Tag Archives: breakup

The Case of the Disappearing Dog

Out in the jungle of dating there exists a little known species known as the ‘disappearing dog’. Now you see him, now you don’t!  One day he’s there, hanging with your friends, making plans for holidays, mentioning the parents and then… *poof* gone without so much as an ‘it’s not you it’s me’ text. Where do they go? It’s a mystery, to doggie heaven perhaps!

Ladies beware, side-effects of the sting include all the usual marks of a Dog encounter (insomnia, depression, unusual attachment to Facebook) but this particular mutation can induce side effects ranging from mild hysteria to extreme obsession.

Yesterday I was sent a text conversation that was uploaded onto the internet entitled “this is what crazy looks like via text messaging” http://soundcloud.com/vaughan-1-1/this-is-what-crazy-looks-like . In a nut-shell (no pun intended) a girl called JJ goes gaga after her one night stand blows her out. Now while this is all very amusing and the girl in this case is clearly insane, I’m going to use this extreme case as evidence of the effect of the ‘disappearing dog’ phenomenon. When a guy just vanishes without any explanation, the need for closure, and answer, an explanation… anything! Can drive otherwise sane self- respecting women into fits of feverish text frenzies.

“I just wanted my stuff back!” Said my friend,  as she recounted the story of a guy she’d been seeing for several months.

“He told me he was going for a drink with an ex, texted me from the bar telling me how bored he was and how he can’t wait to see me later, then nothing! I texted once, tried calling and assumed he got back with the ex. He still had a lot of my stuff at his so I called his mobile from my friend’s phone and got as far as ‘oh hey it’s….’ When I heard him gasp and he slammed the phone down!”

My friend never did get her stuff back, and to this day she wonders what really happened that night.

When a dog just disappears, he leaves a great big question-mark that wouldn’t otherwise be there. With a question mark that big, the need to figure out why can become all-consuming; sending you spiraling off to Sherlock Holmes his Facebook for evidence of something (you’ll know what it is when you find it) or e-mailing his work account (just in case he lost his phone). One friend was so confused by a sudden disappearance that she texted the guy’s friend to see if he was still alive and OK. He was.

More-so than just closure, the reason why a disappearing dog has such an effect, is the utter non response to contact. It’s the digital equivalent of someone sticking their fingers in their ears and going “I CANT HEAR YOU!” Take JJ-loco above, the lack of reply from her Kevin was the catalyst to crazy-town. Could that really be any of us?

In the Ye Olde dating times you communicated on the phone or in person, but now it’s so easy to delete from Facebook, so simple to ignore a message that the need to actually step up and be honest is diminishing.

The recent launch of a website helping dumpees communicate with their dumpers has unsurprisingly been a success. Only two weeks after it launched, www.wotwentwrong.com received over 28,000 hits. That’s 28,000 people who would happily pay to have a site message their ex and have them fill out a questionnaire on why they ended the relationship. The figures smell suspiciously like disappearing dog. When a relationship ends, there is always ‘the chat’…right? Or is the phenomenon of the D-dog more widespread than any of us feared? Has the rise of digital communication created a monster?

I’m going to stray from the point a little and recount the events of last night, when my very own disappearing dog, non- other than Prince Charming (remember him?) wagged back into my life. I knew he would be at the club so it wasn’t a shock to see him there, all dazzling and chatting to some girl he’d no doubt just met. My phone vibrated and I had a moment of utter confusion when the name flashed up, because how he could be calling and standing in front of me at the same time? Then came the realisation that the guy busy charming every poor girl in the club was his identical twin.

Yes there are two of them. Two sets of chiseled cheekbones, two sets of piercing blue eyes, two heartless bastards. Could this be any more Dynasty? Apart from the whole warehouse in north west London, overflowing toilets and lack of toilet paper… so maybe more Dysentery than Dynasty but anyway, awkward encounter with Prince Charming’s equally evil twin averted, I turned my attention back to my phone where a message just appeared. PC wanted to know if I fancied coming round to his to ‘hook up’.

The reason for the story is this, first of all to exemplify the fact that if a dog disappears he’s probably not the kind of dog you’d have wanted around anyway, secondly that if there was no explanation given, perhaps instead of resorting to sending a questionnaire out (www.how-to-lose-your-dignity-in-one-easy-step.com) you can come to terms with the fact that finding out why, will not make the disappearance any easier. Had Prince Charming sat me down over a drink and explained that he didn’t actually want to go out with me because he only picks up girls for sport, maybe even elaborated that he has mother issues or a complex about being just a little bit fatter and shorter than his twin, would that have made any difference at all?

