Hell is Other People: How to Dump Your Valentine

SO THIS ONE TIME I WAS DUMPED ON MY BIRTHDAY WHEN I WAS ACCIDENTALLY DRUNK ON ALBANIAN MOONSHINE. It was my thirtieth birthday. I was wearing a green velvet dress. Maybe I thought I was drinking an entire bottle of funky tasting Perrier, and maybe that would have made me pretty wasted by the time I started in on the Perrier-not-Perrier, I will allow. But yeah, so the night didn’t end up so great–though about what you’d expect.

I cabbed home and puked like clockwork until morning. My golden retriever, Lola, followed me each time I hauled myself between the bathroom and the bed, and she looked at me with a lot of raised-eyebrow concern. She was a sweet dog.

Dude called me late the next day to say maybe he shouldn’t have dumped me. I was soaking the moonshine out of my skin in a tiny bathtub when he called. I almost didn’t answer, but then I did. And I was like, nah, that was def the right decision. You don’t take back a dude who dumps you on your birthday is my motto.

But there was no getting around the fact that getting dumped on my birthday was lame. And the hangover lasted longer than hangovers last because of that. It’s a shameful situation to be in, dumped and sitting in a rancid bath of the remains of your thirtieth birthday.

I mean, there’s wars and famine and that weird disease that rots your brain and makes you laugh while you’re dying, and mentally-handicapped conjoined twins, who, even if maybe they’re telepathic have to walk around their whole lives hobbled and patient and waiting for their sibling to tag along and they have to say things like “it’s so great because I always have my best friend with me.”

But still.

Lucky for all of us, birthday dumps are less the norm, turns out, but looks like a huge percentage of you all break up with your insignificants on V-Day. Nothing like a love holiday to pull the plug on a mediocre entanglement. So here’s a quick and easy guide to getting it right today, on this day of all things sugar and spice and bright underpinnings and helium balloons. More in the spirit of playing with a scab than ripping the Band-aid off, maybe. But WTF. It’ll do.

Level 1: Beginner – The Bitter-Sweet Candy

It always takes me a few goes to get a breakup right. If, like me, you’re a tentative dumper, and you just want to get the message out there without all the tears of actually going through with it, then try sending a box of breakup candies.

This is also good if you’re worried you’re still too on the fence and that you might change your mind. With these candies, you can just say you were being ironic. Or you got confused because you saw they were heart-shaped. Bitter candies are available in dysfunctional, dumped, and dejected.

Level 2: Intermediate – The STI Toy

These stuffed toy diseases are great sort of the way that baby dolls are: Dolls help children deal with idea of real babies, and likewise a stuffed STI helps your insignificant other get cozy with a surprise visitor, say HPV or herpes, in a non-threatening way. Takes the dis out of disease. Awwww.

Level 3: Advanced – The Prank

Send your sweetheart the classic prankster gift: A bouquet of dead roses or a smelly fish. Not funny enough? Then try the spoof envelope, the ideal packaging to send to your one and only on the passive agressive day you hope she dumps you. Baby it was a joke! Your bad, so sad. Not.

Level 4: Hardcore – The Pestilence

Who wants a box of Turtles when you can get a vile of mail order crabs instead? It’s so great because you don’t actually have to sleep around until you catch something to get your hands on these little guys. You can just order the crabs online, toss them about in the right regions of your cupcake’s pubis (remember not to hang out there yourself) and ta-da! Your partner thinks you’ve been unfaithful, and poof, you are rid of your problems and free to listen to breakup music all fucking night if you want to. Meanwhile what are they doing? Scratching. Scratching themselves raw.


Related on The Smoking Jacket:
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Illustrations: Break-up Cards previously published in Branch.