On Monday my brother broke up with his girlfriend of one year. He had been working up to it for a while, for several reasons, but it still sucks when it happens. It got me thinking about break ups. I haven’t experienced one for going on 6 years now and for that I am grateful. I’m hoping I won’t ever have to go through one again.
If you are the person that calls the relationship off, things tend to be slightly easier than they are for the other person because you have had time to start the grieving process. Once you get the courage to actually go through with the breakup, there is a feeling of relief, but it is accompanied by shock that is caused by the inevitable hole that is left in your life.
So that’s what he’s going through right now. I remember how it feels. I think the memory of those sorts of feelings stay with you forever. You go from having someone that you share everything with to not having them at all. Even if you were past ready to call things off, you definitely experience a strange kind of lonliness that can be hard to deal with.
From a selfish perspective, I am grieving too. I will miss having her in my life. I want to call her and go out for a drink. I want to help her through this, but I know I’m not the right person to do that. When someone close to you is in a relationship, you form one by default. When that relationship ends it can have more of an impact that you realised it would. That’s how I’m feeling at the moment. Still, it’s not about me.
I was counselling a girl at Youthline the other night – she was going through a breakup. She was having trouble letting go because she didn’t know what she had done wrong. He had given her the standard “It’s not you, it’s me” line. Not fair. The least you owe someone that has committed themselves to you for any period of time is some closure. The truth, no matter how painful, is better than just not knowing.
So, if there’s a moral to this particular story it is that if you are planning on breaking up with someone, be honest and remember that the only cure is time.
Yesterday’s photo montage demonstrates the wedding from one particular point of view. Idiocy. There was another altogether different side.
The groom is my ex-boyfriend. To some people that isn’t a big deal. I’m one of those people. The reactions I got from other people were interesting. They ranged from curiosity to complete shock. When people asked the standard “Are you with the bride or the groom?” question and I answered “Well, I used to be with the groom, but he’s with Cathy now” I got a few odd looks. I toned it down a bit… It was always slightly strange when people asked how I knew him though. It was also interesting to meet a whole lot of his family and friends that I haven’t seen since we were together. They seemed surprised to see me there.
It wasn’t a hugely long term relationship. We were together for just over a year, and I was his second to last girlfriend before he met his wife. We had a great relationship. He had just moved to Auckland and needed someone to ‘show him the ropes’. I was happy to oblige. I showed him a few other things as well.
What I don’t understand is why anyone would find it at all unusual that you would invite an ex-partner to your wedding. I am someone that stays friends with all my boyfriends. It is my belief that if you love someone enough to have a relationship with them, surely you love them enough to be friends. The only two factors that can affect this are the circumstances under which you broke up, and their subsequent girlfriends.
If the break up was painful there are probably residual feelings from one side. It’s sometimes better under those circumstances to make a clean break. Otherwise it may give mixed messages. In the case of Ben and I, he did the breaking up. I didn’t want it to end. I wasn’t in love with him, but it was heading in that direction. He was fair about it. He told me that he felt that being in a relationship was stopping him achieving some of the things that he wanted to achieve. What he meant was that I have served my purpose. I had introduced him sufficiently to his new home and it was time to move on. That’s cool. We cried and then we were friends. He told me it was the easiest break up he had ever had. I guess I should be proud of that.
It’s about self respect. No one likes a person that gets drunk and calls in the middle of the night begging for a booty call. Well, I guess some people do. But only on their terms. Otherwise it’s stalking.
The second problem when it comes to being friends is new partners. Some women seem to feel threatened by the fact that old girlfriends are still on the scene. Why? I would have thought that they are clearly in the position of power. Provided there are no secrets or lies, I don’t see the issue. It’s life.
So anyway, the ex thing added an interesting twist to the wedding. It made me laugh when I thought back to my own wedding. I had three ex-boyfriends there. I wonder how they coped.
So the long weekend was fun. It started out brilliantly with an email from a client saying that they love the concept site I’ve put together for them. It’s a huge site, so I was nervous about it. That email was definitely a go-ahead to misbehave if I’ve ever heard one. Friday was Australia Day, so we spent it celebrating in true Aussie style – swilling beer at the pub.
On Saturday it was the wedding. We primed ourselves with a few pre-ceremony drinks. That probably wasn’t necessary. I would go ahead and give a blow by blow description of what ensued, but as they say, a picture says a thousand words.
Here are approximately 5,000.
It was an outside wedding. I was quite excited about exploring the grounds when we arrived so I did a fair bit of running around.
Then I figured it would be funny to do some hiding, maybe even jumping out on some unsuspecting guests… that I didn’t know.
We caught a bus from the wedding to the reception. Unbelievably, of all the seats in the whole bus, I happened to get the one below the emergency hammer that you use for breaking the window. I regaled all the men with hilarious stories of how I was going to used the hammer for all sorts of things.
It would seem that some of the pre- and post-wedding drinks had rather a detrimental affect on Shaun as well.
