I’ve never been one to enjoy The Bachelor/Bachelorette type shows. I had enough fairytale fodder with the help of Gary Marshall, Nora Ephron and Richard Curtis, I never needed to jump the shark any further with highly produced, “real life” Cinderella stories. Or, maybe, the fact that I am a hopeless romantic is what turned me off to the idea that anything resembling love could come out of a scenario where a multitude of women compete for the affections of one man.
Over the years I’ve leaned heavily on my friendships to get me through bad boyfriends, extended periods of singlehood, job loss, moves, family issues, and a million other things. Because I am a real person and that is what real people do. So already this post is a whole lot of nothing. I only bring up these obvious statements because, once again, I’ve been taking stock of my friendship portfolio over the past week or so.
Making friends as you reach the old and decrepit age of 30 becomes increasingly difficult. Partly because life is busy and other things take priority. Partly because you aren’t thrown together with new people as much as you once were. And partly because, as you get older, you get wise enough to know that everyone is terrible.
Thirty has been a surprisingly nostalgic year for me. I’ve chased the feeling with manic panic hair dye, 2003 throwback costume parties and concerts featuring my high school favorites. Alkaline Trio even catered to my sentimentality with their Past Live tour. Hell, the revitalization of this blog is probably a desperate attempt to hold onto the days of yore despite the fact that I now get my purple hair done in a salon, I can’t squeeze into my clothes from 2003 and Slug started dressing like my dad.
There comes a time in every young woman’s romantic journey when someone in her life thinks they know better than she does. He’s too this and not enough that for you. Your backgrounds are just too different. He seems like someone who may have a midlife crisis and leave you for his secretary 15 years from now so you should probably just call it now.
Yes I’m going to pay homage to the loverly women in my life again. It’s been a rough week (though today pretty much rocked my socks off) and in moments where I was “turning grim about the mouth and ready to knock people’s hats off and take to the sea” (Melville will just have to forgive me for that slaughtered paraphrase) my girls came to the rescue. This is a shout out to a different group of girls than the ones who inspired this post.
Many moons ago, I apparently broke an unspoken rule about not kissing a guy (who we’ll call Narcissus) when his friend (we’ll call him Dodger), who just so happens to be your friend, likes you but never told you he likes you no matter how much nothing the kiss meant to you. Narcissus, who apparently knew that the liking was going on is completely off the hook though even though he was more aware of the wrong that was happening than you were. Are you confused? Me too.
I traded unencumbered stars for city lights, cornfields for corner coffee shops, and never looked back, but there’s something to be said about going home again. I spent this past weekend at my childhood home, which lies on a storybook farm site seven miles outside a town straight out of Beautiful Girls where the men drive pick-up trucks with misogynistic bumper stickers and the women start having babies right after high school (if not during).
I’ve had a number of relationships end. Some because we fought too much, some because the spark wasn’t there and some because someone seemingly better came along. Regardless of the reason for the split, the break up process has been much the same: mourn, miss the individual, relive the memories, wish it wasn’t over, think the break up is for the best, then move on. I’m wondering what this process will be when a friendship ends.
In Jr. High it was common practice for people to stay away from girls or boys their friends were interested in. The rules were simple: if Sally was digging Johnny and Suzie held Johnny’s hand at lunch, Suzie would immediately be ostracized by the rest of the girls. As adults the lines become smudged and rules that were once unflinchingly rigid now seem childish and unreasonable.