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  • Kristie

Peeling Back the Skin - The Mr. Potato Head Phenom

In the not-too-distant past, I was "Mr. Potato Head'ed" for the second time in my life, and it has been bugging me enough to know I need to write about it. I also know for a fact that many of my fellow fetching female friends have been Mr. Potato Head'ed at least once or twice in their lives.


Mr. Potato Head (v.) - When in the process of being broken up with, a person immediately (or, after a week-long pause) tries to reassemble the parts of a broken relationship into a platonic friendship. This generates a childlike peace in the assembler, upon looking at the perfect completion of their narrative, but unfortunately leaves the re-assembled Mr. Potato Head confused, angry, and unsure of how to proceed.


The first time I was Mr. Potato Head'ed, I was dating a person who got too close, too quickly. In trying to be more open-minded towards his life circumstances, I decided to respond with openness to meeting his child and his desire to be part of the music scene (RED FLAG). I let him bring his child to my concert, and even allowed him to come on music tour with my two best friends and me. Just one week after my tour, I was called to his porch after he went dark for just one day; I found myself shortly thereafter listening to a breakup speech. But there was "good news": he wanted to begin being friends then and there! To which I responded by marching off the porch and calling myself an Uber.


Looking back at the embers of that very short relationship, sharing the experience of the road with someone I only knew for three weeks was a lapse in judgment on my part. Letting him get close to the things that meant a lot to me also smarted for a long time after - allowing him to know my dog, my friends, and frankly, that he even let me meet his son, made the breakup more painful than it needed to be. The irreverence of all of these acts became plain to me; he was just really signing up for a long-term friendship with someone in the music scene. He saw my exhaustion from always having my hackles up and took the opportunity to buy whatever I was selling, providing me with some extra comfort on the side - only to Mr. Potato Head me at the right moment.


Being Mr. Potato Head'ed is akin to feeling like you opened your dynamic, flashy, fun closet to nothing but burlap-generated clothes. You may be the most gorgeous you that you have ever been in your life - but that moment in which someone takes the eye and puts it where the lip should be makes you forget all of that. And even if you are moved on and with a much better partner, and even when you have forgiven, you still feel gross when they inevitably come back to ask for your opinion on this or that, or think of you reflexively (and text you to let you know it) when some random shit happens.


So I have decided after the most recent (but actually not so recent aka- don't worry great things have happened since!) attempt of me being Mr. Potato Head'ed that I'm not going along with it any longer. Because in the game, there is one person who controls everything, and one object that is supplicant. And now, my empathy has its limits; playing the part of Mr. Potato Head to be a supportive being to someone else subtracts heavily from one's own self-worth. Not worth it.


And for what it is worth, my line of when someone is being irreverent is maybe a little too strict, but I am sticking to it. You cannot move my parts around when you tire of all I have to offer. You can move on, please.

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