If you've ever wondered if life would go on after a bad breakup, self-proclaimed bitter girls Annabel Griffiths, Alison Lawrence and Mary Francis Moore have penned a tongue-in-cheek, tell-all survival book, "Bittergirl: Getting Over Getting Dumped." The authors were invited on the “Today” show to discuss the book. Here’s an excerpt.
There are books out there telling you what you did wrong, how to get Him back, how you can make the next man love you, how you can get married before thirty-five … no no no no no. The bittergirls know that you don’t need to feel any worse than you already do. You don’t need to be told there’s something wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you. You simply got dumped. Supermodels get dumped. Rock stars get dumped. Princesses get dumped. We’re not here for relationship rescue. The only relationship that matters is the one you have with yourself.
There will always be well-meaning but clueless people on the periphery of your life who offer unsolicited advice. Some are going to tell you what you should do; some are going to tell you it’s all for the best. What they won’t tell you is what’s going to be the hardest: no longer speaking in the Holy Trinity of “He and I,” “Him and me,” and “us.” Knowing your plans for the weekend and that they consist of a rental movie and microwave popcorn. You’ve been going down one road together, and now you’re alone and heading for a curve you can’t see beyond. Lucky for you the bittergirls’ limo has arrived, fully equipped with airbags and champagne.
Asinine Advice (That Makes You Want to Kick Them in the ...)
"Maybe you should have lied and said you didn’t want kids either.”
“Well, you need to let Him know His needs come first.”
“I booked the reception hall. It worked. A week later He popped the question.”
“You know what I did? I told Him I wanted a baby before my twenty-eighth birthday.”
“You have to visualize what you want.”
“I grew my hair. It changed everything.”
“On Saturdays we like to fondue with friends. You should try it.”
“I quit my job and drive a Winnebago around the country to be with Him while He works.”
“I signed Him up for a men’s group.”
“Have you thought about swinging?”
“I had a breast reduction.”
Punchlines (or Lines That Make You Want to Punch Someone)
“Hey you, where’s the boy?”
“Wow, you look great … CONSIDERING.”
“Oh, babe …”
“How-are-you-I-heard-I’m-soooo-sorry. You guys were perfect together.”
“So, what’s His deal?”
“I mean I thought you guys were, like, it, you know?”
“You guys were so great, what a couple! How tragic for you … what are you now, thirty?”
“I mean, if you two couldn’t make it work, who can?”
“Just remember, everything happens for a reason.”
Hold your head high and ignore these people. Lots of other people are going to be there for you. Especially the bittergirls.
Pop Went Your Kernel
Hey, it’s not about Him leaving. That’s not all this is about. It’s about that part of you He took when He left. That Kernel. Knowing that He’s walking around with your Kernel and doesn’t even know it.
The bittergirls say, “Sweetie, reclaim your Kernel!”
After all, once upon a time in a land far far away, you did actually have a life before Him. Remember that? Remember the days when you could decide on a Friday afternoon that you were going to head off to New England for a weekend of camping with your girlfriends? When you could walk around the house singing Madonna songs in your fuzzy moosehead slippers? When a candlelit bath, a glass of Merlot, and a good magazine was your idea of a perfect night? Remember when you could crawl through the door drunk at 4 a.m. and not worry about waking Him up? When you didn’t have to sneak into the house and hide your shopping bags before He realized you were home? Remember when you didn’t have to get your colorist to write receipts for the house paint?
All these things may be a distant memory, but they’re elements of your past; they’re in your DNA. And although right now you feel like your entire genetic makeup is about the breakup, it is not, and the bittergirls are here to remind you of that. Think about it. You’ve survived a lot of things in your life — and you’re going to survive this too. Maybe you won’t get over it right away. But in order to get over it, you’re going to have to get used to it.
