The pink elephant stood there, just in my line of sight. He didn’t make eye contact with me, or I with him. But we each knew the other was there.

The pink elephant, also known as The Ex. Not the douchey one from late last year, but Frank, the one I dated for one year shortly after moving to Raleigh.

Gary at Landmark Tavern

Gary at Landmark Tavern

I’ve seen him now twice 0n two of my frequent recent visits to Landmark. The first of those marked the first I’d seen him since our September breakup.

That time, I was smurfin’ it with my buds in the back booth. That is, I was the only girl in a group of guys. I was sitting in the middle among them, which is a good way to be when your ex sees you at a bar. Not to be snobby, but hey, we all want to look good in front of the men who dumped us.

The awareness and awkwardness gave me a high feeling, like I had taken too many No-Doz, but otherwise, I was fine. I’m with a great guy now, and I’m happy. No repressed anger burbled to the surface. I bear no ill will toward Frank, but I didn’t feel compelled to walk up and start and friendly conversation.

The second time was the same thing. I knew he was there. He probably knew I was there, especially considering I had a conversation with his friend before he arrived. His friend even gave me the name of someone who could help me out professionally. Maybe I should just suck it up and talk to him? It’s not as if he was a total tool during our breakup. He was direct and honest about what he wanted (no marriage, no kids).

The only thing I could really think to say during a hypothetical stop-n-chat was, “I thought I got custody of this place.”

What are the breakup rules?  (more…)



A woman I know was spring cleaning the other day, getting organized and going through some of those pesky boxes we lug to different apartments but never actually open.

She yanked out one tattered tape-covered box and her heart sank a little.

It was the Ex-Box.

No gaming console here – it’s a cardboard carton full of the concrete reminders of how that Ex ripped your heart into tiny bits of cardboard once upon a time.

She didn’t open it, but continued her cleaning efforts. Now, she’s not sure what to do with it.

This box is specific to one Ex, one with whom she had an on-and-off again relationship for a few years. He’s the one she thought she might marry before mid-20s brought about more intelligent decisions and life changes. He’s the one who turned out to be the ultimate tool – a cheater.

She’s left with the life lessons learned, this box of mementos and a dilemma: throw it out or keep it?

She’s older, wiser and lives on Cloud 9 (I think that’s near Chicago in case you’re wondering) with the love of her life. Her point: Why bother keeping this reminder of one’s past when she has her future ahead of her? Throwing out the box could provide the same de-cluttering for her soul that it gives her apartment. (more…)

A friend forwarded this e-mail from her ex:tool_tool_114882_tns

I know this is out of the blue but you wouldn’t happen to know anyone with $5,707 to help me pay off my X-Terra to get it back from repossession would you.  I am grasping at straws here and am looking for any help I can find.  Do you have any liberal friends that happen to be millionaires and can spare the loot?  Any help would be appreciated…

OK, so I feel a tiny bit sorry for the guy because I don’t know him, but she says they dated for “like a minute,” that he was a loser and that she hasn’t heard from him in two years.

“To email me out of the blue like over 2 years after we dated for money- or from my friends??? That just takes major balls.”

Men to avoid: those in debt.

Share your tool stories – singlesuzanne@gmail.com.

Saw this on msn.com and I just started laughing: 0287_tns

Sure, guys are supposed to be the tougher sex, but when it comes to breaking up with a woman, we turn into serious wusses. Of course, we know the right thing would be to sit you down and say, “Listen, it’s over.” But no — instead, we pull passive-aggressive crap in the hopes that you’ll hate us so much, you’ll pull the plug first.

That’s EXACTLY what happened to me last time. Here is the full article, called “Four Signs He’s Over You,” which is from Cosmo, but reprinted by MSN.

It’s fitting, since I just posted about “dumping” my speed date guy and how I favor directness. Guys and gals — have you ever started acting weird to intentionally get someone to dump you?

I don’t believe in trash talking your ex (too much). That said, I must use this venue to quickly vent about one tiny thing.

He’s in love. Um, excuse me? I have an order for a ton of bricks for Suzanne Woodstock. WHAM!

