HUNTINGTON, WV–Stephanie Duquette's break-up with boyfriend Chris Straub was made easier Sunday with an array of colorful charts, graphs, and other visual aids from Copy Express, a Huntington-area copy shop.
"When Stephanie came in looking for a way to make her dumping of Chris more effective and memorable, I was more than happy to help," said Copy Express assistant manager Debbie Saldana. "Using our state-of-the-art laser printers, film scanners, Canon CLC 1120 color copiers, and top-notch computer software, Stephanie was able to provide Chris with a clear, eye-catching presentation of his failings as a boyfriend."
Duquette, 20, broke up with Straub, her boyfriend of two years, late Sunday evening, using the visual aids to concisely communicate to him just how unhappy she had been during the last six months of their relationship.
"I needed to express my desire to see other people, but I didn't want it to turn into some huge argument about whose fault it was and whether my actions where fair," Duquette said. "I knew Chris was going to have a lot of questions, and that's when I got out this professionally bound report with the peek-through title '10 Reasons Why I Want Out.'"
Duquette also praised Copy Express for its ability to produce the needed visual aids on a deadline.
"Chris and I had agreed we would have the big 'Where is this relationship going?' talk Sunday night after he got back from his guys-only camping weekend," Duquette said. "By Saturday, I was at my wits' end. I knew I had only one day to come up with something that would really make a big impression, but I had no idea what."
Originally, Duquette had gone to Copy Express to make photocopies of her farewell letter to Straub, which she intended to distribute to the couple's friends so they would understand her side of the story. Upon seeing Duquette attempt to feed the messy, seven-page handwritten letter into the copier's auto-feed slot, however, Saldana intervened.
"I asked Stephanie if that letter wouldn't be more effective if it were organized with bullet points and had a catchy color banner across the top," Saldana said. "Stephanie was excited by the suggestion, so I told her about a whole range of possibilities, from a laminated graph illustrating Chris' declining spending on birthday and anniversary gifts to a spiral-bound, quick-reference booklet of his shortcomings as a lover printed on heavy-stock ivory paper."
Duquette's major complaints about Straub—including his failure to spend enough time with her, his frequent unemployment, and his steadily increasing weight—were presented to him on attractive, photo-quality color 24"x36" posters printed on Copy Express' brand-new 600DPI HP DesignJet printer.
"I said, 'See this line graph, Chris?'" Duquette recalled. "'It clearly shows how my interest in you plummeted after I began taking night classes to learn French. These multi-colored lines represent the appeal of some of the other guys in my class. As you can see, the green line representing Steve is a full two inches higher than the blue one representing you.'"
"Chris was definitely impressed by all the great visual aids," Duquette said. "Throughout the entire presentation, he barely said a word."
For all the help she provided, Saldana is modest about her contributions to the successful presentation.
"Most of the ideas were Stephanie's," Saldana said. "I just helped her maximize her results by finding the best way to present the data that she herself had been collecting in her private journal ever since she and Chris started having problems in March."
Straub said he was "blown away" by the Copy Express materials.
"I never realized the great disparity between the frequency and sincerity of Stephanie's expressions of love and those of my own until I saw it laid out in a vibrant, red-and-yellow pie chart," Straub said. "And when I was presented with a glossy, spiral-bound packet detailing all the rude comments I have made about her best friend Paulette over the years, how could I disagree with Stephanie's conclusion that she can do better than me? I was sold."