Last week, we started reading “Why We Broke Up,” a book by David Handler. It’s amazing that this author could get into the mind of a teenage girl to write this book about her break-up with her polar opposite jock boyfriend. In addition to the interesting perspective, the book evoked feelings of all high school relationships that I’ve ever know: fast moving, all encompassing, swift ending relationships.
The book starts out with Min, the main character, describing items one by one from a box. The items were things she saved from their relationship. Bottle caps, movie tickets, books and other things.
You know you did this!
Heck, my husband and I have a similar box from the beginning of our relationship tucked up in our closet. It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I read this book and I have an incredible urge to look through it. I can almost guess what is in it. Notes we wrote to each other, maybe some movie ticket stubs and receipts from places we went. Stuff that might fit the category of Eliminate the Unnecessary, but also stuff I think it might be neat for my kids to have some day, so there it sits on the shelf.
In this book, Min wants ex-boyfriend Ed to have the stuff back. She’s done pining over him and hoping that it might work out. She’s done reflecting on the relationship and wants to share with him what she feels went wrong.
The thing I wanted at the end of each chapter, the thing we didn’t get, was Ed’s response to Min’s claims. She claims they broke up for reasons like he didn’t say ‘happy birthday’ to the host of a party he attended, or he didn’t recognize the adventures they were on, but that’s not why they broke up. It is, but it isn’t. High school relationships are hard and immediately when this book started, I cringed. Aside from the title, you knew this was doomed, and really, I shouldn’t think that way. My parents and my brother and his wife are high school sweethearts. Their relationships lasted without being awkward or a joke. I guess I was just the lucky one in that department.
Now, I knew my husband in high school, but we weren’t high school sweethearts. We haven’t been together since we were 14 or meet at an ice cream shop, where we worked out summer jobs. As sweet as those stories were, I’ve had the high school heartbreak. I’ve had to apologize to my true friends after a break-up for nearly forgetting they existed while I spent way too much time with guys who were just guys–thinking I had to devote my entire life to them to make them like me.
Hey high school girls! That’s not the way it’s supposed to be!
So what about you? What do you think of high school relationships? Did they work out for you? How did you handle the heart break or juggling the love of your life with the friends you had since the playground?
Join me next week as I look at more of the book as “Why We Broke Up,” is the January book of the month.
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