Back to the text, I was surprised at how keen he was to meet up especially considering the fact that every time I’d seen him previously he’d been quite happy to parade his gaggle of blondes right under my nose. Had things really got that bad? Or had he just slept with and not called every girl in Essex?

Even more curious was my realisation that not replying to him was actually getting a reaction! We’re not talking JJ-Loco but it was something!

“I give up!” he texted despondently. Then shortly after, “Kind of thought we were more grown up than this.”

I could have done one of two things. The first was to give him a taste of his own medicine, the guy stood me up twice, embarrassed me and hurt me he deserved to be ignored, but then would that be any better than a disappearing dog? It’s so easy to ignore a text message, to leave the words and the question dangling in space, forever echoing and never answered. I’m sure that it didn’t matter to him anyway whether I replied or didn’t, but in a world where common courtesy can so easily be forgotten, I decided to reply.

“I’m sorry… it’s just that that ship has sailed… and I’m not really the booty call type… Friends? Xx”

It was hardly a drink flung in his face, but to me it felt like closure, and that was antidote enough.

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Night of the Living Dead Dogs

It was a cold night, the last days of summer marked by a distinctive bite to the air.  The shelves of my local supermarket were stocked with pumpkins, and orange and black sweets twinkled from the till. Halloween was near. Outside my window the leaves on the trees had turned orange, as if they too were preparing to celebrate old hallows eve, the night that the world of the past and the present collide.

But this year, that day came early.

It was a series of accidents that led to the resurrection of my past,  and dead dogs long laid to rest came back to haunt me.

The first dead dog came to me in a dream. It was the night before my big conference at work. Perhaps it was the stress of the event, or the detailed account Claude had given me of Paranormal Activity 2 (when I’d purposely sat out of watching it) but I woke up at 4am to a scratching noise behind my headboard. Springing from my bed, I flicked on the light and listened intently. No scratching.

I got back into bed and finally got back to sleep when I was woken again by a scratch scratch scuttle. I jumped up, now truly terrified. Not because of the mouse that was likely just frolicking in the wall but because I’d dreamt about Chris (AKA golf boy).

I couldn’t get back to sleep that night, and the next morning was filled with a dread that like that poor girl in Paranormal Activity, Chris was my very own poltergeist and would be haunting me forever

The second dead dog  came to me through a case of mistaken identity when outlook decided to auto-enter Prince Charming’s e mail into a forward I was sending to a client with the same first name. I bantered politely, a little excited every time my e-mail inbox pinged and a message from him popped up. He re-added me on facebook and of course I had to have a snoop. As I looked at his wall, a mixture of stupid status updates, passé anachronyms and cheesy grinning pictures with various thin blonde girls, I wondered what I ever saw in him anyway?

The third dead dog came to me by chance at a night out in Brixton Academy. Dressed in a white lace dress and pushing my way through the zombielike sweaty faces in the crowd, I bumped into the Swedish One. The same dead dog that asked me out for drinks twice and didn’t bother to follow up on it, the same dead dog that was positively cruel to me last summer. I must have been very drunk because somehow I found myself spending most the night with him. And last night, me and the Swedish one had our first actual date. It did take a lot of help from my friends vodka lime and soda, but we were actually having a good time. I mean, he did laugh a lot at everything I said, even things that weren’t really funny and he was a rather simple sort of guy,  but we did bond on a mutual love of Metalicca and 90’s power metal bands. He was really very pretty to look at, probably the prettiest man I’ve sat across from that I had no interest in whatsoever. The chemistry was non-existent and I ordered more and more drinks out of boredom. I had no interest in his memory stick that was worth near £3,000 or his laptop that cost £2,000 and as sweet as it was to see a slideshow of Sweden covered in snow, and various dishes his mother had cooked, there was a point where I wanted to suggest going back to mine to watch Entourage.

Two of my three dead dogs had walked in my present and were laid to rest in my past, there was no room for them in my world. Perhaps had they not acted so badly in the first place, the anacronyms or the pictures of Swedish fish would not have bothered me. But the thing about a dead dog, is that once dead, it cannot be resurrected. Your respect dies along with said dog and while the ghost dog might bark and run around like an ordinary dog, it will never really be one

Though two were gone back to their world behind the facebook screen, one remained.


The original dead dog. The king of dead dogs and the one whose memory won’t let go of me.

