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Last week I was asked to complete a short questionnaire for a networking group I belong to.  Here are some examples of the annoyance-sigh-inducing questions I had the pleasure of answering:  Are you married?  Do you have children?  What do you like to do for fun?  And finally, what is the key to your success?  Surprisingly (because I usually detest interview-esque, ambiguous questions such as this), I had no problem answering the last one.  My answer was, “Doing what I say I’m going to do.”  More simply put, I could have summed it up by stating, “Integrity.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about integrity (or the lack thereof) for the past few months as a result of my latest and greatest breakup.  Seattle Guy and I met in one of those random ways that would make even the bitterest of spinsters smile hearing our story.  He was the curator of the gallery where my bestie put on her first show alongside a few other brilliant artists.  There weren’t sparks at first for me, but he was persistent and seemingly a good guy, so I played along and genuinely developed the strongest of feelings for him.

We planned for me to move to Seattle where we would live happily ever after (or at least until his son was grown and we could move away from the shitty weather) as a Seattle power couple (his words) in the art world.  But, it all ended abruptly one day when he unexpectedly stopped speaking to me.  The three-week-long and incomprehensible silent treatment concluded in a breakup email from him.  Yep, folks.  You read that sentence correctly.  He broke up with me in email.

Although I didn’t see the breakup coming through the sweet haze of “I love you’s” and “Let’s get married’s,” I am painfully aware that people’s feelings can change in an instant. So, I’ll let the question of integrity around making infinite bold statements and then bailing overnight go.  What I won’t let go though, and what does surface the question of integrity, is how he handled the aftermath.  There were multiple cyber promises saying he’d call*, but he never did.  There was an agreement to send me my $300 sunglasses, but that didn’t happen either.

Said sunglasses ironically reflecting image of Seattle guy

According to, the definition of integrity is, “firm adherence to a code of especially moral values.”  The site also lists synonyms for the word such as honesty, character, and virtue, and antonyms such as badness, evil, and wickedness.  I repeat: badness, evil, and wickedness.

I’m not saying he is bad, evil, or wicked.  I’ll defer to Merriam and Webster on this one.

*  In all fairness, he actually did end up calling on Thanksgiving day, a week and half after he sent the breakup email.  Happy Fucking Thanksgiving.


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