Really mad libs
Breaking up is hard. But it's easier with a template.
by Kris Frieswick
Breaking up is hard to do, but I'd venture to say that being the dumpee is
easier than being the dumper, and here's why. As the dumpee, you probably don't
see it coming. There you are, just going about your daily relationship
business, perhaps feeling a little uneasy but you're not sure why, when
suddenly, wham! Your life gets thrown into a tailspin when your lover
announces that he/she is outta there. You get to be the victim. People feel bad
for you. You can eat two pints of Ben & Jerry's every night for a week,
hang out in your bathrobe watching your Blade Runner video over and over
and slowly ripping your ex out of every photo in the house, and no one bats an
eye, 'cause you got dumped.
But the dumper has an awesome responsibility. As the dumper, you have to make
the big decision. You've probably been stewing for quite some time about a
problem with the relationship that you have not felt comfortable discussing
with your lover. Or you've been getting increasingly annoyed with a personality
trait so basic to your lover's identity that trying to change it would be like
asking him/her to lop off a limb . . . for instance, a penchant for
sci-fi movies starring buxom androids. Eventually, after one Blade
Runner screening too many, you snap and you make the decision to end the
relationship. That's when the real heavy lifting of the break-up begins.
There are so many decisions to make. When do you do it? Morning, so he'll be in
pain all day? Evening, so she loses a good night's sleep? Where should the
dumping take place? At a restaurant, where your lover may or (horrors) may not
be deterred from throwing a huge fit? In your own home, where your lover may
linger after the deed is done, or possibly exact some property damage on the
way out? In a car, where he or she may respond to the dumping by driving you
both into oncoming traffic? At the lover's dwelling, where the dumped will
forever live with the memory that "this is where I was sitting when it
happened"? Most important, what do you say? You can't say, "You're a pathetic
loser." That's not going to do anyone any good. And you absolutely cannot say,
"It's not you, it's me," 'cause everyone knows that's bullshit.
I can't help you decide the whens, wheres, and whys of your split, but, as a
veteran of far too many break-ups, I can give you a little help in the "what"
In my experience, there are really just three basic break-up speeches. The
speech you choose will depend on the specifics of why you're leaving, and
that's something only you can decide. Below, I've provided outlines of those
three speeches. Inasmuch as each break-up possesses its own unique details,
I've drafted them in a familiar and easy-to-use format (a/k/a the Mad Lib) so
that you can insert the details of your particular relationship as needed.
The `I can't imagine marrying you now or ever' speech
You know, [lover's name], I think you're a really [adjective/complimentary]
[gender]. But I don't think I'm ready to be in a [adjective] relationship. It's
not that I don't [verb/affectionate emotion] you, but I feel a little
[adjective]. Maybe I'm not over [previous lover's name]. Maybe I'm just
[verb]ing for something [adjective]. I don't know. I just think we should stop
[verb]ing each other. I hope you understand, and won't be too [emotion]. Please
tell your family I said [declarative phrase]. I will always have a [adjective]
place in my [body part] for you.
The `Sick of waiting for you' ultimatum
[Lover's name], we've been together for [number] [unit of time] now, and it's
pretty obvious you have no intention of [verb]ing me. In fact, I think you've
been [profanity] [verb]ing my [body part] for too long, and I think I've
[profanity] [verb]ed for the last time. It's "[verb] or get off the [noun]"
time around here, Mr. [sarcastic nickname]. If you won't [verb] me, there are
plenty of [adverb] [adjective] [gender]s out there who would be [emotion] to
[verb] me in a [short unit of time]. Here's your [noun/personal property]. I'll
be by on [day of week] to pick up the rest of my [noun]s. And as they say, if
the [noun] don't [verb], you'll know it's me.
The `I caught you with someone else, you scum-sucking pig' rant
Say, [lover's name], where were you last [day of week]? (Wait for lying
response.) That's funny, I could have sworn I saw a [gender] who looked exactly
like you at [location]. But then it couldn't have been you because the [gender]
I saw had [possessive pronoun] [body part] all over an [adverb] [adjective]
[gender], and they looked like they were about to shove their [body parts] down
each other's [orifice]s. (Wait for denial.) You lying [noun] of [noun], do I
look like some kind of [profanity] [noun]? Why don't you pack up your
[noun/personal property] and your [profanity] lying [body part], and don't let
the [noun] [verb] you on the [body part] on your way out, you [extreme
profanity] son of a [animal]'s [genital]. If I ever see your [adjective] [body
part] within [unit of measurement] of this house again, I will [verb] it off
with a [noun], do you hear me?
Kris Frieswick can be reached at email@example.com.
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