Some people celebrate July 4 with barbecues and fireworks.
I prefer historical re-enactment: honoring the fore-mothers of America by declaring independence from tyrants.
I observe the birth of our nation and most national holidays by getting out of dumb relationships with dumber boyfriends.
How’s that for patriotism?
Try to set aside for now, or forever, why there were enough stupid relationships to form a historical trend. After all, the USA got mixed up in more than a few doozies itself, in an effort to form more perfect unions. Just saying.
Because, I am sure you agree, love and war bare a strong resemblance to each other.
When things are going well, everyone is fat and happy. Then someone taxes your patience or good nature. Stern words are exchanged. Sabers are rattled. Hostilities break out. Bombs are thrown, property is destroyed, and collateral is damaged.
To be honest, my tradition started having less to do with noteworthy events in the annals of American history than employment schedules. Neither my fiancé nor I had to work on Veteran’s Day. I took the opportunity to visit a monument to local heroes of WWII and tell him the wedding was off.
He had a bad temper; a public venue ensured he would not yell, at least until we got home. But he didn’t. He never raised his voice. I concluded the solemnity of the holiday evoked a calmness in him and decided a good time to end any future relationships was when the government is closed.
After the fiancé, there was the cyclist. Probably the nicest man I was ever involved with romantically, he was also painfully shy. In three years together, I never, ever, not once, saw him full frontally naked. We only had sex at night, in the dark, under the covers.
By this time, I was 33 and wondering whether the issues arising from our contrasting “styles” were insurmountable. On President’s Day, I had a scary but illuminating thought: if this isn’t going to end in marriage, I better get out before I lose my looks.
Ok, shallow, scary and illuminating.
So I gave the cyclist an ultimatum. Then, as these things usually go, he opted for the “or else” option and that was the end of it, in about the same amount of time it took Lincoln to deliver the Gettysburg Address.
On Labor Day a few years later, the boy I took to my 7th Grade Dance– who tracked me down via the internet because he never got over his crush– dumped me over a labor dispute: helping me move. Closer to him. My lease was up; I offered to move east. He said go west.
Memorial Day is kind of like an Irish wake. With the parades, grills and keg-erators of beer, it’s easy to overlook the part about memorializing the dead. Not so when a relationship dies on that last Monday in May.
For instance, I’ll never forget the recovering addict who relapsed, rehabbed and retreated under the stars and stripes. On the upside, I defy you to keep your head from bobbing and toes from tapping when you hear John Phillip Souza.
Three cheers to the red, white and blue.
The gardener/jealous maniac took out all three summer three day weekends. I broke up with him on Memorial Day; it didn’t take. I did it again on the 4th of July; it took for a day.
Begging is unbecoming but effective.
At last, on Labor Day, my hard work to prune him from my life paid off. Just like summer, it was over. I didn’t have to see him in September.
After discovering there was another woman on Columbus Day, I was too afraid to explore a new world and therefore stayed with The Big Fat Asshole. By Martin Luther King Day, however, any remaining civility between us deteriorated into a non-violent but nasty confrontation.
I still shake my head over that one. What was I thinking?
People don’t lie. That’s what I was thinking.
You can imagine how wrong I was.
Which brings us to Mr. Born of the 4th of July. A frighteningly good liar. Also a sociopathic narcissist. Why didn’t I see it? In my defense, I was suffering from menopause-induced insanity.
Tip: when you are crazy, you don’t know you are crazy. You just think you are right.
You know what they say about being right or being happy….
I got my hormones balanced and my brain functioning again and, as a gift to both of us on his birthday, he got out of my life for good.
Happy Independence Day!
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Is there a pattern to the timing of your relationships? In addition to my flag-bearing break-ups, my romances seem to have a two year clock. How about you?
Be a firecracker and share this with a friend?