Each week, local "women about town" Anjl Rodee and Marilynn Mee answer OnMilwaukee.com readers' questions about relationships, romance and whatever else is on your mind. They point out that this column is "for entertainment purposes only," but they mostly say that so they don't get sued. Send your questions to Anjl and Marilynn at email@example.com.
Dear Anjl & Marilynn,
I've been in a long-distance relationship for four years. Over the past year, my feelings for "Jason" have been fading, but I haven't told him that. He's coming here to visit next month to see me and his parents, who also live in the Milwaukee area. I know he assumes he'll be staying with me, but I don't want him to because I'm ready to end it and move on. Do I break up with him now via the phone or e-mail, or do I wait ‘til he gets here and break up with him in person?
Dear Stick a Fork in Him,
Anjl: If it were me, I'd do it over the phone. If, for instance, he's planning on staying with YOU for two weeks and only visiting with his parents for lunch on a Sunday, he may want to alter his plans before he gets here. To me, that's more humane than waiting for him to show up with his little suitcase on your doorstep.
Marilynn: On the other hand, that would be a pretty funny picture.
AR: Wait a minute ... are you telling me that she should open the door, laugh out loud and then ask for her key back?
MM: Noooo, I'm just sayin' it would be funny. Seriously though ... as someone who has experienced being broken up with in every conceivable way including the phone, e-mail and a Post-It note, I'm always in favor of doing this deed in person. However, I'm going to side with Anjl on this one ONLY because of your extenuating circumstances. I'd also bet that there might be a change of plans involved here, like the trip might be cut down to four days.
AR: Or, cut down to just lunch on Sunday.
MM: My money's on four days: two days with the folks and two days on your doorstep trying to convince you that you've made a grave error in judgment; I'd be prepared for that, if I were you.
AR: I'm betting he doesn't come at all, because lunch on Sunday will turn into, "Why don't we have any grandchildren, Jason?"
MM: Let's get back to this phone conversation for a moment. Be honest about how you're feeling and tell Jason that you're NOT taking the coward's way out by breaking up over the phone; it's just like Anjl said (and feel free to quote her. I can give you her address and phone number if you want, too), you want to make sure he knows that you aren't a couple before he makes the trip.
AR: Let me also say here that personally, I would be sure to call him at a time when I know he's unavailable and get his voicemail.
MM: Oh, so you'd break-up with him via voicemail?! I've had that one done to me too, I think. That's a little cruel.
AR: It's for his own good! I'm saving him from the potential/inevitable embarrassment of saying something in the heat of the moment that he may regret later. Not to mention, I'm very non-confrontational.
MM: Well, I guess you could leave a message on his voicemail that kind of lays the groundwork for the impending phone conversation. You know, like, "Hiya, it's just me. Call me back when you have a chance. And by the way, you might want to do that when there's no one around to see you cry or have a meltdown. Ciao!"
AR: Geez, that's like asking the guy to bring you a ruler and hold out his knuckles. Wouldn't it be better to say, "Hiya, it's just me. Listen, I've given it a lot of thought, and I think that we'd both be happier if we weren't tied down. It's OK if you don't want to call me back. Say hello to your parents for me. Ciao!" That way Jason can deal with his pain in private, without the embarrassment of his brand new ex-girlfriend listening in.
MM: OK, that's NOT non-confrontational. That's wimping out.
AR: Isn't that the official Webster's definition for "non-confrontational?"
MM: No, it's the Webster's definition of being a chicken.
AR: There is a picture of a chicken in Webster's under "non-confrontational ..."
MM: I say you need to break up in an actual phone conversation. Promise yourself a nice treat after the conversation. You know, like how you promise yourself an ice cream after working out for an hour.
AR: Or having a smoke after beating the prisoners ...
MM: Well, that's not exactly what I was thinking. I had in mind something more, like, "If I have this uncomfortable breakup conversation, then I'll reward myself by buying some new shoes, or calling the cute 19 year-old boy I met on MySpace."
AR: Why should we BOTH be uncomfortable? Is my discomfort some sort of penance?? Haven't I suffered enough during the four years of this relationship? Woah! I'm displacing a bit here ...
MM: Oh, do ya think?
Anjl Rodee is a jack of all things right-brained. After a variety of odd jobs, from singing telegrams to ballroom dance instructor to weekend overnight DJ on Lazer 103, Anjl earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Mary College and settled down to a nice career as an award-winning artist. At night Anjl can be found playing with a variety of local bands. She currently fronts a classic band called Radio Doctors, and plays bass and accordion with her friend Chris Demay.
Marilynn Mee has been a fixture on Milwaukee radio for most of her adult life. After a short stint on WQFM, she joined Lazer 103 at its inception. After several years as a Bob and Brian sidekick, Marilynn became midday host and music director, earning national recognition from the likes of Billboard magazine and Radio & Records. She is currently the midday host on 96.5 WKLH. Marilynn is a well-known animal lover, lending her name and free time to humane societies and animal rescue groups.
Anjl is a mother and grandmother and is in a committed relationship. Marilynn is single and mom to 2.5 dogs and a one-eyed cat. Anjl and Marilynn both hail from the greater Milwaukee area and have been best friends for 20 years.