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How to Stay Bitter Through the Happiest Times of Your Life

How to Stay Bitter Through the Happiest Times of Your Life by Anita Liberty
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“I had a lot of bad dates. But I wrote a lot of good poems.”

So maintains Anita Liberty, the caustically funny New York City performance artist who was going along happily healing her hurt by hating and humiliating her detestable ex-boyfriend on stage and in print until the unthinkable happened: she had a good date. And one good date deserves another. And another. And another. And, all of the sudden, Anita Liberty finds herself in a predicament. Getting dumped launched Anita’s career–Will falling in love finish it? Who’s more important: her devoted audience or her newly devoted boyfriend? And on top of everything, Hollywood won’t stop calling and Anita can’t figure out if It wants a serious commitment or just a little bit of no-strings-attached fun. From digging mercilessly into the minutiae of her new relationship to dramatically torching every professional bridge she crosses in L.A., Anita refuses to let a big load of bliss get dumped right in the middle of her career path.

“He said that my work was amazing and hilarious and smart and that he can’t wait to see me perform.
So I had sex with him.”

“My boyfriend asked me to change my look.
To something other than contemptuous.”

{BARGAIN} Whatever Hollywood ends up paying me for the rights to the story of my life.

“It’s easier to go back to fantasizing about perfection . . .
than to accept that perfection is just a fantasy.”

“Boyfriend thinks I’d rather be right than happy.
Boyfriend’s right.
But I’m not telling him that.”

Through blog entries, film scenes, poems, and to-do lists, Anita Liberty documents the perils and pitfalls of dating, sex, relationships, artistic success, and the kind of true love that sucks the creative life out of you to the point where you just end up staring at a blank computer screen and thinking gooey thoughts about your new boyfriend even though you should be writing.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
Random House Publishing Group; June 2006
ISBN 9781588365415
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: How to Stay Bitter Through the Happiest Times of Your Life
Author: Anita Liberty
Excerpt from Anita Liberty’s Blog:

Boyfriend and I are going away for the weekend. We’re going to Vermont. To a cabin. In the woods. Away from everything. And everybody. Just the two of us. No distractions or interruptions. It was his idea. Me? I live for distractions and interruptions. Lizzy asked me if I thought Boyfriend had planned this romantic weekend because he’s going to propose. I was like, “What? Propose? Are you crazy? We’ve only been together for a few months. I’m not going to get engaged after only a few months of knowing someone.” Lizzy said that she knew that I wouldn’t, but she didn’t know about him. So it got me thinking. I mean, he does talk a lot about our future together. He talks about things very far into the future. He acts like it’s a given. It does seem like he’s ready to take the next step, even if it seems quick. I’ve heard stories of people who “just knew.” I never thought I’d be one of those people, but maybe I’m about to go on a romantic weekend with one of those people.

Advice from Anita Liberty:

Be aware that sometimes well-meaning friends can unwittingly (or wittingly) plant a tiny thought in your brain that, finding your brain to be a fertile and hospitable environment, can germinate and sprout and take root and spread and grow and fluorish until you have no more room in your brain for any other thoughts. Especially rational ones.

Excerpt from Anita Liberty’s Blog:

We’re back. The first night we were there, we sat on the couch and drank red wine. We were staring deeply into each other’s eyes. There was a fire blazing, crickets chirping, the promise of a hot night of sex in front of us. Everything was perfect. All of a sudden, Boyfriend gets this look, like something has occurred to him. Like this moment is a special moment and he has something he wants to ask me. I swear. That was the look he gave me. So he looks at me meaningfully and tells me to wait on the couch, that he has to “get something.” He gets up and walks across the room to a trunk in the corner. My heart dropped into my stomach. My throat constricted. I’m thinking, “Oh my God, he’s getting a ring. How’d he get a ring into that trunk in the corner? He hasn’t been out of my sight since we got here. I even peed with the bathroom door open. Oh! I know. He Fedexed a ring to this place and had the owner hide it in this trunk so that he could retrieve it and propose. Now that I think about it, I’m quite certain that the owner gave Boyfriend a little conspiratorial wink when we checked in.” I was a little drunk at this point, so I’m trying desperately to separate out my immediate panicked reaction from my actual feelings and I’m finding it extremely difficult. I’m like, “Okay, I now have about thirty seconds to figure out what I’m going to say when he asks me to marry him. Do I want to marry him? Can I tell him it’s too soon and that we should get to know each other better? Will that hurt his feelings? Should I just say yes and see how that feels? Maybe it’s not too soon. Maybe we are meant to be together. If he knows, maybe I should trust that. Maybe I should trust him. That would be a novel concept.” Boyfriend closes the trunk. I’m shaking at this point, anticipating what’s to come. He turns to me, smiling. And he’s holding… a blanket. That’s right. A blanket. He sits down beside me and puts it cozily around us. He says, “That’s better. I knew there’d be one around here somewhere. Hey, you look really pale all of a sudden. Are you all right?” I gurgle, “Uh, yeah. Fine.” I am relieved. Oh, and strangely disappointed. (Or is it: I am disappointed. Oh, and strangely relieved.)

From the Trade Paperback edition.