Thursday, December 24, 2009


After sitting in the Tree House for a couple hours then unable to hail a taxi, I took a bus to one of the American middle school teacher's flat and spent a pleasant Christmas Eve under the glow of the tall plastic Christmas tree gorging myself with butter. Mashed potatoes, salmon, and broccoli were prepared and Christmas cookies were served as dessert. Food tasted amazing. I had forgotten how butter is just so delicious.

The hostess gave me a beautiful basket that will be perfect for stashing yarn. It was full of edible goodies and I handed out tea cozies, bookmarks, and cards that entitled the bearer to a free knitted gift of their choice.

I find it a bit hypocritical of me handing out trinkets that fill people's houses with stuff. I don't like filling my house with stuff, and I don't like receiving stuff. Food is a perfect gift, but tea cozies and bookmarks are just plain crap, beautiful crap, but none the less crap. Why do I do it? Why? I don't like receiving such things so why do I give them out?

  1. What does one do with small balls of yarn but to make small trinkets?
  2. I have to keep my hands moving which results in a ton of homemade clutter.
Anyways, now I am tired and am ready for bed.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

A Wallflower and December Parties Galore

It started in November with a Thanksgiving dinner

then December arrived.....

Beer pong night
Hanukkah lighting of candles
Tree House Christmas party for the campus
Chinese friends' Christmas hot pot with two cakes
Swedish Advent Coffee
English Department's Christmas Banquet
English Department's Holiday Performance
Christmas Eve dinner
Christmas Day brunch
Boxing Day party

Of the 11 invitations, I only went to 6 of them.

In perks of being a wallflower, chbosky wrote, "Sometimes people use thoughts to not participate in life."

I participate in life. I just don't participate in every single thing. I am a home body, enjoy being close to home and want to turn in early. I don't like walking empty streets at night or taking a taxi back to campus. In Africa I never went dancing because of the problem of how to get back home safely. So yeah I guess my thoughts and fears of being out late keep me from participating, but also my body keeps me from participating in a night life. During social events especially ones held at night, my energy drops drastically. If you want to get up at 5 am and go for a run or lift weights, I am wide awake, but if you want to party and laugh the night away I am not the gal for that.

I participate in things that I like to do in life.

I like dressing up in costumes and even if I don't know how to put on makeup, I will attempt to do it. The time I tried to draw vines all over my face using black eyeliner or the time I tried to paint big eyelashes like in Clockwork Orange or do the makeup of Dr. Frank-N-Furter or glue on a fake beard always looked super amateurish and not very cool but hey I like dressing up.

I like coloring with oil pastels and will do 20 paintings of the same scene never getting better coz umm... my art has never been through an art class and is a bit like that of a 4 year old child. You should see how I colored my Christmas stocking or how I cut out gingerbread cookies freehand when I didn't have a cookie cutter. At least, I have supportive friends who don't judge.

I like to dance and have no idea how I look.

I like to learn about different cultures and interact with the local community. I rarely decline offers even if I know it might be boring. It is the way to start integrating into the local community and to make new friends.

I participate in things I like to do in life.

After reading, Salinger's Catcher in the Rye in high school, I vowed never to be phony, never to have phony conversations that fill time and space, never to kiss up to the big wigs. I think this is why in America, I have a hard time making small talk and have a hard time creating a professional network. This is why parties full of strangers is not for me. Most of the time in order to get to know a stranger at a party, small talk has to be made. One can't just dive right into intimate topics.

This strong dislike for small talk only exists when I am in America. For some reason, in an international community, I almost never have problems with the idea of just chatting the time away about nothing important. It is a way to practice my language skills and plus living in other countries, I am a visitor who feels I should "in Rome do as the Romans do." In China and West Africa, small talk and sitting for hours talking about the weather are important aspects in being part of a community. In America, I am an American and can make my own rules on how to be an American. Internationally I feel the push to conform and respect the norms, traditions, and culture of the place I am visiting.

I do think a lot, but I don't think that I am like chbosky's wallflower who thinks too much failing to participate in life. There are times when thinking gets the best of me and my anxiety rises, but in order to cope with that I just ask myself the question, "What is the worse that can happen?"

I answer, take a deep breath and get through whatever it is that is causing my anxiety.

How to always be loved

The desire to be loved is strong.
The desire to be accepted is strong.
Conformity often results.
To be different one must be ready to accept criticism and judgement.
One must be strong enough not to be loved.

