If you too have partnered with a total tool, you’ll love the first-person recollections and redemptive lessons in What Was I Thinking: 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories (edited by Barbara Davilman and Liz Dubelman) as much as I did. Penned by authors like Carrie Fisher and “Sex and the City” writer Cindy Chupak, the stories are more than, “Seriously, how much did he suck?” rants—they’re celebrations of the instant when logic, common sense and simple self-respect triumph over the need to be loved —or, at least, the need to be in a relationship.
Though there’s a requisite amount of ex-bashing (it wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable without some, right?), the authors never shy away from taking themselves to task, examining how and why they got involved with a jerk in the first place. Thankfully, the authors steer clear of any annoyingly self-indulgent amateur psychoanalysis, instead choosing to include a hefty dose of humor, as in Kerri Cesene’s “The Yogi”, the story of her fling with a yoga instructor:
“He pulled me on top. I smiled and leaned down to kiss his sacred lips. I closed my eyes. The I felt…his hand…on my …shoulder…which he gently rolled back…and I thought, ohmygod, is he correcting my posture? During sex?!? Since then I’ve been amazed to discover how many douchebags become yoga teachers.”
Also priceless are the stories of a woman whose ex told her friends he thought her ass was too big – after she left to go to the ladies’ room; one whose former boyfriend accused her of ruining the soup by making it with the wrong-sized noodles; and, of course, a woman who once dated a guy who stole her stuff. Not joking.
It’s comforting, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, to realize that you’re not the only one who’s taken a trip down dating-a-loser lane. And as you do, I bet that you too will realize that despite any heartache you incurred while doing so, you’re better off for having endured the journey. And if anything, you’ve got a kick-ass story for the next edition of this book.