I'll never forget the time I was dumped by someone I wasn't even dating point blank. It was so wildly humiliating that it actually changed the way I ice people out when I'm no longer feeling them.
"I think we should just be friends. I'm so sorry! I can't see you anymore. It's complicated. I'm still super in love with my ex!" The girl across from me wailed, dramatically flailing her arms around like a lunatic.
I calmly sipped my champagne, savoring each tiny bubble sifting down my throat. Surely I had heard her incorrectly, right? I was already three drinks deep on a totally empty stomach, not to mention had been battling an intense bout of vertigo for the past several months, so it wasn't out of line for me to have hallucinated the entire scenario.
"Did you say something?" I asked, innocently twirling a lock of hair around my finger, batting my dramatically winged eyes at her.
In typical ADHD fashion, I got quickly distracted by the hot pink lipstick print I had left on the champagne glass and contemplated writing an article about lipsticks that don't come off on champagne glasses, but then decided it was cliché and went back to looking at my date.
Bitch was crying.
I wish I was exaggerating, but alas, I'm not.
"Why are you crying?!" I asked, bewildered. Though I had only met this girl three times, she really didn't strike me as the type to cry on a first date.
She was a seemingly tough babe, the kind of cold, no-nonsense lesbian who wears primary-colored button downs, fitted "slacks" and shoes with a hard toe. I looked at her again, just to make sure this wasn't a hunger-induced mirage.
Nope. She wasn't just crying. The graceful tears had metamorphosed into a weeping session.
"I don't think we should see each other anymore. I think we need to break up," she blubbered like a melodramatic soap opera actress.
I. Was. Getting. Dumped?
A rage deep inside of me began to burn so intensely my blood was boiling. I was being dumped. And not only was I being DUMPED in freaking midtown, but I was also being dumped by someone I wasn't even fucking dating.
We had only gone out three times, and here I was being stone-cold rejected.
I wasn't even into her — that was the really enraging part. I was just getting back into the dating game and, in hindsight, was sort of using her for "practice dates" (don't act prim, we allll do it, girl) and now I was getting dumped?
We had only gone out three times, and here I was being stone-cold rejected. I wasn't even into her.
This was bullshit! Not only was I getting dumped, but I was getting dumped in Valentino. (I happened to be wearing a black, sheer vintage Valentino dress.) And she was wearing an ill-fitted sweater even my grandfather wouldn't have worn. She wasn't even wearing it in an ironic, hipster way.
From that moment on, I vowed to never dump someone I wasn't dating. I vowed that in order to salvage the precious ego of the innocent person I was dating, no matter how brief our courtship, I would instead opt to scare them away from me, so they wouldn't want anything to do with me anymore.
I would present the largest, shining red flags of all time, so they would not only the not only walk away, but also block my number.
Look, you can act all smug and say "honesty is the best policy, Zara," but if that's your style, then you're a selfish tool. I save honesty for the people I actually care about.
Being honest with some stranger I've only been out with a few times is only going to hurt their feelings (which are always fragile when it comes to the topic of dating, you know?).
Acting like a maniac, however, is going to make them feel good about themselves because they get to reject me and have a great story on file for their next date.
So, here are 13 lines to use when you need to dump someone you're not even dating. I promise you, it will make even a stage-five clinger run away.
1. "I know this is a little awkward, but like, I don't really have a place to live after next week and I was wondering if maybe I could move in with you for awhile?"
2. "My pet hamster is inside my purse. Would you like to meet him?"
3. "I'm moving to Australia next week."
4. "I just found out I'm pregnant! How exciting!"
5. "So, I just got my STD tests results back and it turns out I have herpes. Better than AIDS, amirite?"
6. "I'm moving back in with my parents."
7. "Did I tell you about my personality disorders?"
8. "Do you want to come to a therapy session with me? My shrink thinks it's a great idea."
9. "Do you mind if I bring my kid to our next date?"
10. "DO YOU WANT TO GET MATCHING TATTOOS?"
11. "So, I'm really into sapphire engagement rings. Hint, hint."
12. "Mind picking up my lithium prescription for me?"
13. "The last person I slept with was my first cousin. We've had sexual tension for years!"