Even when people attempt to be unique individuals,
are they really?
Since the world is united in the human experience,
what is being done today has been done before and will be done again.
Is anything really unique?

But the real question is how do you find you, the inner you, the you who is truly you, not the you influenced by them, by the past, by pain and rejection?

How do you find you?

By sitting in silence listening to yourself?
By writing and exploring the inner you?
By connecting to the love and joy created by you and you alone?

I walk around in a black skirt with an embroidered big red flower, the hem dragging on the ground being kicked and tripped over by my well-used scruffy boots, and the students gasp in admiration when I walk into the classroom. But it was the fun and joy I felt before entering the stage of 62 eyes that I knew that the skirt was truly me. I love the way the skirt moves with me, and in realizing that I am in love, I find me.

I wonder though, if the class had gasped in horror, would I be strong enough not to be loved, to continue wearing the skirt I love but others hate?

Maybe to find the true you, all you have to do is create. Instead of wearing and buying items from the mass produced, create your own world according to you.

The skirt was made in Africa according to my instructions. I created something that was me.

I knit and often feel that my color combinations are all wrong. Wrong because in the world of mass production, I have never seen that color combination? Maybe the colors I decide to combine are actually right, are the colors I am truly feeling in that moment, but the fear of rejection makes me doubt the combined colors?

When I was in high school, how was I a Spinelli Stargirl, a girl who is so in tune with what she loves and is so confident being herself that she ignores peer pressure? To be herself, she is strong enough not to be loved by the people who judge her, the people who want her to be normal like everyone else.
  1. For Valentine's I stayed up all night making homemade cards for my classmates.
  2. During sports games and camps, I was the lone voice who continuously cheered and even during basketball camp got picked by the head coach to move to his gym because my voice wouldn't stop, a lone cheering voice amongst hundreds of girls.
  3. During 11th grade prom, I brought my dad.
  4. During 12th grade prom I spent the whole night on the dance floor, most of the time on an empty dance floor, sometimes joined by other dancers. I asked the boys who didn't bring a date to dance, but was only met in silence.
Have I lost the Spinelli Stargirl now that I am 32?

I have gotten lazy, and instead of doing and creating, I get lost in watching.

I love kung fu.
I love riding my bike.
I love spreading color on paper with my fingers.
I love meeting people from a different culture.
I love exploring a city.

But currently I am stuck in my apartment full of excuses.
The weather is too cold.
I am too tired.
The weather is too cold.
I love knitting, and therefore, spend almost all of my free time knitting at the sacrifice of other loves.

Watching media is one hurdle I face when looking for me to love, but my biggest struggle comes when I am with a partner. I cannot bear being unloved. I conform to their ideas, to their wants, to their needs, all because I want their love and have forgotten my own love for myself. Loving myself is sometimes so hard especially when there is another person in the picture loving me. Instead of living off the love created by myself, I tend to live off the love that the other person gives. Another person's love isn't very reliable.

Jen, you've got to find your inner Stargirl and keep her close. If you can hear her, then you will always be loved.

Monday, December 21, 2009

tack me to the Wall

Today my sitemate gave me the book the perks of being a wallflower by stephen chbosky. I have only read like 4 pages and am already identifying with this kid who is still in high school and who is a boy. I mean, I am 32, grownup, and am a woman, what does it mean that I am identifying with some high school kid?

I am kind of scared to go on.

The first few pages have already talked about some heavy stuff and the other night at writing club I was writing about some heavy stuff and I am like scared of all this heavy stuff, heavy stuff that is the kind of stuff that sometimes goes on in my head.

Before reading on and figuring out why the author named the book as he did, I decided that I might as well write about what I think the perks of being a wallflower are. I label myself as a wallflower and personally struggle with this problem more so in the states than abroad; although, this holiday season has put me face to face with my wallflower personality as I decline invitation after invitation and debate whether or not to decline three more invitations to parties at the end of this week. I am being a BIG FAT scrooge.

Even just in the opening paragraph I identify with the protagonist who writes, " I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn't try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist."

I know these people exist coz well I am one of them, but there are nights when I am like I don't want to be one of them. I want to be that other person who is the life of the party, flirts, and makes out. I try so hard sometimes to be someone that I am not trying so hard to break out of my shell, forcing myself to socialize, believing that with practice I'll be able to leave the wall. But alas, my all out attempts as I swallow my fear and try to be the life of the party often end in disaster.

