Monday, July 1, 2013

The Longest Most Awkward Breakup EVER!

Our daughter is out looking for a car within her price range.  She's been paying off a debt for awhile so a car loan is out of the question.  This is just another blip of the most bumbling clumsy breakup ever.  Maki's ex has not had a lot of experience in committed relationships.  I believe this was his first.  And it looks like breaking up is no more a natural thing for him as building a relationship was.  Nice guy, maybe.  Incredibly clumsy about things when they are important -- like commitment, and being sensitive to another person's good judgement regarding her future as much as he is interested in his.  

The load is not on him.  It is also part Maki's.  This is also Maki's first real relationship and she wound herself around it as tightly as one can, as soon as one can and learned a huge lesson because of it.  I remember as a little girl she was in love with the Littlest Mermaid -- and thinking back on it, she relived it in this relationship, giving up everything for love.  She was willing to give up family, culture, voice.  Yes, she was spunky and seemed independent, but in reality everything was all about the boy -- family vacations, place to live, when to move in together and that she would give up on her college to do so, what they would spend on,  who they hung out with which excluded much of her former relationships including us, her family because of he felt awkward and uncomfortable around all of us.  Again, nice boy, but really uncomfortable outside of his box.

He is moving back East, his home area, to go to grad school.  It became increasingly a reality to him that he really didn't want the relationship to continue into His Future.  That's what he calls it "My Future."   And it was over.  But did initiative come from him beyond saying it was over?  Maki took that on for both their sake.  She moved out, stored things in the garage and rented a bedroom for $400 a month  with one of their friends because it was too sad to be broken up and still live together.

Broken-hearted, she puts on a carefree face on facebook and moves on the best she can accepting the reality that it's over.    He calls for her to take care of his dog while he is in a month-long military maneuver to save him some money two months into the breakup otherwise, poor dog would be in a kennel.  She says of course.  Breaks down.  She wonders if it is going to be like this all the time when she sees him.  I say, "Yes, as long as you are doing things for him, it is not a clean breakup where you're going on with your life."    So she texts him, "I just can't do it. "   He says, "No problem. "   And then does what he should have done on his own, which is to send poor Charlee to his sister's farm where he can run free and eat right and be happy.

She moves all her stuff into a storage out of the garage so they don't have to see or talk to each other when he gets back from military maneuvers Friday this week.   Her plan to have moved into a condo was  dashed because she has been laid off with the 300 Comcast employees who were hired at the same time, ending July 1.  She rents a storage unit and moves everything into a storage unit, preparing to move back home for the work of job search.  I ask her why she has so  much stuff to merit renting a storage unit, offering space at our house.  She said, she took a lot of stuff that he did not want to take home to save him the money.  I sigh.  There's plenty of time to deal with that at another time, but I wish with these emotional ties, she would not have to deal with the stuff that she no more needs than he does.   Her last day of work she had called to ask if she could come home to stay from that time.  That was great, but then she paused,  "Oh, no!  I can't!  I promised to clean the apartment, at least part of it!"  

Shocked, I admit I need some clarification.  I asked, "uh . . the apartment you haven't lived in for two months while he has?  He can't clean his own apartment?"

"Well, I don't want him to be mad."

"He's moving out and away.  He broke up with you."

"Well, yeah, but I told him I'd clean half." (Do these two know that there is no half?  And probably, in my opinion, never been a half half relationship?)

"Maki, you know this is a first, right, in the history of women being dropped?"

She texts him and lets him know she couldn't return from Eugene to clean his apartment and he says, "No problem."  His dad is flying in to help.

This morning, Maki gives us the news.  Adam wants his car back.  The company (his mother;s) denied Maki and her father (with his flawless credit rating)  the ability to take on the lease.

Surprise!  The longest most drawn out and awkward break up continues.  She says, "I have learned never to wind up so much of my affairs with another person and wil never ever do it again."

I couldn't resist.  "I wonder why you chose to lease a car anyway with your debt?"

She said, "I didn't.  He did it for my birthday."

