Scuttling the S.S. Friendship

May 3rd, 2016 | By | Category: Columns

Part of simply existing is sharing experiences with others. Family, friends, colleagues, that one guy who hangs out at Best Buy who shares way too much information about his hemorrhoids–all of them, if allowed to, can have a meaningful impact on your existence. Now in a perfect world, that would be it. You love your family, friends and whoever else deemed worthy and you move on, right? Sorry, but have you forgotten that humans are by nature assholes and there’s going to come a point where you may need to cut someone from your life. Unless of course you’re keeping someone around as a walking container of compatible organs or blood type (far be it from me to throw a wrench in your back up plan).

Now, we’ll ignore the folks who can easily be removed with a simple change of scenery: co-workers, fellow students, probation officers…let’s move right on to friends. All friendships start out the same way, you and another person discover that you have similar tastes, entering into a sort of symbiotic relationship which will invariably evolve into you picking rotted food from your friend’s teeth and him/her scraping parasites from your hide in way of thanks. Okay, maybe not. But friendships, while they may not be as strong as they were at the start, should at least entail  genuinely giving a shit about what’s happening in the other’s life, regardless of how often you talk. Drifting apart doesn’t mean ending the whole thing, it’s simply acknowledging that everything changes.

Ideally, you’d have your BFFs, your good/regular friends, and those you see once in a blue moon. Keyword there: “ideally.” Of course, this is life, and in life nothing is ever that easy (as I’m sure I’ve said dozens of times). As much as you don’t want it to happen, no matter how often you overlook or dismiss, somebody is going to give you a reason to, and I borrow a phrase from Robin Harris, “drop ’em like a bad habit.” It starts off with petty, insignificant things, maybe a joke that was a little too truthful, engaging in gossip, or simply breathing. People have been asking you for years why you’re still friends with a certified asshole, and every time that question was asked, you found yourself struggling to find an answer. I mean, if the only reason you can come up with is someone who can identify your remains at the morgue, why bother?

Getting rid of the dead weight isn’t exactly easy. You can break-up with a partner, divorce a spouse, throw an elderly parent in one of those 60 Minutes senior homes, but nobody has ever addressed how to amicably part ways with a friend. I mean sure, you can go the whole “blow up” route, throwing accusations about like panties at a Prince concert, however, should you share any mutual friends, unless this person is currently in the process of murdering your mother, you’re going to look like an unreasonable prick. A “Dear John” letter might work, but the tried and true “It’s not you, it’s me,” is a complete load. Saying “We should hang out with other people,” just doesn’t have much weight behind it., and admitting that you slept with their best friend is just bragging. I see that look, “Why go through any of that? Why not just have an open and honest discussion with them about how you can’t see the friendship lasting?” Well the answer to that is simple: cause fuck ’em, that’s why.

I get it, it’s a little cold to simply remove people from your life so callously with little regard to the history you’ve shared with them. It can be difficult to grasp that this person is no longer someone whom you can trust, or, flat out just don’t like anymore, often times having you second guess yourself, thinking that maybe you’re the problem…

Hey, you very well could be, I don’t know how big of an asshole you are.


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