Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Et Tu, Drew Barrymore?

Have you guys seen that movie "Going The Distance"?  It was on HBO the other night and a well-meaning friend suggested I watch it because "It's about a long distance relationship, just like you and Dylan!"  For those of you unfamiliar with the film, it stars a delightfully dorky Drew Barrymore as a young woman interning in New York where she meets an equally socially awkward Justin Long.  They fall in love, she moves back to California to live with her sister (the ever-fabulous Christina Applegate) , and despite myriad struggles, trials, and travails, love conquers all and Drew and Justin are reunited in San Francisco after he quits his job to manage some indy band.  Aaannnnnnd...scene.  Now, ordinarily I have mad love for both Drew Barrymore and Christina Applegate, but after watching this steaming pile of shit I wanted the entire cast and crew to eat a bag of dicks.  Because this?  Is not real life.  In the real world, long distance relationships generally have the lifespan of an ABC Family sitcom.

In case you hadn't guessed where I'm going with this, yes. . .Dylan and I broke up last week. 

In truth, I think we both knew things were over the day he moved to North Carolina.  We each felt a little like the manager of a Home Depot before Hurricane Sandy:  we knew it was coming and dreaded seeing it happen, but we both knew we would profit from it in the end.

A lot of people have asked why I don't just pack up and move to the other side of the country, apparently forgetting about those pesky little things like children, family, and a career.*

*Apparently we HAVEN'T come a long way, baby.

But even if those things didn't exist, I'm just not sure I could leave Oregon.  Oregon isn't just where I live; it's an integral part of who I am.  Oregon is relaxed and quirky and down-to-earth and outgoing and filled with some of the craziest motherfuckers on the planet and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Besides, I just don't think I would do well in North Carolina.  For example, did you know that in North Carolina it is against the law to sing off key and all sex must be performed in the missionary position with the window shades fully closed?  I'd be screwed. . .*

*But evidently not with me on top.

Is it really that big of a concern in the Tarheel State that Gladys Kravitz will be peeking through your curtains to have her retinas permanently scarred by your filthy little genitals?  If so, then a heretic such as myself wouldn't last five minutes.  You see, I'm the type of asshole who will do something simply because I'm told that I can't.  While it generally would not occur to me to perform a vertically untoward act in front of the living room window, the moment I learn that it is strictly verboten I will be dusting off my old cheerleading uniform and putting on a show that would make Larry Flynt blush.

Once Dylan and I both came to the realization that (a) he wasn't moving back to Oregon and (b) I wasn't moving to North Carolina we knew that it was time to sack our bats and leave the playing field.  It's not that we no longer love each other; it's simply that we are old enough and mature enough to recognize that love is not enough.*

*I can be mature!  Shut up...

I know that time will make the dull ache in my chest abate, but even as I write this and am subsequently forced to think of Dylan, my heart starts skipping like Perez Hilton on his way to a "Glee" concert.  But despite the emotional angina and general angsty feelings, I'm just happy to be feeling something, because for the last few days I've felt pretty. . .numb.  I know that it's only a matter of time before I totally lose my shit in the middle of Target when the Lumineers come on the musak, but right now I feel like a dominatrix with A.D.H.D.:  there's no telling when I'll hit bottom.  Fortunately, myschedule right now has fewer holes than Stevie Wonder's dartboard so I am able to stay busy for at least nine hours a day and avoid any extraneous thought.

When not at work, I've been relying on my standard cure for depression: reality T.V., as I am of the firm belief that the only way to feel better about yourself is to revel in other people's trainwreck existence, but then late last night I came to the sobering realization that both Honey Boo Boo's momma and the entire cast of Teen Mom 2 were getting laid more than I am and I shame-spiraled right back to Square One.

