Grow A Pair

June 13, 2010


So, I have this friend, let’s call her Shannyn. I call her that because, if a movie was made about her life, I believe Shannyn Sossaman would play her. We met in grad school. One semester our drafting tables were next to one another. We introduced ourselves, became instant bffs and have spent a considerable amount of time together in the last seven years. On top of the hundreds of late nights we shared in studio swapping mom stories (both our moms are Martha Stewart disciples) we spent two months together trekking through Europe and have a standing monthly date at our favorite restaurant in town. It’s a Thai place with tasty sushi and the best martinis in town. Shannyn is like the sister I never had but always prayed for. We could have French braided each other’s hair and configured her Ken dolls in morally compromising situations. As an honorary sister, I’m very protective of her and, as an extension of me, so is bf.

Recently, Shannyn broke up with her boyfriend of two years. I won’t go into the specifics of why she dumped him because, on top of it not being any of my, or your business, it’s not the topic of this post. What is the topic? How her now ex-boyfriend is handling the situation and one of bf’s favorite expressions.

As you know, bf is pretty spectacular. (for more information on exactly how close to perfection he is, read “My Superhero Boyfriend and His One Weakness”). On top of laugh clappers, there is one thing that gets under his skin: emotional whimps. I’m not talking about emotional people. If he didn’t like them he would have dumped me years ago. He just doesn’t like it when people let rogue emotions negatively guide their lives and/or feelings. For example, when we went to see the third and final Matrix movie I started crying when Trinity died. I knew it was stupid, but I couldn’t help it…those movies were a big part of my life for a long time. Instead of offering me a Kleenex, bf leaned over and offered some unsolicited advice of his own. “Grow a pair.” He whispered in my ear. Quickly, realizing the bafoon I was making out of myself in a situation that didn’t call for it, I wiped my eyes, closed my tear ducts and went back to watching the movie. Since then, when my emotions are out of control, I simply take a deep breath and repeat his words of wisdom, “Grow a pair.”, and I’m fine.

I want to say the same thing to Shannyn’s newly ex-boyfriend.

Last week bf and I were meeting Shannyn for our monthly two-martini Thai dinner date when we realized we were almost out of gas. We took a slight detour to a gas station and ended up at a stop light adjacent to Shannyn’s condo building. Waiting for the light to turn green, who did we see crossing the street? None other than Shannyn’s newly ex-boyfriend.  Both of our inner Mrs. Kravitz’s came out and, after our light turned green and we were turning into the gas station, we looked back, saw him pause in front of Shannyn’s building’s main entrance, then continue down the street.

Knowing this would make delicious dinner conversation, we hurried and pumped our gas and sped to the restaurant, not wanting to forget any detail of what we had just witnessed. It hadn’t been five minutes since we had seen the ex in front of her building when Shannyn texted me “Running late. Just ran into my f-ing ex.”I sat there, stared blankly at the word on my phone, remembering that creepy scene in “Fatal Attraction” where Glenn Close is sitting on the floor of her apartment, listening to classical music and turning the lamp on and off again, and again, and again. We walked into the restaurant, sat down and ordered Shannyn a martini. We knew she’d need it when we told her that she was being stalked. That was the only explanation. How else could we have seen him walk in front of her building five minutes before he ambushed Shannyn outside her front door?  Obviously, he was just walking up and down the street, hoping to run into her.

To our shock, Shannyn wasn’t surprised when we told her about what we saw while waiting at the red light. Apparently, stalking was just the next step in her ex-boyfriend’s coping process since being dumped. She rehashed some e-mails he sent her explaining that, even though he’d moved his belongings out of her condo, his heart was still there. And how he’d been trying to coax her into meeting up with him under the guise of wanting to give her a care package. He’d even gone as far as using Shannyn’s dog as an excuse to get back together, saying how he missed walking the dog together and taking her to the dog park.

Luckily, from what she was saying, everything he was doing and saying to get back with her was only reinforcing Shannyn’s resolve to never see him again. By the end of our meal and after two martinis each, we had moved away from breakups and were discussing upcoming summer vacations. But, even though the conversation had ended, each of us periodically glanced toward the front door, half expecting the ex-boyfriend to be standing outside the restaurant in a dark trench coat, blaring “In Your Eyes” from a boom box held high over his head.

My advice to Shannyn’s ex-boyfriend: Grow a pair. Women don’t like whimpy men, especially ones that are stalkers.

My advice to Shannyn: Next month, for our dinner date, let us pick you up. That way, there’s less of a chance of a “surprise” encounter with your ex.

My advice to everyone else: If someone breaks up with you, take the high road and respect their feelings. Why would you want to date someone that doesn’t want to date you anyway?

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2 Responses to “Grow A Pair”


  1. Just for the record, here’s my favorite line: “And how he’d been trying to coax her into meeting up with him under the guise of wanting to give her a care package.”

    A care package? Her ex is creepy for sure, but he also needs to grow like a full pair and then a backup for good measure. What kind of dude makes a care package (as an excuse to see an ex??). That’s HI-LARIOUS.

    You should definitely pick up Shannyn before your next dinner. She’ll need the support.


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