I bit my tongue.  An hour later, and looking at Craig's List and turning to the RG for something within the range of what she can afford with our help, $2000, and coming up with "motorbike"  I finally said, "so he's taking back the birthday present, and also is going out into the world clueless that we girls like to pick our own cars?  Real classy."

He texts her she can just leave the car at his friend's house (where she is renting a room for $400 a month) and leave the key with them, for his dad and him to pick up on their way out to the East Coast where Adam Johnson will finally be at home among his peeps.

I've a chip on my shoulder so I said, "It's kind of a white thing to want to take it with you.  His parents probably told him he had to get the car."  Maki rose to his defense, of course, saying he didn't want the car, and it was a birthday present.  Maki's dad remarks, "hmmmmm.  I wonder how his dad knew that the car company wasn't going to accept you before you knew, and knew to fly on over here."  I want to say, what kind of guy gives a birthday present that puts you in a "lease situation" where you need your dad to pay it, and then puts you in a situation at the last minute when you have to get a car on his time frame?" 

There is a long, awkward pause with her dad's question as she stares without blinking with nothing to say, and we could almost hear the click click click of her brain whirring.  Definitely, the longest, most awkward drawn out break up EVER!  It should finally end on July 3, 2013, an excruciating nine weeks after it first began.

Postscript:  Sigh.  It continues with one more accommodation needed by him.  He wants the car, with very little notice, tomorrow.  Will cannot  help make that happen because he is giving up a lot of work and cannot add another day plus we would have to get a motel in Portland. Being a reasonable and kind man, however, we are all willing to get up and out of here by 7 am on Wednesday to make sure we have the car to Adam way before he needs to pick his dad up at the airport at 10 am.    Adam has sent a text that he does not intend too accommodate us, and that he needs the car tomorrow night (despite the fact his father does not come in until the next day.) PERIOD.    Maki read his text hoping that we might be able to do this.  I returned her stare, and turned, laughing.  We live in the real world here and in the real world good people work things out the best they can.  We were willing to do that. Perhaps being in the army he thinks that people will jump if talked to in that manner, salute and say Yes Sir!  However,  even if  Mr. Adam thinks the WHOLE family should jump to accommodate his whims as Maki too often willingly did, it just is not realistic.

We will keep our mouths shut as Maki washed the car and cleaned it and filled the tank because we probably would take the high road too.  We don't say anything as she drives off tomorrow to take care of business and have the car available that evening to accommodate him.  Certainly, we will all drive up as soon as we can the next day to pick her up and take off for the next chapter, lesson learned, for her life.  Hopefully, she has a few more things to add to her list of traits a man must have and one of them hopefully will be respect for her family because she deserves it. 

She's been on a few dates now, and taking it slow,  not really thinking of anything serious, but the good news is that all are  much more respectful of her.  It took this to wake her up to the lesson that she deserves to be valued for her whole self as much as she values her partner, his friends, his family.  She should feel supported to bring her whole self in to the relationship, and not just leave everything behind in exchange for his world only.  I would say that the people I know she has dated are real men, and very much with their destiny in their hands and ready to treasure or share with someone rather than needing so much accommodation, so much adoration, so much one way.  More than that she is surrounded by quality women, including her parents (yes, I know Will is a man but we're a team) -- her Winnemem family,  her mom's closest Sisters -- Aunties and her Godmother who are back in her life, now that she is ready to enter this  next chapter.

I feel for her.  She did give her heart, and because of the kind of person he is, she put her life goals on hold, quitting college to move in with him.   I am proud that she learned that giving up one's whole self cannot make a selfish relationship a good relationship.  If one treasures, one also should expect to be treasured.  To build a relationship, the glue is the shared commitment to make one another happy and be true to one another. Next time, I pray for her, a reciprocal and loving relationship which lasts.

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"from Outside the Belly" was also known as "TBAsian" from 2008-2010. Thank you for reading.

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. . . following Earth instead (Rakaia River, site of Salmon Ceremony, photo credit Ruth Koenig)


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Eugene, Oregon
I am a citizen of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. I am a Nikkei descendant sansei (third generation);retired teacher, involved in the Winnemem tribal responsibility to Water, Salmon, and our belief that the Sacred is our Teacher. Working locally for human rights and supporting youth leadership.