So in the end, I reverted to the one thing that has gotten me through every traumatic and melancholy event from alcoholism, to a  crippling eating disorder, to a marriage to a man so adept at mind-fuckery that he made Svengali look like Captain Kangaroo.  I laughed.  First, I called my friend Jess whose stories can invariably have me giggle-snorting like Fran Drescher in an ether factory.  Then I texted my homegirl, Misty, who sent me pictures of her Griswold-esque attempts at holiday decorating that made me snort so loudly in the middle of Starbucks that I had to fake an asthma attack. Then I reread Jen Lancaster's "Bitter Is The New Black" for the gajillionth time.*

*Oh, Jen.  Your tales of Ambien-induced eBay purchases and the day you stole a bag from a homeless man complete me.  Much love.  ((fist bumps))

And finally I sat on the couch with my laptop and watched vintage "Saturday Night Live" skits until  tears rolled down my cheeks. 

*RIP Gilda, John, Chris, and Phil.  You have brought me more joy than you will ever know.

Like everyone else on this dusty little cobblestone we call Earth, I have faced my share of shitstorms.  But never once. . .not freaking EVER, have I lost my ability to find the humor in  life.  So the next time you find yourself faced with a breakup, a job loss, a catastrophic illness, or a circumstance so astronomically jacked up that it makes you stare heaven-upward and ask "Are you freaking kidding me here?", find your laughter.  A sense of humor is a lot like an asshole: we all have one, some shittier than others, but all are individual and unique.  A sense of humor is exactly that. . .a "sense".  It is a sense of whatever YOU find funny, be it "I Love Lucy" skits, political cartoon, or those freaky cat videos on YouTube.  But regardless of your particular brand of humor, keep it close at hand in times of need for it shall serve you well.

My whole life I never believed in love.  I married my ex husband when I was deep in the throes of an eating disorder and looking for someone to save me.  The word "love" was used as a weapon between us, and to be honest it lost all of its street cred with me.  Dylan picked that word up out of the gutter, dusted it off, and made it shiny and new again.  For that reason alone, he will be forever in my heart.  

Don't be afraid to love.



Leauxra said...

Oh, wow. Vintage SNL always makes my heart a little stronger... but I always, always have to wallow for a few days first. It's a rule. I write shitty poetry (I fucking hate poetry, and mine always comes out like emo lymericks), listen to some angry music, yell at the other cars while I'm driving, and then, one day, all of a sudden, realize that I am totally pissed about something completely unrelated to what I thought I was upset about, and I am forced to admit that I am just pissy all the time, and I shouldn't blame the thing that I thought set me off.


My feeble attempts at humor notwithstanding, I really feel for you. This sucks balls. Would you prefer a hug or a fistbump?

Jen said...

LEAUXRA - can I have both? And chocolate? I'm kinda greedy like that.

NATurally Inappropriate said...

I love you, even though we broke up many months ago. I keep holding out for a reconciliation, because I am absolutely convinced that we could be long lost sisters.

Leauxra said...

Jen: Yes. Light or dark chocolate? And send me your address, I will ship it immediately.

Jen said...

"NAT" - We never broke up, you butthead! And you know I can call you butthead BECAUSE I love you. :) But I'd never call you a sister...because I don't really like my sister...but I like you. xoxo

Jen said...

LEAUXRA - Dark chocolate is the true chocolate. Liek the Highlander or the Vampire Slayer, there can only be one.

Jana said...

Sucks the big ole ass! I am truly, deeply sorry that things just didn't work out.

But to cheer you up, I just had a total WEEDS moment. I thought I might be preggers (at frickin 39, no THANKS) since I have been having all those symptoms but it just turns out that it's probably early menopausal shit according to the OB. Oh life, can you possibly be a bigger wench??

On the plus side, I am glad that Dylan made your heart feel shiny and new again, because just maybe...there is another hottie in turn outs that might light your fire!

Or maybe, I will bring you some hottie Cali fire fighter pics the next time I have to head up to Portland.

Erica Burns said...

I did a long distance thing... once.. it didn't end well, which is why that anyone who has to endure such a situation I wish the best of luck to. It's *extremely* hard to make work.

