Heartbreak (9/7/05)

Dear Zelda,

I really need your help. My boyfriend and I had been dating for 2 years when, out of nowhere, he broke up with me.  He claimed I was not  "the one."  I, on the other hand thought he was "the one." I never want to feel like this again.  How do I get over this and move on with my life?

Heart Broken

Dear Heart Broken-

There’s a song by Three DOG Night that’s been around for years called “One,” a true American classic (by an incred-i-bully well named band). One of the lyrics in the song states that “One is the loneliest number.” Ironic isn’t it? It’s the loneliest number, yet we use it describe the “one” person in this vast universe who makes us feel completely “un-lonely.”

Now, the reality here is that in order to get over “the one,” you need to feel comfortable with the real “one:” yourself. So many times we can get stuck in the rut of being “two,” forgetting that it took two “ones” to make you the great “two” you were before you went back to being “ones” (you still with me?).

Yeah, he was great. Yeah, he was wonderful. Unfortunately, Yeah, he’s gone and you feel like a big chunk of your strength and independence went with him. The times they are a changin’ and you need to grasp your new freedom and ride like the wind. Take this off-time to get back to the roots of you. You don’t need another man to unbreak your heart, you need to get back to being comfortable with yourself, and convince yourself that you are smart, sassy, and yes, single. No matter how great the two of you were together, you have your own independent identity, and it’s that identity that you need to nurture now. It’s this song of confidence, and your devil-may-care attitude, that will show the “we” of the world your independent, imaginative, impossibly impressive “me” of the world. Before you know it, you’ll be giving a cheeky smile to some handsome passerby while sitting in Starbuck’s with your tall, half-caf, sugar-free vanilla latte, reading the latest Cosmo and wondering if “that short skirt that’s hot for fall” was meant to reside in your line-up this season. It’s all about not being afraid to be a strong, independent “one” for a while, because sometimes being a good “one” is a heck of a lot better than being part of a bad “two.”

Focus girlfriend...there’s a new “one” on your horizon, and that one is Y-O-U.


Dear Zelda-

My husband and I have lived in the same neighborhood for the last 20 years. He’s just been offered a promotion that will up-root our family making us move halfway across the country. My kids don’t want to go. I don’t want to go. He says we have to in order for him to make more money and grow with his company (he does provide our sole income). I love our neighbors, our house, and everything about where we live and I am heartbroken over the prospects of having to leave.


Heartbroken Housewife

Dear Heartbroken Housewife,

Your desire to preserve your old-growth family tree is admirable (I’m a big fan of trees myself). But before you go chaining yourself to the front door and singing Kum ba yah, you may want to think about the benefits both economically and socially of a healthy, harmonious transplant.

Your husband’s ambition to sprout and grow is all part of a normal desire to be successful and provide for his family. In today's economy there is an increasing demand for the same job, which forces employees to expand their boundaries and take on greater roles and responsibilities than in years past. Unless you own your own business, you are always somewhat at the mercy of “big brother,” and subject to the pressures associated with working for an employer. Mark my words, your husband has had sleepless nights worrying about the possible trauma that will be caused to your happy home’s root system. (He’s lived there 20 years too!)

What to do?

If your husband feels strongly that this is the right decision, and you recognize that he’s the main provider and is looking out for the family’s well being... well, sometimes we have to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.

I’m sorry hon... it’s time to move.

Remember that true friends and memories are forever, and this move is just another part of the blossoming nature which helps to fertilize your children’s future. These transitions are never easy, but new friends and new memories are waiting to break ground and become row upon row of happy times ahead.

To quote a wise man: May your family’s garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.


P.S. On the flip side: new job, more money, and new house has SHOPPING SPREE written all over it!

Dear Zelda,

I'm writing because I need some caring canine advice.  My wonderful 12 year old schnauzer, Smitty, is not doing well and the veterinarian says there is nothing more we can do.  Meanwhile my sweet little pug, Lulu, is acting very sad.  It's as if she knows she is about to lose her best friend. What can I do to help Lulu heal when the time comes?

Help Me Zelda

Future Uncertain

Dear Future-

I’m so sorry to hear about Smitty. The loss of a loved one or pet is one of the hardest parts of life. Preparing for it now is a brave but difficult thing to do, but in the long run, it will help you, LuLu, and even Smitty go through this process in the most peaceful and least painful way possible.

Although we dogs are known for our intuition, and can sense when things aren't right, unlike you we're not able to vocalize our feelings, and our behavior may become somewhat erratic. Be patient with us, and be sure to spread the love. At the same time, be careful not to over-compensate. We should still follow the rules of the house, and still get punished if we don’t, because over-compensation can lead to other problems after Smitty is gone.

Once Smitty has passed and his wings have been granted, the best thing for both you and LuLu would be to try and go on with your normal daily routines. (I realize this is easier said than done.) Make sure to let the tears flow when good memories require it. Just like you, LuLu will be grief-stricken, and her habits will change, as will her behavior. You may find her sleeping in spots where they played or ate together. She may even lose her appetite. However, it’s very important to make sure NOT to overfeed her with “treats,” as this will only re-enforce a behavioral problem that will be hard to break. Experts recommend keeping focused on a few of the major day-to-day rituals: exercise, eating schedule, and attention/affection. Try to keep these things as close as possible to what both you and LuLu are used to.

In the event you are thinking of another pet as a possible companion, make sure that BOTH you and Lulu are ready. Grieving over loss takes time, and everyone involved should be ready when the time comes to welcome another bouncy addition. Nothing is worse than a “happy yappy” when you’re still in the confines of tears and solitude.

All the best, along with licks, hugs, wags, and tears...