Don't be too alarmed. D hasn't gotten too sick of me, and so he's going to keep me around. Or at least let me keep living at the house. If you're still feeling alarmed, just be reassured that this post has absolutely nothing to do with D. Nothing. We're not breaking up. But I was thinking about all the lame breakups I've been through over the years and I suddenly had an urge to list my top ten worst break ups ever. Why? I don't know. I just did. But as I was thinking of my top ten worst breakups ever, I realized that I've been broken up with much more recently than I thought. After all, I've been married for over two years so I can't have been broken up with for awhile, right? Right? Wrong.
In the last year I've been through something I like to call a friendship breakup. What's a friendship breakup? you ask. Well, since you asked, I'll tell you.
See, when you break up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you, at some point, make an official declaration that your relationship is no more - that it's not working out or you're growing in different directions or its not them, it's you, or some other crap excuse you make up to basically say you'd rather spend your time alone or with other people than with this particular person. It sucks, but it's a part of life. It's a breakup. You do what you have to do and you move on.
But a friendship breakup is nothing like this. Friendship breakups do not consist of us lamely explaining to people why we can't continue to be friends with them. Friendship breakups are much more slimy and twisted than all of that. There isn't a set of rules for friendship breakups in our society. In our society you either have a knock-out-drag-down brawl in which you scream (or type) obscenities you hope your mother never catches you using and swear you'll never speak to each other again, or your friendship just fades into the unknown and you don't know what's going on for months and months at a time before you finally just figure one day that it's over. At which point, of course, you hear from the potential ex-friend and the cycle starts all over again. These kind of friendship breakups occur with the friends you used to have who aren't really your friends anymore but who you still hear from around the holidays or run into at a grocery story but don't even know what to talk to them about anymore.
These are not to be confused with natural-drift friendships. Natural-drift friendships occur when two friends go off in completely different directions and eventually lose touch, but the moment they re-connect, it’s just like old times. Natural-drift friendships don’t have the awkward quality that friendship breakups have because they seem to happen naturally without a lot of thought and without any guilt on the part of either party. Friendship breakups, on the other hands, produce loads of guilt and self-doubt on one or both parties and leave you stammering random sentences you hope will pass as friendly when you are forced to be in the same room together. You’ll know a friendship breakup when you see one, trust me.
So Christmas is coming and I realized that I haven't spoken to two particular friends of mine since last Christmas. And I remembered that last Christmas I went shopping for gifts for these two friends and ended up standing in the middle of the calender kiosk at the mall fuming mad because I realized I didn't even know these friends well enough to know what they'd want for Christmas anymore. Uh-oh. A friendship breakup appeared imminent. And, given the fact that I haven't spoken to either one of them since, I think it's safe to say that the breakup is probably official.
So what do I do when they call me at Christmas this year?
Ugh. I don't even want to think about it.
But I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the hints I should have taken even before the calender kiosk incident that friendship breakup was imminent.
Potential ex-friend called off our date for the night because her dog puked and she had to clean it up. Um, how long does it take to clean up dog puke? So what she was really saying to me was “I’d draw out the process of cleaning up dog puke from 5 minutes to 3 hours just to avoid hanging out with you”. Ouch.
Potential ex-friend called an hour before we were supposed to hang out to cancel with me so she could go grocery shopping. Translation? "I'd rather grocery shop, which I can do any old night of the week, than get stuck hanging out with you. Produce is more enthralling than you, and the frozen pizza section is more captivating than any single quality you possess." Again, ouch.
So you would think that after several months of unsuccessfully trying to hang out with this friend I would get the hint, right? Wrong again. She stalls, she avoids making plans, she cancels plans, and yet my hopefully niave little self still keeps trying, until the fateful day of hint #3:
Potential ex-friend cancels our date night. I ask her why.
She says, “I can’t hang out with you tonight because I’ve got to stay home and clean my ceiling fan blades.”
ex-friend: "I'm having a party tomorrow.... oh, you're invited if you want."
Needless to say, I didn't go to that party. Oh, and I am officially less interesting than ceiling fan blades. *sigh*
Maybe those friends won't call me at Christmas after all.