I'm sorry if I'm not my usual springy self today. You see, I recently ended a four year long relationship, and I'm still a bit stunned. Yes, that's right. I broke up with Planned Parenthood.
Being my A.R. self, I researched the best way to end a relationship. I did my best to stay on task, but things did get a little out of hand:
Step 1: Meet in a public place.
We met at a nearby Mexican Restaurant. (Not my favorite Mexican Restaurant, my favorite one was just a 2 minute walk away, but fine.) What good is a relationship if you can't make some compromises?
Step 2: Don't act so nervous about it, it makes them think you're making a mistake and they can tell in your voice what your about to do. Just keep cool.
After I stopped tapping my spoon on the table, I said, "Planned Parenthood, I know that after more than 40 years of operation, you are the largest single provider of family planning health services in the state of Oregon, serving over 56,000 patients in 2005-2006. And I know that your goal is to expand access to sexual and reproductive health care in Oregon and Southwest Washington by promoting a wide range of services to populations of diverse age, gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and income level.
And I have loved volunteering for you for the past four years, but it is time that we parted ways."
PP was visibly stunned. "I'm confused." PP said. "You have been one of our top volunteers. You've met with Washington State legislators on four occasions, you spoke about Planned Parenthood at various events, was taped for a segment on our community access television, wrote (and had published) numerous letters to the local paper and national magazines. I just don't understand."
Step 3: Don't laugh when you're breaking up with them, it's just not cool, and it makes them think you're happy to break up with them. Just like I said...keep cool, but don't take it overboard, remember you are breaking someone's heart.
I laughed. Then I said, "I know it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, I just don't feel the spark that I used to."
Step 4: Stay calm even when they begin to get hysterical.
"Are you cheating on me?"said PP "Is it Hillary? No, it's Barack isn't it! God, please don't say it is John McCain, he really isn't liberal at all. In fact, he has some anger issues that seriously disturb me."
"No, PP." I said. "I'm not cheating on you. In fact, I'm feeling a bit numb when it comes to politics lately. It's just that I need more time to myself."
Step 5: Give them your full attention. Do not lie.
"Well, that makes me...HEY! are you even paying any attention to me, missburrows? You are constructing a blog post in your head right now, aren't you!"
"No" I lied.
Things quieted down a bit and I was able to move on.
Step 6: Give back personal items.
"Here," I said to PP. "These are yours."
"I'm afraid I can't give you back all the things you have given me: confidence, knowledge, friends, empowerment and all the positive feedback from other PP supporters (but I want to keep that anyway.)"
Step 7: Try to remain friends.
"I'm sad to say goodbye," said PP, "Can we stay in touch?"
"Yes of course," I said. "But it would really help if you stopped sending me daily emails asking for money."