Can you ever forget the first time you truly had your heart broken? I will never forget that fateful day back in ’98 when a three minute phone conversation literally DEVESTATED my world. I was sixteen at the time and the focus of my affection and attention was a much older man (he had a solid three years on me). When he called me on that Sunday morning to tell me that he didn’t like me anymore (a sensitive soul he was not) I genuinely thought my world had ended. While I threw myself in a heap on the floor sobbing my father did what every man’s gut instinct is to stop a girl from crying – he threw money at the situation. ‘Are you ok, pet’, he said to me, ‘would you like to go shopping?’ Five hours later and with a “stylish” faux fur trimmed winter coat resting in my bag it seemed that life was once again worth living. Now one can obviously ascertain that my heart’s ability to mend itself in such a short space of time was clearly indicative of my age but have I ever really changed?
Let’s think about it, how did I get over my last break up?? Well, I got my hair cut and colored, hit up Ambience for a new cocktail dress and my two wonderful girlfriends came with me for an obnoxiously expensive dinner and cocktail extravaganza at Le Colonial. No joke. Last year, when I stopped dating whats-his-name all of a sudden my AMEX did the talking and a few days later parcels from Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s and BCBG magically started to appear on my office desk. How strange! And it would seem that I am not alone. No sooner have us girls uttered the words ‘so long, sucker’ we are busy getting to the task of washing that man right out of our hair. Literally. Back in 2006, after all-American sweetheart Reese Witherspoon bid adieu to her beau Ryan Philippe she was soon seen sporting a much sexier and edgier hairdo. Similarly, not long after Anne Hathaway left Raffaello Follieri she reemerged on to the Hollywood scene with a modern bob and a sophisticated new wardrobe to match. Indeed, break ups seem to be synonymous with major style makeovers which have everybody else saying ‘ooh la la’ but on our D-List dimes ends up being more ‘oh Christ, why did I not pay for that overdraft protection plan?!’. Nonetheless, clothes might be a safer option than cuts - before you go doing anything dramatic with your hair please spare a thought for poor old Felicity actress, Keri Russell, who dramatically cut her luscious locks after a traumatic break-up in 1999 (see below). Truly tragic.
But you know, it’s not just the break-upèe (made up word, yes, you now have permission to use this) who starts dolling out the dollar bills like it’s going out of fashion. When a good friend of mine broke up with her ex only a few months ago and she admitted to me how he always hated her wearing short skirts, well of course the only rational thing for her to do was to go out and buy twenty mini-dresses. Makes sense for her – she was trying to mend a broken heart. What did not necessarily make sense was the sympathy shopping that I myself partook in. Just how was it that my purchase of a pair of Badley Mischka pumps (duh, Nordstrom Rack ladies – I’d never pay full price obviously) somehow an act of sisterly loyalty? Why did my retail therapy in any way help her? I’ll never know the answer to this (anyway, from what I’m told us women are meant to be loved not understood) but ultimately I guess it did….and as she admitted to me that day, ‘I know I’ve spent a lot of money – but in the long run it’s probably cheaper than a psychiatrist’! Too true but, it doesn’t just end with sympathy ‘shopping’. There are also the sympathy drinks and the sympathy trips to the movie theater and the sympathy manicures and the sympathy pedicures…. Breaking-up has become a multi-million dollar business and all at our expense! Hasn’t the movie industry taught us that all we need is a big bucket of ice cream to get over him? And while we women start weeping into our wallets most men just need a beer and a shot to get back into the groove. How rude!
I’m a fervent believer that it is better to love and have lost than to never love at all but seriously girls, when it comes to your next break-up try not to end up bankrupt. It may seem like a good idea at the time but the high of indulging in that $200 pixie-cut hairdo and pair of Louboutain pumps will not last. Stick to cups of tea and chats with your girls.
This too shall pass……