The Breakup


I knew leaving Wyoming would feel like a very bad breakup, with me agonizing over what I could have done while looking back the whole way. What I didn’t know was that while I was breaking up with Wyoming, my cowboy would break up with me.

He opted to do it via email three days before I was due to leave Wyoming. Leaving Wyoming, in fact was about him in part and being closer to him and a relationship that had felt like it was moving steadily forward in love and commitment. Ironically, I was wrong. When I got the email upon arriving to my morning shift at work three days ago, I had already had a pit of doom in my stomach, almost sensing it coming for some reason.

While I won’t go into the particulars because they are all cliché and unimportant and along the lines of it’s not you it’s me, I did nonetheless have a smallish breakdown. The restaurant felt like it had suddenly tipped on its axis and so I stumbled into the bathroom and held onto the door. And all my thoughts went in a rapid-fire succession like this: you’re an idiot/he would break up with you when you are moving back across country to be closer to him/you’re turning 30 soon and this is a really nice cherry topper on the anxiety sundae that is your life/now you’re not just a loser ex-waitress and leaving Wyoming and a wanna-be-writer, you will also be bunking with your parents again (and your cats)/ did I mention you’re an absolute fuck-up loser?

I could feel tears and I saw the mascara instantly blackening my under-eye. I wiped them away and feeling very much near nausea, went to locate my boss and tell her something, anything, but that I just had to go. I couldn’t find her and I felt dangerously close to high-hysteria, so I found her assistant, told her I would be right back and ran home.

Upon rousing Kia, by whipping open her bedroom door and whispering, “he just broke up with me in an email,” I began to sob.

And I cried for the next two days straight.

I couldn’t write about it at first—technically I could have but I fear it would have been nothing but F-bombs and I know some of my readers don’t cotton to that (hi mom)—because I was so deranged with agony. Also I was angry. Really, really angry.

I wanted to be angry at the cowboy for the coldness I felt in being emailed that our relationship was over, but instead my anger was mostly directed at God. Just a few months prior I had sat down on the bathroom floor and cried—exasperated with my experience with men—petitioning God to only send me serious suitors from here on out. Ones who weren’t half-wits or assholes, or defamatory to God, or who liked ESPN more than they liked me. I pleaded with Him to simply not waste my time, because I was tired of the let-down.

And then voila! In walked the cowboy. As if hand-delivered by the Lord himself. A God-loving, horse owning, uninterested in sports watching, riot of a man who also seemed taken with me in the worst way. But I didn’t want to believe it, you see? I almost refused to believe it. He was too handsome. He was too funny. He knew how to build things with his hands and he sent me love letters and he made me feel cherished and oh so beautiful. And he was insistent. I was nervous that he wasn’t real and that I would have my heart pulverized again and I voiced as much. I said I was scared. I had been burned before. I told him I didn’t want to believe that something so good could happen to me.

But when he invariably convinced me anyway, convinced me that he wouldn’t be cavalier with my heart, that I was unlike any girl before, that I was worth loving and would continue to be worth loving, I let down my guard and let him in because he seemed steadfast and true. I went full hog into the perilous waters of love.

When he sent me a Christmas card that said all the beautiful things that I had ever wanted said to me, things that in only two months time, I had never heard in a year and a half with my ex, I cried on the couch and told my sisters I couldn’t believe I’d found the kind of love I had always looked for and didn’t think I deserved.

So when three days before my move, he told me he’d let me down, and though I was perfect and he loved me, he couldn’t do it, he just couldn’t, I naturally put all the blame on God. You did this God, I wanted to snarl and shake my fist (except I would never shake my fist at God—that seems disrespectful even in worst-case scenarios). I was hot with anger and rage, where normally the first thing I do during a break-up is hunker down with God, like I’m British and blue and he’s my hot cup of tea.

It was different this time. My anger was there and beside it was guilt. I couldn’t be angry at God, though I wanted to because it was all His fault for getting me in this mess in the first place. But anger directed at God felt foreign to me and unacceptable and so I settled on disgruntled. I told God I was disgruntled with Him. But all day the anger persisted anyway, hot and pulsing beneath the surface, refusing to leave me. Until finally I confessed to my other sister over the phone that I felt so angry at God for letting this happen when there was no point. I had already had ample heartbreaks and why did I need another especially when all felt so right? I pointed out in an epiphany that maybe if I could be mad from time to time at my brothers and sisters and mom and dad and even my ex-cowboy, that perhaps I was allowed a little anger at God.

She told me it was okay to be angry at God.

And so I stopped saying disgruntled and got mad. I am so angry with you, God! I said over and over and over again. I felt like a petulant child kicking rocks when their parents said to come in for dinner and they wanted to still play. I knew God was being patient with me because He knows my heart, and He knew full well I’d come around but if I needed to be mad at Him he could take it.

In the midst of my anger and crying I attempted to do that whole pick myself up by the bootstraps bit, but unfortunately I was utterly consumed with my anger and fresh rounds of tears and that took up all of my mental space. Also the tears were like the flu. Purge and feel better. Get nauseated with the sadness and compulsion to sob again while feeling surprised because I thought I’d got it all out on the last purge and so I’d purge again. And again. And again.

My darling sister Kia tried to console me on the first day by taking me for pizza and a movie to distract from my pitiful state. I had no appetite and could barely choke down bites. Then she took me to see Joy, which seems un-aptly named for a post-breakup flick, but despite the heroine’s pluck and overall success the film did depress me a great deal anyway. Holding back tears for two hours in public however, led to my immediately exiting the movie and crying again in the parking lot.

