Mark and I broke up after a year and a half of dating. He told me that he didn’t see a future together, and dumped me in a Red Robin. I moved on fairly quickly (I always hated when he breathed), but I was devastated that breaking up meant losing his mom, Pam.

Pam and I were super close, and I wanted us to keep in touch. She told me to call her if I ever needed her, or even if I just wanted to say hello.

Big mistake.

The first time, it was innocent. It was about two weeks post-breakup, and I was watching TV, drinking my “go to sleep, bitch” wine, when I saw a commercial that reminded me of her.

This can’t happen again, I thought. Pam will ruin me at book club. I promised myself I wouldn’t text her anymore.

“Oh my goddd Have you seen that comercial with the penguins?” I texted her. “It’s sooo cute you luv penguins.”

She didn’t respond until the next morning.

“Yes, I did see that commercial. Very cute. Were you drunk last night?? Are you ok???” she replied.

I cringed as I typed. Pam wasn’t supposed to see me like this. “I’m so sorry. I’m really embarrassed. It won’t happen again, I promise!”

Six months after the breakup, it happened again. I was at a party trying to fuck some guy, the back of whose head looked like Mark’s, so I took out my phone and texted Pam.

“Pam I think Mark is at this party??” I typed. “Does he still wear the shirt I bought him 4 christmas?????”

She replied immediately. “Mark is in New York, sweetie. Are you alright? Do you want me to come get you?”

“Pam i’m FINE,” I responded. “Also pls tell Mark that he has fat handss.”

Then my phone died.

I ended up going home with Mark’s look-a-like (he had fat hands too). I charged my phone at his place and woke up the next morning with an angry voicemail from Pam.

“Lauren, I am sick and tired of receiving these inappropriate messages. Not to mention, you had me worried sick. I haven’t slept all night because I’m worried about you having sexual intercourse with a man you don’t know. It’s not safe and you should be ashamed. Also, please tell your mother I said, ‘Thanks for the buffalo dip recipe.’ The gals at work just love it.’”

This can’t happen again, I thought. Pam will ruin me at book club. I promised myself I wouldn’t text her anymore. I changed her contact name to, “DO NOT TEXT HER YOU DUMB SLUT” and prayed.

Three weeks later, I called her after getting margaritas with my coworker, Janice. Janice’s chlamydia was almost fully cured, and we wanted to celebrate.

“Paaaaaammmm you dumb slut. Answer your phoooooone. Do you wanna get some tacos? Oh and I can’t find my keys. Also, can you get the flu from a mosquito bite?”

This went on for the next three years. If I ate homemade chicken and dumplings, or heard Rod Stewart on the radio, or even saw a coupon for “buy one, get one” on all Tide products, I texted her. It was emotionally and mentally exhausting. I knew what I had to do: I had to break up with Pam.

I invited her to lunch at Red Robin, and told her that I didn’t see a future with her. She was confused and told me that didn’t make sense because we are “not in a relationship,” but paid for my meal anyway. I asked if she wanted to share a vanilla milkshake, her treat. She said no and we went our separate ways.

It was a rough few months after ending things with Pam, but eventually I moved on and started seeing someone new. I do miss Pam, but now that I’m dating Aaron, I have someone else to focus on: his mom, Diane.

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