Breaking Up With Me is Not Hard to Do: The Finale

As a Mormon missionary, living for two years without anything more then a handshake to count as contact with the opposite sex, I took it as a bit of a surprise that one of the last things that my mission president, a leathery retired potato farmer from Idaho, told me was to find a wife as soon as I returned home. I suppose that for many missionaries, returning from their foreign service simply meant continuing on spreading the good word in their homeland. The only thing missing would be the black name badge. For me, however, I had every intention of ending my enforced drought of female companionship as soon as conceivably possible.

Though I was among the throngs of missionaries who had been “Dear John”ed at some point during their tenure, in my head I had made preparations for when I would return. I received sparse letters from my friends, who I can only assume forgot about my very existence. The one friend that wrote to me more than any others happened to be a girl by the name of Miranda. No point changing her name, even if she might want me to. She also sent me pictures, the coveted gold of any missionary. Occasionally, we would trade them like currency to purchase contraband or ensure our protection. I hung a picture up of her holding the newly born baby of another friend and informed all other missionaries that she was my girlfriend and that was my child. I committed to those around me that when I returned home, I would make her my wife.

Six months later, I would walk into my parent’s home at 2 in the morning, sneak downstairs to my bedroom, and lay in bed unnerved by the potential of my own prophetic ability. Miranda and I had started dating. We held hands. We kissed each other. We made plans together nearly every night of the week. If things kept going as they seemed to be, the promise that I made in jest to other love-starved 20 year-olds in Canada might come to fruition. After all, at this point, Miranda was my official girlfriend. Well, at least it was official to me.

Miranda had a different vantage point on the context of our relationship. It is true that we had engaged in all of the activities that would general classify us as a dating couple. However, when asked by family, friends, or strangers who passed us on the street, she issued the disclaimer that we were, in fact, just friends. With my inherent passive aggressivity, every time that she made this declaration, I decided that she was breaking up with me. Then, at some point between 1 and 10,000 minutes later, she would convince me otherwise by pulling me in for a kiss or suggesting we cuddle while watching a movie. After several instances of this tomfoolery, I became as confused as a male spider wondering just exactly why his mate was slowly licking her mandibles.
The coup de grace, as it were, would come while Miranda and I were in a sort-of long distance relationship. I would place the “sort-of” as modifying the physical distance between us while Miranda would place it on the “relationship” part. I was attending college about an hour away and, though I had no money for the water to boil my ramen noodles, I would find ways to come home every weekend, slow school day, or on days of Finals that I really didn’t want to take, to spend time with her. During one of these visits, she presented to me her miracle plan for our dating situation. Pulling the white draping off of a massive chalkboard filled with abstract figures, lopping arrows, and cryptic lettering, she made her findings known. “This is what I call ABC dating,” she told me and my bewildered expression.

The idea behind ABC dating was that Miranda represented the A. I could go on a date with her and then I would be restricted from a follow-up date until I had gone on a date with a girl B and a girl C. Then I was free to repeat the cycle as often as I liked. Simple words cannot express how much this concept blew my freaking mind. As you the reader know, I have been on the receiving end of a break-up several times in the past, but never one as ambiguously veiled in algorithmic logic. As I sat listening to what Miranda felt was a wonderful plan, I longed for the days when break-ups were as simple as sending two giggly friends across the playground to crush my heart. I made my argument against the dating plan and left for the dorm room I shared with a horde of computer programming nerds who probably understood the dating algebra better than I ever could.

With my head swimming about my supposed girlfriend’s uncertain intentions, I composed an e-mail I will never forget. In said composition, I let Miranda know the feelings that I had for her. I told her about how shortly after we started “dating” I knew I could marry her and how I knew that dating her was right and good. That and my obvious attraction towards her had been what kept me hanging on despite the perpetual state of break-up that was our relationship. I then told her that, for the first time in my life, I had to be the one to call it off. I clicked send and felt little pieces of my heart drip down to my ankles.

That night, Miranda made the long drive to come see me. We went to a park where Miranda explained the purpose of her wiles to me. She knew that she was essentially the only person that I had dated since my mission and the only one after my long-term relationship with Tina. Her plan was meant to ensure that she was not merely a “rebound” love interest after my series of airball three-point attempts. You see, Miranda is the most caring person that I have met and was so caught up in caring for me that she tended to forget that I was moderately capable of caring for myself. After a long talk in the chilly autumn night air, Miranda officially ended my sole attempt at a break-up after a grueling six hours.

Months later, we were engaged and months after that, we were married. I look back on that day as the happiest of my life. When the man who would perform the ceremony asked why I wanted to marry Miranda, I told him, simply, that she made me happy. She still makes me happy, and, as in times past, has loveable moments of alternately making me crazy. That day, we held hands and looked into each others eyes and, with every tragedy of supposed loves and broken hearts fading into the back of my mind like a bright, oversized moon dipping into the ocean waves just before sunrise, we committed to each other that we would never have to break up again.


anonymous said...

Keep it up Cameron. I'm enjoying these diversions from my actual work

Kara Thacker said...

Have you asked Miranda where she got the ABC dating idea from?!? This is hillarious, and some how completely romantic towards her. Wow! I concur with anonymous!

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Dan said...

While I knew about your "pseudo girlfriend" - your words not mine - and the ABC dating algorithm, I hadn't heard the near breakup story. Has ABC dating had a possitive outcome for anyone who has imposed it and stuck to it? All the stories I've heard ended with the retraction of said algorithm or heartache on account of success with the B or C dates.

Brandon said...

I remember we went out to lunch and you explained the abc thing to me, I too was baffled. It is true that all that matters is that you make each other happy. When I asked my father in law for his daughters hand, He told me that making her happy is all I had to do nothing else mattered.

Wendy said...


Cameron said...

Wendy is rightfully due full credit for the marriage between my wife and I. In truth, she was the mediator between us and our strained emotions. Also, she is an integral part of our family as we have a pact that if she is not married in five more years, she will become my second wife. At that point, we might need a live-in mediator.