A few couples I know have broken up in recent weeks, and I wonder if it's the heat that made them cross, or if the relationship ran its course after ten, seven, or five years, respectively.
Relationships can be difficult to maintain in an image-obsessed society of perfect abs, derrière, and polished white teeth. Is anyone to blame? Or should everyone be concerned about health, weight, and nutrition?
There's usually an emptiness leading up to the final decision to separate, followed by packing suitcases, giving away shared items, and alerting family and friends of the inevitable, irreconcilable breakup.
What precipitates a breakup? Some couples are seemingly impenetrable against outside attacks, wandering eyes, and occasional boredom and annoyances that are a part of every relationship. Are the couples that breakup not trying hard enough to hold onto each other, salvage the relationship?
When a couple has been together for more than two or three years, the shared history should account for something. There are any number of books in the Self-Help section of Barnes & Noble or Borders Bookstore. I have four such books in my collection: Life Strategies, Self Matters, Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, and thoughts without a thinker. I've read two of them, and never made the time to read the other two. Why? I don't know. There's only so much internalization and self-reflection I can take before I'm tempted to shutdown and hide in a dark room.
I imagine striking out alone after living together for years is painful. Several couples in my apartment building have done so since I've lived here, remnants of their lives together stacked in the lobby for all to see and rummage through like an African vulture picking at a carcass after a pack of lions have feasted. Their lives together frozen in time in the outdated blue dresser drawer and the unopened yellow latex gloves.
I tend to think of country songs by Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, or Loretta Lynn, or court cases when people breakup. But more so than not, heartbreak usually spirals us into depression, sloth, and one too many bad tearjerker movies on cable TV. Pass the tissue, buttered popcorn, and Klondike ice cream bar.