4.0 Birthdays and breakups.

“Oh is it your birthday?” The excitable receptionist asked me before looking up and seeing my tear sodden, puffy red face. “No it’s not…” I half wailed and half sobbed at her. Highly doubt she’ll be asking that again before checking the tear-o-meter for someone collecting flowers from her reception desk.

She stared at me with her hands mid air clearly forgetting whatever she was doing – while I opened the card with a teensie bit of hope they were from him. Alas it was my friend Georgia (thank you Georgia) the flowers were so pink, girly, huge and beautiful it made me wail even more.

I carried the flowers back to the lift to head to level 4 and thought ‘Oh great now I have to face people at work asking who they’re from’. I sobbed that 4 seconds of lift ride, pulled my shit together best I could, hugged the humongous bunch of flowers to my chest and walked back in.

Break up’s really suck.*

I should really write a thank you note to everyone on my floor that day who had to endure my frequent sobbing, teary ranting and frequent trips to the toilet to wipe the long gone makeup from my face. A thank you to the ladies who hugged me – who for the most part I didn’t even know. I guess when you see a crying girl at work you think – Ohh breakup or a death. They’re not that much different though are they?

Since I’ve been living back in Melbourne (a year now) I’ve felt like trying to reconnect with all my friends has left me feeling a bit ‘patchy’. Let me explain – It’s like I’ve got friends all over the place and sometimes the ones I reallllllllly want to talk to are asleep in London or in important work meetings 5 minutes down the road.

I guess the loveliest thing to come from this break up is I realised I’ve got the most amazing, supportive network of friends that I hadn’t quite come full circle on and appreciated since being back home. There’s nothing patchy about them at all.

So thank you. You’re all amazing. From Chicago to Acton, from Bourke Street to Mt Lawley – a break up really shows you the friends from the trees. That totally made sense.

My housemates gave me red wine and reassurance and really let me wail and babble at them for hours. Thanks housemates. No-one could wish for more babaghanoush and giving from guys like you.

Breakups really do suck. But I’ve re-discovered my friends again to those who will listen and bitch with you at 2AM, to buying you the biggest packet of corn chips to go with red wine you’ve ever seen. To filling you with long blacks till the tears tame to a trickle, to giving you hugs like you want from your parents but they live too far away. To sending you messages once they figured out your cryptic Instagram hash-tags to telling you what you really need to hear more than anything is that ‘everything is going to be ok’.

 

*All things must have a happy ending though – we’re not broken up anymore.

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1.5 Don’t judge a book by its breakups.

So you’ve started dating someone new and find out the length of their ex relationship. Uh huh. Incoming: discussion with the housemate “What if he goes out with you for that long and decides he doesn’t want to be with you either?”

Whoa! Hold up there housie, if everyone thought like that then no-one would ever date. Think about it – you’d never start a relationship because you’re scared of breaking up. That’s like not swimming in the ocean because you’re too scared of sharks or not drinking tequila because you’re scared you’ll lose your pants!

Dating is like shopping for a relationship – unless you get in there and try on that $800 dress and scare yourself silly, you’re never going to know that feeling of wearing a weeks pay cheque. And if you’re too scared to try that relationship on for size you’ll possibly never know that feeling of falling in love.

I get it though – we’re getting older and terrified of someone ‘wasting our life’. I’ve seen friends break up in their thirties and it’s a fine-lines-appearing-fark-you-mess. And fair play to them – they could’ve spent that time finding a better version of ‘the one’ who isn’t going to falter on that of four-carats-of-finance. This left on the shelf-sort-of-stuff is utterly terrifying for females, unlike men who get out of this whole break up thing with subtle-stubble ease, having that option to date seven years younger without any questions from generation WHY?

We all want to know a bit of the ex’s history, like everyone in Melbourne wants to know what high-school you went to. Sorry guys, different state – put that in your postcode-pipe and smoke it. I don’t want the she-took-the-toaster horror story or how good she was at giving head… massages. But I want to know a few details – if he’s been with a girl twelve years and broke off an engagement then yeah, I’d probably need to know (Holy crap – RUN). Same if he hasn’t had a relationship longer than two weeks I’d probably think playaaaah – and putt right on.

So what if he goes out with me for the same length of time and doesn’t want to be with me either? Well that’s the way the commitment-cookie-crumbles and that’s the risk we take. So get out there, date without fear, keep your tequila pants on and don’t judge a boy by his breakups.

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