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“He dumped me for a maybe he met on the internet. She was a real redhead, not a fake one like me. She was working on a Ph.D., not barely a high school graduate like me. She was into music that he loved and I hated. She was tenure-track and I was trying to figure out how to get the life that I wanted while living in the middle of nowhere with a guy who was more bossy than self-assured and more opinionated than smart. We talked about getting married, but that was just in case The One didn’t appear in his life in time. We talked about selling the house and moving to a big city together but his enthusiasm for that idea waned as his mortgage got smaller.

Then he dumped me for a maybe. I was enraged and hurt but never resorted to hurling crockery or insulting his manhood. I spent the next week trying to find another place to live and slept on a mattress on the floor of the living room. We worked together so we were forced into a level of professional civility from the first day of our breakup. I couldn’t move into the room I had rented until the middle of the month so I had to grin and bear up under the pressure. We drove the hour each day to work in silence, but we’d been doing that for months by then. Anna Maria Tremonti on The Current narrated our breakup every weekday. I can’t listen to her for five minutes without remembering those early spring mornings.”

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