Deconstructing the destruction: How Professor Snape and Lily Potter’s eyes can help you process your most recent breakup

I used to “fall in love” online every twenty-two minutes. That’s an exaggeration, but suffice it to say that as a very young adult (and sometimes teenager) I would meet people online and start developing emotional attachments to them very quickly. It was easy to do this. I didn’t know they snored. Or subscribed to the “If it’s yellow, it’s mellow / if it’s brown flush it down” mentality. I didn’t know they were rude to servers, or hated children. I didn’t know because I didn’t ask.

Why the fuck would I ask that?

“So, what’s your favorite color, what did you want to be when you grew up, and are you rude to servers?”

When you’re developing an online romance, you fill in the blanks of what you don’t know with the best case scenario. You assume they don’t do the things you HATE that people do because you are idealizing all the things they say that make you feel so good.

Guess what? They didn’t know the bad stuff about me either. They didn’t know that I regularly leave the cap off the toothpaste. That I wait until it takes DAYS to do laundry to do the laundry. That you will regularly find clumps of my hair circling the drain, and that I get terribly gassy when I eat too much garlic.

Why the fuck would they ask that? They just assume I can tolerate garlic like normal people do.

So, what’s this got to do with breakups and Snape?

There’s a thing that happens when a breakup isn’t amicable. You know, when it’s not the two partners sitting down and negotiating their way out of the relationship the same way we negotiate our way into them. The thing that happens is that one or both of them, (usually the person that was left, and not the leaver …but sometimes the leaver, too) start to question a lot of things. They feel blindsided by the sudden news that they were not wanted.

And it’s hard to process that, because….why the fuck would they have filled in the blanks with “this person does not want me the way I want them?”

Blah, Blah, Blah – communication. Communication, communication, communication. How many half-hour sitcoms would be over in 30 seconds if the comedic duo just TOLD each other what they were thinking instead of relying on innuendo and assumptions?

But, okay – in this case, communication was lacking at some point and the whole thing comes crashing down – and someone gets hurt. This next bit isn’t only about online or long-distance type relationships. It’s about ANY type of relationship.

Think about the Harry Potter films. The early ones, where Snape is such a DOUCHE. OMG, he’s taking that shit out on Harry just because Harry’s dad teased him in High School? GET THE FUCK OVER YOURSELF, HALF-BLOOD.

And why did he always look so fuckingconstipated?

But when you get to the end of the series and you find out what Alan Rickman knew all along – what he knew since the very beginning that none of the other actors knew – that Snape had the hots for Lily Potter. Not just a schoolboy crush, Snape was in love with her. And that he did everything he did to protect Harry because Harry had his mother’s eyes.

We didn’t have that information. That’s why we cried so much in the end when he died. Fuckin’ Snape was the unsung hero, and we’d had all these horrible thoughts about him, when he was a good guy all along.

That’s basically the OPPOSITE of what happens with relationships that fall apart. In relationships, what we get is the polyjuice copy of Mad-Eye Moody, where we think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread only to find out they’re really the 10th Doctor with Daddy Issues in disguise.

Wait…hold on…

Whatever. You know what I mean.

The thing that happens after the breakup is that we start questioning EVERYTHING. We don’t understand – “why did he/she say X when now they are doing Y?” I don’t think we’re trying to disprove our current reality – we’re not trying to go back to them and say “No, wait, you can’t be leaving me because three weeks ago you told me that that photo of my grandmother made you think that you couldn’t wait to grow old with me, so therefore you must love me and cannot leave!”

I mean, some people do that – but it doesn’t ever really work out well. I think mostly what we’re trying to do is re-calibrate our instincts. “Wait, was I wrong? How could I be wrong? What were the signs that I was wrong so that I can be more prepared to notice them in the future?”

We go back and watch all the movies again, now knowing what we know and start to see the signs of the truth. Oh yeah, remember that time that he said Cloris Leachman was a babe? Or the time that he insisted on vacationing in Boca Raton in February? Or that time he said it would be fun to learn how to play Bridge?

You go back and suddenly it makes sense why he would say he can’t wait to grow old with you, and then leave you a few weeks later for the octogenarian hottie he met at the Bingo tournament. He wasn’t lying at all. He literallycould not wait.

So. What happens next? You’ve done a rewatch. And a re-read. And you found new clues. And then you do another re-watch. And maybe another re-read and this time you pick up on other clues.

And you think, if I can just keep re-watching this I’ll have deconstructed this entire relationship so shit like this never happens to me again.

Meanwhile, there have been a ton of other great movies and books that have come out. Really good ones with bad-ass babes with bows and arrows and shit. But you’re still re-reading an almost 20-year old series, looking for clues.

Yes, there are stages of grief that include denial, bargaining, anger, and acceptance. It’s that last one – acceptance. There’s not an exact time frame when this should be happening. But, it should eventually happen.

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