The following is an actual** conversation I had on the day last week on which I paid off the first of the five student loans that comprise my anti-dowry.  SUCH A GREAT DAY.  This post is dedicated to those of you who, like me, have a net worth of way less than zero.  May heaven bless us all.

LO: Can I help you?

Sarah: Oh—hi. I wasn’t expecting you to answer. I’m so used to getting your machine.

LO: Yes, well, we’re talking now. Is there something I can do for you?

Sarah: I think we need to break up.

LO: (pause) I’m sorry?

Sarah: I said I think we need to break up. I want to be done. And I just need to hear from you what you need from me, so we can part ways and both be happy.

LO: Excuse me? I don’t think I understand.

Sarah: It’s not you.  It’s me. Our interests are going in different directions. And while it worked for a while—I mean, I learned a lot because of you—I just think that I’m in a different place now, and it’s time for me to grow up. To move on.

LO: Oh.

Sarah: That’s allowed, right? I mean—I can do this?

LO: Yes, it’s allowed.  I mean, we won’t stop you.  I just—are you sure you don’t want to take more time? Maybe slow things down a little? You know, we’re not looking for a big commitment. Even just doing the small stuff—that would be enough for us.

Sarah: Yeah, but—

LO: We’re in this for the long haul. Can’t you be too?

Sarah: (silence)

LO: Listen, if you need to, we’re willing to reevaluate what we were asking of you. Maybe be less demanding. We really think we can make it work for the both of us. (Pause.) Won’t you reconsider?

Sarah: No! I’ve been carrying you around like a burden for too long. I just need to focus on moving forward. On narrowing the field. I know that I don’t want you around forever, so I just—I need to focus on the others.

LO: There are others?

Sarah: Yes, of course. Four, if you really want to know.

LO: Wow. Four. I didn’t realize. I thought we had something special.

Sarah: Well, we did.  We do.  I mean, I’ve been more devoted to you than to anyone else. But I just can’t be all things to all people. So—why don’t we just call it like it is.

LO: You should know—you meant a lot to us. Less than we hoped for, frankly, but still a lot. We feel like we didn’t waste our time. You know that. We were always open about the fact that we viewed our relationship as an investment in the future.

Sarah: I know.  You were always good about being clear with me, being explicit about your expectations. But this is what’s best for me, and sometimes, you just have to do what’s best for you. You know?

LO: Yeah. Yeah, we know.

Sarah: So that’s it. This is my last call. I’ll send you the rest of your stuff, and then you’ll never hear from me again.

LO: Well, then, I guess this is goodbye. Is there anything else we can do for you?

Sarah: NOOOO!  Never again!  SUCKA!


* DTR = A conversation in which two people “define the relationship”; also, a favorite pastime of Sarah’s.

** “Actual” is used here for its less literal meaning.  As in, “Daniel Craig is my actual boyfriend.”