The Breakup Backpack

Breakups are never easy. Google this phrase and you’ll find at least 30 articles for how to deal with a breakup, and honestly, none of them will tell you anything that you don’t already know. Cry a lot, wallow in misery for a couple of days, reach out to friends, do stuff, keep your mind working, and move on. Easy peasy. I’m done with these articles and this fed up recipe, so here is an improved version. I leave you with my personal list of things to have in your bag/purse/backpack/pocket/whatever for an imminent breakup, in no particular order:

1. Most expensive pack of tissues in the universe: don’t go cheap here, because the truth is, you’ll most likely cry so fucking much you’ll need to blow your nose or dry your eyes every 5 seconds and you gotta be kind to your skin, babes. No paper towels, no toilet paper, no crappy tissues. If you can get a handkerchief and be environmentally friendly, even better.  

2. A unicorn (either real or a plushie, your choice): a disclaimer before we go into this: this bag/purse/backpack/pocket is like Mary Poppin’s bag, so chill, the real unicorn will fit. Now, this is very simple. We all love unicorns. Picture yourself being dumped by someone and then leaving in a fucking rainbow horse. Yeah, powerful.

3. A bag of your favourite candies (I recommend Skittles, by far the best candy in the world): comfort food is always a must. We are not accepting chocolates here because that is the food you eat when you’re already home and you’ve been crying for three days. No, here we are aiming for happy sweets. A lollipop? Go ahead, the merrier the better.  You can’t cry while you’re stuffing your mouth with Skittles, unless you wanna die (this has been scientifically proven by me).

4. A pack of cigarettes or tobacco: ok, smoking is bad. Also, I don’t want your bag to smell like shit. I don’t want you to smell like shit. But. There’s something badass about lighting a cigarette and walking away from someone. Alternatively, breaking cigarettes in half is quite therapeutic. Or you can lit up the box on fire, a mini ritual in the middle of the park. People will think you’re quitting smoking and they’ll applaud you for it. And you need that after what this person just did to you.

5. A car (or a motorcycle, even better): remember, this is the Mary Poppin’s bag. This is Newt Scamander’s suitcase. So yeah, get that car out of your pocket, the most badass car you can think of. If you want to do this Rosa Diaz style, then put on your cool helmet, say “Go fuck yourself”, get on that motorcycle and ride away. You’ll feel cool af, guaranteed. 

6. Perfume: just spray that shit on you, babe. You’re heartbroken, but you’ll still smell like heaven. Remember who you are.

7. Your best friend: yeah just pack them with you. Give them some books/netflix/video games while they wait, and get them out as soon as you leave this other person who doesn’t even deserve a name anymore. What will you do with them? Depends on the kind of best friend you have, but I’m sure they’ll know what to do with you. Trust them, they won’t dump you.

8. A dog/cat/hamster/anything you can pet: I don’t even have to explain this one. You all know why you need this.

9. A tree, any kind of tree you want: just for the sake of adding more drama, get yourself a tree. Take it out of your purse, put it wherever you are (there are people who break up with you in the ugliest of places, like a subway station or a shopping mall. Heartless people), sit underneath it and have your Edward-leaving-Bella-in the middle of a fucking forest drama moment. 

10. A rage room set: this is in case of emergency, you never know how you will react to an imminent breakup. If rage is the chosen emotion, then pack this set in that backpack of yours and just smash everything with a baseball bat. As much as you want to kill this person, murdering is illegal and, well, just plain wrong. Some broken plates won’t get you in jail forever.

11. Make up remover: if you’re the kind of person who puts on makeup, and you did this even though you knew this meeting was going to end up badly, I applaud you. But we have stated already that you are probably going to cry, so before you do, and before you do this in public, go to a Starbucks, enter the toilet, remove all that lovely makeup from your face, buy a raspberry white mocha and get yourself home in your unicorn/cool car/motorcycle. 

And as a final suggestion: shoes. A nice, elegant pair of shoes. Just in case you fucked it up and decided to wear flip flops on this dreadful day. You don’t want to make your way out flip flopping, so for god’s sake, change your shoes before you make your final exit.



Siham Lee is a Chilean writer living in Glasgow. She’s currently doing a Mlitt in Creative Writing while writing short stories to keep herself alive and mentally stable in the midst of working on her first novel. The rest of the time she’s either rewatching Brooklyn 99 for the ninth time or eating all the cookies in the house.

Leave a Reply