adults suck at friendship

i had an interesting conversation with someone at a party the other night. they were saying how they have friends that they have largely stopped hanging out with because of their different parenting styles. they were lamenting how hard it is to maintain friendships as adults when seemingly insignificant things, like parenting styles, end up affecting the friendships.

i agree with this person. i’ve noticed similar things, like how politics in particular really affect friendships, and i hate it. when i was a kid, all i needed to be pals with someone was a single mutual interest — transformers, building forts, super nintendo, whatever. back then, we just didn’t care about big, heavy issues or what the other person thought about those issues, and that made friendship way easier. ignorance really was bliss.

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my god, life was good then.

that’s sad. it sucks that our adult friendships are so fragile, so tenuous, and it sucks that we are so lousy at accepting differences among our friends. i wonder why this is. is it reasonable, should i be ok with it? were childhood friendships easier because we were simpler creatures then? are adult friendships emotionally deeper and more complex than just a partner to play lego with? do we need people we relate or connect to on more levels in order for that deeper, more complex relationship to endure? or are we just really insecure and petty, needing to surround ourselves with ‘yes men’ who will nod and say “i agree 100%” with everything we say?

probably a bit of all those things. i suppose it makes sense but it still makes me feel like a small person.

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a tangled web

it’s been a while since i complained about a news article but i just found one that got me going.

a couple in halifax was engaged but didn’t see eye to eye on the wedding planning — he wanted something cheaper, she wanted something more expensive — so the guy postponed the wedding. in response, the woman ended the relationship altogether.

then they went to court to fight over who got to keep the $19,000 engagement ring. there were texts of him telling her she could keep the ring but i guess he hadn’t meant it, or maybe he had a change of heart. she said she just wanted to sell the ring to pay off debt incurred from planning the wedding. now the guy has claimed bankruptcy so neither of them get the ring — the bank gets it.

what a disaster, and what a perfect example of how petty and cruel human beings can be, even to the people we claim to love and cherish the most. it’s a good thing these clowns didn’t actually tie the knot.

my problems with this story are:

  1. a couple not being able to come to a compromise on wedding plans, and ultimately breaking up over them, is absolutely pathetic.
  2. both people going into debt just planning a wedding — not even getting to the wedding itself — is also pathetic.
  3. spending $19,000 on a ring is beyond pathetic. not to mention that the diamond industry is horrific in its treatment of workers and the environment, and carefully controls their own market to inflate prices ridiculously. every sensible person should boycott diamonds.
  4. despite their apparent dire financial straits, the couple managed at one point to afford a trip to mexico together for which the small claims adjudicator ordered the woman pay her ex back $3000. i can’t believe that a financially strapped couple would drop this kind of money on a vacation.

it’s all so depressing. i hate seeing evidence that these kind of people really do exist. i mean, i bitch about them all the time but i rarely see this kind of detailed evidence of them so this is a real mindfuck. did i mention he has his full name tattooed on his left bicep along with the words “reign” and “journey” in a crossword puzzle style? i’m not sure if those are the terrible names he picked for his poor, unfortunate children, or if they’re merely words the big cornball finds inspirational. he also has numerous other lame inspirational tattoos that mention dedication and being strong and have lots of ellipses. why do people overuse ellipses so much now, anyway? what a fucking ghastly trend that is.

man, there’s a lot to hate about this one little news story.

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the unhappy couple themselves. what a surprise that a competitive bodybuilder would turn out to be crazy.

