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The Daily Tar Heel

Double Dutch: Breaking Up

If breaking up is hard to do, it's even harder to write about.

If I approached this column like I did actual breakups, the column would be blank.

Like most guys, when it comes time to break up, I run. I'm not proud of it, but it could be worse.

My friend, let's call him Pat Sullivan, didn't have the guts to break up with his girlfriend, so he planted some panties around his apartment to fool her into thinking he was cheating. That way, he thought, she'd break up with him. Only she didn't want to break up. So then he had a "license to cheat," which he undoubtedly used.

I've run for a lot of reasons. Some relationships ended for Seinfeld-esque shallow reasons -- she asked me what I thought of the movie immediately after it was over. Others ended for more tragic reasons -- she wrote me too many love letters from Texas.

As a marathon runner, it was fitting that I ran from some relationships because of the long distance. In fact, any separation of more than three miles usually warrants a breakup.

I should have run from my last relationship.

"You're trouble," she told me a few weeks after our demise. "You've always been trouble."

I took care of her when she was sick. I delivered a romantic Valentine's Day dinner. I had the most beautiful eyes she'd ever seen.

And she sums me up with one word?

She didn't even give me a chance.

To her, love meant sitting under a blooming dogwood tree playing the acoustic guitar and writing poetry.

To me, love meant red wine and oysters.

When she walked out the door for the last time, I didn't stop her. I never even called her again.

She was too young and naive; I was too old and cynical.

Fortunately, I didn't delve into a post-breakup stage involving lame poetry, the Cure and jealousy.

Rather, I resented that I had been so foolish in hoping another girl might be "the one."

Okay, maybe I am a little cynical. There are other fish. And mabye some day I'll get married and so on.

But boys, unlock the bathroom window, keep the engine running and bring the fishing poles -- just in case.

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Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for November 20, 2023