Loves Me, Loves Me NOT! : Been jilted in love? This his-and-hers guide to surviving the depths of 'the Dump Zone' may be just the antidote you need. : Her: You may as well just rip your heart out now and throw it into the car-pool lane.

January 06, 1994|STEPHANIE MILLER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES: Stephanie Miller is a talk-show host on KFI-AM.

When I was first asked to write an article about how women get over a broken heart, I figured it would be the easiest money I ever made. Are you ready?

We don't.

Thank you, you've been a beautiful audience. Good night.

OK, well, since they are paying me, I guess we'll have to delve a little further. Actually, mine would have been the second shortest article written, next to "What Men Know About Women."

But enough about men. What about us?

You see, the problem when men dump women is there's usually someone younger, thinner and blonder involved. See: Trump, Marla. She looked great at the wedding, didn't she? Must be all that social climbing. You're welcome, Ivana.

This is what sends women into the futile but time-honored female post-dump tradition of dying our hair and trying to lose 20 pounds to either become the cellulite-free woman he dumped us for, or in the vain hope that he will come back on his stupid, bony little knees, whereupon we will spurn him and make him gnash his teeth in testosterone hell for all eternity. But at least we're not bitter.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to get married anyway . . . I've got cable. And at least he programmed my VCR before he left. I just wish men came with remote, so you could just sit there and go: "Fix my car, have sex, kill the mouse, buy me a diamond."

But after some macho knuckle-dragger drop kicks your heart through the goal posts of life, you just go through that nagging feeling for a while that you've misplaced something, don't you? "Honey, have you seen my dignity? Oh, there it is, under your shoe with my self-respect. I'll get it. Oh, look. What's in your sock drawer? Hon, it's my pride and my sense of self-worth. I've been looking everywhere for those!"

And then they always say something totally heinous afterward. My last boyfriend actually said, "Yes, but didn't you learn a lot from this?"

Yes, that you're Satan. Thanks for asking, Pig-Man.

So, when it looks like you're in that final, pre-dump phase of the relationship, you know, when he starts using your diaphragm as an ashtray or for Christmas he gives you a smoke alarm . . . with a snooze button . . . it's time to pull out this handy little 10-tip primer for getting over him:

Tip 1: When in doubt, shop. Preferably, with one of his credit cards. Trust me, the Beverly Center on a sale day can easily substitute for years of therapy. A note of caution: Make sure this never works the other way. I once had a boyfriend clean out my entire bank account. Bonus tip: Give a man anything--your heart, your soul, your body . . . but do not ever give him your PIN number.

Tip 2: I cannot actually condone any actual Bobbitt-like behavior, but you can avoid jail time and still get some aggression out by vigorously chopping cucumbers, carrots or, for a little more realism, some Italian sausage.

Tip 3: Just to remind yourself of all that you're missing with your ex-beloved, sit down in your den with a whoopee cushion and a six-pack, with a football game blaring on the TV, and ignore yourself.

Tip 4: Empower yourself. Blast "I Will Survive" or "I Am Woman" from your stereo at around 7,000 decibels, and realize that you have just stopped being Nice Little Broken-Hearted Doormat Girl and become . . . She-Rag, Princess of PMS.

Tip 5: Do not turn on any of those "lite" radio stations. You may as well just rip your heart out now and throw it into the car-pool lane of the San Diego Freeway. After a while, any song can do it to you. "The Candy Man can. Yes, the Candy Man Can . . . " "Oh, God," you wail, "he used to eat candy, ahahahahaha . . ."

Tip 6: When in doubt, eat Haagen-Dazs. Lots of it. In fact, I often inhale 20-ton drums of it nasally if I'm in severe enough pain. Of course, this also leads to enough Oreos, Pop Tarts, potato chips, Doritos and enough peanut M&Ms to choke a moose, thereby shattering my dream of achieving that love-goddess body, which will undoubtedly lure His Shallowness back to me. But, hey. The hell with it. He's gone so I'm goin' for the sugar coma.

Tip 7: Become a nun. It's a little extreme, but I think all breakups essentially occur over religious differences, don't they? He thinks he's God; you don't.

Tip 8: Don't be afraid to wallow. It's like emotional fire-walking. Drink wine, play "your song" over and over and cry until you look like E.T. You can always use the practice for when you need to get out of your next speeding ticket. In fact, why not throw in a bikini wax or two and some unnecessary root canal work?

Tip 9: Keeping in mind that I don't advocate alcohol use or promiscuity, there is something to be said for downing a case of Lowenbrau and going down to the docks and waiting for a fleet of sailors to pull in.

Tip 10: Call him about a thousand times a day and hang up when he answers. This won't make you feel better, but you know you're going to do it anyway, so go ahead. Remember, you're only young once, but you can be immature forever.

And finally, rest assured that as soon as you meet someone new, you will do this all again. And we think salmon's mating habits are stupid.

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