Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jesus Loves You, but We're Breaking Up

Not all my exes were total fucks.  I did have one nice boyfriend, though I think he was only able to remain kind because intimacy was never part of the equation.  (Sex probably should be reserved for procreation.)  He was well groomed and properly raised.  He loved Jesus and his mother, and always made sure I knew that Jesus loved me too.

He was my very first boyfriend (remember I was a late bloomer), and also my date to the senior prom.  Our relationship was born from our mutual involvement in the drama department.  He didn’t carry a canteen and he didn’t play Magic.  He read books for real and was polite to everyone --- honestly, he was almost sickingly sweet.

He was so considerate and gentle hearted that he tormented himself over the contents of his official break up letter.  He carefully crafted sentences and contemplated his vocabulary for long hours, having his neighbor proof read his work, and first discarding several drafts.

Although he had composed a break up letter, our end was mutual and extremely amicable.  It was the end of my senior year, and his junior year.  Before heading out to several graduation parties, my best friend Melissa, her then boyfriend Michael, and our mutual male friend Patrick, stopped in at the town’s Dairy Queen, where my boyfriend was working that afternoon.

He came out of the kitchen to greet us, and Michael and Patrick simultaneously kissed him upon the forehead.  If I remember correctly, Patrick thought this would be amusing as, according to him, this practice is one observed by mobsters before sending a brother who has betrayed them to “sleep with the fishes.”  I’ve never been in a mob, though, so don’t trust me as an authority on this.

As my boyfriend never wished to offend anyone, he acted like receiving these kisses was perfectly normal and just beamed us his brilliant smile, “Hey, what’s up guys?”  There may have been a thumbs up here too, but I can’t guarantee the truth of that statement either.

“Hi.  We should break up,” was my prompt and brief response.  There was no need on my part for flowery, sentimental speech and painstakingly selected words.  I just cut straight to the chase.

Secretly, I probably did want him to be at least a little bit heartbroken.  Instead, he kept right on smiling, and said, “Oh. Thank goodness.  I’ve been wanting to tell you.”  He continued, “here,” and handed me a neatly folded note he pulled out of his jean pocket.  The outside of that note read, “Top Secret.  J Do not read until bedtime. J

He was a big fan of smiley faces.  This remains the reason I still sometimes say “smiley face” because I had to vocalize every smiley face he had sketched on the paper when I read this note aloud repeatedly to my friends and we all enjoyed it in fits of laughter. 

I have held on to that note for all these years and it still makes me laugh every time that I read it.  I think you will be highly impressed with the vocabulary and obvious time and effort that was dedicated to the not-so-tragic demise of our six week relationship … maybe two months.  I don’t quite recall.   Along with that note, he gave me a small bookmark with a poem about friendship on it, and a yellow chocolate rose. 

For your reading pleasure, here is the exact content of that break-up letter:

Angie -- J

Hey, what’s up? J Yeah, I know – letter writing is stupid … but I’m never around at a decent time and things always come out wrong face to face.  So, first of all, I’d like to say “Congratulations” on your graduation again.  It must be nice – just think, I’ve got 365 days left of THS! J Someone like yourself will go far in life – keep working hard and success in all areas of life will be yours J (there I go, sounding like some mentor or something ….).  Anyways, best of luck in the future! J

You know that during the past week or so, I’ve really been wrestling with my emotions and thinking things over.  Thank you for all of the good times we’ve shared, and all of the talks we’ve had – I’m really glad that this year we have evolved from strangers to people who know each other fairly well. J I think and hope that what we’ve developed is a basis for what could be a wonderful, long-lasting friendship – like the one in the poem.  I guess I don’t know quite how to say this, but in my thinking I’ve come to the conclusion that this “type of friendship” is what best suits and describes us.  The yellow rose is a symbol of friendship – the “sweet” friendship we have. J

GAG!  (That wasn’t in the letter – that’s my interjection.)

So, what does this mean?  As far as I’m concerned, not much really has to change with us.  What we basically possess right now is a steady friendship – a friendship I would like to keep.  I’ll always be here for you as your friend.  Whenever you need or want to talk – or do whatever – I’d still like to be here for you – if you’ll let me.  I’m sorry for being such a jerk about all of this.  I just want you to know that there’s nothing wrong that you did nor anything wrong with you that influenced my thinking.  We’ve talked about not letting others influence the way an individual thinks – trust me, this decision was fabricated by myself.  No one’s specific opinion entered into my thinking for this; it’s just the way I feel.  I hope you understand … if you’re mad, don’t be angry with yourself or anyone else – I deserve all the blame you want to give.  I just couldn’t let myself lead you or anyone else on; I really “like” you as a close friend (if you can find it in you to still be my friend), but I “like” other people in that other way.  I didn’t want to lie to you and think I don’t like those others (and just so you know – it’s not Rachael J).

TRANSLATION: You won’t have sex with me.  I “like” sex. Or in his case, it might have just been “heavy petting”; I only allowed very light petting – like you can kiss my lips and hold my hand.  End of list. (Oops! Another interjection.)

I’m not making much sense … just remember, you ARE a wonderful, nice person – you’ll make some gorgeous college guy beyond happy (in that special sense) someday.  Thanks for everything we’ve done and shared – I hope a friendship will produce more fun times.  Just because I’ve been a jerk as your boyfriend doesn’t mean I can’t be a good friend.  Please accept my friendship conveyed in the poem and symbolized by the rose! J

I’m sorry I can be so confusing … I know my timing isn’t the greatest either. Please don’t let this affect the treasure you have achieved this weekend.  You deserve a great graduation – which means you shouldn’t have to worry about me, or anything this weekend! J I just had to let you know how I felt and what I thought; my conscience has finally quit burning.  You deserve someone way better than me, but I can understand if you’re angry.  With a touch of God’s hand, things always work out … I’ll see you later. J

A friend if you’ll let me be,

Ryan J  


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