The Hallmark Boyfriends
Holiday season approaches, but we're not filled with cheer,
Instead, the same sensation we encounter every year.
Lights twinkle in our cities, the streets are covered in snow,
But a sense of dread hangs over us, our hearts are not aglow.
For we know that in December, when Santa comes to town,
Is when our girlfriends and fiancées turn our world upside down.
We are the Hallmark boyfriends, our stories are well known,
But we're not the happily ever after; we're the ones who end up alone.
We gather in a meeting hall, on Wednesday night each week,
To discuss and to commiserate, to hear each other speak.
The downtrodden gents in here, have all felt love's sharp burn,
It doesn't care about our flashy cars, or the salaries we earn.
Our tales are old as time, and they've been lived first-hand,
A seemingly happy partner, falls for another man.
She travelled to her home town, to save the family farm,
Less than a week later there's a new guy on her arm.
Or grandma owns a bakery, and is desperate not to sell,
Up pops her old high school classmate who is now a lawyer from hell.
They quarrel and they argue until one of them steps back,
And ultimately, predictably, they end up in the sack.
Take Scott for example, who's recently joined the group,
His relationship's gone colder than day old chicken soup.
He shares with us his story, it's one we can relate to,
He hopes that by speaking out he'll make an emotional breakthrough,
His girlfriend visited her hometown for its annual winter fair,
Scott had an important meeting, so was unable to join her there.
Surprise surprise, a blizzard hit and flights ground to a halt,
She blamed him for situation, he pleaded it wasn't his fault.
They argued about priorities, she shouted down the phone,
She hung up in a fit of rage and went for a walk alone.
She slipped and nearly fell, on some icy paving slabs,
Who was there to catch her? A hunk with chiselled abs.
"What are the odds!" they gasp, as they recognised each other,
It was Craig—her childhood neighbour, an old friend of her brother.
Gone were his thick rimmed glasses and orthopaedic leg brace,
Time seemed to slow down as she found herself staring at his face.
A few days later she called Scott, as she wanted him to know,
She wasn't coming back to him, he had to let her go.
She'd realised the truth—she and Craig are star-crossed lovers,
Now Scott comes to these meetings to share his experience with others.
There are murmurs from the group; we all feel Scott's pain.
He wonders if things would be different, if he'd just made it on a plane.
The next speaker is a new face, he's welcomed by the crowd.
He's come prepared with a letter, which he wants to read out loud.
It arrived in the mail one day, stamped from his wife's home town,
He unfolds the paper, puts on his glasses and sheepishly looks down.
He coughs and starts, "Dear John, I'm taking our dog Rover,
And moving in with my high school flame, he's recently won me over.
I know it all seems sudden, so much has happened in a week.
But when he saved my father's bookstore, he swept me off my feet."
The story strikes a chord, with other disgruntled guests.
One shouts, "Those damned high school sweethearts, they're just horny sex pests!"
Another new face is welcomed, he introduces himself as James,
His fiancée walked out on him, a month after they were engaged.
His story was all too familiar, it's one we've heard before.
It took place in a small town, by a disconcertingly unspecified shore.
A week before the winter fest, always held on their neighbour's farm,
A freak marina accident, left her mom with a broken arm.
James' fiancée had to go and help, and bake a contest pie,
On the way to drop it off she runs into some handsome guy.
They smile and say hello, she's initially not keen,
At this point she thinks about James and what their engagement means.
But of course, in the next few days, James is too busy to talk,
She bumps into the handsome man again and they go for a beachside walk.
It turns out he's not only handsome, but has a heart of gold,
He's a vet who cares for animals when they're hurt, injured or old.
His classic foppish hair and dazzling eyes of blue,
Make her forget all about James and everything they've been through.
Three years of living together, building their new life,
She was so excited when she agreed to become his wife.
But now here's a sexy vet, who's thrown a spanner in the works,
Pursuing her even though she's engaged, why does nobody think HE'S a jerk?
Eventually she calls James and tells him that they're through,
She's decided to move in with the vet, in a house with an ocean view.
A smattering of applause echoes round, as we try to show support,
Compassion for each other is one of the lessons we've been taught.
Because the honest truth is that even though we are in pain,
When we get together, we question, if we should share the blame.
Could we have been more caring, and made more of a show?
Did we tell them how much we loved them, or did we just assume they know?
Were we present and engaging, did we show enough devotion?
Or did we work too hard, and focus solely on that promotion?
Were we really the villains in the story of our own lives?
Are we the reason why new men are now sleeping with our wives?
We discuss it with each other and try to help heal the wounds,
Not just from our partners leaving us, but that they've moved on so soon.
Ultimately, we conclude, if things had been so bad,
Why did they not complain before about the lives they had?
They left without a worry, they picked up and they went,
Not for one second thinking about how we'll now pay the rent.
The stories we share are tough, they've put us to the test,
Because we're not the main attraction, we're C-listers at best.
It's a bitter pill to swallow, a nasty little shot:
Our happiness isn't important, in a Hallmark movie plot.