*nor did her ever; the title is a metaphor as well as a literary allusion
I've never initiated a break-up of any relationship, whether boyfriend/girlfriend, friend/friend, pet/master, or even doll/owner. I still own every doll I've ever possessed except for the Skipper doll that my brother Matthew threw out the rear passenger window of our car somewhere between Barstow and Bakersfiield because I was sitting on his Mardi Gras beads and told him we'd left them at the hotel in Las Vegas. This all went down during a snowstorm in the Tehachapis, and my mother was going totally Kate Gosselin on us and telling us that we were going to make her drive over a cliff and that Matthew and I would be dead at the ripe old age of nine. (Probably the most memorable part of that whole thing was when CPS showed on our doorstep because a pervert girl who had been peeking over a school bathroom partition told a teacher that I had chains of peculiar round marks all over my upper legs and bottom. The teacher assumed that my parents must have beaten me with a strange and sadistic whip. It took some explaining to convince the CPS investigator that the marks were just from my brother's Mardi Gras beads that I had sat on for almost five hours. The investigator, who obviously had never been a nine-year-old girl with a twin brother, found it virtually impossible to believe that a child would sit on obviously uncomfortable Mardi Gras beads for the better part of five hours just to spite her twin brother.) Every pet we've ever owned has lived with us until it concluded that cohabitating with our nutcase family was simply too difficult a proposition, and chose death as opposed to continued life with us. I'm currently in a not-too-serious boy-girl relationship, but the only one I'd ever been in before was ended abruptly by the boy when he announced in the school cafeteria after my freak track and field accident that he refused to be seen at the prom with a cripple -- me, temporarily, after my freak track and field accident. Any regular friend who is no longer a friend is someone with whom I've lost touch after either she or I moved. There was never any ill will as far as I knew.
It's fitting, then, that even in a Twitter relationshhip, I would be the object of the breakup. I would be the one to be dumped. At this stage of my life, or always, maybe, my destiny is to be the one other people break up with, and not vice versa. Judge Alex Ferrer is breaking up with me.
I watched Judge Alex on television regularly. If someone messed with my DVR or failed to record the program when I was too sick to press a few buttons on a remote control myself, I made life unbearable for those around me. If Judge Alex appeared as a talking head on another program, the family was subjected to that as well. On weekends, I watched old DVRed episodes of Judge Alex's show. My father thought I had gone over the edge to have some sort of full-blown obsession. My mother said that with everything that was going wrong in my life (this was in the aftermath of the break-off of my prom date and shortly after I was released from the hospital following the mean aunt and uncle leaving me to make my way down from the smoky attic and all the way outside by myself when I had multiple fractures and was unable to use crutches) if watching a few more Judge Alex episodes than would be considered healthy by normal standards kept everyone else in the house from having to listen to me sob continually, bring on Judge Alex; everyone else could wear earplugs if the need were to exist.
I tweeted Judge Alex when my Dad snuck into my room on a cold December morning at 5:00 a.m. to inject me with a flu shot while I was still asleep. Judge Alex commiserated when my parents were going to force my brother and me to double date at the prom. He listened when I complained about not being allowed to get my driver's permit when I wanted it. We made it through many rough times together. It wasn't entirely one-sided, either: I commiserated when his wife flooded their living room floor with water from the Sea World-sized aquarium in their common living area. I read of horror stories, such as when the judge's driver drove onto an expressway via the off-ramp. He shared stories of his pets' ailments, and even the unpredictable potty-training quirks, such as when his dog Stella took an Alaska-sized dump on the floor of the veterinarian's waiting room. He shared how he unleashed his R-rated vocabulary when having his hair cut, while unbeknownst to him, his hairstylist's pastor had entered the salon and was watching and listening, wide-eyed, as the TV judge let loose with one F-bomb after another.
Mrs. Ferrer, do not panic. Your husband is not, at least as far as I know, a pedophile. Judge Ferrer, put down the telephone that has the speed dial to your personal attorney. I am not accusing you of impropriety.
I've had my share of mental health issues, but I'm not totally delusional. I remember a song from one of my mom's old Carpenters' CDs about a woman who fell in love with a musician through hearing his music played over the radio, somehow getting the idea that he was singing and playing to her and her alone. ("Don't you remember you told me you loved me, baby? You said you'd be coming back this way again, baby?") I'm not THAT much of a wack job. I always knew that Judge Ferrer was a television personality, and I was a fan, and that he didn't actually know me, nor I him. Social media such as Twitter may give the false impression that a celebrity actually KNOWS his fans, but the reality is that a line must be maintained, and if it is not, problems result for those on both sides. Judge Ferrer was my Twitter friend, not my friend. No real relationship ever existed. I knew it at the time, and I certainly know it now.
Still, even with Twitter friends, there is a poignancy in ending a relationship. It's the end of an era for me. There's a sadness in knowing that Judge Ferrer is not as wise, kind, and perfect as the image I had projected onto him. It did not hit me as hard as as when I learned the truth about Santa, but still, knowing that heroes are human, with human weaknesses, is a painful part of growing up. At the same time, a certain satisfaction comes with knowing it is a sign of growing up.
Judge Ferrer may still reply to one of the Tweets I've left, and I may even answer back, but it's over.