How to handle a POR infection
The other night I was sitting around the J-Bar with the Broken Hearts Club, a group of friends who have all been dumped recently. It was a bit of a pathetic scene: the empty bar, bad ’80s music, a football game on TV between two teams that no one cares about, a plate of stale pretzels and a round of piss-colored beer.It made me think of that dumb book “He’s Just Not That Into You,” which I bought, read, and marked up with big stars and notes in the margin things like, “That’s exactly what he did!!!” in big letters. While that book was written by my friends from the Writer’s Room at “Sex and the City,” what pissed me off about it was that it was so gender-specific, as if women are the only ones who can’t get a clue about What’s Really Going On Here (a book I should probably write at some point). Well kitty cats, everyone is susceptible to getting dumped, at which point they are at risk of being infected with the Psychology of Rejection. POR doesn’t care if you’re a man or a woman. It can inflict anyone at any time, no matter how immune you think you are to it.POR is a combination of selective memory, wounded ego and self-pity. It starts somewhere deep in the brain and spreads until there is no understanding of what the hell really went on. These people becomes depressed, delusional and irrational. But worse, they somehow rewrite their own personal histories so all of a sudden they can’t live without this person who was a total nightmare in the first place. There is very little that can be done for those suffering from POR. They hear the same crap from everyone, so after awhile it starts to sound like background noise, like adults squawking in those old “Peanuts” cartoons. So don’t think you’re being clever when you tell them, “Everything happens for a reason,” or “It just wasn’t meant to be.” The worst is, “Aren’t you glad it happened now and not six years down the road?” and the ever-pathetic, “The timing wasn’t right.” My personal favorite is, “You deserve someone who treats you better.”What they hear is: 1. The reason it happened is because I’m a fat, ugly loser. 2. It wasn’t meant to be for me to ever be happy again. 3. Six years of not being alone and miserable sounds pretty damn good about now. 4. It was me who wasn’t right because I’m a fat, ugly loser. 5. I deserve to get really drunk/stoned/sit home alone right now so I can cry with reckless abandon.Please, I beg you not to tell the POR person about how you saw the ex at City Market/Eric’s/the ski swap. People have this uncanny ability to be incredibly insensitive. I once overheard a girl telling her friend, “He made out with her right in front of me so I would see it and tell you!” I wanted to smack her over the head with my purse and say, “Well, that’s exactly what you did now, isn’t it?” Women can be so cruel.With all these little spies who think they are helping, the POR people are apt to find out every little detail about this person despite their better judgment. Trust me, when they learn their ex’s new girlfriend slept with everyone in her office it won’t make them feel any better.POR victims have the tendency to turn every bit of information into an excuse to feel even worse. If she’s a slut, it means she’s prettier and more desirable than you. If he’s a liar, she tries to tell you it’s not his fault because he’s not a good communicator. Anal control freaks are remembered as responsible. She slept with the carpet cleaner guy because she was confused. He told you he doesn’t love you anymore because he’s scared to be in a relationship. Honey, the only thing he’s really scared of is being in a relationship with you. Didn’t your mommy ever tell you that the truth hurts? At some point you’re going to have to face it, like the day you see her crossing the street with her new boyfriend and you see for yourself that she’s not confused at all. She’s just a lot happier now that she’s not with you.That’s when the hysterical phone calls start. Friends can expect these calls at ungodly hours, either early in the morning or late at night. A good night of rest or privacy is not something these people will respect. They’ll show up at your house unannounced when you’re taking a bath and expect you to go out to McStorlie’s on weeknights, when no one but alcoholics and other POR people are around, desperate for a distraction. Don’t expect that to work, because they don’t call it crying in your beer for nothing. I don’t know why people think getting wasted is going to make them feel better or forget their troubles. All it does is make them more likely to call the person they are trying to forget about and finish the job by making a complete ass out of themselves.The most frustrating part of dealing with these people is you can tell them the same thing over and over again, you can state the obvious, and you can do everything you possibly can to cheer them up. You’re wasting your time.I’ve seen so much heartache and relationship horror lately that I’m really starting to wonder if there’s such a thing as happily ever after. The only hope for this ever-growing population of POR people is to sleep with someone who is much better in bed than their former lover was. It works every time. Let’s just say actions speak louder than words.The Princess thinks maybe she should have been a shrink. E-mail your relationship woes to email@example.com
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