It’s common knowledge that breakups are “hard,” but are they? After a lifetime of watching rom-coms that feature sort of fun looking breakup wallowing sequences, I wasn’t convinced. That’s why I decided to break up with my boyfriend so I could eat ice cream in a big shirt like a girl in a movie.
Just a month ago, everything was going great in my relationship with Harrison. We’d been together just over a year, I was in love, and the future looked bright. But it wasn’t long before I felt restless with this static happiness, and decided it might be time to try some sadness instead.
Why would anyone choose to be sad, you ask? The answer is simple: Ever since I was a little girl, I watched women in romantic comedies and sitcoms go through “devastating” breakups that were inevitably followed by an incredible period of time during which they got to eat ice cream out of the container, chill on the couch all day, and cry at movies.
Breakups were the best-kept secret way to have fun; I was sure of it. I longed to be one of those women in their massive shirts, perhaps from the sport they played at their Ivy League college (down to Earth!). Even heartbroken men got to wear open robes and lie next to a coffee table littered with beer bottles and pizza boxes. Everyone going through breakups was living the dream.
And if that’s not enough to win you over, consider that you don’t even have to get lonely because after you have an amazing time wallowing for a few days, your best friend comes over and says, “Alright, that’s enough. We’re getting you out of here,” and takes you to a fun bar!
I couldn’t wait for my first big shirt ice cream breakup, but naturally I had to wait and enter a serious relationship first so a proper breakup meltdown would feel earned.
It’s difficult to even type these words, but I have to admit that having abruptly ended things with Harrison, I am not enjoying my breakup as much as I anticipated. If I were to put a word to it, I would say I feel “bad”.
It’s almost as though movies have isolated signifiers of sadness and reproduced them in a charming, detached manner that willfully neglects the depth of emotional pain often incited by a breakup in order to move the plot along and keep things light?
But, no. Regardless of the critics who will accuse Hollywood of setting women up with impossible, romanticized expectations, I still have hope. So load up the freezer with some Ben & Jerry’s, and don’t throw out that old shirt just yet, because this girl still believes in the perfect breakup. Sorry, Harrison (I do really miss you. If you see this, let’s talk).