Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Breaking Up is Hard

Phil, my boyfriend from 9th grade. I'm a jerk. I'm sorry I wrote you a note and broke your heart. But you had to know that you were just the rebound boyfriend from Jared and that I was just using you to boost my self esteem. Because of you, I put up with people's crap much longer than I should because I fear that they to will accuse me of being a liar and quitting without really trying. Steve, Adam, Christian, ditto. Just insert a different ex-boyfriend's name.

Shortly after Phil, there was Lisa. My best friend in intermediate school. We definitely went in different directions in high school but she still told everyone we were best friends. It wasn't hurting me and really, I was no where near as cool as I thought I was. So why did I have to write you that note spelling it out, sending you crying from the lunch room. To this day her family hates me even though Lisa and I made up just a couple years later. Popularity is fleeting. I wish I were a better person back then. It is because of you that I will never turn down a friend request on Facebook no matter how brief my interaction was with the requester.

Sure, I told my freshman college roommate that I would room with her again sophomore year and then went to the housing office and changed my preference but that sort of passive break up is much easier on the soul. For most of my late teens and 20's I just let relationships get to the point that they were complete crap and then the other person ended them. I would always be surprised when they ended the relationship like it was some tragic loss. I was sad because I had lost something familiar, not something that was valuable in my life. A couple days later I always realized that the relationship had been gone for a long time and that I'd been wasting my time for years. Then I was angry at myself for being the victim and not taking the initiative to end it myself. Of course, I repeated this cycle over and over again. I'm sure a therapist would have a field day with this.

Lately, the people I have collected would best be described as acquaintances. These are people that you meet by chance or circumstance that you don't really consider your friends but they somehow find a way to weasel themselves into your life. The girl at the gym who always says hi to you who one day asks if you want to sit together when you bump into her at the food court. You say yes because it seems harmless and then spend the next 4 years of your life trying to unfriend her. Or better yet, the woman who you meet at a business conference who finds out that you both have dogs and like to run and is suddenly planning play dates and races. One week later you find out that you have nothing in common with this girl (seriously, how many people in the world have dogs and run, that's really not the basis for a friendship) but somehow find yourself going to parties at her house and dragging your husband to dinner with her and her miserable husband for an uncomfortable evening of bad conversation and nervous laughter.

Is there a target on my back that says "Please become excessively clingy to this woman and feed on her like a parasite"? The funny thing is I'm really not a nice person. Sure, if we're friends I am nice and compassionate but to the outside world I am bitchy, sarcastic, opinionated, obnoxious, inappropriate and loud. But that seems to be what attracts people. "Oh Denise you're so funny" or "You are crazy" are said to me on a regular basis. No really, I meant it when I told you to go away and I can't stand you. It wasn't a joke. How can I let my guard down when I meet new people without worrying that I'm going to end up with another leech? It's almost impossible not to be mean to these hangers-on because they just don't get the subtle comments. But I probably won't be mean. I'm all talk at this point. Maybe two out of every 10 leeches will get released. I'll just deal with it until one of us moves or they get the point.

Oh John, you were a horrible personal trainer. That's why I kept cancelling our appointments. You are a total meat head who spent more time looking in the mirror and flirting with the skinny girls than you ever spent on me. You never even listened to me talk. I'm glad that you no longer work at Bally's so I don't have to worry about hiding from you when I'm in the mall. Just because I'm not skinny doesn't mean that I've never worked out before. You talked down to me and made me feel like crap and I hope that someone tells you this before you ruin someone else's self esteem.
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