Required Reading. This New Yorker piece made me laugh. Out loud. This is a rarer occurrence than I would really like it to be, but, alas, life has left me grouchy and angry and scowl-y, so for writing to elicit anything more than a subdued chortle from me is impressive. But this piece did that. Perhaps it’s because I love people watching. Perhaps it’s because making up amusing stories about people in public delights me. Perhaps it is because it is so well written that I can picture it like a tv episode in my head. Perhaps it’s something else. But regardless, You should read “A Breakup Ceremony in Mccarran Park” by Shea Strauss and enjoy a nice mid-week laugh.
We are gathered here today, in McCarren Park, to inadvertently witness the dramatic breakup of these two people whom we have never previously encountered. If anyone has any empathy at all, please now avert your eyes and hurry past.
At this time, the couple would like to share a few words that they have always wanted to say and soon will never be able to take back.
AARON: In the past two and a half years, you’ve become my best friend, my lover, my confidante, and, on this very special day— in front of all of these reluctant witnesses—you now become a future stranger.
As I stand here today, I can’t help but think back to the beginning, when we were both so much more attractive and horny. You gave me a new outlook on alcohol and an excuse to not exercise.
Six months ago today, I popped the question, “Is this even working anymore?” And it was then that I knew that I wanted eventually to forget your middle name. I suddenly understood that I wanted to celebrate your losses and to tell our mutual friends of my successes in the hopes that they would share them with you.
I dedicate the rest of my life to my career, and I look forward to growing bitter separately from you.
JAMIE: Wow, I can’t believe this day is finally here. Thank you for being the man who will make my future dates look better. Here are my promises to you:
I promise to delete all evidence of you from my social-media accounts. Yes, even the photos you aren’t in but that you took or were there when they were taken.
I promise to transform you into a Disney villain in my mind. But not a good one, like Gaston or Jafar. Think “Prince of Egypt” old dad pharaoh.
I promise always to put you first, when listing my exes in alphabetical order.
I promise to swipe left if you ever come up on Tinder, but only after taking a screen-cap to show my friends at brunch, where we’ll criticize your photo choices.
I promise never to forget that passing comment you made about my upper-arm flab. I will hold that memory against you forever and use it to make mutual friends take my side in the breakup.
Last, I promise never fully to learn any lessons from this relationship and to continue to fail future partners in similar ways. Most important, though, I will eventually have much more fulfilling sexual experiences, with people much more attractive than you.