No Juan was harmed during this celebration!
I feel like this type of thing only happens to Real Housewives of [insert hella different cities] or on SATC!
N E V E R did I imagine my girl tribe would surprise me with a breakup party! I woke up the next day with the largest smile I’ve had in a long time and even caught myself literally laughing out loud to myself, about the antics of a wonderful evening celebrating my breakup. The group chat for the entire next day was literally giving me life and had me laughing out loud in my cubicle and at the gym!
Seriously, I am a very hard person to surprise! I’ll be the first to admit it. I’ve known about pretty much every surprise attempt ever made for me, yet the girls GOT ME this time! I knew the Wench, the Guidette, and I were going to hang out over pizza and wine. But then SS showed up with hella veggies and a cake box, which was odd to me. I didn’t really pay too much attention, because I needed to hurry and jump in the shower so I wouldn’t offend anyone with my post-Midtown stench 😉 I quickly showered, threw on some clothes, and grabbed my moisturizer as I headed downstairs.
As I approached, I heard whispers and saw more faces that I wasn’t expecting. As I came through our baby gate (for the dogs) I was delighted with a huge “SURPRISE!” So confused, but then I instantly saw a pinata with Juan’s face on it! It was at that moment they all came over and hugged me and told me it was a surprise breakup party! Say whaaaat?! I was floored. I literally didn’t know what to do. I paced around, happily crying and hugging everyone. Seriously, I couldn’t AND still can’t believe these amazing women went out of their way to secretly plan this for me. To celebrate one of the hardest things I’ve gone through in this life, thus far. I am still in awe that they did this for me, and probably always will be.
These women don’t do anything half-hearted. The spread they prepared, the endless bottles of celebratory champagne and wine, ordering my favorite type of Round Table pizza (white sauce with pepperoni if you were wondering), a special cake with a note that read “We Love you, Stephanie,” and of course a color-coordinated pinata and picture were all small touches of love from women who know me best.
I am still in awe of how they pulled it off. It was exactly what I needed, without even knowing I needed it. Just to be surrounded by those who have been supporting me in person, via text, via phone, via email, and via social media all in one place. Their collective strength and encouraging words have been so useful during the last three and a half months. They couldn’t have picked a better time for their surprise either. It literally just felt right, everything fell together as it should.
I did feel a little strange about the pinata with Juan’s face on it. I know it was in jest, but I felt bad hitting it. I know many of you would like to argue otherwise, but I have no ill will toward him. No matter how it all ended or what we know happened, I know there was genuine love during some parts of our relationship. I am in a fairly good place with it all, thanks to these women, my therapist, and my desire to grow and heal. But, peer pressure is a B and I hit the pinata. Negotiations happened and I settled on hitting it twice, even though they wanted five hits! HAHA! It didn’t feel good per se, but it was beyond hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing! I was told I was ‘too nice’ for a variety of reasons, but again, I know it was just in good fun, but it just felt weird to yield a broom (we didn’t have a bat, HAHA) to his pixelated face! I’m literally dying right now as I type this, thinking about it all. The best part was when the kids got to take their turn and six-year-old Livie shouted, “This is the best day of my life,” as she grabbed as much candy as she could possibly hold.
The funny thing is, I’ve realized friends also need to process their friends break up. Especially if they were close to the person or if a child was involved. I think they also need to process their friendship with you as it was altered when you entered into a relationship and their feelings regarding the relationship. ALL of these women accepted L as if she were my own. They spoiled her with love, support, and kindness and made sure she was always a part of Girls Night and our Little’s crew. They never made her feel unwanted or as if she wasn’t important to them, because she was important to me. I hope from her time with me, she saw how important strong female friendships are. I hope she learned to be brave, strong, and powerful from these women who surrounded her with love. I know she won’t ever forget Girls Nights’, even though she will never be at one again. I know we set a good foundation for her when it comes to healthy female friendships, but it is ultimately her parents’ job to reinforce this.
Post-breakup, I also realized that although your friends may not have liked, cared for, or supported your partner, they like, care, and support YOU. So, most likely, many will not tell you how they feel about your partner or your relationship, especially if its negative. But, if it ends, they will LET YOU KNOW! HAHA! Also, you will probably know deep down how they feel, they won’t need to tell you. I knew how most of them felt, I just wasn’t ready to accept it myself. As I have had time to reflect, I appreciate these women even more, because they supported me in whatever decision I felt was right for myself, even if they felt it might be wrong for me. I’ve even asked most of them why they didn’t call me out about my unhappiness, their worries for me and my relationship, or whatever it was they felt while we were dating. All of their responses were similar, culminating in the fact that our friendship was too important and if they told me how they truly felt, then it might jeopardize it and them supporting my decision was the better option. I realize they did what they did out of love, not because they weren’t looking out for me. They inherently understood life more than I guess I do, they knew I needed to figure it out on my own. They knew telling me I seemed unhappy wouldn’t yield a positive result for our friendship, or anyone for that matter. So they let me live my life and supported me regardless. That is true friendship, supporting a friend through any decision they make without judgment or ridicule. They were there through the ups and downs of our relationship, celebrating when things were good and supporting me when things were really, really hard, but in the end, they are still here, shining a light on my soul as I heal through all of this. I am beyond lucky and although plenty (of things and people) keep reminding me how lucky I am, I already know. I’ve always known. This group of women is irreplaceable and I know I’ve made the right choice in life with this group surrounding me.
He was #NotTheJuanForMe and the good in our goodbye keeps unfolding!