But maybe Chris was never meant to be a dead dog. I didn’t want to be with him, and as a boyfriend he was terrible but then, it wasn’t the memory of being with him that haunted me, it was just that I missed HIM. One thought kept returning to me; I didn’t want to lose him from my life, as a person, a friend.

I had to try and resurrect the friendship if nothing else.

Friday 14th Oct

Sad that we’re not friends after all the fun times.

Had to delete you from FB, it wouldn’t have been nice for either of us to see pictures… etc.

Know this is inappropriate for work e-mail but don’t even think have your phone number anymore….

Would be nice to go for a drink sometime, or just keep in touch.

Really hope you’re doing well 🙂  x

Like a spirit floating round in limbo, my e-mail remains unreturned and possibly unread. This should have brought some kind of rest to the last of my remaining haunts, but it hasn’t. Instead, it has made the ghost of Chris very much present and real.

Xx Amelia

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The Masochism Mambo – Part 2

Just like the addiction of the first date rush, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of doing something wrong.

I’ve known Alex for about seven years, on the surface, he’s everything a girl wants – good looking, smart, caring, funny with a dry sense home humour and ‘look after me eyes’. I had a crush on him for years, but a mild flirtation (which only ever went as far as a drunken kiss) turned into friendship and eventually, he dropped the pretence and let me into the world of Alex – a place where serial dating and masochistic binges are taken to a whole new level.

“I’m about to try and get off with a girl in front of her boyfriend! Help! ” he texted me last Friday night. I was out with my flatmate at the Dragonbar in Shoreditch. The drinks are cheap there and the bartenders uniformly HOT.

“You’re f*cking twisted.” I replied.

A second later my phone beeped “I’ve left. Your text did the trick. Where are you?”

Alex came to meet us at the bar, and shuffled in on the sofa with me stuck as a wedge between him and my flatmate.

“So… you left,” I said, gulping my drink. I don’t know what it is about Alex that makes him so magnetic to be around, I didn’t fancy him, I’d stopped liking him years ago but he still made me giddy. “What’s your deal anyway? Who was she?”

“Just a friend. Her boyfriend’s a real dick.” He has this slow way of speaking that’s really hypnotic. “So I just wanted to see if I could kiss her with him standing right there.”

“How, exactly?”

“Well, first I took her arm like this,” he demonstrated, “and then I pulled her closer like this.”

I unhooked myself and reached to grab my drink form the table. “So how’s your new girlfriend?”

“she’s good.”

I’d actually been joking. Alex had been seeing a girl for a while but he was a non- committal kind of guy. “Wow so you guys are serious!”

“Yeah.” He replied. “I love her.”

I snorted into my drink.  This was so typical Alex,  for him, it was wholly possible to exist in two realities, one where you are in love, and another where you try and kiss some guys girlfriend in a bar. The latter had nothing to do with love. It was about Ego.

As I stood outside the bar having a cigarette, I watched him swoop in on my flatmate, his arm sprawled across the back of the sofa, leaning in to fill the gap I’d left. I rolled my eyes, it’s not like I was worried, I’d already warned her about him, but there was still a small pang of irritation that made me smoke my cigarette faster and wedge my butt back on the sofa between them.

Alex left shortly after, whispering in my ear that he was about to ‘pull’ my flatmate and needed to take himself home.

I don’t think he even wanted to pull my flatmate, that’s not the way he operated, he did things to make himself feel powerful, and he’d obviously accomplished what he’d come for.

“It all stems from my innate need for attention.” I slurred at my friend last night, New Radicals were playing on the stereo and we shared a cigarette out the window. “My dad was never there so I’m, like constantly looking for a attention from guys to replace what I , like, missed out on…as a child”

“My issue is that I just can’t handle rejection.” She replied and looked painfully at her phone.

Perhaps the Massochism Mambo is less about the rush of doing something wrong and more about validation, an emotional poly-filler for parts of you that are missing.

………Jade texted me later that night to let me know she didn’t call her dead dog after all.

XX Amelia

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the Masochism Mambo

As my twitter-oos will know, my plan of a boy free three months resulted in a bout of binge texting.

The swede and GB were texted last night, the latter thankfully only resulting in minimal polite text banter which seemed to quench my need for attention and dulling the impact of the former who didn’t reply at all.

Not only did I binge text two people I care very little about and have only a very small interest in seeing but I decided to randomly message a guy I worked with almost five years ago in TV. Why ? who knows?

