Face it, no one really agrees with Diane Court's decision to break it off with Lloyd Dobler in "Say Anything" (1989). This could be because no one wanted Diane to follow her father's advice ever again, or because no one could picture Lloyd going on without Diane -- especially Lloyd.
For Lloyd, Diane Court was his first broken heart. His reaction to their split covered the range from tearful misery to acts of pure romantic desperation. The image of John Cusack (who played Lloyd) holding a boom box over his head has become an iconic symbol -- the image of a guy declaring his devotion to a girl for God and everyone to see.
Now, here's the thing. Here's what makes the world root for Lloyd: We've all been there. Male or female, by the time we reach prom or graduation or senior summer, we've had our hearts trounced on, been blind-sided by the whole lets-just-be-friends speech (or voice mail, or text), and felt like the world couldn't possibly continuing turning without that guy or girl holding our hands, holding our hearts.
My first broken heart... mercy, but I can still see his face, still hear his laugh, still remember the day he filled my arms with kittens, and still remember the day he said good-bye. He'd enlisted in the Marine Corps before we met, opted for military service rather than college, so I knew all along he'd be leaving. But wow, I never expected him to break up with me the day before he had to report to the local base and head off to boot camp. He didn't think he had a right to ask me to wait for him or some similarly noble and idiotic sentiment. Really, it was all very Diane Court of him.
I went home that night...I don't remember when or where the tears started. I do know I could barely see through them by the time I reached my door. My parents had friends over; I sobbed my way past them and ran for my room where I sobbed some more. I went to school the next day dehydrated from crying, eyes swollen -- I'm not even sure I brushed my hair -- and none of it
mattered. He was gone.
Of course, in time I recovered. I stopped crying myself to sleep, stopped dreaming of what could have been, stopped thinking of things I should (or shouldn't) have done. It took serious effort, but I got through those dark days. Later, there would be other other and other loves and other heartache. But this guy -- he's the one I never got over, the one to this day I'd stand on a lawn and hold a radio over my head for. He wears the heartbreaker crown in my life.
Funny, but if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't know how strong I can be, just me on my own. And how much happily-ever-after magic can be wrought with a pen.
YOUR TURN! Have you survived your first heartbreak? What made him or her special?