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Emerson News

Women ask age-old question, ‘What was I thinking?’

Media Credit: Emily Holden


After consoling a coworker during a bad breakup, book Editor Barbara Davilman realized there was more to it than just sharing bad breakup stories with a friend–there was a book. What began as a group of coworkers sharing stories about when they knew their relationships were over, ended in a book deal and a soon-to-be sequel. “I said oh my god this is a book,” Davilman said.

“What was I thinking? 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories,” is a collection of short stories edited by Barbara Davilman and Liz Dubelman and written by many first time authors. Using the Internet to find people willing to share their stories, Davilman and Dubelman put the word out through MySpace, FaceBook and Craig’s List. “Women just started telling their stories to us,” Davilman said. “[We] put them on the web and gather[ed] an audience.”

The stories were posted as “VidLits,” or short video clips with pictures and sound, which are the creation of Dubelman. It was these videos that promoted the book and attracted the audience before the book finally went to print.

The book, which features written work from authors of all skill levels, includes stories about the moments that made women realize the relationship was over. “It could just be any moment when you say ‘oh my god what was I thinking’,” Davilman said.

And that “what was I thinking” moment is when a woman realizes it just wasn’t meant to be. “[Although women] can have these moments and stay in the relationship for another year and a half or so,” she said.

“It’s really just about knowing the end of something,” Dubelman continued.

Although the book features stories about bad breakups, it’s about more than just the bad boyfriend. “[The book] focus[es] on the woman and her journey and [not necessarily] the bad boyfriend,” Davilman said. “We’re looking for that epiphany: what was it that made you say ‘oh my god’.”

“[When reading the book,] it makes you feel better to know you’re not alone,” Dubelman said.

“The most popular story in the book is “The Idealist.” It’s about a woman that goes out with a porn star [and he dumps her because she is too promiscuous],” Dubelman said. “You just have to listen to that little voice inside of you.” If it’s a bad moment, you get out of it.

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