My sisters even had the decency to cry with and for me. When I had first burst into Kia’s room to tell her the news, she saw my shoulders hunched and my face dipping down between my knees for breath, because I was crying like a just-gunned-down banshee, she too began to bawl and later told me that during my shift (the one she offered to cover so I could stay home and be a psychotic sad sack) she had to take repeated bathroom breaks to cry herself. Kirst confessed that she sobbed while doing the dishes later that morning and tried to rationalize things with God, telling Him I didn’t need this.

I betchya don’t have sisters that feel your hurts as keenly as you do. Or if you are broken up with feel as if they too have been broken up with. And if you do have those kind sisters, consider yourself one lucky fool, because that my dears, is love of the finest quality and caliber. I may not have won the man lottery, but I definitely won the sister lottery.

But here’s the thing. The two days post-breakup came and went and while I cried because of the break-up and then cried for Wyoming and the thought of leaving her and cried because I assumed I was a fuck-wit and cried also because I assumed I was a fuck-wit who happened to be unlovable, I came back to myself and came back to God.

I hadn’t been able to see reason or have understanding for the why’s of heartbreak or why some people stay in your life and why some people leave, but because I am prone to happiness and not despair and prone to love for God and not anger, I came to this conclusion while sniveling my final little snivels the other night in bed:

I am lucky.

Yup. I said it.

If knowing what I know now, if I could ask God to have gone back and intervened and given the cowboy’s table to someone else or prevented me from knowing him, I wouldn’t do it. I would start over and do it all again.

And not that bullshit that it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. I hate that phrase, because the losing really reeks, folks. I mean, it is truly rank. No. It’s that with the cowboy I felt more love in three months’ time and experienced more of the kind of things I had searched for in every other relationship and had never found. And if I got three months with a man who made me laugh so hard I cried, and took me flying and wrote me love letters and sent me heart-shaped things, and made me feel more beautiful than all of the Kardashian girls combined, well then by golly it’s a start.

And my mom, God love her, said the best thing. She said, “but Cassandra, your boyfriends are getting better each time! Like significantly better. Your next one is going to be AMAZING!”

I like her logic, though I gotta say I want to go back to simply dating the mountains and my cats. Eh, you’ll have that.

Underwear Woes


I am neurotic. I like my things organized and color-coated and everything down to a paper clip to have a home. So naturally I fold my underwear and then stack them neatly on top of all the underwear I hate and loathe entirely but keep around as back-up reserves in case. I like to never have to get to my reserves and I rarely do. But the other day it happened. I tore apart my underwear basket in a panic wondering where all my good Hanes were. Well they weren’t clean and freshly pressed in my underwear basket that was for sure.

As I located a girly floral lace pair reserved for when I have a boyfriend (beginning stages only) I stared in dismay and hatred at the flimsy cotton and lace combo. Is there anything worse than having to resort to your back-up underwear, I thought to myself. No. The answer was a resounding no. There isn’t a damn thing worse.

I put on the dreaded fancy underwear and went about my day.

Now that was a few days ago and I have since done laundry and re-washed all my beloved boyshort Hanes in solid colors with loads of fabric to cover every ounce of my fupa and then-some. Ah happy days are here again.

But today it hit me as I was looking over my underwear supply. It has gotten low somehow. I think some were lost. One pair was slipped off recently when I decided on a whim to take a dip in Lake Michigan on my way home to visit my parents. Still having a long drive to go I put the wet undies behind my seat. I then made the mistake of letting my dad borrow my car.

Here’s the thing about my dad. When I was young and not as hip as I am now, I used to have all sorts of useless shit in my car. I had a fur steering wheel cover, fuzzy dice (don’t you dare judge me) and to top it off all my stations were pre-set to gangsta rap—this was my only form of rebellion in high school, since I spent my free time babysitting and attempting to write romance novels (now you can judge me). When my dad would use my car, he took everything off, including my twelve dozen keychains, bringing it all in the house and leaving it on the counter. He also changed all my rap stations to conservative talk radio.

He did this every time.

Since then I have gotten rid of all things faux-fur related and no longer have pre-sets pertaining to 50 Cent. The last time my father drove my car however, he took my 26.2 and I love Mountains bumper stickers off. He claimed they fell off in the car wash. I knew better.

This time I noticed my usual pile of things Dad found in my car that he found to be unnecessary piled on the counter. But I also noticed that my wet underwear were missing from behind my seat. I knew my dad had done something with these because it pains him greatly to have anything in his car—or mine—besides George Jones CD’s and a large styrofoam cup of diet pop.

I didn’t want to be down one pair of my beloved boyshorts but I couldn’t bear to ask my father what he’d done with my overly large underwear that are made to look like mens boxers. I didn’t want him thinking they were a guys because umm yikes, I don’t want my dad thinking of that ever. But worse, I didn’t want him knowing that those were mine and truly they could easily be misconstrued as mens. I counted it as a loss and said nothing.

So the conundrum I had today was this, I am dangerously low on my Hanes boyshorts. I am also dangerously low on fundage. And Hanes used to offer these splendid underwear in three-packs, but now they can only be purchased in a two-pack, those sly bastards. When I found this out, I was in such a hot rage I almost wrote to them as I was already pained paying $9.99 for three pairs and now I would only get two?! Five dollars a piece for underwear? Who do you take me for, Hanes? A Kardashian?

I mean they really have me over a barrel here, because they are my favorite and I have never loved any underwear so much, but obviously if I am buying my underwear in a plastic package at Target I am not then going home to drink Cristal. I can barely afford coffee, man.

My point with all this ranting over underwear is this simple fact: When did buying a two-pack of Hanes become a luxury I can’t afford?