 

breakup text

today i saw a pal i hadn’t seen in a long time, maybe a year or two. we filled each other in on our juiciest gossip, and she mentioned she had dated a few guys and been dumped by both of them via text. not surprisingly, she wasn’t thrilled about this. most people i know think breakup texts are the height of cowardice, but i actually like them.

here’s why: breakups suck, and if it’s going to happen, i just want to get to the meat and potatoes of the conversation and then have some time to process how i feel about it before we bother delving into it any further. ideally, the text conversation would go something like this:

you: hey i don’t think we should see each other any more. you’re too needy, surly, depressing, covered in fungus, you eat with your mouth open, etc.

me: ok no sweat. i’ll stop by after picking up groceries to kill you later tonight

what more needs to be said? i think both people will be dealing with some complex and conflicting emotions after that exchange so why not mull it over for a few days, and then possibly have a phone or email conversation to talk about the details? i’d rather do that than break up in person at starbucks and bawl my eyes out in front of a bunch of people or have anyone bawl their eyes out in front of me. i don’t want to share those hyper-emotional, tedious, embarrassing moments with anyone.

i also don’t want to have to rub anyone’s back and give them some bullshit pep talk about how it’s not you, it’s me, and i sure as hell don’t want them to do that to me. plus it’s too easy to indulge our emotional selves then and ask pointless questions like why? and say stupid things like i pictured us getting a dog together but i guess that’s never going to happen now. most of that stuff doesn’t need to be said at all, and the stuff that does need to be talked about should be done when you are both able do so without yelling, blubbering, moaning incoherently, etc.

phone call breakups are ok but i have some of the same problems with them as in-person ones. there are still too many opportunities to drag out the breakup conversation and make it more excruciating. at least you can do it from the comfort of your respective homes, and one of you can easily bail on the conversation and hang up at any time if it’s getting too agonizingly tiresome, but i’d still prefer a text or email any day.

i know most people feel like partners “owe it to them” to break up with them face to face, but i don’t understand exactly what is supposedly owed. maybe they want the dumper to have to witness the emotional turmoil they are causing, or to support the dumpee as they wrestle with the things they are feeling. i don’t care about either of those things. breakups generally aren’t done out of spite or malice so i don’t think anyone should feel repentant about hurting the other one’s feelings. supporting the dumpee makes the most sense to me but i still don’t relate to it. if i’m going to sob like a poopie diaper baby, i want to do it alone in the comfort of my damp, sparsely-decorated basement suite, and i wish other people felt that way too. people should be ashamed of their ugly crying faces.

it seems that what this boils down to is that a) i like to be alone during intensely emotional times, and b) i lack sympathy.

i’m fine with both of those.

breaking-up

is this going to take much longer? i told the guys i’d meet them for wings at 6.

fair weather lover

i used to be a real fair weather lover/partner/boyfriend/spouse, whatever you want to call it. i would jump ship from a relationship at the first sign of difficulty. my routine was to start dating some chick, have a great time with them in the honeymoon phase, eventually run into some annoying minor disagreement with them, break it off, and then meet someone else and start the cycle all over again.

it took a long time before i realized that every relationship, no matter how good, has its own issues that require effort to work through. obviously not all of my girlfriends would have been suitable for the long haul — good grief, in some cases one of us would have wound up dead by now — but my point is that compromise is hard. swallowing your pride, admitting you’re wrong, and apologizing can be hard. accepting ‘sorry’ when someone else fucks up can be hard. and there are always going to be disagreements, stupid arguments, little things two people will butt heads over. i think it takes a lot of emotional strength and integrity to accept or work through all that stuff and maintain a healthy relationship.

but this is where it gets tricky. if i were not already with someone who is worth shutting my fucking mouth for occasionally, how would i know if someone else was worth it? say i was dating some chick and things were mostly good but she was kind of weird or bitchy or arrogant or whatever sometimes — would she be worth the effort to look past that stuff, or would it be futile and ultimately doomed? how would i know if or when to give up and pull the plug? how many and what kind of flaws would be acceptable? thinking about that kind of stuff makes me really grateful that i learned this lesson right around the time i met jenn. i can’t imagine the mental struggle of finding a good match who had a few serious flaws, someone who really straddled the suitable/unsuitable line, and left me paralyzed with indecision as to our future together.

fuck it, i guess it wouldn’t be that hard. i’d just dump em and find a partner that didn’t keep me second guessing them.

the good news is once you get to that face, it’s easy to keep going with it. cry faces are hideous.