Part 166: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Screenshot 2016-05-07 22.48.48

Have you ever really wanted to break up with someone (because he instigates earnest discussions about the situation in Palestine when you just want to watch Masterchef and paint your toenails in peace, talks over you after three pints, and once questioned your intelligence, when you failed to correctly identify the Russian flag from a list of 10 contenders), but then you fall asleep on the sofa and when you wake up he’s cleaned the kitchen, covered you in a blanket and put the kettle on, and you think: Hmm. You think: maybe I’m being too hasty. You think: can I really be bothered with the rigmarole of Tinder and OKCupid and bad first dates and good first dates followed by bad second dates and that thing where you think you’ve met someone, finally, but then he goes off the idea for no obvious reason and you have to say ‘no’ when all your friends ask ‘has he called yet?’ And so, instead of breaking up, you just carry blindly on, occasionally drafting — though never sending — half-hearted text messages in which you accuse him of ‘not giving a tiny little rabbit shit’ and demand he either sorts his life out or that’s it, you’re done?

Well, I’m currently in a similar dilemma with this blog. I keep wanting to end it. I keep half-composing hilarious final posts. But then I think of an amusing anecdote, or I get fucked over by a witless cad, or I bump into a friend of a friend who tells me how much they love my writing (no! I swear! It happened!) and I chicken out. I don’t want to return to anonymity. This blog has given me a public outlet for my bile and humiliation. It was the only one who was there for me when I couldn’t get over my ex-boyfriend. It helps me to laugh when I accidentally sleep with a bloke on the first date and the hormones turn me into a crazy desperate Glenn-Close-in-Fatal Attraction impersonator, and he never calls again. It won me an award that time and I got 500 new Twitter followers and my face in a glossy magazine. I can’t think of a single other thing that has given me as much pleasure, and I’m including reading, sex and cheese and onion crisps.

How do I finish a thing that has given so much and never asked for anything in return (unless you count the annual request to upgrade to WordPress Premium, which I have so far refused)? I thought I’d do it with a pithy story about the beautiful man who broke my heart earlier this year and an appeal to commissioning editors to just fucking buy the book already (I mean, really, you think there’s much better out there?). But I realised that was desperate, and, like all public displays of desperation, unwise. Then I thought about a final post where I told you how Gregg Wallace (the fat bald one off Masterchef) was probably great in bed (I need someone who is gonna see my boobs and go, ‘Phwoar! Mate! Those are knockout! I’m beside meself here!’ I think it would be good for my confidence). And now I don’t know.

Do I stay, or do I carry this thing on? It’s been four years. I am no longer the woman who started Reasons to be Single in many, many ways. I’m contented now, for example, and I’ve stopped watching re-runs of Sabrina the Teenage Witch on a daily basis (these two states of affairs might not be mutually exclusive). I genuinely no longer care that I’m single (although I am constantly baffled by how this is the case. I mean hello? Babe? Have you seen my boobs?), whereas I used to just pretend I didn’t care, for comic effect — and also, if I’m honest, to get back at my ex-boyfriend, who used to read my posts and send deranged jealous messages that made me zing with spiteful satisfaction.

I want to write about other things now. I’ve got lots of projects and writing this (well, mostly feeling guilty about not writing it) is getting in the way of doing them.

And yet, something is pulling at the threads of my heart: yes, it’s almost over. But not quite. So I’m going to go all out. I’ll end this thing as I started. A post a day. Until I get to 200. Starting next Saturday because I’m running a half-marathon tomorrow (you can sponsor me here, if you feel like offering remuneration for the years of content I’ve provided, free of charge) and I’ve got a lot on next week. And we’ll see where we go from there.

I told you, I’m shit at endings.

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