I know I’m not alone in this madness

I invited my friend Jade over tonight for dinner to cheer her up after her dog died.

(aside… the term dead dog originated when my friend Jessica, frustrated with the constant banter but no date invite from a guy she met, threw her phone down on the table and exclaimed- “I feel like I’m poking a dead dog with a stick” since, ‘dead dog’ had been coined for a boy that has, for some reason or another, turned out to be a loser. The activity of poking dead dogs is universally acknowledged to be pointless but at the time, a harmless bit of fun)

Jade’s dog hadn’t actually died of corse, she was merely grieving the loss of a something she thought had potential.

An entire bottle of vodka turned into a Karaoke session of singing into remote controls and jumping on the sofa to Flashdance soundtrack. I made the mistake of putting on Celine Dion when Jade slumped onto the sofa and declared that she wanted to poke her dead dog.

I knew how she felt.

If I still had Chris’s number in my phone I would have texted him in a second. If I still had PC on my Facebook I would have easily slipped into checking his profile.

You know it’s bad for you, you know no good can come of it but yet you just can’t help doing it!

But then, as I checked my facebook for the hundredth time (maybe the guy I messaged will message back after all….) I realised, there is a euphoria that’s so intertwined with doing something you KNOW is bad, that you just can’t help doing it.

Like maxing out your credit card on a last minute trip to Ibiza, or partying late on a Sunday. Have you noticed that watching Jeremy Kyle is really only ever fun if you’ve pulled a sickie?

“How have you been?” golden Boy texted me “it’s been a while.”

“Blah Blah Blah…. “ I responded, or something to that effect

“I’ve just moved to Clapham…..” he replied.

I’d stopped caring whether he replied or not. It wasn’t’ even fun anymore.

Thinking back over past relationships, not only have I always wanted what I couldn’t have, but I’ve always wanted things that were bad for me.

Is it fundamentally impossible to stop dancing the masochism mambo?

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Hitting Delete

Apologies if there is a MASSIVE lack of continuity from the last post… between the two, 7 months had passed and suffice to say I’d rather forget most of them! but, I rather like this post… it has a nice air of optimism and I am only taking my fave posts with me to my new home.. kind of like a spring clean! (how relevant to the following! xx Amelia)

I’ve often wondered whether, if you could, you would hit DELETE on entire chunks of your life; just like spring cleaning your wardrobe – throwing out the flares and pile of T- shirts you only ever wear to bed.

If I could, theoretically erase pieces of the past, would I delete the useless bits? like the hours spent watching TV or waiting for the tube? These memories have to still be in there somewhere, clogging up your hard-drive like a lifetime’s worth of nondescript fluff. Or, would I be more tactical, deleting childhood memories – the time I saw my grandad in an open casket, or when I got lost in the shopping centre. Maybe go further and delete memories from the Gulf War in Israel, the smell of my rubber gas mask and the plastic on the windows shivering as the buildings shook, the siren whirring eerily from the TV.

Some would say these memories contribute to making a person who they are, but how much better could I be without them?

I’ve often also wondered if I would be better off deleting all the bad relationships in my life.

How happy is the blameless Vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d.

The day after I finally ended things with the ex (last Sunday to be exact) I watched Eternal Sunshine with the obligatory box of tissues. As Joel and Clem were running through all their memories, trying to hold onto the good times and the bad, I wondered if I could not entirely erase, but just file down the last seven months, whether I would?

“Blessed are the forgetful: for they shall have done with their stupidities too.” (Neitsche; Beyond Good and Evil)

I’d erase the breakup, definitely. Maybe the last few months completely. The distance, the wall, the way I looked at him and saw only my own anger reflected in a shadow of a person I once cared for. The dreams that told me what I already knew, that he didn’t care anymore. Maybe never did.

But for every bad memory there was an equally good one. A kiss good bye in my doorway with the rain pelting down around, stopping on the walk home on Blackfriars’s bridge to look at the water, when he told me he hadn’t ever felt this way and the night we burnt the pizza. The first time he told me he loved me on New Year’s Eve but then the very next day made me feel so horrible.

I couldn’t keep just some of them. If I could delete them all, would I?

Thinking you can learn something from a relationship is kind of like a security blanket you use to make up for the burning realisation that you’ve wasted your time, and your energy on something pointless. Maybe it’s best to; in the words of the cardigans – Erase and Rewind?


For now, I’ll be hanging on to his stripy T-shirt, and the little tin box of keepsakes. Maybe one day I’ll look at them and smile

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