Doin’ Time

By Meghan Sara

You know what they say, “Time Heals All Wounds”?

Actually, my fave John Lennon said “Time Wounds All Heels,” and not only does that make me giggle, but I’ve been a bit of a heel lately.

Dear friends,

I’ve been keeping a secret (badly) from you. Near the end of 2017, my dearest darling, the apple of my eye, the love of my life, my boyfriend and heart of hearts

— dumped me.

Dumped me hard.

So that saying, “Time Heals All Wounds?” Yeah, I’ve been getting that a lot from a lot of different directions. It sucks a lot, because, well…TIME, man!

Time is the one thing I can’t get.

I was a Band-Aid addicted child. Were you? Well, if you were, you probably internalized the idea that a Band-Aid could magically heal your cuts, scrapes, and boo-boos faster. Faster than not using a Band-Aid.

Is this true? Ennnnnh, probably not. TIME heals your wounds.

That awful cut on your finger, the most inconvenient cut on your dominant hand, that stings when you get dish soap/laundry detergent/shampoo into it? You’re just going to have to suffer until it goes away. You can put a new Band-Aid on it every day – or every time it gets wet, and the old Band-Aid slides off, useless – but it’s gonna stick around until it heals. It will heal, in time. But until it does, it SUUUUUUUUUUCKS.

As for me? Well, don’t worry. I think my time of SUUUUUUUUUUCK has passed. But now I’m faced with a new problem. I don’t exactly know what time it is.

Like, okay.

Before The Breakup 2K17, I knew what that time was. It was, as I euphemistically called it when friends and therapists asked, “A Difficult Time.” Let’s be honest with each other, dear friends. Ex + Me were having A Difficult Time for A WHILE.

But at least I knew where I stood, how to behave, what my priorities were, what I needed to do. I needed to resolve the difficulties! How else to you exit A Difficult Time?


And then you enter “A Delicate Time.” This is the period in which mutual friends send you vaguely-worded condolence texts and FB messages, and IRL friends keep their voices soft around you and shoot furtive looks of fear around the room when anyone mentions anything that might upset you. This is meant to be a comfort, and it falls on the shoulders of The Dumpee (that’s me!) to accept it as such, but in reality, only serves to reinforce the fact that everyone knows you’re in the middle of A Delicate Time.

You might find yourself getting tagged in a lot of cute animal videos. This is nice; it’s good. You are encouraged to “take care of yourself!” in a variety of different platitudes.

It’s like that sign you hang on the doorknob of a nursery during naptime, with a dozing bear in a nightcap: “SHHH! BABY’S SLEEPING!” spelled out in alphabet blocks. Well, LIFE and SHITTY CIRCUMSTANCES have hung a sign on you:


But when that ends…where are you? How do you know when it’s time to go back to normal? You know, when time has healed your wounds? And what happens then?

I’m open to suggestions for names. What do you call it when you’re finally over someone? As we all know, there are 10 steps for recovering from a breakup:

1.) Denial
2.) Anger
3.) Acceptance
4.) Sadness
5.) Telling all your friends how shit they were
6.) Getting very drunk and spilling your troubles to a stranger
7.) Fucking someone new
8.) Fantasizing about your ex seeing you with that new person and being really jealous
9.) Actually realizing you no longer give a damn about what your ex thinks about you, as a matter of fact

And what comes after that? What “time” is it now?

As a lapsed Catholic, I remember going to church on Sundays and hearing the lectors tell us that it was the “23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time,” or something like that. If it wasn’t Advent, or Lent, or the Feast of some saint or another, it was just “Ordinary Time.”  Even as a bored kid shifting uncomfortably on a hard wooden pew, I found something disconcerting about that.

What does “Ordinary Time” demand of us? What was the point of having “Ordinary Time?” It was always a letdown, to know that I got all dressed up in my church clothes, just for “Ordinary Time.”

And while we’re on the subject: I’m jealous of the cultures that have strict dress codes for widows. You know, like the Victorian guidelines that dictate that a widow must wear black for a certain, very specific, period of time after the death of her husband, to broadcast her supposed heartbreak to all who see her. I imagine what the rules would be for a Dumpee, such as myself.

What is the etiquette? How many months should I wear the drab garb of the broken-hearted — the pilly grey sweatsuit, as it were — before I’m allowed to wear COLOR again? Post really hawt selfies on Instagram?

They don’t have rules for these sorts of things, which is, in my opinion, a serious missed opportunity. I’d like to see this codified in some kind of instruction manual, and adopted into popular culture. If I had my druthers, there would be an occasion.

YES! A fancy-dress occasion, like a wedding or a coming-out party to signify the end of one’s Delicate Time. The guest of honor would don a fantastically imaginative outfit, shedding that drab gray sweatsuit in favor of, well let’s see, an elaborate gown. All the friends and mutuals would attend the party to celebrate the re-emergence of that formerly Delicate person back into society.

A personal Renaissance, if you will! An emergence from a Dark Ages and into a rebirth!

Fine. Screw the “Ordinary Time”… I’ll have it be known that I have entered my “Renaissance Period”. If you need me, I’ll be painting my ceiling. You know where to reach me in case you have any cute, single friends who wanna help me repeat steps 7-9.

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  1. middleageschmo

    “Lasped Catholic”…I can relate. Also, the Ordinary Time thing was on point. Number 6 usually happened to me when I didn’t want to do that.

    You’ll be fine, you’re still young and in a big ol’ town (I remembered your previous NYC posts). At least you’re not in South Dakota.

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