Breakfast at Tiffany’s has been my heartbroken lullaby since my first crappy breakup in high school. In the eyes and heart of a teenage girl, it was just the WORST. I had gone away with my family for Christmas and he cheated on me. At least that’s what I gathered from his Happy-New-Year-I-miss-you text to a girl named after cheese and fish ( no joke, first name a cheese, last name a fish) and his poor subsequent attempt to tell me he only “drove her home” while I was on vacation. Either way, I cut my losses and didn’t speak to him again, until of course, months later he ichatted me and asked for painkillers after I had knee surgery, knowing I’m allergic to them. I flushed them down the toilet. I guess it’s not hard to tell who came out on top with that one. Anyway, I was devastated. It only lasted a couple weeks that time, but I fell asleep to Breakfast at Tiffany’s every single night.
The next guy came and went, but over the course of a year and a half this time. I was in my first couple years of college and he turned out to lie more than he told the truth. It was pretty bizarre because I went into it thinking I’d found a good one. Go figure. That time it was a little bit worse because despite knowing he wasn’t the one for me, I thought I was in love. It was a good thing my roommate in the quad transferred home to Oklahoma because any night I wasn’t sleeping on my friend’s futon, hating the idea of sleeping in a room alone again, I was surely watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s and convincing myself I would love again one day.
The most recent one, the reason I am having trouble falling asleep tonight, the reason I am about to put on my faithful lullaby, is the worst one yet, because I really was in love this time. It was the kind of love that was overwhelming and uncontrollable, scary because it was so precious and perfect for the same reason. We were a team, we were best friends, we were a part of each other’s families, we were equally vulnerable and equally head-over-heels and we belonged to each other. Years went by and we made a lot of memories together, the kind that stick with you. Then the one that I thought was THE one, the one that taught both of us what love really is, the one that used “us” instead of “me” in everything he planned for the future, was the same one that took a hard look at all that is me, and said, “no, thank you, no more.” Something about being fundamentally different people that just aren’t right for each other anymore, and the need to focus on his career were thrown in there somewhere, but it all comes down to the same thing: it was love until it wasn’t, or maybe it never was; he did tell me countless times that real love never dies. That was more than two months ago and we haven’t spoken since. I let go the minute he let go, because I know that continuing to love someone who walked away would mean sacrificing self-respect, putting little value on my time, and holding me back from the one that won’t walk away. So I go on dates and meet a lot of people without getting close enough to hurt them while I get to know myself and what I want, but my heartbroken lullaby still plays on my old school MacBook every once in a while. And here is why:
1. Holly Golightly is tall, confident, poised, and even in her paper nightgown, she is beautiful.
She lives her life as she wants, doing what she wants whenever she wants. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks and she doesn’t accept drinks from disapproving gentleman, because there is no room for judgment in her life. Yet despite all that she is, she is also completely and utterly lost. Spoiler alert: no one is perfect.
2. Audrey Hepburn’s character is a phony, but she is a real phony.
One minute she is Holly Golightly, the next she is Lula Mae Barnes, and the minute after that, she doesn’t know who she is. She is a phony because she doesn’t have a grasp on who she really is, but she is a real phony, because she is too naive to realize that she could figure it out if she really wanted to. Most people can relate to a quarter-life identity crisis, especially after a breakup, when you have to spend some time figuring out who you are without your ex in the picture, and when you realize you have the whole world in front of you, and you always have – I know I can.
3. Holly doesn’t belong to anyone, and no one belongs to her.
She moves through life as an individual and knows very well not to get attached to rats or be put in a cage. Maybe she seems like she is too guarded, has her priorities all wrong, and sells herself short in the relationship department, because, well, most of the time she is too guarded, she does have her priorities all wrong, and she does sell herself short. In the end, though, with the right person, she lets her guard down, she gets her priorities straight, and she learns that it is okay to love and trust another; it is okay to belong to someone. It is important to realize that after a breakup, it is easy to act like the former Holly, but sooner rather than later, you have to get yourself and your priorities together, you have to spend time getting to know yourself, and one day, you will let your guard down and trust when the right person comes along. If you don’t, you’re only doing yourself and that person a disservice.
4. Holly is very obviously flawed; she pushes people away time after time and she loses herself in everything she does and everyone she meets.
She is forgetful, terrible with finances, and she abandons her cat in an alley on a rainy day just to prove a point. But she is loved. In the end, there is one person that sees through her flaws, knows her better than she knows herself, and wants nothing more than to love her. Maybe that type of thing only exists in movies like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but I’d like to think that it exists in real life, too.
5. Nothing very bad can happen to you at a place like Tiffany’s.
Maybe Breakfast at Tiffany’s isn’t a cure itself, but it does help lull me to sleep and pass the time required to mend my broken heart, and that is the only cure I need.