I was reading a magazine at the pedicure palace last month and it reviewed a whole bunch of self-help “breakup” books.
Some of the books were supposed to “heal your broken heart in 30 days”(money back guaranteed!!!) while others sternly broke the news that,“It’s not him, it’s YOU.”
The magazine critiqued each book on its premise and merits and then pulled a few enlightening sentences from each one: “Let go of your past. Live in the moment!” Or a more poignant, “Flush your ex down the toilet and move on.”
One sentence in particular stood out to me: “Whatever happens, remain calm. Reaction with retaliation shows an out-of-control person.”
I read that sentence five times.
While true, it’s probably the hardest piece of advice to follow, since most people ABSOLUTELY react with retaliation when they go through a breakup.
Retaliation feels really good when you feel wronged.
Some people might even write/submit a Toolbag Tuesday blog post as retaliation.
Um, moving on.
“Reaction with retaliation” can be a small gesture, like the guy who mailed me back my college graduation invitation with the return address as: “that guy.”
Others cause property damage by slashing tires. Or putting a dead baby shark under a house. (Clearly an out-of-control person.)
But, the story I heard yesterday wins as the most ridiculous “reaction with retaliation” story ever.
Paul and Jaime were married and seemingly happy. So happy, in fact, that they went on a vacation to Greece together. That kind of time and money for a vacation is a commitment!!
They arrived in Greece and they updated their Facebook pages so all their office cube friends could be jealous of them playing on stone streets, touring crumbling castles, eating fried cheese and drinking ouzo.
But apparently vacation wasn’t so fun for Paul and Jaime, although it did provide entertainment to all their Facebook friends.
Paul didn’t look happy in the photo. He looked mad. And the blood and scabs from the new ink was gross.
The tattoo covered his entire chest, from pectoral to pectoral, and the lettering and his facial expression resembled that of a gang member.
Facebook friends were confused. What’s with the tattoo and what does it say? It was too long to be fraternity letters.
And where was Jaime? A quick look on Jaime’s page….
“Jaime is no longer listed as being in a relationship with Paul.”
They broke up in Greece?? While on vacation???
I figured something terrible must have happened, because people are usually on their best behavior on vacation. I can’t imagine the breakup was premeditated.
(No one plans to dump someone at Disney World, for example.)
But, I get it, people break up all the time, no matter what hemisphere they’re in.
The trick, no matter what happens, is to remain calm. A reaction with retaliation shows an out-of-control person.
It didn’t take long for someone more worldly than me to decipher his chest tattoo. It was one sentence:
“Nothing lasts forever.”
…in Greek letters.
You know what DOES last forever? Tattoos.
No more ouzo for him.