I found a small duct tape ring next to my wine glass.
My 10-year-old son had put it there for me. Apparently he knew that is where I would find it. I try and pour a glass of wine after they go to bed to avoid them thinking their mother is lush, but obviously, they are on to me. I thanked him in the morning and he told me that the girl he had made it for didn’t want it. I could tell he was sad so I didn’t push the issue.
When he was out of ear shot I asked his younger brother what happened.
In a whirlwind week, Parker had a crush on a girl, made a girl a ring out of duct tape, tried to give it to the girl and she rejected it. He then gave it to the only other girl he loves…me.
As much as it pains me to see his little heart hurting, I’m happy. I want my son to have a broken heart. I hope he has his heart broken at least five more times before he is 25. As we rode to school today Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball came on. Despite the video of her swinging naked on a wrecking ball, it is actually a great song.
Until you have had your heart broken, you can’t understand what fifty-percent of all songs ever written are about.
I had my first heartbreak in high school. My first official boyfriend was a junior and I was a freshman. We dated for an entire year, which for a teen, is like a decade. For our one-year anniversary I convinced my mom to help me buy him a Polo rugby. I wrapped it up and he came over in his red sports car and I excitedly gave it to him. It was a Saturday night, and I think we ate pizza, and watched SNL.
All was good in my world, which at that point revolved around him. I ate, drank, slept, and breathed him. I was drinking the love Kool-Aid.
On Monday, I arrived late to school because I had a dentist appointment. A friend met me in the hallway and told me I should go home. I remember thinking that was weird, but looking back she was trying to protect me. Class let out and I could see my boyfriend getting out of his first class. I could also see he wasn’t wearing the rugby I had gotten him. However, a senior girl who was walking next to him was. Oh and coincidentally, she was holding his hand.
I felt all my breath leave my body and it was replaced with fire. I was so confused. I thought they were “just friends”. I approached him and asked him why she was wearing that. He never let go of her hand when he simply said, “I don’t love you anymore”. That is a wrecking ball moment. I was stunned but I did manage to call her a slut before I dove into the bathroom and cried for the next 2 hours.
By lunch everyone knew. My world as I knew it had ended and I took everything down with me. I briefly quit soccer, I didn’t do homework. I didn’t eat. My heart was broken. Friends told me that he dumped me because she actually was a slut, and that he would be back with me in a month. Well, a month turned into a year, and another, and another, and when I came home from college my first Christmas I got a call from him, letting me know they had broken up.
By that time, I had moved on and been through at least 2 more boyfriends, but just hearing his voice made me relive that anguish. By the way, I still don’t like that girl.
I liked hitting rock bottom. Not at the time, but if I hadn’t, been so hurt early on, I probably would have made stupid decisions regarding my life, like staying at home for college. Which would have never gotten me to Arizona. Close to California, where I met my future husband.
Little did I know that heartbreak number 2 was right around the corner. I had a great boyfriend. He was sweet, nice, cute. Yet I cheated on him and met Mr. Stiletto. I call him that because he may have looked great, but he hurt like a bitch, and despite that, I still tried to make it work, fought through the blisters and pain because on the outside he looked so good. I tried my hardest to fill that killer stiletto. I would have cut off a pinky toe to be an ideal fit for him. But in the back of my mind I knew he was not a good fit for a marathon, just a fun crazy night out.
After six whirlwind months he broke up with me by telling me he was going on a trip with another girl. I’m sure she was a slut too.
This time, being older the pain was worse. Again, stopped eating, slept a lot. Listened to Alanis Morrisette and Led Zeppelin on repeat. I expressed all my pain in a journal. When it was all said and done, I had about two full journals double sided, trying to figure out what went wrong. I recently read one. My heart has muscle memory, and I although I can still feel a tinge of pain, I want to scream at myself for being that gullible. I can credit that moment as the discovery of my solace, which is writing. Most importantly, that influenced my decision to move to California. Ever heard the song by Led Zeppelin, Going to California?
“Spent my days with a woman unkind, Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine. Made up my mind to make a new start, Going To California with an aching in my heart. “
Yes. Obviously I was very impressionable. Thank goodness it was Led Zeppelin and not 2Pac that I clung to. That could resulted in a drive by shooting or jail time.
People ask me all the time how I ended up in California. I don’t mention that I was broken hearted.
I met the love of my life three years later. And for the record, Mr. Stiletto came back too, but thankfully Don had put a ring on it and I was more than happy to show him my new accessory over lunch.
I had to get hit with a wrecking ball a few times. I had to be knocked down to rebuild myself with a stronger more solid foundation.
For my dear son, if you ever read this: I love that your heart hurts. (Even though I think that 10 year old girl must be crazy for not wanting your duct tape ring.) I will wear it with pride. The pain is short lived to the comparison of the time you will spend with the right one for you.
When this happens again (and it will), I will be ready to help you tape back the pieces, making you even stronger than before.
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Assistant Ed: Judith Andersson / Ed: Bryonie Wise