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Dear John, Dear Friend

August 7, 2012

Dear Friend,

I heard you when you said that it felt like I didn’t value your friendship at all. If my actions led you to think that, I though it was worthy of my thinking about it too. And I am glad to inform you that you are, in fact, correct. I do not value your friendship all that much.

I don’t mean that in a flippant way. I really did give it lots of thought, because amongst the things that I do value are some great memories of really fun times in the past, and I’d hate to taint those by not understanding why it is that I am not all that bothered that they won’t continue in the future. In short, they just cost too much. The cost benefit analysis just doesn’t balance out in favor of this friendship.  You don’t add much to my life, but you sure take a lot of time and energy, way more than it’s worth, really. My time and energy is extremely valuable to me, so, frankly, you’re gonna have to cough up something pretty good, on a regular basis, to deserve any of it.

Again, I know that’s gonna sound all crass and business like, but if you’ve got the time to listen to what it means to me, it might make you feel better. Or worse, I don’t really know, but how you choose to feel about my opinions really is about you, not me.  All I can do is what’s right for me. 

You see, I have only a limited number of hours and days in this life. As it is, I don’t feel like I have enough of them to do the things that I know make me feel good, happy, inspired and generally fired up in the good ways. Thankfully, I have a fairly good internal processor that runs in the background and helps me choose what to prioritize – like those things that consistently make me feel good, happy, inspired and generally fired up in the good ways.

You don’t do that. And this last little flare up was a perfect illustration of it. You got all pissy-drama-right-wrong-good-bad over something that was a simple misunderstanding. We could have both been wrong, or both been right, it doesn’t matter, you had to pick a fight over it, read stuff into it, look for “truth” and place blame. You needed me to tell you I was wrong and you were right. Please, I don’t have time for that shit. Why would I want to spend time on a futile effort to feed someone’s ego (mine or yours) over something that has absolutely no bearing on anything that matters in any way? And why would I want people who DO want that in my life?

Internal Processor says: Unresponsive Script. Spinning beach ball of doom for the soul. Time to End Task.

I know I will lose something if I choose to End Task on this particular unresponsive Script, so let’s look at what I’m losing.

I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow, as I’m afraid it will be heard as indictments of your personality, which is not the case. You are who you are. There are many people who think that is wonderful, and you should concentrate on spending time with them. There is no reason for you to try and squeeze me into a place that I clearly don’t fit, or vice versa. Go where the joy is, because it isn’t here.

The things you value are different than the things I value. I do not feel good when I’m around you. I do not feel like I can count on you to understand me, or even assume positive intent when you don’t. I do not think that you are concerned about my feelings or experiences when we are together, rather that you are plugging me into some scene you’ve already mapped out for yourself. All of which is fine, but all of which is why losing this “friendship,” as you call it, isn’t that big a deal. It’s a bit like losing a gorgeous pair of shoes that I always thought I would wear, but they hurt my feet and collected dust as they took up closet space, so I finally got rid of them. 

It’s not because you’re bad, or I’m a bitch, it’s because the memory of fun we did have is not worth the pain and psychological clutter of having to save space for you, just in case something changes.

I don’t want to fill my space with “maybe someday.” I want to feel it with , “fuck ya, now.”

While I still think that your temper tantrum over this little misunderstanding is a hysterical drama over something utterly without consequence, the thought process it delivered me has been richly rewarding.

Yes, I did hang up on you while you were in the middle of some rant that involved you saying a whole lot of “you” and not much “I.” I’ve never done that before, and you know what, it felt awesome. It felt oddly like checking something off a to-do list, meaning I had more time to do something that I wanted to do. I waited a few hours for that feeling of guilt, or anger, or remorse, or sadness that would surely come. But it never came. All I felt was relief.  Like finally cleaning out that closet.  Or rebooting after an unresponsive script.

I still treasure the really good times we had. And I still really love many things about you. You are so talented and fun in so many ways. But not in as many ways as you aren’t, for me.  The good simply does not outweigh the bad for me. As such, ya, I can’t say that I value this continued friendship all that much because I really don’t get much out of it.

It saddens me that these things need to be seen in black and white, good and bad, right and wrong. I wish, personally, that it could just fizzle into one of those “nice to see you” when we run into each other socially things. A few laughs, some random and brief moments of frivolity when our paths happen to cross. But you were insistent on wanting clarity, resolution and acknowledgement of how much you matter to me.

So here it is. I hope it helps. I know it helped me, enormously.

Thanks.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2012 12:51 pm

    You are an excellent writer.

  2. August 7, 2012 2:02 pm

    Every now and then, something comes along that just sums up how one is feeling. You have just done that for me. It’s been bothering me ever since i made the mistake of commenting about the chikfillsyouup fiasco. Wow. I had no idea.

    That’s over now(for me)because, well, you said it! Not worth my always, faster than you can say free speech, dwindling time.

    So, from the bottom of my pea pickin’ little heart, i thank you!

  3. August 11, 2012 9:51 am

    This touched me on many levels and I’ll bet you there are more than a few of us readers that wish we would have said this!

  4. August 21, 2012 10:14 am

    If your Dear John, is in fact, a man, than think about this: he probably loves you. Nobody goes searching for that much self-worth and self-assurance from another people unless they are insecure that that person does not feel the same way. I’ve been him, and I’ve been you. And the “him” is annoying, and unfun, but striving to make sure that you value “the friendship” the same way he so tightly does. In doing that, he harms it. But I think it comes from a good spot.

  5. September 3, 2012 10:57 am

    I don’t know why we’re all not capable of owning our time and space like this. I’ve had to do this twice, and it felt so fucking good when I did. It seems like it takes so much unhappiness to get me to this point; I wish I was strong enough to end a friendship when I first realize it’s never going to work instead of letting it get to that breaking point. Thanks for sharing this. It articulates that feeling so well. 🙂

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