We feel your pain. Valentine’s Day can be full of unwelcome sappiness and anguish. Who are you, fat flying archer baby, to force love upon the lonely, the single, the freshly dumped?
Nevermind those ruddy cheeks. We have an excerpt from the perfect book to cheer you. Dear Old Love: Anonymous Notes to Former Crushes, Sweethearts, Husbands, Wives & Ones That Got Away is here for you to confide in, to let you know that it could have been (much, much) worse, or, if you’re in the throes of romance, to remind you how lucky you are.
Here are some wise words–funny and bittersweet and sad–from those who survived to tell the tale. Get ready to ease that heartache.
The Real Ending
Dear Old Love,
I knew it was over when…
- the back rubs tapered off to one every three years.
- you got back into the car with all that beef jerky.
- you used the recession as an excuse to stop going to the movies.
- you said the secret to a long marriage was freedom.
- you got the call about your father. I’m not good with bad times.
- you started secretly making copies of my recipes.
- you claimed to have outgrown dirty limericks.
- you no longer looked me in the eyes on video chat.
- you quit straining the pulp from my orange juice.
- I saw his silver Audi in front of your place. Good-bye, and thanks for slumming.
- you gave up cunnilingus for Lent.
- your mom yelled at me for not knowing who Rebecca from the Bible was. With the way she was talking I thought this Rebecca was a neighbor of yours.
- you had a second kid. Through marriage and kid #1, I figured I still had a shot.
- you stopped being real and started being polite.
- I started living vicariously through your infidelities.
- you didn’t pay for my dinner. For the two-hundred-and-fiftieth time.
- you stopped hoisting me up onto your shoulders at outdoor concerts.
- you quit wanting to coordinate our Halloween costumes.
- you wept and said you no longer loved me.
Dear Old Love,
I only regret…
- that we turned back before we got to the Grand Canyon
- haranguing you about wearing jeans too often and dresses not often enough. (Still–wear more dresses!)
- my refusal to accept your leaving with dignity and grace, even if pouting and rage have their own grace.
- comparing you to all those main characters in Billy Joel songs.
- balking on our trip to India.
- having an affair when I didn’t even like the other one that much.
- that I made you turn off the lights the last time.
- portioning out sex like you were a dog in need of treats, even if you were a dog in need of treats.
- not mercy-killing our marriage sooner.
- saying “Don’t flatter yourself!” so many times during our breakup.
- not seeing the look on the next sucker’s face when he finds out.
- asking you how you got your burn.
- being too timid to do Ecstasy with you. Now I know–you’re never too old.
- not enjoying your tantrums when I had the chance.
- we were not sixty years older when we met. Our age difference would seem negligible, plus you would not be able to get away so easily.
- turning you on to yoga, and yoga instructors.
- my last five drunken e-mails.
- not ceding control of the remote more often.
- being able to dish it out but not take it.
- not recognizing how ahead of your time you were.
- never letting you see me cry.
Don’t you feel better? Now maybe it’s time to take up archery for yourself.