I wrote this poem years ago

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Were you ever shy?

If you were ever shy
always sitting against a wall
amongst a crowd of butterflies
afraid to let go of your protective wall
of silence
rarely flirting that would lead to a much
desired make out session
always going hoping to connect
but always leaving feeling dejected

Well then
come to my school of wallflowers
we will learn to be social together.

May we help each other out.

Tonight I am going to a party full of dancing, sexy people.

Umm, yeah, sooo, don't come to my school of wallflowers. That party ended in disaster sending me back into my shell for a long long time. Run! Claim that you are tired, leave the party unfashionably early and run. Run in the opposite direction of all get togethers.

So yeah perks, what are the perks of being a wallflower?

Well I can stay in my shell and avoid things that I don't feel like doing. I can claim that my anti-social skills are because I am a wallflower and can hide inside this weird, quiet, hate talking on phones loner. It is safe hiding behind the wallflower persona.

It is really weird though, coz I am not someone who hides. I am a teacher. I do presentations. I join sports teams and start clubs. In school I raise my hand. I have traveled and lived across the globe. I face the things I fear, yet under certain circumstances I hide and say yep, that's just me the wallflower. It's like an excuse and a way to keep everybody away from me when I don't want to be social or friendly.

I guess that is kind of a perk. Right?

Another perk would be, as a wallflower, I attract wallflowers. So being a wallflower isn't always lonely. Being a wallflower is just lonely when the room is full of flirty social butterflies. Sitting quiet in intimate conversations with a fellow wallflower is nice. There is a connection. I like my fellow wallflowers.

It is only 9 pm. I guess I should get back to the book.

To Do List

Knitting and doing laundry on a cold sunny winter day with ice water coming out of the taps is not a good combination.

It has been a productive morning:
  1. Washed sheets, socks, and undergarments
  2. Worked on a Christmas Powerpoint presentation
  3. Started using my last two balls of yarn to knit red and gray striped socks
  4. Washed dishes
  5. Boiled fresh noodles to eat with tomato pork sauce (After Africa where I ate spaghetti constantly, I have not been able to bring myself to cook the wonderful dish. The other night though I watched Costanza eating a mouthful of spaghetti. So tempting!)
  6. Wondered if drinking noodle water is unhealthy. Every noodle shop serves it as a hot drink.
  7. Watched a cute knitting animated short, "The Last Knit." Like me, she just needs more yarn (youtube or youku clip)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Start a Library

If you ever want to start a library for your college campus in China, here are a few books that our students tend to enjoy, books that continue being checked out several times a semester. Our students want to read the classics and often Pride and Prejudice, Tom Sawyer, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Dickens, and Hemingway are checked out; however, I kind of find it hard to believe that any of those books are finished cover to cover. They are difficult.

Instead these books are more accessible and interesting to our students.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Are you there God? It's me Margaret by Judy Blume
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
Heartbeat by Sharon Creech
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Witches by Roald Dahl
His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer
The Good Women of China by Xinran Xinran

Also, the Illustrated Classics are a good compromise to the unabridged classics. A lot of our students will read Oliver Twist the Great Illustrated Classic.

One may think that Harry Potter would be a great selection of books. We have the whole series; however, it is hard for students, too many strange words.

We might be writing another grant to get more books, any other suggestions?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas: We waited an hour.

Tonight we had a low-key Christmas party for the students of the college.

We spent 2 hours shopping for candy, sunflower seeds, and a Christmas movie. Found the food, didn't find a Christmas movie, but as Christmas tradition dictates and even though it had no subtitles, we decided to show ELF again this year, our one and only Christmas movie. Okay I lied. We do have Home Alone, but it has been seen a million times in China. Last year only like 5 students showed up to watch it.

We hung signs up on Thursday.

Free Tree House Movie
5 pm Reading Competition Awards Ceremony, Christmas Singing, and Stocking Making
6 pm Movie

At 5 pm with Christmas music blaring, Santa hats donned, craft supplies waiting, and sacks of candy and sunflower seeds ready to be given out, we stood in an empty classroom wondering, "Where is everyone?" We had already postponed the party from Friday to Saturday due to the claims that everyone would be too busy on Friday because of the National exams on Saturday.

Saturday arrived and no one showed.

