Dum, do do do, dum, dum, breaking up is haaaaard to do. At least, that’s the main lesson I took out of that one episode of Beverly Hills 90210 when the new girl Emily Valentine sets her sights on a newly single Dylan and Brenda is pissed (FYI – I love any character who antagonised Brenda. Team Kelly Taylor 4eva. Gotta have solidarity with a fellow rhinoplasty survivor).
Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, breaking up with an SO sucks. Because that’s what it is – a break. Arms break. Glass breaks. Waves break. Nothing about a break is easy or simple. It hurts. And frankly, I don’t know which is worse – being the one to break another person or being the one who is broken.
But what about friend breakups? Are they easier or are they harder?
When I was in high school, I became friends with this girl – let’s call her Julie. And Julie was this quirky only child born to older parents prematurely so of course she was the miracle baby light of their lives. Understandable. And Julie and I remained friends all throughout high school through ups and downs – boy breakups, addiction, when she hated Zooey Deschanel and I didn’t. When we started college, we still would see each other every break, go for Thai and fro-yo and cruise the back roads of the farm town 45 minutes away, Death Cab for Cutie playing softly in the background as we spilled our guts. She lamented about the fact that all boys didn’t seem to want to waste time with her if she wasn’t going to sleep with them and I lamented about the boys that I was sleeping with.
The second semester of our junior years in college, we both studied abroad in the same country but at different universities. She stayed in London with a host family; I slummed down in Brighton in shitty student accommodation but with a crop of some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. It was during one of her visits to me that I convinced her that pulling was fun and that she needed to let her guard down around guys the way she did around me.
Now, I need to mention this – my family is so Anglophilic it’s disgusting. We’ve been going to the UK on holiday ever since I was seven. Our home is littered with Cath Kidston tea towels and sets, maps of London, the Union Jack and various tin boxes with pictures of the royals on them. London has always been one of my happy places but I was miserable when I studied abroad. I had a boy back in the states, I missed him terribly, I needed to see the sun and one of my flatmates drove me insane. Julie, however, had never even gone to summer camp and so fell in love with the country giving her her first taste of freedom. Again, totally understandable. England is great, even if it’s stressing me out beyond belief right now (Good karma and prayers my way still, please).
That autumn, after we both returned to our universities in America, I got dumped. And Julie was angry. She told me I needed to get over it a week later, after I had just seen the girl I had been replaced with. When she had been dumped after two and a half weeks in high school, I drove around with her for months, listening to her rant and rave about this guy who isn’t even anything to write home about. She also mentioned she had taken up with an English exchange student but didn’t want to be in a relationship with him. Here’s the thing – I was selfish. I admit it. My senior year revolved around me getting over this absolutely awful boy who wasn’t even worth the new disdain I had for one of my favourite places. So when, in December, Julie and I met for coffee and she wouldn’t stop talking about Jacob (this is not his name, I’m just not about outing peoples’ identities on the net, yo), I knew she wanted me to ask about him. I knew that, and I didn’t, because I was so disgustingly miserable that other peoples’ happiness made me nauseous.
Long story short, she’s still with Jacob. She’s actually visiting him in Britain right now. She posted pictures of Brighton, my happy place, on her Instagram. But it’s because of her inability to be happy for me – when I got a job, when I got the boy – that is why I’m not commenting, liking, or texting her about being in Brighton. All she does is compete with me about a love for a place that belongs to neither of us and rub her happy and functioning relationship in my face. I can handle a lot, but I am also extremely competitive and right now I’m at a disadvantage (see Student Visa, Waiting On and Commitment, Waiting On). So that’s why I pressed the block button on her page this evening.
Don’t get me wrong – it has taken me a long time to get to this point. And I’m not a heartless bitch who cuts people out of her life because she can. I do miss Julie – she was a great listener and the only person who would binge watch Spongebob and America’s Next Top Model with me. Because a real friend wouldn’t look like you just snatched their best guest hand towel and wiped your filthy hands on it when you tell them you got your first big girl job while they still work at a popular coffee chain in the mall. A real friend wouldn’t refuse to discuss your boy thing because he so happens to live in the same county as where her boyfriend does and she’s the only one allowed to have a foreign boy. If I cut you out of my life, you best believe that you handed me the scissors, held up the loose thread and said, “Cut here.” So Julie, if you read this – Can I get a venti iced peach green tea lemonade with a Birthday Cake Pop, two separate transactions so I get bonus stars and while you’re back there, can you please make sure that my tea doesn’t have too much ice? It waters down the tea and there’s less for me to drink.
I guess the conclusion to this is that friendship breakups are, in a way, easier than romantic ones. Friend breakups don’t usually happen for no reason. And if that reason is because that person has become a toxic presence in your life? Fall back, ho. D-dandan.