After several hours of above mentioned drinks, I apparently became possessed by the devil. It was not long after that that I was requested to settle down by the staff.
The decorative sticks are apparently not designed for jousting matches.
There has always been good natured competition between New Zealanders and Australians. Well, generally good natured. It’s because they are so stupid. OK, that was mean. I’m not really sure why it is. If they are playing anyone except us at sport, we want them to win. The rest of the time we give them grief. And it goes both ways. It’s like how you can say whatever you want about your sister, but if someone else says something bad, you deck them.
Anyway, the reason I say this is because I need you to keep what I am about to say a secret from my fellow countrymen. I actually quite like Australia. It has a culture very similar to our own, but due to its size it tends to have more opportunity. The climate is magic as well. I guess if I had to name two things I didn’t like it would be that they have poisonous animals and that there is a certain level of racism there that we don’t experience here.
The reason I bring this up is that it’s Australia Day tomorrow and we are going to be there. We’re heading over there in the morning for a friend’s wedding on Saturday. An ex-boyfriend actually, which in itself is interesting, but that’s another story. It’s always a pretty long day, flying to Aussie. We have to be at the airport at 4:30am to get the red-eye. Then there is the time difference, which adds a couple of hours to the end of the day, and it always ends up being a late one anyway as there are so many people to catch up with.
So long story short, there will be no blog tomorrow. None on Monday either probably…
Please, no tears though. Especially from you Random Idiot.
I am aware of my personality flaws. They tend to be fairly in your face. I think the main one is my lack of patience. I choose to live with it because there are times when it serves me well. The people that have to put up with it are used to it and view it as collateral damage that comes with being my friend.
But there are times when it does nothing but bug me and those that I surround myself with. Now is one of those times.
My lack of patience combined with an almost obsessive need to be tidy can make things difficult when people come to stay. This week we have my inlaws up from down country. They have brought our two nieces (13 and 11) up to see Cirque du Soliel. Shaun, bless him, suggested to them that they stay at our house. For a week. Nice in theory. In practice it’s a complete pain in the arse.
I am currently working 19 or 20 hour days. I finish up at around midnight so losing my office to sleeping children is not an option. That means that all 4 of them have to share a room. 4 people and their gear won’t fit in the one room, so their stuff is spread thinly around the entire house. I am biting my tongue so frequently that it’s about to fall off.
So this is where the patience comes in. They are nice people. I absolutely cannot fault them (well, almost not. They are from a small farming community and I was born and bred in the city… we do have differences). This issue lies with me… but that doesn’t make it any easier.
Last night was particularly entertaining. It was 30 degrees here yesterday. Our house is north facing and they are staying in the front room. They don’t much like cats. This meant that they were forced to choose between sleeping with the door shut in the sweltering heat or sharing their bed with our cats. The cats are usually fine until about 2am when they decide to have a fight. Or a grooming session. Or a miaow-off.
They chose the heat. Unfortunately the miaow-off took place anyway. Right outside their door.
Wow. Yesterday was an awful day for me. It started off ok. Your average Monday morning. I showed up at boxing and it was closed. Again. I was mildly irritated but I headed next door to the gym and worked out.
I went to work. Things were still ok. As the morning wore on things got worse. For no particular reason I started feeling sort of edgy, as if I’d done something wrong and was about to get caught. I couldn’t actually think of anything that I’d done though. I wondered if it was perhaps because I have a couple of projects on with looming deadlines and lots of work to do. Because I very rarely feel like that, I wasn’t sure what to do. A friend described it as “free floating anxierty”. Nice description – that’s exactly what it was.
I went home at lunchtime and called my client to make sure that she wasn’t getting annoyed about my lack of delivery. She was fine. More than fine in fact. Weird. As I drove back to work the feeling got stronger and stronger.
I had sent an email to the boxing gym earlier in the day asking when morning sessions were going to resume. I got a reply saying that there had been little interest. What the hell does that mean? That they are going to flag the morning classes? My anxiousness turned into pretty quickly into anger. I know I was jumping the gun and that my anger was irrational, but sometimes even though I know that, it’s impossible to ignore.
The key is not to take it out on the wrong person. Driving home I made a pact with myself to be very careful not to snap at Shaun. I have a habit of doing that and it’s not fair.
I got home to find that a friend had sent me flowers. Nice! It made me realise that maybe I was focussing on the wrong thing. I shut myself in my office and got some work done on the site that I’d been dragging out.
I woke up this morning and everything is right with my world again.
There is even an email from the gym in my inbox saying that they’ll sort something out for me.
This post is going to be short because I think I have brain damage. As a general rule I bounce back phenomenally well after a big night. On Saturday that wasn’t the case. We had friends staying and I still couldn’t drag myself out of bed until 6pm. Even then it was just to vomit. By 8pm I managed some pizza and a glass of wine, and then went back to bed. Bad form.
Anyway, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s my description of Friday.
Yup it is real and yup… I did.