But because we are experienced volunteers we knew, if you wait long enough someone will come.

At 6 pm, with 6 students we started making paper stockings, using yarn to sew up the seams and markers to decorate.

At around 6:30 people started showing up. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors had just finished up their National exam, but very few freshmen made an appearance. Apparently a performance rehearsal was suddenly scheduled and many of our students were required to attend that. We still had a good showing, not too big, not too small just right of about 50 students.

We cut out, sewed, and decorated Christmas stockings and Santa's elves visited filling them with candy. We lit candles passing the flame from one candle to the next as "O Holy Night" played in the background and then sang "Silent Night."

Last we watched ELF.

Thankfully, with a little bit of patience, an empty classroom turned into a Christmas celebration.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Organizing my Flat and Knitting Fears

Winter Cleaning

After watching a youtube tour of a China PC volunteer's flat, I was like whoah, "His place looks organized and not cluttered. Why is my flat so messy?"

Yeah, why is my flat so messy? I have not bought much since arriving in China except for yarn. My house does fill with gifts from students plus all of the newly finished knitted goods. So even though I don't spend much money my house does fill with stuff. I am not a decorator yet my house is full of brightly colored Chinese embroidery hangy things and hand crafted wall hangings that sit on my chairs because well I don't know how to hang anything on these concrete walls.

I prefer having fewer possessions than more because the more possessions you have the more things you need to buy to organize and store your possessions in. Without cabinets, closets, and shelves, a house full of things will look like a tornado hit it. This is how my apartment looks at the moment, but I do have cabinets, drawers, closets and shelves. They are just empty, so I am working on filling them and organizing my things.

I don't know why I am not a neat person because my brain tends to be an organized brain. I love charts, tables, and diagrams. I like turning complicated concepts into simple pictures. When I was studying for my various graduate school exams, I would file all of my study notes into a binder including a table of contents and dividers. So why am I not like my brother who has a super neat and organized house? Why do I like piles? Why don't I like folding my clothes and putting them away? Why does my desk fill with stuff, a bowl and chopsticks, a tea cup, a Nalgene bottle, five knitting projects, pens, and paper, a battery, knitting supplies, and balls of yarn? It is chaos!

Anyways, I am doing a winter cleaning.

Time to Knit a Sweater

As my stash disappears into knitted socks, hats, ear warmers, scarves, and cup cozies, it is time to start thinking about buying yarn and finding a sweater pattern.


Sweater patterns are easy to find. I like simple. I like one color. I like v-necks. I like sweaters that I can wear a collared shirt under and look professional.

Yarn shopping though!
Super ugh!

I hate yarn shopping. I hate picking out colors. I don't know how to pick out the right yarn weight or fiber for a pattern, and figuring out which yarn matches which pattern seems like an impossible daunting task.

I don't want to look like a fat sausage because of a color, yarn, pattern combination. So then should I knit a loose sweater? What? And add 2 pounds to my hibernating winter eating figure? Ugh....

The experienced knitters say, "Look, just take one for the team and knit your first sweater."

"Fine! Fine!" I declare with a sense of argh, "I'll knit one."

Winter break is coming and long train rides to Chengdu and Harbin are in my near future.

Anyone want to go yarn shopping?

Monday, December 14, 2009

I didn't know

I am out of the loop.

This morning I was out of the loop coz I had no idea that I would be biking to school in the dark. When did the sun stop coming up by 7 am? Or maybe the sun was hidden by unseen clouds which I couldn't see in the dark?

During today's class I was out of the loop coz I thought maybe today was the last class of the semester, but then learned by a raise of hands that we have another one in two weeks. Hmm... What about January?

After class I was out of the loop coz it was snowing. I missed the weather report that there would be snow. It was the first time in my entire life that I have ever biked in snow. That was umm... fun.... snowflakes blinding me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wake up! You can't be a volunteer forever.

When I was sitting in downtown Seattle at a coffee shop looking out the window as the people were rushing home after work, waiting for a friend to finish up with his job, and writing my thoughts about future African adventures, it never occurred to me that I would be overseas for 4 years. I thought I'd be in Africa for 2 and then return to the states in mass confusion trying to determine what to do next. 2 years in Africa was a short postponement of starting a career, a career life I have never dreamed of having, but due to societal norms feel the pressure to have.

