In my last year of college, I was dating this guy who was a real piece of work. Let's call him George. He dumped me, I took him back. He dumped me again, I started seeing someone else. But for some crazy reason, I still let George take me to dinner for my birthday a couple months later.
At the end of the night he asked me, in a deceptively casual way, whether I had started seeing anyone else. After he pushed it for a while, I finally broke down and admitted that yes, I had a new boyfriend. George took a minute to register what I said...then went into full-blown freakout mode. He ran out into the yard and started yelling, then leaned over onto his knees and began to heave, like he was literally going to barf with sadness.
It was insane! Clearly he was so in love with me, it was making him sick! So the next day I went to my mom, all teary and guilty, and asked her what I should do. I was actually worried about hurting a guy who had dumped me twice, both times assuming I'd be sitting on the shelf waiting to date him again when he decided to come back around. She hugged me, told me not to worry, and asked me to tell her again about the part where crazy George ran around the backyard dry heaving.
Then she started to laugh. "What if you just thought he was acting sick because you were dating someone else, but what actually happened is he'd stepped in a beehive and it got caught on his foot?" she said. It was an amazing image: him reeling around the yard, covered in bees, yelling "HALP!!" and me saying "Stop overreacting! YOU dumped ME!" My mom and I laughed and laughed.
And now every time I think of that emotionally manipulative, painful experience, I think about bees and can't stop smiling. So I guess my mom's advice is to picture jerks who hurt you covered in bees? Maybe that's not exactly what she was saying, but something more wise, about embracing the inherent ridiculousness of life, and not being too hard on yourself.
And definitely, definitely imagine your exes dancing around screaming "BEES!" while you stand there with your arms crossed, saying, "I think we need to talk about the relationship."
We love this advice! BEES! What's the best breakup advice you've ever gotten?