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Annabel Griffiths - Author
Alison Lawrence - Author
Mary Francis Moore - Author
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Book: Paperback | 210 x 133mm | 256 pages | ISBN 9780143016496 | 25 Jan 2005 | Penguin Canada | Adult

Sex and the City meets Dr. Phil

It was the breakup to end all breakups.

So, now you are a bittergirl.

Bittergirl? A bittergirl is sassy. A bittergirl is sexy. A bittergirl knows how to throw on an evening gown, strap on a fabulous pair of shoes, and tell a story like no one else. Whether you were dating for five months, living together for four years, or were married with three children, you can be a bittergirl, too. So, what's a bittergirl to do? Honey, blow that nose, wipe those tears, sit up in bed, and start reading. Bittergirl takes you from initiation into the bittergirl club, including warning signs, the shock of rejection, the seductive lure of “the moment of weakness,” and relationship apathy, through your first solo appearance, and on to the bittersweet moment when our bittergirl realizes, “Wow, I'm over him.”

Praise for Bittergirl
"Such a fun read, you'll almost want to get dumped. Okay, I said almost. Wise, wicked, and wonderful."
—Rebecca Field Jager, author of How to Make Love and Dinner at the Same Time

"We've all been there! When even our best friends are so sick and tired of us moaning about our ex that they are offering to pay for our therapy sessions! It may take you a while to get over HIM, but with the help of these sweet bittergirls, the rocky ride is a heck of a lot easier."
—Rebecca Eckler, National Post columnist

"I love the bittergirls! They practically make getting dumped fun. Okay, okay, they make it suck a whole lot less. They've been there, done that, and survived to walk you through, every martini of the way. Don't break up without them!"
—Josey Vogels, sex columnist and author of Bedside Manners: Sex Etiquette Made Easy


welcome to the club

Honey, you’ve been dumped. It took an hour to get a cab and now you’re standing alone in the hallway of your apartment building. You got yourself all dressed up for a big night out at that fancy restaurant the two of you had been dying to try and here you are with mascara running down your face and a huge run in your stockings. That’s the last time you pay fifteen bucks for a pair of fishnets. You can’t find your keys. Oh my God, did you really take the tablecloth and all its contents with you as you fled to the bathroom? You never thought you could choke on an oyster but now you doubt you’ll ever be able to eat one again. How are you going to get that Shiraz stain out of your cashmere twin set? Where are those damn keys? Can your neighbours hear your sobs? Did they know He was leaving? How are you going to go in to work tomorrow? Why is there a pepper shaker in your purse? Are you a kleptomaniac? Great, now you’re single and a fugitive from the law. How are you going to get through the rest of your life?

Every dumping has a tragic twist. Bittergirls around the world have confided that there are a few things they wish they’d had in place the night they got dumped.

“Cab fare! He was taking me out for dinner, so I came out with only my evening bag and no money—just contraceptives. Isn’t THAT ironic?”

“Waterproof mascara—why the hell wasn’t I wearing waterproof mascara?”

“Another stiff drink. No waiter would come near us once it started—suddenly I was a leper—they all knew. I desperately needed another Scotch.…”

“Now as soon as I get to a restaurant I always scan the room for the nearest exit—I thought I was making a beautiful, dignified departure and ended up in the cloakroom.… I had to turn around and do the whole thing over again. It kind of spoiled the effect.”

In the split second it took Him to utter “I love you, I’m just not in love with you,” your life has become like the carnival: the midway, the freak show, the funhouse all rolled into one with that off-key calliope soundtrack playing in your head. Sweetheart, you’ve been initiated. Welcome to the club.

Here’s the reality. One way or another, He left. Maybe you knew this was coming. No more wondering if everything is all right. No more walking on eggshells trying to make it work. No more waking up and asking yourself if this is the day He’s leaving. Or maybe you’ve been blindsided by a Mack truck. You had no idea, no clue. Whatever the case, chances are you’re still breathing. Okay, maybe that breath is a little ragged and maybe your chest aches from the sobbing, but here you are with no place to go but up. Honestly. There may be a few detours along the way, but up is your final destination. You’ve got the bittergirls with you.

