacBook away and coined the phrase, “emotional self-harm”.
Of course, we were far happier, eventually. Not right away: neither of us were, not for a long time. But evidently there were fractures and we were losing ground to them: every time we plastered one, another deep one formed. That was no one's fault, and I really, sincerely, don't mind now. On the other hand, I do use the anecdote competitively...
Lovers, beware: this February 14th, like last, I will install myself in the middle of your tête-à-têtes and deal, expansively, and with relish, in my tale of hearts broken and the futility of love.