Instead I have made a career out of living overseas. 4 years is a long time. In four years, life changing evolutions happen as teenagers move away from home, live on their own for the first time and graduate from college. In four years, personalities evolve as they finish working on a masters or a PhD living in a totally different city than the little traditional ones of their hometowns. In four years, somehow people grow, change, form new habits and new opinions.

I have a friend who after three years overseas has finally changed her tune and now instead of wanting to be a nomad traveling across the world wants to settle down, wants a wife, security, a health plan, and a retirement plan. Why hasn't this happened to me? We're both the same age.

Four years overseas has made me into a SUPER wallflower. In the states, I was a wallflower, but now I am a SUPER wallflower especially around foreigners not around locals. Around locals I am extroverted, friendly, and know how to engage socially, but around foreigners, I clam up. I hide in the kitchen. I decline invitations.

Returning to the states I wonder what kind of community I will find and become a part of. SUPER wallflowers have difficulty finding community. After living overseas for four years, I fear that maybe I will hide in an isolated corner of the states and never come out. I wonder if I will start dating; however, living overseas I have learned that I am okay alone and don't need a partner.

My attitude towards not having a career has been reinforced by living overseas. I feel the joy and peace of having free time, of living on the bare essentials, of not having excess but just the right amount to feed, clothe, and house you. I don't care about having a high paying career, but feel that I can exist anywhere no matter what the salary is.

I wonder if someday a wake up call will hit me. Am I too idealistic and will American reality change my tune?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Yarn Stash: Good Gift?

I am still working through my yarn stash. I only have two skeins left with lots of little balls. I feel like soon I will be able to buy a new stash of yarn to start on a sweater.

Here is a recent project, a cup cozy, a re-usable cup holder to keep from using the cardboard ones at coffee shops; however, here in my city there are no coffee shops. I just use the cozy for my glass tumblers, a way to keep the drink hot and keep my fingers from burning.

Basic Cup Cozy by Janet Gallagher

I rarely see tall glass tumblers as coffee or tea cups in America. They are very popular in China. I love them. Do you like them? Would these glass cups make a good gift for friends when I return to the states?

Exploding Rice and Constructive Criticism

Today's Chinese lesson was a disaster.

I had a mess to clean up and picked an episode that was too high for my level.

We started with learning how to use the word "would."
For example, how would you say, "If you hadn't gone to China, what would you be doing?"

Then, my tutor described how to make rice porridge and I re-told the procedure using a few newly learned words. We took a break and ate some porridge that had boiled onto the floor making a mess of starchy goo, a large puddle of glob. The porridge that had managed to stay in the pot had a bottom layer of burnt rice with a top layer of edible porridge. Note to self, when cooking porridge in a rice pot check regularly and don't wait till the cooker automatically turns off.

Next we watched a cartoon episode whose dialogue was way over my head. The father and son discussed promises and trust along with the habitats and toys of bears.

At the end of the lesson, I was told that I really need to work on my tones.

Ugh.... Discouraged am I.

I don't know how to work on my tones other than to go back to square one and start memorizing all of the tones of all of the vocabulary I already know. Does anyone know how to improve the tones of spoken Chinese?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hot Pot and Dumplings

Last weekend was full of accomplishments in the realm of language and community integration.

I have always felt that I would never be able to order hot pot because there are too many choices and too many things you have to order:

1) type of soup
2) type of dipping sauce
3) type of meat
4) type of vegetables.

My vocabulary and ability to read characters is very limited in the food realm; however, on Saturday a pretty nice hot pot meal was ordered with an awesome tomato based soup along with a garlic dipping sauce and vegetables and meat galore. (Well I kind of cheated, by walking around the restaurant having the waitress follow me as I pointed to the vegetables we wanted, but hey you do what you gotta do.) Not only was that cool, but the meal lasted like 2-3 hours which is very Chinese. It was a meal of leisure of eating and socializing, not this eat and go type of attitude that I have had a hard time giving up even after living abroad for four years.

Then on Sunday I had a full day hanging out with friends cooking and making pork and celery dumplings. It was a day of pure Chinese. These friends have stopped translating even just the theme of the conversation where knowing the theme often makes it easier to correctly guess what is going on. Instead I was on my own, but I didn't feel alone as I stood in the kitchen having a conversation with the cook learning about her wedding and how to cook. Learning language by being in the real world instead of sitting in a classroom, my Chinese improves by leaps and bounds.