For a bittergirl in the aftermath of a breakup, no reactions or actions are out of bounds. We’re here to tell you that whatever you’re feeling, it’s okay, honey. The bittergirls have been there and we’re here to share. At least now it’s done. At least that moment is never going to happen again. Remember the movie Groundhog Day? Well, unless you insist on reliving The Incident, it’s done; it’s over. You’ll never be in that place at that moment on that day with that guy ever again. Even if you’re reincarnated it wouldn’t happen again quite like that.

Sweetie, take comfort in knowing that The Bittergirl Institute for Advanced Research on Dumping found that the average North American woman has been dumped eighteen times by the time she reaches the age of thirty-two. And that’s only by the age of thirty-two. Since you began reading this sentence, 427 women in restaurants around the world have been dumped and are reaching for tissues.

We, the original bittergirls, have been ditched in restaurants, on sailboats, in bed, at weddings, during therapy sessions, on airplanes, and at funerals. Collectively we’ve been dumped fifty-seven times. Does that make us losers? No. It makes us qualified to write this book...

Pop Went Your Kernel

Hey, it’s not about Him leaving. That’s not all this is about. It’s about that part of you He took when He left. That Kernel. Knowing that He’s walking around with your Kernel and doesn’t even know He has it.

The bittergirls say, “Sweetie, reclaim your Kernel!”

After all, once upon a time in a land far far away you did actually have a life before Him. Remember that? Remember the days when you could decide on Friday afternoon that you were going to head off to New England for a weekend of camping with your girlfriends? When you could walk around the house singing Madonna songs in your fuzzy moosehead slippers? When a candlelit bath, a glass of Merlot, and a good magazine was your idea of a perfect night? Remember when you could crawl through the door drunk at 4 a.m. and not worry about waking Him up? When you didn’t have to sneak into the house and hide your shopping bags before He realized you were home? Remember when you didn’t have to get your colorist to write receipts for house paint?

All these things may be a distant memory, but they’re elements of your past; they’re in your DNA. And although right now you feel like your entire genetic makeup is about the breakup, it is not, and the bittergirls are here to remind you of that. Think about it. You’ve survived a lot of things in your life to date—and you’re going to survive this, too. Maybe you won’t get over it right away. But in order to get over it, you’re going to have to get used to it.

things you’ve survived

      1. Wearing white pants the first day you got your period

      2. Your first shaving gash

      3.  Forgetting the words to the national anthem centre ice at the regional hockey playoffs

      4. Tucking your skirt into your nylons before that job interview

      5. Your first funeral

      6. Your father catching you having sex on the living room floor with your Grade 12 boyfriend

      7. Breaking someone else’s heart

      8. Puking all over yourself at a university frat party

      9. Bouncing your first rent cheque

    10. Telling your parents your best friend smashed up their new car

    11. Having to ask the guy who gave you gonorrhea for money to help you pay for the prescription

    12. Your parents’ divorce

    13. Getting picked last for every sports team

    14. Having to ask your parents for a loan after your third career in five years didn’t work out

    15. Reading your close friend’s eulogy

    16. Falling out of your workout top while you were on the Stairmaster

    17. Running out of gas in a snowstorm on the highway

    18. Paying for condoms at the pharmacy as your boyfriend’s mother steps into line behind you

    19. Losing your first election

    20. Getting overlooked for that promotion and learning your assistant got it

    21. Being betrayed by a friend

    22. Realizing that you emailed your first attempt at poetry to All instead of Al in your address book

    23. The time you went into anaphylactic shock at a concert and the show was stopped so the paramedics could get to you in the   floor seats

    24. Dyeing your hair one colour and it coming out another, the night before the prom

    25. Realizing (at the reception) the dress you’re wearing to your sister’s wedding is see-through

Now, we could tell you that you’ll get through this breakup easily and without pain. We could tell you that we’ll help you get Him back. We could tell you that there’s a handy-dandy solution to all your problems. We could promise that you’ll never feel hurt like this again. But the reality is that the only way to prevent yourself from feeling anything else from this point onward is to live under a rock. And what kind of life is that?