Missing the Mistletoe

Being an advice, ahem, "professional," I subscribe to approximately a dozen dopey e-mail lists. So in addition to the get-your-green-card-now and penile-enlargement type spam that everybody gets, I get pitches pushing me to write about books I'd never buy and CDs I'd sooner use for coasters. Normally these things go right into the delete folder, but today one of them caught my eye. It was a press release for a downloadable "book" (meaning the author couldn't talk anyone into publishing it) on how to deal with a broken heart.

When my mom died, I was so devastated I bought every piece of literature I could find on death and grieving, hoping I'd find an answer somewhere that would make me feel better. I kept searching and reading, trying to find some tidbit that would help. That is, until my therapist sat me down and gently explained that it didn't matter how many books I read on the subject, I was just going to feel like shit for a while. Oh.

The same thing happens every time I let some loser break my heart. And believe me, there've been plenty. So I know the kind of desperation that might lead someone to waste 20 bucks and valuable hard-drive space on The Get Over a Break Up and Heal a Broken Heart Guide; especially during the holiday season! 'Tis the season to be jolly and have someone buy you nice presents and help you carry your dried-out Christmas tree out to the garbage once it becomes a fire hazard. Valentine's Day is wretched enough, but at least that's only one day of the year. December is an entire month of parties, presents, and reminders that you're heartbroken and alone. And if all that isn't punishment enough, it then culminates in the most sadistic holiday of them all, New Year's Eve.

Now I'm generally not known for my sensitive nature, but reading this guy's sanctimonious take on newlydumps really pissed me off. Especially his list of reasons explaining why breaking up can be good for you. Here's a news flash, Mr. Shawn Nelson, M.S.A. (which, P.S., stands for Master of Science in Administration!), getting dumped sucks! It sucks even harder when you're then forced to feign holiday cheer in front of your family while fielding questions about whatever happened to that "nice guy" you'd told them about over Thanksgiving.

It's enough to drive a girl (or guy) to drink. And understandably so. You don't need some high-priced guide to getting through the holiday season with a broken heart—I'm here to help you. For free!

Rent the John Waters' classic Female Trouble immediately, and make Dawn Davenport your personal role model. She's crazy and fat, and when Santa brings her sensible shoes instead of the cha-cha heels she's requested, Dawn pitches a shrieking fit, knocks over the Christmas tree, and ruins the holiday for everyone. Misery loves company—share yours.

Burst into tears often and inexplicably. Your mom puts on her favorite puce shirt, you immediately sob that puce was your ex's second-favorite color and you can't believe your own mother could be so insensitive. Depending on what kind of mom you have, she'll either be so upset you're crying that she'll give you all your siblings' gifts in addition to your own, or she'll be so annoyed by your revolting display that she'll privately threaten the relatives with death and dismemberment if they dare ask you anything about your love life. Either way, you win.

Tearfully explain that you were so heartbroken you didn't have the will to shop, and promise to give everyone their gifts the next time you see them. This way you can either buy prezzies on sale after Christmas or hope they forget about them altogether. With the money you save, you can purchase yourself a tarty little outfit.

Finally, boycott New Year's Eve. Until last year, I had never in my life had a good time on Dec. 31. What made last year's so fun? Because I sat at home by myself, sipping wine in my pajamas and playing with my new digital camera. I didn't have an inane boyfriend duck out midevening to score coke behind my back (the year before), nor did I have to hang out with my new boyfriend's entire extended family, who converse exclusively in a language I don't speak (that's this year's plan).

Desperate? Write Dategirl at dategirl@seattleweekly.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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