#41

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Well you had your chance, and you were either a Master or a Disaster when it comes to getting your special someone a special something. Fortunately, even if you totally failed at this task, you may take comfort in those who managed to surpass even you in their gifting ineptitude (I don’t mean me, though by my own admission I am a lousy gift giver). Here, courtesy of Daniela Cardena, are a few nominees for worst V-Day gift ever:

  • a flash drive with 400 selfies on it (this guy may have ego issues)
  • a bag of Doritos with a bow on it (four years into the relationship; they did not make it to five)
  • diamond earrings (from a guy who had said his girlfriend’s lack of piercings made her prettier)
  • “A string of yarn with a macaroni noodle on it for every day we had been together, colored ones for the days he estimated we had sex.” (there are no words)
  • naming a cockroach at the Brooklyn Zoo for someone (tagline: “Flowers wilt. Candlelight fades. Roaches are forever.” The relationship was not forever.)
  • and the ultimate:
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Guys: ever wish someone, somewhere, would just give you a list, showing which gifts are good and which are bad? Your wish is granted. I specifically deny any responsibility for this list or how it might impact your love life, as some of the items on the ‘good list’ seem to me like they might be worse than no gift at all, but whatever.

So.  Now you have been the recipient of a horrible gift, which just confirms what you were already suspecting, and it’s time to bring the whole experience to a close. If you’re going to make the break, why not do it with style and panache (is that even a word)? Fortunately Dr.Berit Brogaard  has several suggestions for break up lines that might help:

  • I let myself go, hoping you would leave.
  • You are a great guy. I am looking for a jerk.
  • It’s not you. It’s the new guy I’ve been seeing.
  • I’m not a prude, it’s just that you’re repulsive.
  • Roses are red. Violets are blue. I’d rather be dead than continue seeing you.

You get the idea.

Alas, darkness has fallen, and the relationship is officially over, and it might have been your fault, since you gave your vegan girlfriend a bouquet of bacon flowers because you were really, really sure, “If you just try it I know you will like it” and now you are dealing with the nasty after-effects of a break up. People handle this in different ways, with some taking months to get over it and others moving calmly on to the next person (probably the one who was responsible for the original relationship breaking up). Brain research tells us that rituals can help us find happiness, so here are some real-world examples of the rituals that some people use to cope with a painful split. Names were changed for obvious reasons:

  • “Belle” buys all new sheets. After a major break-up she buys a whole new mattress, which she’s done twice in the last four years, hinting that perhaps she needs to spend less time under the sheets in the first place.
  • “Jasmine” scrubs her floors, every last inch of them, until they are spotless or she forgets about the guy, whichever comes first.
  • “Pocahantas” dropped off of social media and switched to reading news. Whereas Facebook continually presented her with staged pictures of eternally happy couples, the news focused on the stark realities of disasters and plagues, which she found strangely comforting (“perspective” is one of the 3 pillars of happiness, btw).
  • “Elsa” recommends staying in and watching a movie, preferably the scariest one you can find. After a break-up, any movie that is at all happy makes her sad. Her current fav is The Village, which is definitely not a happy flick.
  • “Shrek” gets lost, as in going somewhere unfamiliar, walking around, not asking for directions and not looking at her phone. At some point she feels better about it all, and she heads home, assuming she isn’t really, truly lost.

Relationships are a key part of our lives, and a primary element in happiness, and when one ends, we spend some time grieving. So find some ritual that works for you (even if it makes no sense to anyone else), make some sensible changes in your life, and plan for tomorrow to be a better day.

NOTE to the guys: I’m not assuming you were the one who gave the rotten gift this year, but, well, we both know you were. Start making plans to do better, because Valentine’s Day is just 51 weeks away!

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