Sucker4LoveMixtape: That Time I Was Dumped in a Letter
Breaking up is hard enough, especially when there’s an audience there to witness it.
Photo Credit: Renee Cooper: www.3pm-media.com
This post is the first in the Sucker4Love Mixtape Series: Things I have learned from the women who dumped me. Sign up here for the newsletter.
Have you ever wanted something so bad that it haunts your dreams? That’s how bad I wanted a girlfriend during the spring of 2003. I was 16 years young, overflowing with hormones and all sorts of unrealistic ideas and expectations about women. Years of watching John Hughes movies like, “The Breakfast Club” as well as more modern John Hughes knock-offs like, “She’s all that” had convinced me that I needed a girlfriend to make my life complete.
In every movie I had ever seen, the white male protagonist was always slightly lost or needed an extra push, but then he would meet an amazing girl and she would fix all of his problems. It didn’t matter if she were my type, or if she liked me, as long as she agreed to be my girlfriend, everything else could be worked out later. There were plenty of single girls in my high school, but I was deathly afraid of rejection, so my options were limited to someone pretty but no so pretty that I would lose all motor skills and blow my chances.
After a couple of days, I found my future partner, a Puerto Rican sister by the name of Anita. She was 5’2 with olive skin, black medium length hair, curly eyelashes, and shy brown eyes. Other than her physical appearance, I didn’t know anything else about her. But who needed details when you’re dealing with love?! Once I identified her as a suitable partner, I didn’t waste any time. Without making any effort to get to know her, I asked Anita to be my girlfriend. It was literally the first time I had spoken to her. She said yes. And from here, things got weird.
You see, I always wanted a girlfriend, but when I actually had one I had no idea what the hell I was supposed to do with her. Anita and I had a relationship that consisted of almost zero communication, but lots of awkward glances. I never had her phone number, we never kissed, we didn’t communicate outside of lunchtime, and during those moments I didn’t actually say anything. Instead, I would take notes on things she said while talking to her friends. Yes, you read that right, I took notes. Our relationship went on for a solid three weeks with nothing to speak of besides my notes. But like most things that make no sense this affair had to come to an end.
It was a sunny Friday afternoon, And I was in Earth Science class excited for the day to end so I could spend the weekend playing video games, reading books, and not talking to Anita. Suddenly there was a knock on the door. Anita’s best friend, Prissy asked the teacher if I could step outside for a moment. Prissy walked me to a corner, handed me a note, and walked away. A smart person would have waited until they had a quiet moment to read the letter. But I was 16, horny, and charged up with poor decision-making skills. I stepped into the classroom and started reading the letter out loud. That was a bad decision, about five words in, it was clear I was getting dumped. Here’s what the letter said:
Hey babe, I like you a lot. You’re really cool and everything, but it really creeps me out how you write shit in your little “Stalker Book” and more importantly Mike is super cute and wants to be my boyfriend. So you and I have to break up. Don’t feel bad, I put a picture of me in your locker so you would have something to remember me by. Ok, Cool later!
It didn’t take me long to realize what was happening, the rest of the class figured out as well, and I went from feeling like the top dog to trying not to cry while everyone laughed at me. I looked around, took a deep breath, and walked right out of the classroom. I had no idea where I was going or what I wanted to do, but after a few minutes, I was staring at my locker. There was something inside so I put in the combination and opened it up. Guess what I found? A picture of Anita and Michael.
Love Ya Self, King: I didn’t value myself, and I thought getting a girlfriend would complete me. At first, I was so embarrassed I didn’t have time to mourn the break-up. After that, I was too angry to see beyond my outrage. But now that years have gone by and I’m on the outside, the lesson is so clear. Anita couldn’t be with me because I didn’t want to be with me. I hated myself, I didn’t think I was interesting or cool and spent most of my personal time comparing myself to others. I thought that by getting a girlfriend, somehow things would change. But no matter where you go, what you do, how you dress, or what Act you put on, you can’t run away from yourself.
But it goes deeper, I didn’t just not value myself, I didn’t value Anita. If I did, maybe things would have gone differently. Instead, I spent three weeks trying to fit her into my idea of what a girlfriend should be. There was no regard for her interest, feelings, or ideas, just me getting what I needed, and her working as the vessel. Anita deserved more than to be the target for me to project my insecurities on, I erased everything about her. And if I did it to Anita, how many other people have I erased because I was too caught up with hating myself to see others? You can’t find love, if love does not live in you, you can’t demand people make space for you if you suffocate them.
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