breaking up is hard to do
by Michele Christopher

Michele and I were sitting in bed with when we both thought of things that really shouldn’t be talked about when you are in bed. This slot on FTTW was reserved for someone else who didn't get his story in on time, so we have decided to take a break from what we were doing and fill in the spot.

We decided to write about the worst break up stories we had had. Don't ask why this came up in bed. It just did.

These are ours.

Michele breaks a boy's heart:

This one goes back a way. Waaay back. We're talking edge of 1970's here. 11th grade. Catholic high school. We're gonna call this one:

Blame it on Toto

I date this guy named Bobby. He was a freshman and I took a lot of shit for that but, in my defense, the guy had the same name as a really famous hockey player for the Philadelphia Flyers and, being the uber hockey fan I was, I found that made him irresistable. clarke4.jpgYea, shallow. I know. I found out pretty quick that having the same name as one of the greastest centers ever is not quiet enough to sustain interest in a boy. I also found out pretty quick that Bobby was a bit...hmm...let's call it obsessive.

We were "going out" (that's what we called dating, or seeing each other or hooking up with back then) only about two days when Bobby came into school with a present for me. It was a t-shirt with glittering iron-letters that said Bobby loves Michele. Jesus H. Christ. Two days, dude. I'm not even sure I like you yet, let alone love you. Inside the box was also a single rose. Some might find that romantic. The fact that he proudly declared that he ripped the rose out of the Virgin Mary garden outside the school kind of took away the romanticism. Call me crazy, but knowing where that rose came from made me think that God was gonna kick my ass. Every rose has it's thorn, you know. This one looked like a pissed off God.

This is how things went with Bobby. He'd want to make out in the hallway between classes. I just wanted to get to biology on time so I didn't get marked with a cut. Again. He wanted a commitment to "forever" from me. I just wanted to get through Tuesday without regretting the decision to go out with him. He wanted me to end our phone calls with "I love you." Coincidentally, our calls always "disconnected" at that point.

This goes on for a while. See, it's not in my nature to hurt people. I couldn't break up with him because, well, because he told me he would kill himself if I did. So I was torn between lingering in this one sided relationship or being responsible for someone's death. Great. Yea, you might have chosen death. Not me. I'm Catholic. We have "martyr" monogrammed on our shirts at an early age. So I stuck with Bobby. I hated it. It was torture and I did everything I could to get him to hate me but the more I pushed him away, the closer he wanted to get.

December comes. My parents decide we are going to Florida for Christmas. Normally, I would throw a hissy fit about spending the winter holidays in a place where Santa needed shorts - because warm Christmases are wrong on every level - but I figured this was my way out of Bobby Hell. He had all these plans for us for the vacation. He'd go ballistic when he found out I was abandoning him for Florida. Maybe he'd even be upset enough to break up with me. But when I told him, he said "tell your parents you can't go." Excuse me? I'm 15. I'm gonna tell my parents what? "Tell them you are in love and you can't leave your boyfriend for that long a time. Tell them you want to stay with your grandma." Oh, fuck no. On all fronts. First, I'm not in love with you. Second, I'd throw myself in front of a train before staying with Grandma for ten days. Not happening, guy.

Ok, now he was pissed. I must not really love him if I won't do this for him. Geez, Einstein, you just figuring that out? All that empty space in the conversation after you say "i love you" didn't clue you in? The fact that i never wear that glittery shirt even though you kept begging me to? I know I sound really cruel here, but it wasn't like that. I wanted to like Bobby, I really did. He was cute. He had long hair. He played guitar. He always had a huge supply of weed. Plus, the hockey thing. He had a lot going for him. It's not my fault he was a stalker in training. And really, it's not my fault that I didn't have the heart to just cut it off with him. Blame him for laying the suicide guilt trip on me.

The day before the Florida trip he comes over. Begs me to stay home. I go over the facts with him again. I'm 15. I don't make the rules around here. I pretty much do what my parents tell me to. Plus, the whole "I need to stay home because my boyfriend told me to" thing just wasn't going to play out well with the 'rents. So I was Florida bound. Bobby was in tears. He played the suicide card. I played the "don't be such a melodramatic tool" card. Really, I had enough. I gave him my aunt's number in Florida and told him if he really missed me that much he could call. I'm such a sucker.

What happened next wasn't my fault, either. Blame it on Toto. It seems that there were only two radio station in all of Pompano Beach, Florida (what a hellhole of wasted, toothless people that town turned out to be) and both of them played Toto's "Hold the Line" about 80 times a day. I swear to you. That song was on all the time. Every store we went in. Every car we passed. Every home we went into. Hold the line. Love isn't always on time. It ate at me. Crawled into my brain and under my skin. It played in my head when I tried to sleep at night. It was everywhere. I couldn't get away. I woke up on Christmas morning and it was 80 degrees and I missed the snow and cold and New York in general and the first thing I heard was Toto coming from the living room. It was too much. I was going to snap. It would take only one little thing to make me lose it.

"Michele, phone." My aunt hands me the phone. It's Bobby. "I have a Christmas present for you." He asks me to hold on while he gets his guitar. He's gonna play a song for me. He gets back to the phone. Starts strumming.

Jesus fucking christ on a birthday cake.

He's playing "Hold the Line." Singing. I snap.Toto.jpg

Bobby. Bobby. BOBBY STOP PLAYING PLEASE. That's it. I'm done. I can't take it. I don't love you, I don't think I even like you. In fact, right now I hate you. I. Am. Done. With. You.

