Perhaps you would like some extremely lifelike, pox ridden robots to explain to you why you should refrain from blogging your break-up. Jennifer Wright and Ashley Cardiff are those pox robots (please pray for Ashley).
Jennifer: So. Blogging your recent break up? Good idea? Bad idea? Worst idea on the planet?
Ashley: Worst idea ever, but I’m a bad person to ask, probably.
Jennifer: Because of the leprosy? People need to see you’re beautiful on the inside!
Ashley: I’m even afraid of using the single/in a relationship status on Facebook
Jennifer: I think it’s a great leap of faith saying you’re in a relationship on Facebook. I actually think it’s rather sweet. But I think there’s a great difference between that -which is presumably for your friends – and writing posts about your break-up. As in, the two have nothing to do with each other, because the latter is for strangers. That said, we’re both pretty private. I mean, you are, by far, my best female friend. And we’ve been friends since college. Were the length of our friendship a child, it would be running around, scrawling perverse messages on bathroom walls, embarrassing us publicly. To what extent have we ever really discussed our break-ups, even amongst each other? Because I know more about the mechanics of these faceless bloggers than I do about yours.
Ashley: Wow. That’s an astonishing thing when you think about it. We both have so much dignity!
Jen: I KNOW!
Ashley: I would never go to my best friends for suffering, much less numberless strangers on the Internet
Jen: We’ve both done the “champagne for dinner” thing with each other, but, yes, it’s a largely silent event.
Ashley: This is really shocking, though. I’ve never thought about it this way. We never discuss the mechanics of our unhappiness, even in person.
Jen: I in no way think that means you are not totally supportive. Because you are. I just think… baby, we don’t talk of that. Like real aristocrats.
Ashley: This is very strange.
Jennifer: But let’s pretend we were people who liked to share that sort of thing more than we do. Blogging your break-up is still distasteful, right?
Ashley: I’m trying to figure out why I find it distasteful.
Jen: I mean, okay, I think many people like to discuss things in detail with their friends, and that’s great. But blogs. Those aren’t for your friends. Those aren’t for your super close friends. They are for everyone. They are for strangers you don’t even know yet. Honestly, I tend to google people before I date them. If I saw that they wrote 1,000 word posts about ways they’d been wronged by their ex, I would never go out with them. I’d assume they’d do the same to me if we broke up
Ashley: That’s just sensible. Also, blogging about your break-up seems self-indulgent right? But I don’t know if you can get legitimately pissed at people when they go to the Internet for catharsis in THIS DAY AND AGE. But does anyone come away from reading an embittered, angst-ridden, over-sharey break-up post and think, “Wow, that really inspires me?” To be what? Embittered? Whenever I come across one, I kind of just cringe. The way I do seeing, for example, diary entries I wrote as a teenager. So, I guess, who is the audience for break-up blog posts? Other recent break-up victims?
Jen: Ditto. I once wrote an article on a break-up, and now I read it and think, God, I was such a monster-shrew. I’m properly ashamed, though I at least did try to cast it in a funny light rather than a “feel my pain” light. I think the idea is that people will see you as a virtuous victim, and whining about things online means that will NEVER be the case.
Ashley: You’re always a monster shrew.
Jen: Thank you.
Ashley: Yes, right, but do people share their break-up angst under some bizarre impression that sharing their suffering is noble? I mean, I think maybe it’s the WASP in you and the self-loathing asshole in me that thinks one should suffer in anguished secrecy.
Jen: Good God, yes. But I think there’s something to be said for this as a “making people think well of you after a break-up” strategy. Remember Anne Boleyn?
Ashley: The chick with the head thing?
Jen: Yes. After Heny VIII dumped her she lost her head. But SHE DIDN’T LOSE HER HEAD. She has this great speech right before she gets beheaded where she implores everyone in attendence to pray for the health of Henry, because he’s the King of England. That’s the kind of post-break-up move that actually makes people think you’re a victim, and means Thomas Wyatt spends the rest of his life writing poems about how awful Henry is for killing you.
Jen: If she’d been like, “Henry VIII is such a jerk, I really wish I’d married someone else” (Which Henry’s 5th wife, Katherine Howard did, right before she was beheaded) Thomas Wyatt would have been like “wow, I am glad I did not hit that more frequently.” Who now remembers Katherine Howard?
Ashley: I mean, if there’s a kind of noble public suffering, it’s certainly that. That is righteous. Looking down the guillotine with your dignity intact is basically the opposite of sitting at your laptop sobbing into a handful of tiramisu while documenting it for the internet.
Jennifer: YES. So, our beheading speeches, all picked out. Great.
Jennifer: Why shouldn’t people be more like Anne Boleyn, Ashley? I don’t understand. In public, the only way to retain any dignity is to say good things about your ex. Weirdly, you actually have a little more leeway when you’re in a relationship. You can be like “it’s complicated because he’s busy/my work schedule is crazy/ he is always fucking my dog” and maybe people will have advice. But when it’s over? There’s nothing to be potentially gained from sharing. There’s no repairing it anymore. It’s done. All you can do is try to retain your tattered dignity. I know it seems like when everything has fallen apart anyway you might as well just let yourself go but “when the fall is all there is, it matters a great deal.”
Ashley: The best method of preserving your dignity in a break-up is to say nothing, until–when asked–you remark, “He was a superlative lover, a loyal friend, an excellent companion in all manner of activities, but a woman can only tolerate so much dog-fucking, and thusly I bid him adieu.”
Jennifer: I think, minus the dog fucking part. You have to tell people about the dog fucking with your eyes. Alternatively just sigh and say “Lassie misses him even more than I do.” Okay, so that’s the dignified way to handle things.
Ashley: Yes. Suffer quietly.
Jen: What would be the potential upside to blogging it all?
Ashley: A book deal?
Jennifer: That seems purposeless if it means destroying your dignity for a wider audience. The WASP in me still says suffer quietly and drink until it escalates into an angry 2:00 in the morning screaming-match with someone. Anyone. A hobo, probably. What do tortured assholes do?
Ashley: We do that, too, we just do it without that overdeveloped upper-class ennui. Also: punching. Fucking punching anything. You suffer languidly like a Sofia Coppola movie.
Jennifer: Your punches are more beautiful than anything in Lost in Translation. For they lose nothing in translation.
Ashley: Way less self-indulgent, too. Miraculously. So. Is there a benefit? No.
Jennifer: So, instead of blogging it, drinking, punching. Good talk.