Cheerios practice today was rather uneventful to start, if you call Pop Tart Tuesday uneventful, and Saucy would not. In fact, Pop Tart Tuesday is a time-honoured tradition wherein Saucy has decided that on the last Tuesday of the month Saucy feeds the Cheerios a hot Pop Tart with a cold glass of milk at the start of practice. This involves Saucy loading up her kitchen toaster, toasting the Pop Tarts while the mats are being unrolled by Cheerios and serving them hot from the appliance - right in the gymnasium - on a paper towel.
And so, Pop Tart Tuesday began in such a way that things were almost normal. Normal, as in, Saucy was screeching through the megaphone:
"You think that was hard? Try toasting twenty-two Pop Tarts with a double slice toaster in a school gymnasium, that's hard!"
And so it went. Until Pop Tart Tuesday came to a grinding halt with a half hour left on the clock. One of the Cheerios, and Saucy will call her Roxy, because if you knew her surely you would agree that Roxy was the perfect blog handle for her - got a cryptic text message. From her boyfriend.
Uh-huh. You heard it. Roxy's boyfriend, who shall remain nameless - but if Saucy were to give him a blog handle surely it would be - Chicken Boy - broke up with her via instant message.
What is this, Saucy pondered, as Roxy's eyes glazed all watery and she was comforted by sixteen pairs of loving arms. What is this world coming to? How on earth is this acceptable behaviour, breaking up by cell phone? Adding insult to injury, not even in voice but by text. How did we arrive here? When did this become the way to end a relationship? Digital Dumping. Not cool.
Then and there, Saucy called an end to practice and called the Cheerios together, asking Roxy to look her in the eye when she gave her this little piece of business... and now, she's going to lay it out for you right here. For your benefit or the benefit of some Roxy in your life. Saucy calls this: Her Kiss-Off Rules.
Disclaimer: Saucy is not an accredited counsellor or couples therapist. Saucy is a near forty-three year old cheerleader with arthritis and a bad back and one of the worst pimples known in the history of ProActive Skin Care festering under her left nostril. She's been around the block a time or two and has the scrapbooks to prove it. She is therefore more than qualified to hand out relationship advice to the lovelorn under eighteen years of age if they ask for it.
Kiss off Rule Number One: Get Control
If a boy breaks up with you over email, phone or gawdforbid, instant message: he wants control of the situation. It's simple. He's afraid. He's worried you might cry, you might make that face you make, he might not be able to go through with it or he might not say the right thing. Maybe he actually doesn't want to hurt you - but inevitably he will and he knows it - but at any rate, by doing his business with you wirelessly, he has control of the situation. When you open that message, you're shocked. You're upset... and he doesn't have to deal. How handy for him!
Saucy's been around the block a few times, Roxy. She's had a boyfriend or two and even a couple of husbands and she'll tell you this: the only time it is acceptable to break off a relationship impersonally is when one person is served legal documents by the other's attourney. Keep it real. It's face to face, or not at all. Some business needs to be handled in person. Mano-a-Mano.
Sister needs to take control. Saucy told Roxy not to answer his calls or texts for at least twenty four hours. She needs to get a handle on her own emotions and not let him mix her up, drown in apology or even have contact. Why?
Kiss Off Rule Number Two:
Boys Don't Respond to Words, They Respond to Action
Roxy, someday you will look back on this day with clarity and maybe the wisdom of Saucy and recall a time in one of your relationships when you looked at a boy while you were talking to him and you saw his eyes were glazed over and you realized he wasn't listening to a word you said. Why is this? Because boys, no matter how old they are, don't really like to "talk." Especially about their feelings. And relationships. That's why they use instant messaging to do their dirty work.
Chances are, you might find yourself talking to a boy one day and feel like he hears nothing but "blah blah blah (insert boy name here)" while you are yabbering. Now is not the time to yabber. Why?
First off, he didn't want to hear your yabbering... that's why he took care of you by phone. If you phone him, you'll give him back the control. He might hang up on you. He might be with his friends. You're upset. You're not at your best. Put a pin in it. Saucy told Roxy to surrender her phone to a friend if she thought she couldn't trust herself not to answer it. No matter what, he put the ball in your court by breaking it off over the phone, so keep it there. For at least 24 hours... but more (or forever) would be best with this guy. Boys don't want to talk about "how it makes them feel" or "what did you mean by this or that." They kind of get on with things and leave girls to do the yabbering with their own kind.
Saucy advises Roxy therefore to lean upon her Mom, her fellow Cheerios, and a pint of Cherry Garcia. There's a boy you can trust until the day you die.
Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Three:
When Saucy Means No Contact, She Means No Contact
And Saucy really means it when Saucy says it. Like a bandaid, he needs to be ripped off painfully but quickly. Roxy is advised to get about her own business and make some plans for the weekend (how handy that it is a busy cheer weekend) and spend some quality time with friends and family. And anyway, if this ends up blowing over in the long run, you will have put in some good time with your pals and avoided some drama. It's a win-win plan... and trust Saucy, you need yourself a plan.
Now is not the time to hang with mutual friends or - and Saucy really means this - go to a party or a game or anywhere where Mr. Itchy Fingers McTexty is hanging out. Don't give in to the drama. Don't give him the satisfaction. Don't surrender the control.
