Feature

Melissa Pimentel's advice for conquering heartbreak

In my new novel Jenny Sparrow Knows the Future, the main character Jenny Sparrow goes on a girls’ weekend to Las Vegas with her best friend in order to get over a bad break-up, with somewhat disastrous results. If you’re nursing a broken heart but don’t have the air miles for a flight to Sin City (or don’t want to risk the possibility of waking up after a heavy night to discover you’ve been slapped with a restraining order by Penn and/or Teller), here are a few alternative suggestions for a weekend of heartbreak-healing.

First off, you’re going to want to get in some supplies. I don’t think I have to tell you that the most important supply is of the alcoholic variety. May I suggest the following: several (at least three) bottles of red wine for the watching-The-Notebook-and-Weeping-at-the-Unfairness-of-the-Universe-because-Ryan-Gosling-Doesn’t-Love-You-Either portion of the weekend, a bottle of gin for when you want to turn that frown into abject blind rage, and all of the fixings for a decent Bloody Mary for the hangover the next day, which leads me to the next most important supply…

Food. I’m not talking about pints of Häagen Dazs, though feel free to go there if you want. I’m talking about all of the foods your ex hated and were therefore in scarce supply during the course of your relationship. If your ex hated spicy food, get yourself a curry that could burn through the Earth’s core. If he eschewed vegetables, get out your Instagrammable wicker basket and load up on Rainbow Chard at the Farmer’s Market (though you might want to get that pint of Häagen Dazs, too). And if he didn’t like cheese, well… first off, you should be thankful that you’re no longer with someone who is clearly insane, and then you should buy yourself a wheel of the most olfactory-offensive, oozingly-delicious cheese you can find, and go to absolute town. Put it on top of a pizza if you want! Honestly, you deserve it after what you’ve been through.

Now you’re going to want to plan your weekend’s televisual entertainment. I think it’s important to have a schedule here because what you absolutely do not want to do is aimlessly watch nineteen hours of Say Yes to the Dress reruns, because I promise you that by the time the twenty-sixth bride chooses another Pnina Tournai crystal-embellished nightmare, you’re going to start to question your purpose in this world. You need structure right now, and the comforting arms of your best and most trusted friends. I’m talking, of course, about the Gilmore Girls. Line up the pilot episode, spread another wodge of brie on that baguette, and let Carol King’s theme song whisk you away to Stars Hollow. Stick to the original, though, and do not, under any circumstances, watch the reboot. Not that it’s not great, because it is, but because there is nothing that will make you contemplate the fleeting nature of mortality than seeing your friends fast-forward age a decade.

Step three: delete all social media. This is non-negotiable. Text a friend (your nicest, least-judgemental, non-meddling friend) and tell her you’re going off the grid for the next twelve hours. Send her your ex’s phone number for safe-keeping and then delete it from your own phone. You do not want to wake up the next morning to find you left him a red-wine-induced message about him being your lobster.

Now it’s time to get drunk and cry in front of the television. Really go for it here. Don’t worry about your neighbour hearing you through the paper-thin walls, or the effect that ugly-crying always has on your face the next day. Just let it out.

The next morning, you’re going to want to stay in bed and wallow. Don’t let yourself do this. Get up, pull on the nearest available workout gear, down a cup of black coffee for the hangover and go do some exercise. I’m not talking about a gentle jog or a few asanas here. I’m talking hard-core, mind-numbing, maybe-I’m-going-to-puke exercise. If there’s a speed-core spinning class near you, or one of those bootcamp sessions where a muscly man shouts at you to roll around in the mud, sign up and proceed to kick ass.

Once you’ve sweat out all of your sadness and rage, meet a friend for brunch and, while sipping your Bloody Mary, tilt your chin up to the sun and think smugly about what a fool your ex was for breaking up with you, and how much better your life is going to be without him. Because trust me, sweetheart, it is.  

More about the author

Jenny Sparrow Knows the Future

Melissa Pimentel

Everything is going to plan - until she marries the wrong man . . .

'Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella . . . the feel-good book of the summer' Cathy Kelly, Number One bestselling author

Jenny Sparrow can tell you her future:

1. Meet soulmate at 25
2. Move in with him
3. Marry him this year . . .

According to the plan Jenny made at thirteen, it's time for her to get married. But when her boyfriend proposes a break instead of a wedding, a girls' weekend in Vegas is the only solution . . . until she wakes up in a stranger's bed, and discovers that this is the year she gets married - to the wrong man.

Jenny wants a quick divorce and her old boyfriend back.

But what if her accidental husband has other ideas?

'A romance full of laugh-out-loud moments' Sunday Mirror

'What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas . . . a terrific summer read' The People

'If you like Sophie Kinsella's books then you're in for a treat with this. Top-class chick lit' Love It Magazine

Related features