Things You’ve Survived
1. Wearing white pants the first day you got your period.
2. Your first shaving gash
3. Tucking your shirt into your nylons before the job interview
4. Your father catching you having sex on the living room floor with your twelfth-grade boyfriend
5. Breaking someone else’s heart
6. Puking all over yourself at a university frat party
7. Bouncing your first check
8. Telling your parents your best friend smashed up their new car
9. Your parents’ divorce
10. Getting picked last for every sports team
11. Having to ask your parents for a loan after your third career in five years didn’t work out
12. Reading a close friend’s eulogy
13. Running out of gas in a snowstorm on the highway
14. Paying for condoms at the pharmacy as your boyfriend’s mother steps into line behind you
15. Getting overlooked for that promotion and learning your assistant got it
16. Being betrayed by a friend
17. Realizing that you e-mailed your first attempt at poetry to All instead of Al in your address book
18. The time you went into anaphylactic shock at the concert and the show was stopped so the paramedics could get you in the floor seats
19. Dyeing your hair one color and it coming out another, the night before the prom
20. Realizing (at the reception) the dress you’re wearing to your sister’s wedding is see-through
Now, we could tell you that you’ll get through this breakup easily and without pain. We could tell you that we’ll help you get Him back, and that there’s a handy-dandy solution to all your problems. We could promise that you’ll never feel hurt like this again. But the reality is that the only way to prevent yourself from feeling anything else from this point onward is to live under a rock. And what kind of life is that?
So What’s a Girl to Do?
Why, become a bittergirl, of course! And what is a bittergirl you might ask?
In the trenches of heartbreak hell lie many a fledgling bittergirl. We’re here to help pick you up, pull out the shrapnel, straighten your uniform, and send you back into the world with guerilla tactics, unstoppable strength, and impenetrable self-esteem.
A bittergirl learns to turn her life around on her own terms and take on the world again with a sense of humor, a sassy attitude, and a team of gals by her side. She is cheeky yet glamorous in her own unique way, and plays an integral part in our society.
Bittergirls are everywhere. You’ll see one in a neighborhood bistro as she laughs heartily with her circle of friends. You’ll exchange a meaningful glance with one at the hardware store as you choose a new setting for your power drill. Even the cashier at the grocery store will squeeze your hand knowingly as she gives you back your change.
This underground movement has even infiltrated the top levels of government. It controls our banks and corporate infrastructure. It has spread its limbs worldwide through the arts, health organizations, education systems, charities, export markets, medical fields, farming, tourism, scientific research, and the NHL.
Whether you’re sixteen or ninety-three, whether you’re married, divorced, single, or cohabiting, dating seriously or seriously parenting, a grandmother or a granddaughter, once you’re a bittergirl you’re always a bittergirl.
And as any bittergirl can attest, bittergirls are bettergirls.
Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Bittergirl Too?
Joining the bittergirls doesn’t mean building a clubhouse, dancing around a magic toadstool, or sending away for a secret decoder ring. It means opening yourself up to the possibility that things will get better, that life will go on, that you will not let yourself be defined by this breakup. First of all, this is not about blame. It’s not about blaming yourself, Him, or anyone else involved. Being a bittergirl is not about getting over Him so you can be with someone else.
A bittergirl soon discovers that she can be sad and wallow in self-pity for a while. She can be angry and vengeful for a bit, she can be malicious and spiteful and a pain in the ass, but when all is said and done, she’s the one who has to move on and up. And she will.
Becoming a bittergirl is an evolutionary process. You don’t just wake up one morning, evening gown on, tiara in place, martini in hand, and announce to the world that you’re a bittergirl. There are rites of passage you must go through. Then one day you’ll wake up and it won’t matter what you’re wearing, you will just be. A bittergirl. Later, you might stop for a split second with that feeling like you’ve checked out of your hotel room and left something behind. And then it will hit you: You have absolutely everything you need. You might be standing at a cocktail party looking and feeling glamorous and you’ll be relaying your breakup story as you flip your hair over your shoulder. People will laugh as you spin your yarn: “And then He…”
Believe it or not, there will be humor in this heartbreak and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So wipe those eyes, push the hair out of your face, take a good look in the mirror, and visualize the most fabulous life you could possibly imagine. Save that snapshot for your memory bank. You’re creating your own Declaration of Independence. You’re about to take your first step on the bittergirl journey, and it’s going to be the ride of your life.
For more, visit BitterGirls.com.
Excerpted from “Bittergirl: Getting Over Getting Dumped” by Annabel Griffiths, Alison Lawrence and Mary Francis Moore. Copyright © 2005 by Annabel Griffiths, Alison Lawrence and Mary Francis Moore. Published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt can be used without permission of the publisher.
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