On Heartbreak and Breaking Plates

My friend recently marked the anniversary of the day her beloved called her from a trip and told her, with no advance warning or discussion, that he wasn't ever coming home, and that she could do whatever she wanted with the belongings (the life, really) he'd left at their shared apartment. It was besotted love to abandonment in one fast, long-distance leap. I still find this story enraging, but I think she is kicking this year's ass, despite all traumas. There's something my mother always says to me in situations like this one: Battle on, Xena.

My grandmother, on the other hand, was once known to say this: 

"When I was young, and my boyfriend broke up with me, I cried for the first time in my life. Then I shook myself, and went over to the sideboard where we kept our big, old-fashioned nutcracker. I pulled up a giant bowl of walnuts, put one in the machine, and gave the lever a furious wrench. Then I picked up another, and another, and I just cracked those nuts all day long. I felt a lot better afterwards." 

She looked at me assessingly before adding, "I don't have any walnuts here, but I do have a pile of plates I don't much care for. Would you like to spend today breaking plates with me?"

[Editor's note: the second time my grandmother cried was when she was held up at the border between Israel and Jordan as a retiree, and after hours of interrogation, she finally burst into crocodile tears and moaned, 'This is probably the last chance my husband and I will have to visit the Holy Land before we DIE!'.  They immediately let her through, little knowing that she has absolutely nothing but skeptical hostility for religion, and that she would still be going strong a decade and a half later.] 

One Response so far.

  1. Christy says:

    I love the anecdote about your grandmother telling you about cracking nuts.

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