I once seriously wished I could snap my fingers and the “breakup conversation” with my then-boyfriend would be over.

You know, “over” without actually having to start it.

Maybe I could skip town, I thought. Maybe I could find a job in Alaska and then say I don’t do long-distance.

(I may or may not have gotten this idea from an episode of Friends where Chandler tells Janice he’s moving to Yemen because he was too chicken to break up with her.)

I wished I could just disappear, too.

But, like going to the dentist, breaking up with someone is one of the necessary pains of being an adult.

Man, if only I had balls like Daniel.

He dated my friend’s friend, Jane, for three years and broke up with her without telling her to her face.

He wrote her a note instead.

A “Dear Jane” letter, if you will, on the kitchen table next to the Sears catalog.

There was no real example or any elaboration.

In it, Daniel gave one reason: “We want different things.”

Then: “I won’t be there for the next three days, so you can move out.”

THEN: “And take the dog.”

Jane read the note front and back – twice – and called Daniel but his phone was off.

She found out later that Daniel had GOTTEN A HOTEL ROOM FOR THE NEXT THREE DAYS, taking a “see no evil” approach.

I can just imagine him closing his eyes and sticking his fingers in his ears while humming “LA LA LA” for the whole three days as Jane moved all of her things (and their dog) out of his house.


Like most toolbags, Daniel had blindsided her.

By all accounts, they were a happy couple and even planned their future together. He was 37 after all and seemingly ready to settle down.

He insisted she quit her job four months earlier so he could support her while she got her Pilates certification.

He insisted she decorate his whole house, top to bottom, making them a little love nest.
This was something Daniel also addressed in his breakup note:

“I will reimburse you for all the things you added to the house while we were together.”


And that’s how, Jane, with no real job to speak of and no family anywhere near her, had to move all of her things out of his house all by herself.

In three days.
A day for each year they were together.

To make matters worse, she moved in with the only friend that could take her:
Their neighbor.

The temporary quarters didn’t last long, but long enough for Jane to grow livid every time she turned down their street and parked on the opposite side of the road.

I think she should have gotten her own hotel room instead, a penthouse suite that allowed dogs and her random furniture to be moved in and charged it all to his account.

And only tell him in a note.


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