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Boyfriends are like baggy underpants. They are clean and fresh one minute, but dirty, smelly and right off you the next. Of course, changing knickers is easier than changing boyfriends. While both become rancid and crusty with time, knickers can be simply thrown into the laundry basket to worry about another day. Ex-boyfriends however, are usually to blame for the torrents of tears and emotional outbursts women display in public places. Others often diagnose such displays as PMS. This of course is one hundred percent correct, but what people don't realise is that PMS has nothing to do with ovulation. PMS is in fact Post-Man-Syndrome.

Breakups become the root of complex, female analysis. Every word uttered during a relationship suddenly develops new meaning. Every sweet whisper, every gentle touch and every sultry look suddenly signifies undying love and happily-ever-after. You are soulmates, lovers, friends. It is absolutely beyond comprehension that he doesn't want you anymore. "How could this have happened?"; "Why didn't I see it coming?" Self-doubt chews away at your insides like cancer. "What did I say, what did I do?"; "I thought he loved me."; "I knew I shouldn't have said that about his mother."

Self-doubt is usually followed by hopeful, straw-clutching illusions. You would probably be arrested as a stalker if you actually went through with some of the plans you concoct to "fix" things. You become crazed and desperate as you fight the onslaught of oestrogen and adrenalin. You suddenly have an urge to kill your fellow man, or at least make his life as miserable as possible for as long as it takes to get over him. You raid his mailbox and destroy the airline tickets he's booked for himself and his new girlfriend. Why should he take her on a romantic retreat when he wouldn't so much as take you to the supermarket? You change the locks on his apartment, even though you don't live there anymore. Your name is still on the lease afterall, and the landlord was kind enough to let you in after you "locked yourself out". You tell his latest squeeze that he has gonorrhoea and that he doesn't call her "skiddy" because she's a cute skater. Oh yes, revenge is very, very sweet.

But deep down you know it's over. You know that he won't yearn for you or re-live every intimate moment you've had over the past three years. You know he didn't mean it when he said he'd always love you. You know he's not going to call, even though you sit by the phone and deny you're doing it. You know he's not going to stop seeing the gorgeous blonde with the long legs just because she can't possibly know him as well as you do. Overall the message is simple. Men move on. That's it. There are no hidden meanings in the past and there are no dark, twisted motives for your relationship. That "I love you" he told you just last week comes easily in the cosy darkness, but is forgotten the moment you want to discuss the future. The BBQ he cooked for your parents last summer wasn't an engagement anouncement or a plea for parental approval. It was probably the result of too much testosterone and too much beer. And he happens to like arguing with your dad about the cricket. Your dad is a guy too afterall.

Basically men are men and they don't believe in fairytales. If something gets too hard, they get out. And if it's too hard to get out, then they somehow manage to make you do their dirty work for them. First they set the bait -- they ignore you, cheat on you, stomp all over you until you dump them. You take the bait like a goat in a laundromat, feeling you have no choice but to walk away. Of course you'll sob onto your girlfriend's shoulder for the next month or so, wondering where you went wrong and why he doesn't love you anymore. You'll be inconsolable, repetitive, psychotic, torturous. You will drive your friends to the very brink of insanity as they tell you over and over what an arsehole he is and that you're better off without him. We've all done it, we've all heard it, we've all said it.

And sometimes we just never learn.

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The following comments are for "PMS - Post Man Syndrome"
by appleblossom

For starters, I don't think that you a can call this a short story; it would better fit the rant category.
Second, why would a goat be in a laundromat? (kidding)

While there are no grammatical errors here that I can find, I can't really rate this. It's an opinion, a rant. I will therefore respond to it as such.
For many reasons, I have to disagree with the opinion that you have posted here. For one, I hade a female friend who absolutely crushed me basically because I had run into a difficult situation and she didn't know how to help. Gender is not the reason that people can dump and crush others. Those people who hurt others are usually people that for good or for bad (bad, in my case) don't take the relationship as seriously as others.

( Posted by: The Recycled Avatar [Member] On: September 2, 2002 )

Thanks R. Avatar
Yes, I agree I have mislabled this piece, but I posted it so quickly that I overlooked both the opinions and the rants section. I will be more careful in future, so thank you for pointing that out.

I fully expect people to disagree with the opinions written here, but many women have told me they can relate to this piece. Everyone's experience of the world is different, and the things I have written about here I have taken from real life situations that have happened to myself or my friends (excluding the goat in the laundromat).

I am thrilled that you thought enough of my piece to comment on it. Thanks very much for taking the time to read it and express your views. I appreciate it.

( Posted by: appleblossom [Member] On: September 2, 2002 )

That's life
I think that you'll be pleased with the reviews here. It's the best site I've been to for thoughtful reviews. Welcome and enjoy!

( Posted by: The Recycled Avatar [Member] On: September 2, 2002 )

Aunty Male!
This piece was very well written, as has already been pointed out.

Just to speak in defence of the males. They aren't all bad!


( Posted by: Jasmine [Member] On: September 3, 2002 )

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