Letter From The Editor - Issue 59 - October 2017

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Writing Fantasy

  
Practical Magic
  by Sara Ellis
May 2006

Single Girls Should Carry Ninja Stars

Things just aren't working out. I meant to say something sooner, but I've been seeing someone else. It's not you, it's me. We can still be friends. You know, the kind of friends that don't see each other, talk on the phone, or exchange emails. I knew you'd understand.

Going through a bad break up is a little like vomiting. In my case it includes vomiting. It's always a little scary, you know you aren't going to feel better until it's completely over, and the idea of eating anything ever again is utterly repugnant.

But just like throwing up, breaking up has its quick fixes and comforters. Consider the following methods of post break up survival to be the wet washcloth and ginger ale for your tiny, bludgeoned heart.

The most instant of all instant gratifiers is the ice cream coma. This goes way beyond the headache and into the promised land. After a particularly potent break up, a friend of mine that had been out of town called. All I told her was that things had gone very badly since she'd left. Two hours later she was walking through my door with six pints of Ben & Jerry's.

Within seconds all six pints sat open on the kitchen table and I sobbed my way through the New York Super Fudge Chunk. If only my relationships with other boys lasted as long as Ben and Jerry's relationship with my thighs. In all other respects they are both the quintessential rebound boyfriend.

If you're diabetic I suggest you take on the more pancreas-friendly '80s fantasy film diet. God bless this decade. When my heart resembles all that's left of Fantasia I find solace in The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Ladyhawke, and sometimes even Legend. These movies make absolutely no sense, to the point that they resonate deeply.

The only drawback is they promote magical thinking. Like maybe if you believe enough the phone will finally ring, you'll get back together, and then you'll turn into a unicorn. Or David Bowie. In tights.

By this point I can guarantee that you'll look like crap. Puffy, chocolate stained face, unwashed hair, and your pajamas have started sticking to the upholstery. But that's okay! You don't need to get up, you need to stay on the couch and watch America's Next Top Model.

Why, you ask, would I, heartbroken and ugly, want to watch a bunch of six foot anorexic beauties compete for a spot in a completely shallow and soulless industry? Because it's AWESOME.

Instinctually, I would assume that watching a bunch of exclusively attractive women would make me feel bad about myself. The reality couldn't be further from the truth. This show makes me feel like a scientist. An incredibly smart and sexy scientist.

The artistic merits of the show aside, the lack of depth is both intriguing and addictive. The girls learn important life skills such as developing a signature walk, knowing your angles, and how to mix the perfect amount of egotism with self loathing.

I could not ask for a better nemesis than the head judge, Tyra Banks. She uses the same deathly serious affectation during each and every single elimination round, and gives constructive criticisms that often end up amounting to "be more like me." Always trying to "keep it real," Tyra is instantly faker than former judge Janice Dickinson's cleavage.

To her credit, my friends and I have adopted her advice to "model through it" when faced with life's challenges such as uncomfortable photo shoots, acne, heartache, and the avian flu. In the words of my roommate Emily, we're just steps away from becoming America's Next Top Awesome. Thank you, Ms. Banks.

There are many other art forms outside of film and fashion that can assist in healing a broken heart. My personal favorite is gangsta rap. Don't just listen to it; live it. Nothing makes me feel better than tying on a gold bikini, dousing myself in cheap champagne, and busting a cap with my gat. You may think I'm joking, but seriously, there are few things more cathartic than writing down and rapping the series of horribly violent and exploitative things you would like to do, but won't.

It's not so different from the common advice to write your ex-amor a letter of all your feelings, both true and exaggerated, but then never sending it. It helps you work out exactly how you feel and why. In a few years it will be a comfort to read. You can feel justified in your sincerity, and learn from your mistakes. It also helps prevent the likelihood of history rewriting itself.

Take the letter a step further and design the perfect mix cd of all the songs that tell it like it is. I have a girlfriend that made such a cd after an ex-fiance did something terrible to her. She hasn't spoken to him since, but she carries the cd everywhere she goes, concealed in her sketchbook like a ninja star.

She doesn't feel the need to send it to him, but if by chance they cross in the street and he tries to talk to her, she won't have to say a word. She already has the perfect response in the form of music. Just having it there makes her feel better. The anxiety is gone.

Unfortunately there isn't any one trick to cure a broken heart, and it usually comes down to making yourself wake up each day and doing your best. People may console you with the idea that everything happens for a reason, but that's crap. While some things may be guided by a divine or karmic source, most things happen because people make choices. Sometimes those choices are bad, and everyone else has to deal with the consequences. I believe God and the cosmos just try to make up for all those bad choices by finding the next opportunity to make things aright.

We can always hope that things we lose will find us again, but should they remain lost to us always, we should still strive to be better today than we were yesterday. Heal yourself by healing others and the world you live in. Some things should happen for a reason, so go out and do them for a reason. Perhaps that reason could be peace on earth, goodwill toward men. Even ex-boyfriends. If that doesn't work, go grab your gat and roll, ninja.


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