Last weekend, I was supposed to meet Greta and her new girlfriend for a drink. But Greta showed up at the bar alone.
'She broke up with me,' Greta said with a shrug. 'She said it was too hard to find a parking spot near my apartment, and she just couldn't be bothered anymore.'
'You're taking this very well,' I said. 'Are you sure you don't want to smash something? Or drink a bottle of vodka? Or adopt a puppy? Or participate in some other type of self-destructive behavior?'
'Actually, it's one of the better reasons a woman has given for breaking up with me,' Greta explained. She took a thoughtful sip of her mai tai. 'Do you remember why my last girlfriend broke up with me?'
'Because you almost killed her,' I said.
Greta refused to use anything other than ammonia and bleach to clean her home. Because those liquids cleaned so well when used individually, she concluded that they'd work twice as well if mixed together. And she decided to test out her theory on her girlfriend's bathtub.
'But won't that mixture produce a poisonous gas?' asked her girlfriend.
'That's just propaganda from the Poison Control Board,' Greta barked as she splashed a gallon of ammonium chloride against the tiles in the poorly ventilated room. The first thing her girlfriend did when she woke up from her coma was to tell Greta that they were through.
'What's the worst reason anyone ever gave for breaking up with you?' Greta asked as we eased into our second mai tai. That was a tough question, because most people who have broken up with me have had a damned good reason for doing so. A better question would be why they ever got involved with me in the first place. Even I'd break up with me if I could.
There was one breakup, though, that has always rankled me. A few years ago, my girlfriend ended our relationship when she discovered that I believe in God. We had been dating for about a year when, suddenly, she turned to me and asked me if I believed in God. I shrugged and said, 'Yeah, I guess.' She shook her head in disgust and asked me to leave.
It's not like I'm a fanatic. I don't pass out religious tracts and my Bible study is restricted to an annual viewing of The Ten Commandments, which I watch primarily for the orgy scene. The only time I ever use God's name is in vain, and last December I fell asleep during the 'Star of Wonder' show at the Planetarium.
'So, I doubt that my faith had much to do with it,' I told Greta. 'She simply wasn't attracted to me anymore, but was too polite to say so. It's the reason for most breakups, but it's much easier to blame it on bad parking or attempted manslaughter.'
Greta stared at me in awe. I felt for a moment that I had just said something very wise and insightful. But then Greta shook her head and chuckled. 'You believe in God? I wish I was going out with you so I could break up with you.'