So, as some of you may have seen, I am very excited to announce that I have branched out beyond the world of bad dates, and am now also writing for a good friend of mine – Callum. There is an official announcement with more information and a link to his blog further down in my blog feed, but in keeping with the theme of this blog and as a big warm welcome to him, this is the story two of Callum’s bad date experiences – both of which I was directly involved in. So, let’s get started shall we?
Callum and I have known each other since year 7, and over the years have bonded over our affinity for Gilmore Girls, our mutual love of books (namely Stephen King), the experiences we’ve shared through our schooling life and our passion for writing. Back in 2010 when we first met, we were placed in the same class and quickly fell into the same friendship group when one of his friends decided he had a crush on one of my friends. Thus, the group was formed. The group contained myself and my “boyfriend” (let’s call him Grant), Callum and his “girlfriend” (re-named Madeline for this story), our friend who wasn’t “dating” anyone at the time (Thomas), and the couple who started it all – Paris and Doyle (Hey Gilmore Girls fans 😉 I see you.)
Callum and Madeline started dating just after Paris and Doyle did, and so our group became tighter and seemingly unbreakable as we did everything together. How long did this last, I hear you asking? Well. There’s a reason I put quotation marks around the words dating and boyfriend/girlfriend before, because none of us actually went on dates, and it lasted maybe a week for them each time they dated (Grant and I lasted a little longer and seemed to be the constant in this first story.) Callum and Madeline had a good run, but Madeline soon asked me for help as she could not figure out how to break up with Callum. Having seen me do this exact thing for my, soon to be, two best friends (who will remain anonymous), she asked if I would give it a crack for her. Big yikes.
So I sat a slightly confused Callum down and told him she just couldn’t see it going any further, but I did it with my usual flare.
“When a man and a woman love each other very very much…” I began, telling Callum that this was not one of those stories, and that Madeline was actually ending it and just too nervous to say so. Ouch. (Sorry Callum!!) Callum was very understanding, took a moment and was soon ok, and with that I thought it was over. But then, within a few days, Paris asked me to do the same for her and Doyle. 12 years old and already with 2 successful breakups under my belt, I thought I was the perfect person to do this as I was close enough to both sides to justify a private chat with Doyle, and knowledgable enough on the art of breaking hearts I sat him down and explained that it just wasn’t working with Paris and that I was sorry but this was it for them. Doyle took this a lot harder, though soon recovered (no use moping around after someone you were with for little over a week, if you ask me.) And with that, I well and truly thought this was the end of my breaking up days, hoping that the only ones I would be involved in from then on would be my own. This is the part of the story though where the narrator would normally say something like This was not the end of those days for her, but rather the beginning of a long line of broken hearts.
Year 7 camp came around and everyone was as excited as could be. We loaded into the bus listening to our iPod shuffles and playing MASH (AKA – PRAM where you predict what your future will hold.) It was on this bus journey that both Madeline and Paris confided in me that they wanted to get back with Callum and Doyle respectively and that they hadn’t enjoyed the few days between me breaking them up and now. Ugh, teenagers, am I right? We arrived at our lunch stop and they all got back together as I sat and listened to love songs and pictured Grant as Zac Efron. BUT THEN on that final day of that very same school camp Madeline and Paris, mere days after getting back together it had become too much and they were looking to employ my breakup guru services once again. With a heavy heart, and while waiting in line for the giant swing, I cornered Doyle first and got the breakup over and done with as quickly as I could before moving on to Callum. My conversation with Callum, who I’ve always been quite real with, went as follows.
Me – “So… Do you remember last time we had a chat like this?”
Callum – “Yeah?”
Me – “Yeah…” **nods head, gives sad smile**
Callum – “Oh… Ok…”
We move on to the next relationship he was in, with a girl we still refer to as “Everybody’s Favourite Ex-Girlfriend” and the on-again-off-again plague of 2011. To abbreviate and try and cut down on how often I have to type that phrase, I’ll refer to her as EFEG.
EFEG and I were “friends” in that way you’re friends with people you’re stuck in a room with 8 hours a day, 5 days a week – surface level, superficial and short lived. Now, for a while I had known EFEG and Callum had a crush on each other, so when it eventuated that they became “boyfriend and girlfriend”, it wasn’t a huge surprise. Their obvious differences would boil over in only a matter of time, and once again I would take Callum’s side, only this time I would help HIM deliver the final blow to their relationship. While I liked EFEG (to an extent) I was more than happy to offer my services to a now emotionally exhausted Callum (their relationship was turbulent after all.) Her behaviour had even started wearing thin on me, and I wasn’t the one “dating” her.
In what must have been my favourite breakup ever, Callum handed me a letter and asked me to deliver to EFEG on his behalf – which I did with a big smile and a spring in my step. And I stood there with Madeline (who was still my friend at the time) and pretended not to watch as her heart was ripped out. Smothering a giggle and pretending to offer sympathy when she nearly kicked over a shelf of graphic novels in our school library, their relationship was over and the world felt right again.
They eventually got back together, much to my chagrin, and broke up again with a little help from the heartbreak whizz. This cycle continued a few times until one day they called it quits for good, and I slept easy that night knowing I could cross off 2 of my best clients from the growing list of people asking me to help them end relationships they didn’t know how to end.
Not one to usually take sides, I did make a point during their breakups that I was going to remain friends with Callum regardless of her feelings towards him and, probably much to the annoyance of EFEG, we are still friends 9 and a half years later. Neither of us will ever know what she thinks of us and this situation, as we have both removed ourselves completely from her life. I did it shortly after their last breakup, seeing no reason to be nice to someone who holds a grudge against you for being friends with someone after a teenage breakup, and Callum did it after she moved away from our school a year or so later. I guess that goes to show, some friendships from high school aren’t made to last – but some are. And hell, we’re even writing for a blog together now.