I mean, on the plus side it sounds like the relationship ended on okay terms and no one screwed up or was an asshole, so there's that. I can't handle people being upset with me for any reason. I have a strong need to be well liked.

I also use humor to get myself out of a funk, and to get people to feel better when they feel shitty. It's how I cope, so I figure other people need to laugh too.

seriously- if you need homemade fudge,, there is a place locally here that will ship anywhere

Jen said...

JANA - Oh Jesus I would shit a taco if I thought I was p.g. Congrats on not turning the stick blue, my friend. ((fist bump)) Yeah, I have no regrets...Dylan showed me that there are wonderful men out there and that love is possible, even for a middle-aged heretic like me. :)

ERICA - It's definitely nice to know that both of us are still in a positive, loving place and won't have one of those AWKWARD interactions should we run into one another again someday. That being said, fudge would be perfection. :)

mistyslaws said...

I will always be here to provide you with excessive ridiculous stories of my inane dickery. That you can count on my friend. HUGS.

NATurally Inappropriate said...

WTB ability to comment on your FB fan page. Just saying. :P

Jen said...

MISTY - i love you mad hard, Girl. xoxo

NAT - ??? I have no freaking clue...let me try to figure it out. Me no good computer thingies.

Mandy said...

Much love, my twin *Hugs*

Winopants said...

Emotional angina= no bueno
If I could offer you the smallest sense of comfort, I'm pretty sure honey boo boo's momma is not getting laid. Did you see sugar bear come after her with his nicotine-stained rot mouth on their "date"? She wants nothing to do with him

Jen said...

MANDY - Thanks, Manders. :(

WINO - oh God. . .the visual in my brain. . .((shudder))

Jennifer Clark said...

Sorry, Jen. I'd give you a hugs and take you to Salt and Straw if I were there. I'm glad you two parted on good terms.

The first time my heart was broken, I was living alone in a large house, listening to Beethoven's entire body of work on an old Magnavox during the hours I should have been sleeping. T'was years before I could listen to the "Ode to Joy" without bawling.....

Also, "emo limericks"?!? I spit coffee on my keyboard. And truly, the world is a sadder place w/o Gilda.

Come to the Central Coast. Sars & I will take good care of you!

mothers little hleper said...

I love reading your blog, you are an inspiration. No really, you are.
Especially when you are so grown up about the break up.
I am so sorry that you and Dylan couldn't be together.
I know what it is like to put family and career first and now after 16 years of divorced singledom, I am hoping to finally put love first.

Andrea said...

sending you love! bright shiny love!

chemgirljaime S said...

super big hugs and love to you!!!!!!!!

Von said...

You don't need to make excuses to anyone for not moving; it's your life and your decisions.

I'm sorry you're sad right now. Feel better soon.

Jen said...

JENNIFER - I think a return to Central Cali is long overdue, my friend. :)

MOTHERSLITTLEHELPER - Your time for love is now...mine will come. Right now, my world has to be all about the short people. Sometimes it really stinks being a grown up. This is definitely one of those times. xoxo

ANDREA - Thank you, Girly! :)

JAIME - Love and hugs to you, my Canadian sister. xoxo

VON - Thank you so much. :)

Laura said...

Damn. I love your snarkey blog. But also loved the wistful I'm in love part. Hang in there honey. Better to have loved and... oh who am I fucking kidding. This blows.

But I will add to the other comments that say at least no one screwed up and at least you're still friends and you never know when things might change... look how fast you ended up here...

and to your friend who thought she was PG at 39... had the same experience at 42. Was sooooo happy when the OB said menopause I nearly kissed her!

Being the grown up SUCKS! We're here to make you laugh.

Laura said...

Like your give me your "worst" date... you could do a give me your most jacked up holiday and/or family story. I have some that would make you say... Ho.Ly.Fuck. My life isn't so bad. Had one just today. Clearly a moment to stare at the sky and say Why? Really? Why did you bless me with this steaming hot shit pile mess.

Deck the Halls. Can't wait for God Damned Christmas.

