Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Gave Her My Heart...She Gave Me a Pen

Do you remember this movie?

God, I loved it. 

I'm now getting to the age where my friends' kids are getting their hearts broken.  And of course, my friends are wondering how they should counsel their sweet, innocent babes.  I suppose they come to me because at the time, I was the queen of being dumped.  I had a fantastic track record of dating really great guys who liked/loved me enough, but not enough to propose.

And so, understandably, no one wants to see their son or daughter go through the pain and yuck of getting their heart stomped on by another 16 or 17-year old who really doesn't even know what they're doing.

My favorite break-up scene in the above movie, "Say Anything," is when Ione Skye tries to end her summer relationship with John Cusack by giving him a pen and telling him to write her.  In a pouring down rain storm at a pay phone, he calls his sister and says, "I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen." 

My real-life favorite break-up scene was when my boyfriend pulled over in a retail parking lot to tell me that the girl he planned to marry was the one that he couldn't live without and he could live without me.

Ouch, I know.

So, as the parent, what do you do?  Well, for starters, ask for your teens' phone and text the douche, with a simple line like, "You fucked with the wrong family.  Watch your back, bitch."

No.  No.

That wouldn't be productive.  Instead, I think after the ugly girl crying is on hiatus, you go into their room and tell them that this experience is a gift.

They will of course, order you out and scream and yell that you just don't get it.  And to their credit, you don't.  Everyone's first break up is incredibly personal and devastatingly painful.

But what you do get, if you've been down that road is the ability to stand on your own two feet despite anyone else's personal rejection of who you are.  You recognize that it's not about being thinner or having bigger boobs or different clothes or living on the right street, it's about embracing all of you, even when someone else doesn't want to be connected to it anymore.

And that is a powerful lesson.

There is no shortage of anger in the process.  And, no matter what anyone says, being pissed is a good thing.  My step-mother used to say, if he doesn't like you...tell him that you don't like him more and then, live the shit out of your life.  The greatest example of triumph is not to morph yourself into what you think you should be, but to live who you are with gusto.

And in the end, you may be Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court and end up being passionately committed and in love.  Or you may be, Kelly Roberts, a girl who found herself incredibly strong, resilient and ready to bring her authentic self into the relationship that would prove well in her partnership for life.

Until then, I think you should still offer to beat the shit out of the little punk.  After all, it's your kid for Christ sake.

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