So, almost a year ago, I broke up with my best friend of 10ish years. I didn’t write about it then because neither my actions nor my feelings on the matter were of anger or regret or even upset and I didn’t want it to seem like I was airing my dirty laundry or dragging her through the mud or needing to vent. I was struck with a sobering realization, and I made a decision with 100% confidence. It wasn’t dramatic or drawn out. Oooh, and I love to make decisions. I also look forward to a point in my life where someone else makes the decisions, but for now, I’ve mastered the art of pulling the trigger. A pull it, I did. Now that I’m on the other side of things, the exact same situation is coming to a head with a few of my friends, so it must be happening in your lives, too. And if I’m not here to comment on universally unspoken sentiment, then why am I here, you know? As it goes, I’ll tell you how I can relate, then offer my comment(s).
The straw that broke the camel’s back was when my friend canceled a dinner date we’d been planning for a couple weeks. It was Valentine’s Day weekend, we were gonna go to Houston’s and have a vodka-artichoke-filet night and catch up because it’d been some time since we’d seen one another (more on that in a sec). Counting down the days…talked about making a Christmas paper chain for the countdown…made the reservation a week out…day after tomorrow…it’s finally Friday…just got the reservation confirmation call…few hours!!…I can taste my martini…I get an IM that says: “Something came up at work, gotta bail on dinner.” I think I was bummed out for about 3, maybe 4, seconds, and then I was just pissed. Because, back to what I promised to speak on earlier, we hadn’t seen one another much in the previous months as she would cancel every plan we made just as easily as she’d make them. Walk, cancel. Nails, cancel. Massage, cancel. Laundry, cancel. And this was it. I was done feeling like our relationship was so good and we were so comfortable with one another, that I shouldn’t care. It’s Kate, it’s no big deal. The second you become cavalier about your relationships, they will begin to fall apart. Indifference to the commitment to your friendships is unacceptable. If you’re thinking that you accept your friends with all their flaws, then I agree with you. But indifference and complacency aren’t flaws, they’re choices. And I got to the point that I really didn’t like my friend much anymore. There wasn’t enough of her good to undo the fact that she stopped being a person I could count on. If she were a guy, I’d have broken it off far earlier. But I stuck it out because it my best friend. And it’s just a manicure, no big deal. It’s my best friend, we can go to the Laundromat next weekend. But petty infractions to commitment eventually lead to a complete disregard for it altogether. So I broke up with her.
There are two types of friends Ladys have: Casual and Best. Casual can end up at Best, but Best can’t downgrade to Casual. When best friends get downgraded, they are downgraded to No Longer. And while that is never the goal, it is sometimes the result. And I think we, as Ladys, have this understanding that not being friends with someone anymore means we are, somehow, bad people or bitches or whohaveyou. The fact of the matter is, sometimes you reach a point where a change needs to be made. Change isn’t always pretty, but if it’s broke, it’s okay to fix it. I this case, “broke” meant a friendship that had gone from fulfilling and supportive and 50-50, to a relationship that was more casual than genuine, and it ended up looking better on paper, in pictures and in memory. She can be funny and smart and independent and even loyal, but neither one, nor a combination of these things is powerful enough overshadow the fact that she doesn’t show up. Friendships start to lose their grey area once you graduate college and move into your late-20s. As your 30s roll around, you need to be focusing your attention on things that bring you stability not uncertainty—life handles the uncertainty for you. If your friends aren’t stable people in your life, why have them there? Instability breeds chaos. If you can mitigate that chaos that for sure lurks around every corner by having a stable support system in place, it’s my best advice that you do so.
Okay, that’s it fo—no, wait, one more thing, shit. Real quick. So, I was reading this article last week about how all of the women cast as Adam Sandler’s wives in his movies are gorgeous and he’s not at all gorgeous, and there’s no way a gorgeous woman would go for a schlub like Adam Sandler, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I’m only going to go over this one more time, in the hopes that every single person on Earth is reading so that it’s the last time we will need to discuss it: Funny is the most blindingly redeeming quality any man can have. Ever. As the late, great Mary Louise Parker so geniously said: “Sexy beats cute, smart trumps sexy, funny takes the pot.” First of all, Adam Sandler isn’t exactly a troll. It’s not like we’re talking about Michael Moore. And secondly, he’s a funny motherfucker. He could pack on 50 more pounds and wear sweatpants every day for the rest of his life and he’d still be the only guy I’d care to talk to at the party. Y’all Mans need to quit trying so hard; we’re way easier to figure out than you’d think. Just make us laugh. And it wouldn’t hurt to remember our drink; that’s dead sexy. You heard me.
Okay, that’s it for reals this time. It’s a perfect Thursday night at Bungalow Ruppe and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams is on. The only thing missing from this picture is Mama’s cocktail. I’m gonna get to it like I do when I’m smack in the middle of getting’ to it, and pour a drink. I’ll spend the next several days thinking about my annual Thanksgiving Thank You List for next week. It’s my most favorite column to write all year—cross your fingers you make the list. As I come out of a two-week spiral of drama that’s surrounded yet not involved me, I’d like to remind all of you with the severity of a sativa shortage: Make good choices. Consequences are not only wildly unpredictable, but you know that Connie just loves to show up when you least expect. Okay, little darlings, run along. I love each and every one of you. Ugh, even that one guy.