dear ex, thank you, love me (an introduction)

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so this has to be the scary thing i do for the day because i’m about to give you a sampling of a project i’ve spent the last nine months or so pouring over (GULP), so obviously it’s quite close to my heart. and though it’s still very much a work in progress (kind of like me in general), little by little i feel good about the direction that it’s going. and i can only hope that this collection of stories about/and letters to ghosts of boyfriends past is received in the manner of which i had intended; that it is not just an airing of dirty laundry, but rather, anecdotes expressing my sincere gratitude to the gents who have aided me in my growth both in and out of the confines of romantic love. so try to keep that in mind as you think about what this book might entail, please? also, i’m stalling, can you tell?

okay, for real. here goes nothing. riiippppp (that’s the band-aid coming off in one fail swoop).

Dear Ex, Thank you. Love, Me.
Letters of gratitude to my ex-boyfriends, former first dates, and everyone in-between.

The way I see it, you have two options when it comes to coping with a break-up. You can choose to be hateful; leaving a path of shattered picture frames and half-eaten pints of Ben & Jerry’s in your wrath, or you can elect a more civilized route, I mean, have your moments of mourning, but somewhere along the way, turn that frown upside down and come to a place of gratitude. Easy math may have it look something like this = grateful > hateful. Because I have found that hating someone or something really is quite exhausting (plus it totally leads to frown lines), so to save myself the sanity and money for Botox, I have chosen to take on the whole “being grateful” approach instead. Mostly for the fact that, every long lost road, led me to where you are, lovers who broke my heart, they were like northern stars, leading me on my way, into your loving arms, yes I know it’s true, that God blessed the broken road, that lead me straight to you.

Right now you may be thinking, wait, I think I’ve heard that before. And you would be correct, I just did in fact quote Rascal Flatts’ hit “God Bless the Broken Road.” Because whatever your opinion on country music is, you can’t deny the fact that there is some mad truth behind those lyrics. Whether you choose to admit it or not, the men (or if you are a man reading this, first of all, you’ve probably just stumbled across this in your girlfriend’s apartment instead of actually purchasing it for yourself, and you know what, I don’t even care, the fact that you’re reading it right now makes me extremely happy, but yes, if you are a man, you can substitute “women” here) from your past, no matter how brief the courtship, have certainly laid the groundwork for the future Mr. (again, or Mrs.) to come along and sweep you off of your feet. And if you’re not really one of those girls who cares to be swept, then well, I’m not sure what your problem is, sure overly-saccharine romance is a bit trite, but you cannot sit here and tell me that you wouldn’t for at least a hot minute entertain the idea of being the Cinderella to his Prince Charming, I mean if only for the fabulous footwear.

But oh do I ever digress.

Anyway, it is this attitude that has led me to believe that if given the opportunity, I would actually thank those men of my past –to even go as far as to take the time to scribble down on a piece of decorative stationery my brief thoughts of gratitude to be sent to their personal mailboxes. But because I can’t seem to locate any of their addresses, I figured including them in a succinct book for them to purchase on Amazon or download to their Kindle would be the next best thing. Plus, it would save me like a ton of money in stamps.

Dear Ex,
Thank you for making the decision to walk away easier than most. The next guy thanks you, too.

Thank you for having really awesome girlfriends who eventually became my really awesome girlfriends. And yes, there are a few I still keep in contact with. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Thank you for introducing me to sushi, it’s delicious.

Thank you for letting me borrow (steal) your sweat pants. They were about eight sizes too big but I loved them anyway. (and no you cannot have them back).

Thank you for a really great “this one time” (no, not at band camp) story.

Thank you for teaching me the definition of DTR (defining the relationship) and then promptly avoiding the issue entirely.

Thank you for making me appreciate good grammar. Also, it’s you’re, not your.

Thank you for the Tim McGraw concert tickets.

And for the John Mayer concert tickets, too.

Thank you for showing the three day rule who’s boss.

Thank you for not giving me that left-handed bling to me, but to a few of my college sorority sisters and roommates instead. Thanks to you, I am a few dresses closer to giving Katherine Heigl a run for her money.

Thank you for sharing in my love for frozen yogurt and ketchup (no, not together).

Thank you for loving my momma, sometimes I think she liked you best.

Thank you for telling me I’m beautiful, even without a stitch of makeup on.

Thank you for cheating on me (I’m actually serious). Because it was exactly what I needed in order to fully grasp what I truly deserve in my future mate –here’s a hint, it’s called “fidelity.”

Thank you for always being a gentleman (you southerners must have it ingrained in you).

Thank you for reminding me that there’s more to life that always “playing it safe.”

Thank you for teaching me the lesson that sometimes holding onto a dream really is a fruitless endeavor and thank you for allowing me to grow into a woman who knows she simply deserves more than the occasional phone call and late night make-out session.

And finally, thank you for giving me some really great life material to turn into a book. Because I’ve always wanted to try my hand at this whole “novel-writing” thing, but was never sure what to exactly to write about. But they (who is “they” anyway? the supposed “experts?”) say you should write about what you know and well, I seem to be well-schooled in how to not find love and how to actually be okay with being single. So that’s what I’m going to do (actually, that’s what I’ve already done).

But back to my point, in all seriousness, to every ex-boyfriend, former first date and all of you who fell somewhere in between, thanks a bunch, dudes. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.

  • Nicole
    August 7, 2012

    I am so proud of you and happy that you are making your dreams come true (if only we all had the guts) however I need to point out that there is one big problem with this, it makes me want to keep reading and you haven’t finished the book yet!!!!!!

  • Rachel Johnson
    August 14, 2012

    LOVE, obviously. Thank you for sharing!

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