And besides, living well is the best revenge. Oprah says so and Saucy agrees. Get out and do something fabulous. Without him.
Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Four: Get Busy
To elaborate: there's lots of other stuff to do. Moping around after the first 24 hours isn't one of them. Give yourself two pints and one day and get on with it. It's hard, yes, but you need to do it.
This mostly applies to high school relationships. For more adult breakup situations, multiply out ice cream and grieving time exponentially.
Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Five: Keep Him Guessing
We have established that boys like to be in control. We have also established that he is avoiding the situation, or he wouldn't have phoned it in. Now, Saucy wants to establish this: he's expecting you to cry, phone, email, text, weep and wail to friends, try to call him out in public.
In short, and not to get too technical and confusing, The Art of War (look it up here) says to know your enemy, to ensure that they know you and then do the opposite of what they are expecting. In short: keep him off-balance. Do the unexpected.
This is partly why Saucy sped to a halt halfway home from practice, ran into The Fan's house and absconded with her laptop to send Roxy an emergency message: ixnaye on the status updatesaye. Saucy sees in her Facebook feed that people like to tell the world how they are feeling and what's going on and all that, and she's hip and cool and down with it, but no contact means no contact. Saucy would lay low for a little while, especially on the world wide intertubes.
Now is not the time to lay it all out on a status update "is missing you terribly" and all weepy and moany like that.
Better yet, a status update along the lines of, "had a great cheer practice, we ran through the routine four times perfectly"... now there's a message. Another good message would be "is studying for a science test" or better yet, no status at all. But not "drowning in a pool of self pity and defeat and feeling completely destroyed and unloved" because heck, that's what he's going to read into anything you type into that little rectangle on your screen... and then he's got the power again. Fo 'shiz.
Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Six:Drop Him Dead With Gorgeous
If you knew Roxy like Saucy knows Roxy, then you'd know... this isn't a problem. She's tall (it's pretty much all leg too), she has long dark hair and giant eyes with dark fringy eyelashes and she never steps so much as into Cheerios practice without wearing just the right workout gear and when she walks away from you, she leaves behind the lingering scent of some exotic mandarin concoction. She has got it going on.
So, Saucy reminded girlfriend to keep it up. Now is not the time to shuffle to school in pyjama bottoms and slippers. If anything, amp it up a notch. Let's take this to the next level... and Saucy does not mean vamp it up. She means, if he ever said, "you look adorable in that sweater" then now is not the time to relegate said sweater to some sarcophygus in your closet lest it remind you of him. Now is the time to put on that sweater... and work it.
He is so going to regret pressing "send."
Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Seven: Watch For Blame Phrases
Saucy read the life-ruining text and it said something along the lines of "I'm not good enough for you" and in all of her forty-three years, she's heard that a grand total of several times and wants Roxy to know... it's not you, it's him.
When a boy says something like, "I don't deserve you" he's probably right. At the very least, he's finally woken up to the truth and at the very worst, he might have already lined up a replacement Roxy at another school, so brace yourself. He might be admitting to his rapscallion ways before you find out the truth.
But the key turn of this phrase is, "you" because if you dissect that sentence as carefully as you took care of the frog in second period, there is a subtle message of blame in there, as in, "you did this by being so wonderful" and truth be told, you are. But don't let anyone blame you for it.
It's simple. He's done, for whatever reason. He may not even have much of a reason because he is a fifteen year old boy and his brain is the size of a walnut at the best of times and not even located in his head... but he called it off and no matter what he says to try to flatter you, it's not easing your pain so don't buy into it.
It's like that old episode of Seinfeld: It's not me. It's you. In this case, it's not you, it's him.
Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Eight: What's Done is Done
This is the hardest of all the advice that Saucy is doling out to Roxy right now, but maybe the most important. Saucy has been around too many high schools as a teacher and guidance counsellor over the years and can say this with certainty: move on, there's nothing to see here. Teenage breakups can sort of be like a car wreck sometimes.
Yes, he was the lurrve of your life. Saucy had one of those in grade nine too. He broke up with Saucy over the phone... so you see, Saucy learned these lessons the hard way. But Saucy has noticed a disturbing trend among teen daters: serial breaking up. What is this? You do not share a home, children or property. This does not involve lawyers or in reality, have lifelong impact beyond being blog fodder for you in your forties.
Saucy is all for saving the marriage and all that... but the high school relationship? That's why we have them... to move on. To figure it out. To learn stuff about ourselves in a low-key environment so we can have normal, fully committed adult relationships later. Part of that learning involves breaking up (with class) and moving on (with determination).
The last bit of advice comes straight from The Fan and since she reads this blog, Saucy can't even take credit for it:
There's a new bus every five minutes. The next bus goes a little further than the last one.
Roxy, do you know what a metaphor is? Have they gone over that in English class? Saucy wants you to know that this means simply: get off the bus. Have a quick check of the roadmap. Get a GPS if you think you need one. Find a dollar and start looking for the next bus.
And yeah, when we talked a few minutes ago he'd already texted you eighteen times and you were wondering if this all might blow over... and it might. But the ball is in your court now. Make him run for it. Make him chase your bus.