Notes From A Walkman Junkie: Breaking Up (In A Moving Vehicle) Is Hard To Do (And Ill Advised)
A car, particularly one traveling at high speeds on the highway, is a terrible place to attempt to terminate a long term relationship. Many years ago I was attending a Halloween party with my boyfriend, Garp. Now, as I have learned, there are good parties (like my fifth birthday party — there were ponies and a Cookie Monster cake, my dog humped the boy that I had a crush on, and there were no clowns) and there are bad parties (like the party I attended hosted by a man that I later discovered had been tried, but not convicted of bludgeoning his wife and kids to death in their own beds.) This particular Halloween party hovered closer to the bad side of the party scale — mostly because I had been strongly considering breaking up with Garp (He liked football and “Killing Me Softly With His Song.” We were not right for each other), and really did not want to go to this party in the first place.
Somewhere mid-party I had decided that this would in fact be the night that I broke things off with my companion and planned to do so once we returned home from the festivities. However, as the evening progressed, the urgency to end this thing seemed to inflate to an unbearable (Garp was repeatedly addressing me as ”my baby” and there was singing) level. When it was finally time to go we climbed into my car and Garp started to giddily (and drunkenly) babble about the evening as I drove us home. Suddenly, in the midst of his gleeful chatter, I snapped and just blurted out my desire to end our relationship as we sped down the highway — with a good twenty uncomfortable minutes left to the drive. Adding to the awkwardness, since we had just left a Halloween party we were still in costume dressed as Darth Vader and a Chicken. The ungainly “cut and run” car conversation went as follows: Chicken: “This is not working. I think we should break up.” Darth Vader: “Whaaaar? ahhhh blarrrr eeirious?” (the Vader mask was a bit muffling). Chicken: “I am very serious (I speak Vader Mask fluently.) I am sorry.”
At this point, things got ugly and Darth Vader clutched the door handle and promptly announced that he was going to hurl himself out of the moving car. Though Chicken did not fully believe Darth Vader’s threat to flee the vehicle in a nontraditional manner, she decided that it was in both of their best interests to calm Vader down by postponing the inevitable parting between them. The plan to split was later brought up at a more appropriate (sober, not in a speeding vehicle nor in costume) time and produced a slightly better reaction than the initial mention (most likely because a large screen T.V. was thrown in as a consolation prize.)
So yes, cars are never an ideal place to lay down some heavy news or incidentally, to make emotional decisions and/or assumptions of any kind. My brother once told me of an incident in which his feelings were manipulated by a fancy luxury feature in a car. He was riding with a girl in her car and she had, unbeknownst to him, turned on the seat warmer on his side. He said he mysteriously felt his butt getting warmer and thought, “wow, I must really like this girl.”
I am attaching the classic (and somewhat scary) break-up song, “I Can’t Live” performed by Lena Zavaroni for you to enjoy.