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Ex Fabula: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Art Montes
Storyteller Emily Jamar

Summer tends to be perceived as a time for social adventure, filled with the excitement of meeting new people and the potential for romance around every corner. Stories of fun summer flings fill our cultural storybooks. Think Roman Holiday, Grease (“Summer Nights,” anyone?), Dirty Dancing or Say Anything

Sometimes, though, these types of stories don’t have a happy ending. The rose-colored sunglasses come off long enough to realize that the time has come to move on. As this week’s featured storytellers learned, breaking up sure is hard to do. The silver lining? It can leave the parting gift of a great story.

After she hired her new caregiver, Emily Jamar explained during the April “Last Straw” StorySlam, she may have overlooked a few initial red flags that indicated some serious boundary-crossing. The two started hanging out outside of “work” and even became friends. That’s when they decided to take a vacation to Nashville together. Unfortunately, after the drunkenly disastrous trip, the friendship and working relationship were damaged badly. Emily knew she needed to fire her – but would she have to break up with her friend, too?

Credit Art Montes
Storyteller Katherine Biehl

Our second storyteller, Katherine Biehl, told her story at the same April StorySlam. That night, she recalled being wooed at the tender age of 23 by a cute coworker armed with old-time movie quotes and flowers. Soon after, he abruptly broke it off, admitting he got another woman pregnant. While he did eventually apologize for his behavior, Katherine got sweet revenge years later, when bumping into him at a bar, she hit him with her own one-liner, fit for a Bogart-Bacall film.

Hear these stories of heartbreak and healing, here:


Ex Fabula and Sculpture Milwaukee have teamed up to provide special guided storytelling tours! The first is this weekend, led by Ex Fabula storytellers Elaine Maly and Shawn Mitchell, who will share their true, personal stories inspired by select works of art. Full details on the Sculpture Milwaukee and Ex Fabula websites.