What Not to Do with a Heart

Imagine that you like someone in a big way. Your pulse won’t stop bouncing around. Your mouth goes dry. You feel like your heart is trying to extract itself from your chest. You smile when the other person is around. You try to be witty. Basically, this person makes you do the Happy. (Buffy-esque phrasing, for the win.)

You do this mad, bad tango flirting thing. You think it’s going somewhere, because it seems like it is. This other person matches you stride for stride, intention for intention, then at some point asks for your number. BAM! You feel like you hit the romantic lottery. You practically skip down the street, barely feeling your own feet. You grin like a moron. You sing uncontrollably. You’re totally done for, seduced by the total glee that is adoration and attraction. Awesome, right?

Now, imagine that you discover that this person you’re head-over-heels for is simply fucking with you. Imagine that it’s just a cruel joke caught somewhere between emotionally deficient toddler and emotionally stunted high school student.

You know what that equals? You, standing there in the middle of prom, doused in pig’s blood. Congratulations, asshats of the world, you’ve just taken someone’s heart – smashed it without mercy or provocation – and turned someone’s hopes into a special circle in hell. This kind of emotional manipulation is a supremely shitty level of craptastic. Now, you can argue that adults don’t behave like this, that after high school people mature. But the fun fact is that some don’t. Some people get their sadistic jollies by hurting others, by tossing hearts into blenders and unceremoniously hitting FRAPPE.

Twice in the past 24 hours I’ve heard stories like this. I’ve heard accounts, one from a very dear friend, of such ninny-headed cruelty that I would like to SMASH things. Because life and love are difficult enough, without idiots mucking up the already hard-to-decipher, challenging-to-navigate waters. Love and dating? They’re not easy. They’re not math equations with a right answer. And, you know, it’s not always easy to put yourself out there. In fact, it never is. Doing so is always an act of courage. It should be respected as such.

But screwing with someone’s heart for sport? Oh, sweetie, that’s cowardice and meanness in its rawest, most craven form. And anyone who dares to conduct themselves in such a manner is a troglodyte asshat of the lowest order of mortals. One that should be tossed into the Bog of Eternal stench, before being fed to the Great Pit of Carkoon.

You know what happens to someone who is dealt with so horribly? It hurts. It hurts beyond the telling of it. It undermines a person’s emotional strength. It makes them questions themselves, thinking “How could I have been so stupid? Was it me? Was it something I did?”

Right now, if that’s you? Let me answer: you are not the stupid one. It isn’t you. You opened yourself up, which is brave. It is a thing of hope. That other person doesn’t deserve you, because he/she is has the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone.

The best advice I can give is this: feel the pain, dance, sing, drink wine, and eat chocolate. Then go out there and let that person know they didn’t win. Smile big. Or tell them off. Whatever feels right. Because you are awesome. Because you care. Because you can care, whereas that other person’s heart is made of rocks and emptiness. At some point, that hollowness will be all that person has. But you? You’ll always be made of heart and strength. Remember that.

If all else fails, point me in the direction of the offending jerk, and I will promise to verbally eviscerate them for crimes against humanity.

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  1. Liz
    August 28, 2012 at 10:14 am

    You’re so awesome. Well said. I’ve had this done to me recently too. Twice. Must be the season. As always, your excellent words strike gold.

    • August 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Liz, you made my day, chica. Thank you. Also, *cracks knuckles* point me in the direction of those who did that to you. 😉

  2. August 28, 2012 at 10:17 am

    OOOO, this makes me so mad! Big hugs for posting it. I wish I could say this will help but I kinda feel once an asshat, always an asshat.

    • August 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Makes me mad, too, Patty! And yes, once an asshat–always an asshat! But I hope this helps the people who are mistreated.

  3. August 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I’ve had people say, “No, but thank you for asking.” I’ve had people say, “No, but let’s be good friends.” I’ve had people say, “I wish you’d told me sooner,” after the opportunity had come and gone.

    And the yeses: the Obvious But Unsaid, the How Can He Treat You That Way, the I’ve Always Loved You, the Let’s Have One Beautiful Physical Day And Never Again, and the best one: I Actually Do Not Hate You, No, Really, I Actually Very Much Do Not Hate You At All (which I’m still with, and will be with until I die).

    I’ve never had anything so cruel as a No disguised as a Yes for sport. I’ve never met anyone so damaged, so emotionally selfish, so absolutely childishly STUPID, as that. I like to think I’d treat it as a No, and be relieved that I found out what a douchebag this person is before we started dating — but I don’t know anyone who can do an emotional 180 like that.

    Your friends are strong because they can get up in the morning. They’re strong because they can tell you about this. Everything they do that doesn’t affirm these assholes is strong, because humans are social creatures, and when this happens to you I think maybe your entire world changes a little for the worse, maybe permanently.

    I hope not. I hope your friends repair their sense of self so well that they know emotionally how strong they are, and that they were strong for loving.

    • August 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      I love you entire comment so, so much. You are right: my friends are strong. They are awesome. And I have a feeling sense of self will be restored. It just takes time. Thank you so very much for taking the time to read and comment. I’m so glad that you did!!

  4. August 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    A well-placed front kick works too.

  5. August 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I’ve said this before, but remind me not to piss you off.

    • August 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      I am slow to anger, except in the defense of others. The, Ali SMASH. 😉 Thanks for commenting, Jim!

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