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Open Mike           November/December 2000 - January 2001

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Open Mike is a forum for readers on a specific topic that will change every one or two months. The forum includes Your Turn, an opportunity for readers to share anecdotes and opinions related to the chosen topic. Conversely editors and writers select the most interesting entries and post them the following month In This Corner!

For our readers who don't have time to write but want to share their opinions, Open Mike also features a Three-Minute Survey - not the typical, simplistic Internet poll, but a set of five questions related to the monthly topic. When the survey is completed, we will publish Survey Says: a brief article analyzing the results.
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In This Corner!

The Ouch of Breaking Up

During November and December of 2000, and January 2001, we invited readers to share some of their starkest break-up experiences in short-snippet answers to four questions. Not surprisingly (say our male editors), most of the respondents were women. Perhaps they have better stories to share, longer memories, or more painful experiences... who knows?

The anecdotes we publish below range from the expected to the hilarious; they are often sad and pathetic, sometimes freaky, or downright disturbing, cruel, and even morbid...

1) Give a brief description of what your most painful break-up did to you.

  • Howard: I couldn't sleep for weeks, I didn't have an appetite for food, the whole experience of the breakup made me want to never trust and love anyone again.

  • Belle: I became an "I can work anytime" retail workaholic, a non-writing writer, and I cried every night for a month.

  • Lisa: I lost my job, decided to take a drive, and ended up about a hundred miles out of town with no money, out of gas and fed up. Walked another twenty miles to a phone and realized if I could make it out of this alive I could make it without him.

  • Janet: I had a spiritual awakening because I woke up one day with complete acceptance, saying out loud, "he left me," and really believing it.

  • Cheryl: After drowning in my sorrows for a month or so, to show him - but not to get him back - I had a breast augmentation, started working out, and changed my hair style to something much more flattering.

  • Whitney: I moved 1,500 miles south to live in the sun, dyed my hair red to cover a new scar (don't ask), began to date both out of my species ("dogs and pigs") and now out of my race (Love whom God has placed in your path), and began to laugh like I used to as a little girl.

  • Peyton: I left my husband of seven years to be with someone that I met online. Now this guy isn't even with me anymore and I gave up everything for him.

  • Terri: I destroyed things when I found out he was living with another woman. Went to his place, slept with him in their bed, then called her and told her about it.

  • Jandro: I quit my job, exiled myself to South America, and wrote a sixteen page manifesto on the evils of womankind.

2) Give a brief description of your worst ex.

  • Howard: A very selfish woman who always thinks about her self before anyone else.

  • Belle: A self-centered child that was raised by schnauzers.

  • Peyton: A psychotic who pushed me out of a two-story hotel window, naked.

  • Leshia: A man that walks with the guarded intensity of a serial killer, keeps a blanket in the back seat of his car, and asks girls out before they know to stay away.

  • Jennifer: A twisted individual who was assuredly driven to madness by his English-neat-freak, warm-as-an-ice-cube mother who still folded his socks and made his bed when he was nineteen.

  • Whitney: A man who couldn't be faithful because his psychic told him his soulmate was a character on a science fiction TV series.

  • Jandro: She is a misguided, shallow soul facing rapid social decline. I would pity her if I didn't still love her.

3) Give a brief description of the wackiest thing (or most pathetic) thing you did after a break up.

  • Jennifer: My ex hated my first tattoo, so I got two beautiful sunflowers with an attentively buzzing bee tattooed along my bikini line. Oh yeah, MY initials adorn the centers of the flowers.

  • Lisa: I tore all our pictures (two years' worth of great, fun times) in half, leaving the ones with his face on his doorstep. I regret it now that we're married.

  • Stephanie: I begged and pleaded for him to come back home, went out with him and enticed him to have sex but he left anyway.

  • Anushka: I wrote a note to his new girlfriend on the refrigerator in red marker warning her to protect herself from his emotional cowardice.

  • Howard: I went through my old telephone numbers that I collected over the years and called up almost every girl possible so they would feel sorry for me.

  • Terri: I sent him a list of poems with Merry Christmas written on the envelope.

4) Give a brief description of the worst thing you did when breaking up with your ex (picked the worse moment, or said all the wrong things, or just plain messed it up).

  • Cheryl: I broke up with him and then had sex with his brother to prove I really meant it.

  • Jennifer: I covertly snuck over to "our" former residence and like a chicken-heart left him a folded "it's not you, it's me" letter written on the lined paper we used in high school. I found out later that his mother received and read it first.

  • Peyton: When he told me he wanted to break up I told him he wasn't good in bed, that I had cheated on him the whole time, that I never loved him and I called him some racial slurs. All lies just to hurt him.

  • Whitney: That dies with me.

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