I discovered this tonight and the reality of who this man is felt like a blow to the stomach. How could I be so dense to fall for someone who doesn’t realize what love is? He said those words to me within weeks and here he is in love again – about a month after our breakup?

Ok, done venting. I’ll try to avoid that in the future. I’ll also trying to avoid dating men who are clearly tools, thanks.

Sunday I had nothing to do. I originally had plans to watch the Super Bowl with some ladies. But after burning the candle at both ends for three nights in a row, my small bank account and big eye bags convinced me to stay in and lounge.

So I lay around bored, restless.

As I observed earlier this week, I had a busy weekend. Since becoming single, I’ve been scheduling more events than Live Nation. I keep telling myself this busy little bee act is part of re-discovering who I am and what I want out of life. It’s all about having fun and enjoying my freedom.

But Sunday I was thinking: I’m no bee; I’m an ostrich in a sandbox. When you’re with someone, life seems validated somehow. Even watching TV seems like a grand activity when you’re cuddling with your cutie instead of lying on the couch with nothing but a martini to keep you warm.

I don’t read fashion magazines, but I recently soaked myself in celebrity trash talk while soaking my pedis at the spa. I read an article in Vogue about Jennifer Aniston, who will turn 40 soon. Of course, the media makes a huge deal about her single status at that age – insert big eye roll here. She remarked that she doesn’t like “Sex in the City” because the characters are always man-obsessed, as if their whole lives are about finding the man, keeping the man, pleasing the man.

Those comments made a lot of sense to me. I’m Suzanne Woodstock and my happiness should not hinge on any “him”s.

While bored Sunday, I stumbled across a blog that my ex, Darren, has recently started. Ironic that we both decided to embark on such projects at about the same time, especially considering we both agree how much crap there is on the Internet.

I only read a little before I forced myself to stop. And I realized I miss him a little bit. Strong, single women are not supposed to admit such things, but there it was in front of me.

Of course my blog is a way for me to lessen the pain by finding some life lessons in love. And hell, I’m having fun with it. (Stayed tuned for some dating experiments.)

But I can’t alliterate to alleviate. Finding fun in singledom doesn’t mean happiness is a finger tippity-tap away.

Be I a bee or an ostrich, I’m learning all I can about me. That way, when the right guy does come along, I won’t need him to validate my lazy Sunday of TV watching.

I was so anxious I couldn’t even eat my dinner. My stomach was in knots. And I hadn’t even seen him yet.

I ran into Darren at a party last night. The event was hosted by mutual friends, and I suspected he might be there, hence my nervousness. I had not seen him since our breakup. Although I’ve felt solid about my single status these past few weeks, I am still the dumpee in this scenario, so forgive my moment of pathetic weakness.

I walked into the room — late, thanks to work — looking my best. There were more than 100 people at the party, so I didn’t see him at first. I mingled, I said hello to people I know. I talked to many men, including Adam, a mutual friend between Darren and I. Adam told me I looked fabulous, and later gave me the heads up about Darren’s presence at the party. And soon, there he was, standing near me.

I lifted my chin in a “hello.” He apparently didn’t think this was enough of a greeting, so I said, “Hello, how are you.” And then I went on my way.

I wasn’t shattered to see him, but I was glad he now stood behind me, so I could take a few deep breaths and slow my pounding heart. I ignored him the rest of the night, not even spying on him from afar. I’m proud of myself for that.

I won. Not that there’s a competition, but when it comes to our ex-boyfriends, who doesn’t want to come off the better, hotter and cooler person in a social situation?

Lest you think me shallow, I will say that I have not trash talked him since our breakup. I’ve been very reserved when it comes to dissing him, despite his disrespectful treatment of me.

Anyway, I met some new people and had a blast. I went out after to celebrate a Thursday night with my friends.

Whew! So I survived. And today, I’m back to eating. It’s good to know that despite my Nervous Nelly anxiousness, when it comes to the real deal, I can be strong and single.

How about you? How did your first “ex”-perience go?

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