(Keep in mind many of these posts were written a while ago!)
It had been a really long time since I’d experienced pain like this: the pain of thinking I would be forever alone. I think the last time it hurt this much to get up in the morning was when the guy I was going to marry in college broke up with me (which seemed like an awful way to start our life together). It was horrible. I called friends at four o’clock in the morning asking them to come over to my room and listen to me talk about how much I missed him. I stopped eating, barely showered, chased people down in parking lots to cry in their cars (that’s not a joke, it’s really what I did). Men who hit on me in bars got to hear the whole story over White Russians and Marlboro 100s. (They were all very interested in pursuing me after that, as you could imagine.)
Eventually I missed him so much that I began hacking into his email. Daily. I checked it constantly, obsessively. Because, you know, that would bring us closer. Eventually I read an email he wrote to another girl. He told her he liked hanging out with her. He thought she was funny. That he had a fun time at WALMART with her. I went ape-shit. I flung my body onto the ground outside in hopes that SOMEONE would see this was not just a break-up: this was the actual apocalypse happening right here at Rollins College in 1999 on the steps of the theatre houses. This was DEATH. Because no one would ever measure up to this guy. The way he laid out my Subway subs on the dining room table before I got home. The way he looked into my eyes and told me I was the sexiest thing he’d ever seen before kissing me. The way he sang every love song on the radio to me in the car on our drives home from dinner and a movie. Never, ever, ever would anyone love me the way that he did, and I would be resigned to live life a spinster, starting at the age of 20.
It was death for a long time. Now, of course, I look back and think That couldn’t have been so bad, could it?! (My friends whose phones rang at four o’clock in the morning would beg to differ.) Eventually other boys showed interest and, while none of them laid out my Subway subs the right way, they did other things. Nice things that I liked in a new way. It wasn’t a “before you know it, I was just happy” sort of a thing. It was a long slog. But eventually, I did get happy again.
The biggest fear that comes with separation or any break-up is that no one will love you ever again. And if they do, it’ll be the wrong way or it will end in a horribly painful breakup and you’ll just want to stay single forever and maybe get cats. (For the record, I will NEVER get cats. It’s just an example.) It’s certainly my biggest fear.
“Oh, but Erin, you’re so outgoing. You’re charming. You’ve got so much going for you! You’ll find someone.”
Do me a favor…don’t ever say that to anyone. Ever. It doesn’t help. Because even if I am all of those things, I am also 32. And right now the only way I see to find love at 32 is on Match.com and I’m not paying $30 a month to get winked at. I’m just going to go to Target, pick up a rotisserie chicken, and come home to eat it straight out of the container while watching Sons of Anarchy and wishing Jax Teller would come over later because good lord that body. (For the record, did you know that Target rotisserie chickens come with handles RIGHT ON THE BOX so you can conveniently carry out your dinner-for-one and the whole world can see that you’re alone forever? Thanks, Target!)
It’s a vicious cycle of “I’ll be forever alone” mornings I can’t get out of bed and “I’ll be forever alone” Target rotisserie chickens. And if that isn’t bad enough, I started watching spoken word poetry. Like, a lot.