Boy meets girl. Boy and girl date. Boy and girl break up. Boy, desperate to get his girl back, makes a batshit insane website. We have found that website and it is gut-wrenchingly pathetic, mind-bogglingly clueless. It wouldn't be out of place in a police report.
I Love You, Shauna is one man's groveling attempt to win back his beloved Shauna (who is likely mortified) with some HTML magic. We don't know the identity of the guy who made this site, but we'll call him Sad Sack Sam. Why Shauna and Sam split up isn't totally clear, though he says he made "two bad decisions." (According to a tipster, Shauna wanted to move in and get married but Sad Sack Sam wasn't on board, so she dumped his ass. We can't confirm that story, but it doesn't sound out of the realm of possibility.)
The desperation of I Love You, Shauna (which, as of this posting, is suddenly under "maintenance") is so intensely clichéd that it almost passes for performance art, and maybe that's what it is. But to anyone who's had an ex realize the error of their ways and beg for forgiveness like their life depended on it — and do so in the most blundering and misguided manner — the project certainly rings true.
In typical man-child fashion, I Love You, Shauna is almost entirely about the dude. There are close to 1300 words on this site, not including the flashy slideshow sentiments, and only 115 of those words are actually about Shauna as a person. That's over 90% of the site dedicated to Sad Sack Sam and his role in their ill-fated love story: Look at what I did to you. I broke your heart. I am a jerk. I am a changed man. I will make you happy. For someone so completely oblivious, this dude sure does know a lot about himself.
With the exception of some carefully selected bikini pictures of Shauna, she's almost entirely absent from this endeavor. For all we know, she's actually a serial killer.
On to the good stuff. The site is broken into three sections, each worse than the last. Let's begin with that which is most important, the formal apology, aptly titled "I'm sorry."
Shauna, I'm so sorry for all the pain that I've put you through. I broke your heart into a million pieces twice, and I regret those decisions every single day. You don't deserve someone that is going to hurt you like that.. You deserve the best of the best. And that is why I'm trying to show you that I can be that person for you. I've changed a lot over the last 4+ months and I've realized many of my faults. I've reflected on those faults for weeks and knew I had to take steps to correct them. I know it has taken me a while to realize my faults, but I would rather put this effort in than not at all because you are the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.
When we were together, I idiotically didn't put you first. It was always me, me, me and what I wanted to do. I tried to turn everything into something about me rather than making it about the more important person, you. I was a stubborn idiot who thought everything should be my way or no way. The fact of the matter is that I'm clearly not right all the time and I'm definitely not perfect. I've made a ton of mistakes when it came to us and I'd give anything to show you how I've changed for the better.
I took you for granted when I should have cherished each and every single moment with you. You gave me such an overwhelming amount of love and care and I didn't even realize it. Looking back at what we had, I made two huge mistakes by letting you go. I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me and allow me the opportunity to make you feel like the most important girl in the world. I'm trying everything I can to show you how I've changed for the better and I hope you're recognizing how I'm changing.
And how is this guy changing? Buying domain names and learning basic HTML does not qualify as change. Moreover, what were those mistakes? Whatever, Shauna, you know what he did — why should he bother having to say it himself? And while we're at it, why should Sad Sack Sam even have to put his name on this thing? Shauna, you know who he is. Isn't that enough?
Maybe for Shauna it is, but Sad Sack Sam doesn't even have the balls to get into any specifics. The site doesn't reflect any contrition on his part; this is Sam's vanity project, nothing more. It smacks of "pay attention to meeeee." It's like the Love Actually of internet apologia: all about the manfolk's feelings.
Moving on: Sad Sack Sam has outlined his new lease on romantic life in the "Things I Want to Do With You" section.
I thought it would be nice to list some of the things that I want to do with you to show you that I’ve changed, if I was given the opportunity of being your boyfriend again.
1. Marry you.
2. Live with you.
3. Grow old with you.
4. Be the father of your children.
5. Spend the rest of my life with you.
6. Make you feel like the most important girl in the world.
7. Be there for you through thick and thin.
8. Go apple picking with you each fall.
9. Sleep with you every night.
10. Have more date nights by taking you out to dinner more often.
11. Take you out on a movie night more often.
12. Dance with you more.
13. Take you on a trip to Pittsburgh to see your Steelers play.
14. Go on vacation with you wherever you want.
15. Talk to you on the phone more.
16. Send you flowers randomly “just because.”
17. Take some more trips to the batting cages.
18. Cook you dinner a few times each month (and not just Penne & Vodka :))
19. Go to the city more often for dinner/to walk around.
20. Hold your hand as much as possible.
21. Lay on the beach with you.
22. Wrap my arms around you every single day and not let go (well, maybe after a little while).
23. Kiss you and remind you how much I love you every single day.
24. Spend more time at your apartment.
25. Spend more time cuddling and hugging.
26. Spend more time with your family.
27. Stay up late laughing with you.
28. Give you more massages.
29. Doing many more romantic things with you.
30. Show you how serious I am about changing for the better.
31. Show you how you’d never have to go through the pain that you’ve went through ever again.
32. Stare into your eyes and make you feel like you’re the only girl on earth.
33. Show the world how proud and lucky I would be to be with you.
34. Post mushy messages all over your Facebook wall.
35. Make you my Woman Crush Wednesday on Instagram every Wednesday, lol.
36. Love you unconditionally.
37. And many many more…
Oh boy. Is this list starting with a marriage proposal or a marriage directive?
There is so much going on here. Apple picking, dancing, dates, Steelers games — this reads like a Google search for "how to be romantic," and it all amounts to something that should be a given in a relationship: Doing some stuff she likes to do. Duh. The only ideas here that read as remotely original to Sad Sack Sam are numbers 34 and 35 — "posting mushy messages all over your Facebook wall" and "make you my Woman Crush Wednesday on Instagram every Wednesday" — and that's because they sound irritating as hell and are purely performative, mostly to his benefit. I will make sure everyone sees just how awesome and loving I am (uh, to you). Also, number 37 does not count, sorry.
Now we get to the "Why I Love You" section — finally, some stuff about why Shauna is so amazing! It's about you, girl! Actually, nope. He goes to great lengths to outline the story of their relationship, none of which has anything to do with why he wants her back. After 433 words spent avoiding that simple "why," we've got this tacked on at the end:
There is no one on earth that makes me happier than you do. I miss & love so many things about you that I'd just never be able to list them all. Things like when you'd stare just at me and make your "Hm!" sounds. Like when you'd skip on the treadmill for no reason; it always made me laugh. Like when you'd lay on my lap and ask me to play with your hair. And I love the fact that you're a successful woman who didn't need any help from anyone to get where you are today. You are an unbelievably amazing and beautiful person, and that is what I love most about you.
Coming at the very end of Sad Sack Sam's long and overwrought pleas for forgiveness, this lone paragraph feels like an afterthought.
Perhaps I'm being unnecessarily harsh (I think a side effect of marriage is having little patience for any man's trifling romantic bullshit). But in a time when engagement proposals and wedding dances are often designed with the aim of going viral, when being seen is as important as whatever it is you're actually doing, it's hard to look at this site through a generous lens. Sad Sack Sam is confusing "having an audience" with "being sincere." And it's all about his feelings.
Shauna, please don't take him back.
Update: If Facebook sleuthing is any indication, Shauna totally took him back.
This is I Thee Dread, Jezebel's site devoted to marriage, the wedding industrial complex, and all the fuckery that goes with both. Know something we should know? Email us. Horror stories and tales of the absurd welcome.