Local Woman Survives Dangerous Self-Pity Spiral

This is my first blog post in 4 months. A few people, especially Favorite Niece, have been asking for a post. Favorite Niece even offered up some fodder from her own life. For instance, she fainted this summer while eating a sandwich. She was completely sober, hydrated and well rested. The doctors never figured out why. The sandwich had bacon on it. There’s a post in there for sure, and I should have just handed the blog over to her for a while.

Depressed cat.

I didn’t write because I lost my sense of humor this summer around the two things I blog about most: food and love. Food poisoning and getting dumped, within the span of one month, will do that to a person.

I lost half of June to the food poisoning. It landed me in the ER, and caused me to miss a week of work. It left me weak, and actually quite anemic. It took me a month to feel strong and normal again, which was just in time for getting dumped mid-July. Luckily, my iron levels were approaching “normal” range by then, which the FDA recommends for single women my age who are at risk of experiencing a surprise break up.

In truth, I was neither surprised by or opposed to the end of the relationship. But I was disappointed that it came in the form of a monologue, instead of a discussion. There was no Q&A session offered. The “unilateral” approach he took (his word, not mine) left me stunned, and deeply hurt.

In short, my funny bone broke. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find one interesting or humorous thing to say about being a recently dumped, slightly lonely, never-married, plumpy 40 year old who doesn’t even have a college degree.

And that’s a level of self pity I prefer to spare you from. In fact, it is reserved strictly for my closest girlfriends, who allow it, though only briefly. We have an understanding about this, and have a routine in place for such occasions: Go ahead. Rant.Cry.Get it out. But don’t forget your punchline. It’s a nod to this scene, in When Harry Met Sally:

Mine is the college degree bit. Another girlfriend prefers to end her speeches with “And I’m a renter!” Ridiculous? Yes. But it’s a clever trick that breaks the spell. Without fail, the mandatory punchline sends us into giggle fits. It reminds us to laugh at ourselves. And laughter, of course, brings relief.

Despite the shaky start, I made a point to enjoy the rest of the summer. I took every Friday off in August to hit the beach, and the resulting tan was the best one I’ve had in years. And because it is unconscionable to let a summer in Newport go by without a Del’s on the beach, or a Tallulah’s taco at the The Shack, or a sunset drink on roof of the Vanderbilt, or a drunken kiss on the street with a stunning Brazilian man, I made sure to do all of these things, most more than once. (Okay, maybe that last one isn’t requisite, but come on?)

I’ve always loved the months of September and October the most here in RI. But I probably welcomed the new season with more enthusiasm than usual this year. I wasn’t sad to see that summer go. One day in September, life just felt easier again. It’s been mostly drama free since, and I know not than to take this for granted. We had an amazing Indian Summer, and I made sure to enjoy every warm, peaceful, sunny day I was given.

And now we’ve had our first snow, and next month brings us into winter, and I say bring it on! Sure, winters here can be rough. And, yes, I’m still a never-married, plumpy 40 year old without a college degree. But I’m no longer sad, or lonely. And my doctor says my iron levels are pretty good. I even feel a little inspired to write again. But if I can’t think of anything soon we should totally take Favorite Niece out for a BLT, cross our fingers, and hope she faints.*

More Food. Less Pain.

*My treat if she does!