When you’re a kid the holidays mean a humid house packed with relatives, candy-overload and those pleather biker pants you threw yourself down in the aisle at Macy’s and sobbed over until your mother bought. (Or maybe that was just me.)
But it seems the older you get, the more stands between you and that holiday spirit. There’s your cousin the Civil War Re-enactor, your sister’s middle-aged boyfriend — the one who you’ve heard her call “daddy” when she thought no one was listening, your grandmother who pretends to be deaf whenever you say the word “lesbian” or “Obama” or “Ratatouille” (She hates the French — long story.) And sometimes, unexpectedly, there’s your significant other deciding maybe she doesn’t want to be so significant anymore.
Now I’m as earnest as the next person (except maybe that Hemingway guy). I mooned over the picture of pony-tail man carrying his arthritic pooch into the sea. I was heartbroken when Elmo got accused of having The Underage Sex, I shared the crap out of the article about that New York cop who bought a homeless man a one hundred dollar pair of boots and I legitimately enjoy the holidays.
But sometimes you need to wallow. So I present to you, Other People’s Bad Holiday Break-Ups. Gather ‘round and warm your hands from the heat of relationships gone up in flames.
Let’s start with Beth*, a Chicago writer.
“My [former] girlfriend broke up with me via text,” she says. “On Christmas Eve. While I was at my parents house in Southern Illinois. When I confronted her about her lack of tact and general bad human-ness, her response was “I can’t help how I feel or what day I feel it on.” She then admitted to me that she had slept with someone else the day I left and was moving into a new relationship.”
Or how about Candice*, a queer girl living in New York City:
“Right after New Year’s, the person I was seeing broke up with me while I was topless.” Why was she topless? “Because they were giving me a backrub. Cause I’d been hit by a car three days before.”
Then there are those willing to play the bad guy.
Kathy*, a nonprofit professional in Chicago says, “It is possible that I initiated a breakup by uninviting someone to Thanksgiving — two hours before.” In Kathy’s defense, her girlfriend was “cray-cray;” however “her mother was terminally ill at the time. Oops?”
Our next victim shared a Valentine’s Day story, but whatever; it takes place when the weather is cold and everyone is supposed to be blissful. Same diff. Jenny*, a Pennsylvania-born bisexual actor had been dating a guy — incidentally the first person she’d slept with — for two months while the two were interning at a theater. “He was always very private about our relationship,” says Jenny, “but I assumed that was because he was trying to be professional and went along with it. He goes to New York to audition for grad school and when he comes back, he breaks up with me. Then a friend invites me out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, just us, so that we can talk, and tells me that Jeremy had been sleeping with his ex while we were dating. So I got to find out about all this on Valentine’s day.”
Let’s up the ante here, shall we? I’ve saved the worst for last.
Jessi*, a lesbian editor (This means she edits lesbians; just remove parts she doesn’t like.) in San Francisco has this to say: “ I decided to visit my former girlfriend in New Zealand over Christmas — my favorite holiday to a pathetic degree. Upon my arrival, she told me that she thought Christmas was stupid and that she didn’t see me in a sexual way. On the actual day she gave me a a few Jesus-wrapped chocolate candies and we drove to another hostel, where we reserved a bunk in a very large room with many other backpackers. I have PTSD when I think about New Zealand and whenever I see holiday-themed-wrapped chocolates. We’re still friends, obviously.
And finally, Jill*, an L.A. golf pro:
“My ex and I were in a very rocky spot,” she says. “But the fact that she wanted to come to my parents’ for Christmas gave me hope. Instead I got the one-two punch of 1) Finding she had feelings for someone else who liked her back (Christmas morning); 2) She was done with our relationship (Christmas day eve). From there, things got even more uncomfortable. Jill: “I wrote her mistress a deserved nasty e-mail. Said harlot forwarded the e-mail to my girl friend saying that my e-mail was “not OK” and wasn’t right because “isn’t it Christmas?”
What about you? Share your worst holiday break-up stories. I’ll buy you a pair of pleather pants.
*All names have been changed. Even mine.