Brett Minor said...

Red and I are doing the long distance thing and it SUCKS. Of course, it's a doable long distance. She is only about 200 miles away, so we at least have the opportunity to see each other every few weeks.

My plan is to move in her direction as soon as my daughter graduates high school. I will be finishing my Master's degree at the same time, so I will head to Indy to look for work. We will see where it goes from there.

Kirsten will just have to fend for herself at that point. That's what the 18 years of life training were for.

Gia said...

BOOOOOO I'm sorry. That's so sucky. Bleh. Ugh. Meh. BOOOOO.

QOE said...

I'm sorry to hear about you and Dylan. I'd like to recite to you a poem that helps me when I'm experiencing emotional angst.

Oh, she's a brick house.
She's mighty, mighty
Just letting it all hang out.

Yes, she's a brick house.
I like ladies who are stacked
And that's a fact.

She's a brick house.

I find greatest comfort when I imagine this being read by the Church Lady.
Also, thought of you whilst I was in Starbucks (or the Buck, as I'm wont to call it). I rarely give my own name (Dixie Sugarbaker, of the Savannah Sugarbaker is a fave)but my friends and I decided to go with a theme. We were Alvin, Simon and Theodore. HempHair McAsshat manning the register didn't bat an eyelash. To that, I say Boo Whore!

P.S. God, this is a long comment. Also, sorry about the excursion into Downton Abbey land a few sentences back.

mistyslaws said...

If ever a comment deserved a famous Jen e sais quoi ((slow clap)) it would truly be QOE's. Well played, my friend.

Jen said...

LAURA 1 - You crazy bloggy bitches can ALWAYS make me laugh! :) On a side note, where do I get some of that sweet menopause action? I'm kinda over this monthly shit.

LAURA 2 - Ooh! Jacked up holiday stories...I see a blog post in the future...

BRETT - You and Red are the greatest love story ever. I am in love with your love. xoxo And I think Kirsty will be just fine; she is the most mature, gracious, and exceptionally brilliant young person I've met in a loooooong time. You've done well, my friend.

GIA - Boo x 100. Boo squared. Boo to the infinite power.

QOE - Brick House is number 4 on my iPod playlist, I shit you not. There is so much poetic brilliance in your comment that I know not where to start except to simply reiterate what Misty said by saying ((s-l-o-w c-l-a-p)).

PS: I'm a comic book geek so at Starbuccos I generally give the names Sue Storm, Bobbi Morse, Lana Lang, or Natasha Romanoff. Huzzah!

MISTY - The Force is strong in QOE, young Jedi.

Erica Burns said...

wtf.. why have I never thought to give a funny made up name at a place that asks for it? Maybe, next time, I'll say my name is Stana Katic and see if it'll fly.. lmao..

I never get coffee in an all girl threesome, so Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor would never work

TheChickIsRight said...

Dag nabbit. I am so very sorry that things didn't end up working out between you and Dylan. I was totally pulling for you two.

I agree - being a responsible adult really sucks, stinks and blows all around. However, being able to look myself in the eye kinda makes up for it. Sometimes. Unfortunately, it doesn't take the pain away.

Laughter is the best and I have always believed that it is better than crying. So, laugh on, my dear - I will laugh with you. :-)

Valerie said...

I'm so sorry... I know it's hard to think now, but you never know what the future will bring. Whether it be more Dylan or someone even more spectacular. Just know this: Good things are headed your way.

How do I know? I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you... Thereby making good things NOT happen for you. So let's just say I know and call it a day.

Hugs to the power of infinity!


Laura said...

Jen... I swear I think about your break up possibly more than you do... I know I need a life, but mine sucks so there ya go.

I swear I recall him having a list of "shit" that went down at Thanksgiving in one of your previous posts... Like that was when he was told she was pregnant and he was stuck with her... his brother set the house on fire with a turkey deep fry experience...


Now he can add broke up with Jen to this right. Oh honey. I am really really sorry.