"Are you breaking up with me?"
"Good call, Einstein." Yea, that was my pet name for him.
"I told you what I would do if you broke up with me."
"Whatever. Blame Toto."
"Nevermind." Click.

I told you I was a step away from losing it.

We get back to school after New Year's and the place is buzzing. Everyone is looking at me. Word is getting around. Bobby isn't in school. And you know why? Because he tried to kill himself over Christmas break. And everyone is looking at me. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I didn't think he would really go through with it. Or try to go through with it. I felt bad. Almost bad enough to go see Father John and confess the whole sordid thing to him and ask for forgivness and maybe for God to smite Toto. Just a little. But as the day went on, I discovered more people were sympathizing with me than him. Should that have made me feel better? Not sure. But it did. I was 15.

Bobby came back to school the next day. I saw him in the lobby first thing in the morning. What the fuck? Why is he all red like that? What's wrong with him?

By noon word had gotten around. Yea, Bobby tried to kill himself alright. By laying under the sunlamp in his parent's bathroom for five hours. He thought he could burn himself to death. Or something like that. A sun lamp? Holy hell, man. If you are gonna kill yourself to spite me, at least make it something dramatic. Oversdose on acid. Jump off the roof of the school during a football game. Bring a toaster into the bathtub. But a 60 watt sunlamp?

Nice move, Einstein.

[post note: many years later, Bobby's name crossed my desk at work. If you don't know, I work in a courthouse. After looking at his rap sheet and noting all the domestic abuse arrests, I let go of the residual guilt I felt over breaking his heart] -M

Tutle gets shown the door

It's not really big surprise that I hung around with seedy girls when i was a kid.
It's what we all did. Dope, cocaine, beer. Everyone did it. My girlfriend at time was a stripper, but not really a stripper, if you know what I mean. Working her way thru college with her friends. Stayed away from all the drugs stuff and prostitution stuff while making tons of the cash. It was a go gig. Stay home, do drugs, never have her home at night. Her friends always on trips with her in tow.

One time she came home to find some unmentionables on the kitchen counter table. I had some quick talking to do. She believed. Believed that? But by the end, she was still with me. Believe that?

ISOMETRIC.JPGHer friends had to go on a cruise and they decided that it would be funny to take about 100 pictures of her naked and in lingerie and hide them over the house for me to find as the weekend went on. Little reminder of her for a nice memory while she was gone. It was really kinda cool, but it didn't matter. When she was gone, I scored a case of king cobra, an 8 ball of cocaine and a fifth of vodka. I locked the door and lost my mind. My mind was shot and I slowly took off my clothes as her cats stared at me looking angrier and angrier. They hated me. The drugs were taking affect. Anyone that had dope, I invited them over. Speed, smack. Junking John Belushi style.

I finally passed out on the couch. The cats, who had been eyeing me the entire time, took advantage of me. For three days they shit on me while I slept in it. Four cats. Me, naked, rolling around thinking I had on more day to sober up befor shs came home.

The door opened.

This isn't tusday? Are sure?

It was her.

With her friends. Standing up from the sofa with pils of beers cans and cigarette butts crushed out of her floor.

coo30205.jpg In shock and awe, they dragged my naked, cat shit on body down and out the door. They kicked me down on the streets to wander to my friend’s house three blocks away. Try walking cit covered in shit an naked.

We never talked again.

And I never found those pics of her, or they would be on the internet. -T

So those are our worst break up stories. Kind of a weird thing for us to be talking about, but that's how we roll around here. I just like saying that. That's how we roll.

We know you have at least one stroy to tell us. What is it?

We're gonna get back to what we were doing before this break. Which was kind of the opposite of breaking up.

And thanks again to thefinn for doing a kick ass job of getting all these posts out here and also to our guest writers.


My first girlfriend broke up with me by saying she had mono and so our chemistry must not have been right. Jesus.


Ha! I knew you two couldn't stay away. ;)

I could go into an elaborate version of my worst breakup story, but I won't. During the summer after high school graduation, I fell for this half-Japanese girl who was an old friend of a friend of mine. We dated pretty seriously for a while and suddenly, I couldn't find her for nearly two days straight.

Turns out that she and my best friend had hit it off. Really hit it off.

I don't know what I should have done, but I did wind up forgiving them. And that's probably the best thing, they've been married for nearly 14 years now.


none of my breakups were good... mostly because they took the form of

"oh, well, i'm dating this guy now... no one told you? darn. well... sorry."


That would be when my buddie called to congratulate me on getting engaged to my college girlfriend.

Only I hadn't.

She had gotten engaged to some dude who worked for her dad. Never had the courage to just break up with me.

I called her, and started with "So, got any news?" She says, "I meant to tell you, but I didn't want to hurt you."

"So you figured it would be less painful if my best friend just called me out of the blue and told me the woman I loved was getting married to someone else? Yeah, I can understand THAT reasoning. Care to explain that?"

No, I got *a letter*.

I wish I could say she's a thrice-divorced alchoholic hag working nights as a housekeeper in a hourly-rental motel to pay for her kid's drug rehab. But I think she's actually still married to that guy. After all these years, I know NOW that I was in no way ready to get married back then, what, 23 years ago? But at the time, I was CRUSHED.

Thank GOD for Husker Du.

I actually do hope she's happy.

But, it still hurts to this day.


Her name was Laura.


my first 'girlfriend' was with a girl who was only living in my town during the summer and then she would go back to her hometown in the fall for school.

After she went back I sent her a cassette copy of 'Who's Next' my fav album at the time. She sent it back. That's when I knew it was over. Damn. Love Stinks (yeah, yeah).


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