The best revenge causes psychological damage.
Consistent readers of this column know of my malice toward women foolish enough to end a relationship with me prematurely. Such malice is only what can and should be expected of a man whose “heart” has been “broken” by a deceptive, conniving snake of a woman like my past 40 or 50 girlfriends.
A man should have an almost infinite capacity for vengeance. This should, however, be tempered by an intellect cunning enough not to resort to despicable physical violence.
Psychological and emotional violence is, naturally, much more damaging and permanent.
When I’m dating a girl, I strive to understand and truly know her for two reasons, three if you count some abstract and suppressed form of love.
The first is to manipulate her emotions during the relationship. A man must be able to keep his girlfriend happy and ignorant so she will not leave him.
The second is in case she does not remain happy and ignorant and leaves me. In this case, my information, my knowledge of her emotional, psychological and spiritual behavior, becomes a weapon, sharpened to a nearly lethal point.
The easiest thing to do is lie about her constantly. Keep in mind you should lie about things that are not readily provable. As I learned the hard way, it only makes you look stupid to tell all your friends, “She looks really thin, but she’s actually super fat.”
Instead, say she was cheating on you. Say she never paid any attention to you.
Tell everyone she is involved in dogfighting. You should be able to Photoshop her face onto your body in all those pictures of you giving the camera a thumbs-up at dogfights.
If you are pretty sure the relationship will fail, and in my vast experience it will definitely fail and probably pretty quickly, try to implicate her in well-documented, heinous acts while you are actually dating.
Get her to dress like Henry Kissinger for Halloween, with a mask and everything. Then tell everyone she insists on role-playingthe intensely racist and dangerous Kissinger/Nixon “madman theory” meetings in bed.
Take her to dogfights; this saves you the time of Photoshopping those pictures. Get pictures of her kissing other guys “as a joke.”
Take her to Mitt Romney and Ron Paul rallies and take pictures of her with the candidates.
Then post all of these photos on Facebook in an album titled “My Ex Doing Shameful Things.”
If that sounds like too much work, and you’ve got a typically male heart of unfeeling granite, you can always opt for a quick, easy and totally rewarding act of vengeance: Hook up with her again a few weeks after breaking up. Works like a charm.
The best revenge doesn’t require plotting.
When I opened my e-mail to see what I was going to be writing about this week, truthfully, I was not expecting “post-breakup revenge.” I sit here staring, for several minutes, at my computer screen before I open it up to discussion with my roommates.
“I’m supposed to write a column on revenge.”
“Revenge. Like, after a breakup.”
“People do that?”
“I don’t know. Apparently so. I’ve never ‘revenged’ anybody, I don’t think.”
At this point, a friend walks into my room wearing a look of disgust after working on a long assignment. I seize the opportunity.
“Hey, Dan, have you ever ‘revenged’ after a breakup?”
He chews his lower lip.
“I’ve been ‘revenged’ on.”
“She told all of my friends I was a terrible person. My roommate said he was gonna punch me in the face, and I still don’t know why. Whatcha doing?”
“Writing a column.”
“Oh. What do you have?”
I read him the first part, and he raises his eyebrows.
“I think,” I say, “I’m going to write that the best revenge after a breakup would be just…being happy, y’know? Showing your ex you can be a whole person without them.”
Dan raises his eyebrows at me, and, in his mind, he is comparing me to his mother.
“Yeah,” he says. “That’s boring. You gotta put something meatier in your column.”
“Let me think of something.”
He sits down on a lawn chair somebody has set up in our living room, even though the couch is free. He thinks. It looks like pretty tough work. My roommate Sue finishes her soda and smacks her lips.
“I knew a girl in high school who got dumped by a guy and made a bunch of flyers that said he was an a**. She distributed them all over downtown.”
Dan continues thinking, and our conversation moves to other topics. We talk about the weather, a sitcom, Amy Adams, the Oscars and, in the midst of a discussion of Diablo Cody’s awful red carpet dress, Dan says, “I think you were right.”
“Of course I was. What about?”
“I can’t think of any forms of revenge where you can be friends afterwards, or not drag yourself through the mud. I think the best thing you can do is just move on and show your ex that you don’t need them to be happy.”
I glow a little bit in the affirmation that I was, indeed, correct. Sue tells me to quit looking smug; I don’t.