It was a good weekend.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Environmentally Friendly Chopstick Tote

Idea by Molly and Pattern by Jennifer
The environmental impact of disposable wooden chopsticks is tremendous. According to The Independent in China there is an estimated 45 billion pairs of chopsticks that are thrown away which is about 25 million fully grown trees.

Why not crochet these easy chopstick covers to carry a pair of chopsticks with you wherever you go?

Nylon string
Hook D

bottom width 0.375"
top width 0.7"
length 10.75"

Chopstick holder for a pair of chopsticks that are narrow at the bottom gradually becoming wider towards the top.

Instructions for the chopstick holder shown in the picture:

Row 1: ch 2, 6 sc in second chain from hook.
Row 2: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 5 sc. (7 sc)
Row 3-21: sc in each sc acround.
Row 22: 2 sc in one sc (8 sc)
Row 23-36: Repeat row 3
Row 37: 2 sc in one sc (9 sc)
Row 38-75: Repeat row 3, finish off.

General Instructions:

This is a simple custom fit pattern where an occasional increase (2 sc in one sc) is done as the chopsticks become wider. Throughout the project place the chopsticks in the holder to determine when you should start increasing. When the holder becomes too snug increase by one sc.

Row 1: ch 2, 6 sc in second chain from hook.
Row 2: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 5 sc. (7 sc)
Row 3: sc in each sc acround.
Next rows: repeat row 3 until chopsticks fit too tightly then do an increase row
Increase row: 2 sc in one of the sc
Repeat row 3, next rows, and increase row until chopsticks are fully covered or until desired length.

Dark Skies

The snow is falling fast and in swirls
White blasts of solid cold

It's like watching a still painting
with static disrupting the picture

to the icy ground
into inches of slippery mess
boot dirtying black icy tracks
foot-printing into my white tiled floors
little puddles forming around each shoe

Sliding and bumping into
each car
each person
each bike

Ugh snow


Because of the
Christmas music is
now playing...


Maybe snow isn't ALL bad.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Fighting: What is it Really About?

Writing club is still going strong! Tonight was our 7th meeting. Every Sunday, we have like 7-9 participants, some are regulars, some are first timers. It is a great club. The strength of this club lies in the mixture of voices teachers and students freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors everyone learning from each other strengthening their English skills by writing, speaking, and listening as well as working on creativity.

This semester we have been working on short writing exercises to improve specific skills like writing metaphors, describing detail using the five senses, shrinking big ideas into smaller ideas, brainstorming, using random words to motivate a poem, and looking at photographs to inspire.

We have just been writing, not editing.

Tonight we worked on dialogues, had a guest speaker from number 2 middle school, a teacher from Canada.

Next semester, I am hoping to expand the writing club such that each student will be a leader presenting a writing lesson to the other club members. Also, hopefully we will start writing longer pieces that will be written, re-written, edited, then self-published. Maybe we could even have a reading party to promote our book.

I am not a fiction writer. I rarely write dialogues. I love writing club because it helps me get out of my writing box and even if the writing is poor, one has to start somewhere. This might be one of the very first dialogues I have ever written. It is awfully cheesy, but if read out loud is quite a fun expressive read. Reading a dialogue out loud I can put in the tone and the mood, but how does one do that with written words?

I need practice and tips.
I need examples.
Your mission if you are willing to accept it is, write a breakup dialogue.
Accept the mission.
Write me something.

It's Not Really About the Flowers

John walked up to Anne and gave her a big hug pulling a red rose out from behind him saying, "So Happy Valentine's day beautiful. What do you want to do tonight?"

"Oh John. You know how I hate Valentine's day. It is just a day for stores and restaurants to trick the masses into spending gobs of money."

"But Anne..."

"I can't believe you spent money on a rose! They are so expensive and will probably be wilted by tomorrow."

"But Anne..."

"You know I hate romantic things, and we're poor college students. You don't have any money. Why spend it on a stupid dead flower?"

"But Anne..."

"John, you and I are just so different. We value such different things. You are into that whole romantic love thing. I'm more practical and logical. It just makes me so mad that you waste money on stupid things like flowers."

"But Anne..."

"But what John? What? What do you want? I just can't take it anymore. We never have anything to talk about. All you do is watch boring sports. You spend money on worthless things."

As Anne handed the rose back to John, turned her back on him, and walked away, she couldn't hear John as he said, "But Anne, I love you."