Where does the good go

Letting Go

About a year ago, I broke up with J.

It was sad, but one day I realized I either do it and do it now or resign myself to a lifetime of excuses and apologies.

That made the choice clear and very easy.

I’m not selfish, but I have high expectations for the people in my inner circle (Although, truth be told, I didn’t realize they were that high, since in my house “do what you say you’re going to do,” was revered second only to “do unto others as they do unto you,” (um, yeah that’s the Golden Rule remix as spun my jam master my mama.) However, I’ve subsequently learned that other people very casually break promises if something else comes up or if they don’t feel like it and they expect apologies and “making it up later” to fix everything. Also, larger egos than mine (yeah, I KNOW) can’t wrap themselves around the idea that I will treat them exactly how they treat me, unless there is a diagnosed, being-treated medical condition that prevents them from reciprocating. Generalized “crazy” is not enough. The Dawn store is quite fully stocked with generalized crazy, thank you very much.)

Anyway, he took it very hard.

I got the sense that he was used to being able to charm and apologize his way out of situations his flakiness caused. In fact, he had been able pull that off after the second huge letting me down thing he’d done. I walked, and he swore on the lives of people, that, in retrospect, he obviously doesn’t care about very much, that it would never happen again.

I didn’t believe him, but I took a shot, maybe…



I suck at coinflips.

Anyway, after months and months of emails and texts which vacillated from apologetic to accusatory (why am *I* so hard?! What???) He settled on the “let’s be friends meme.”


We can be like me and my childhood friend, Zee. We live 40 minutes away, but we don’t speak, text, email, OR facebook!

If we run into each other on the train, I will hide behind my handbag, and then, since we get off at the same stop, will be all “Zee, hey, what’s up?” as we exit the train because either her connecting train will come in the next two minutes or mine will! (This blew up in MAH GOTDAMB face one day when the Q line was having difficulties! Stupid MTA making me talk to people for 19 painful minutes.)

I immediately agreed to J’s friend terms and considered the matter closed.

But no, Captain Needs a Clue emails again the next day telling me about some problem or another of his.


Do I have to tell you the Zee story again? Cause I can. If I see you on the train one day, and we happen to be seated in the same car AND there is no humanly possible way to avoid it, I WILL talk to you for two minutes!

I am no longer here to solve your problems or listen to your worries or help with your plans. Yes, I was AWESOME at those things. And I have great ideas and I am an extremely creative and talented problem solver and I shared those gifts with you because I cared about you! Had you cared about me, you would have been at my building at 11 am that Sunday, like you said you’d be or in a coma at the local hospital. You didn’t, so you weren’t and now I won’t because I don’t.

See how that works? I can explain further, but only if the same-subwaycar scenario, outlined above happens. And only in under 2 minutes.

I am pretty firm on my when it’s over, it’s over stuff. I don’t want to hear, see, or smell you. Certainly, I’m not helping you out of jams anymore. Eff that! Heck, honestly, I don’t even want to hear about something bad happening to you…I can be recklessly empathetic.

I’ve watched a number of my friends go through breakups since then, and yeah, their relationships were for longer, but they’ve actually started to make me feel callous in my absolutism, with their sad eyes and quavering voices and nostalgic tones.

I was having dinner with a friend yesterday and listening to her still worry about a guy that did a pretty douchey thing in my mind, I began to wonder if there was a “normal” and exactly how outside of it am I…like on a scale of June Cleaver to Charlie Manson.

I just don’t have time or inclination to half-care about people. Either I do, and then I care all the way and I wanna be part of their lives and know stuff and go to their stuff and I want them to read my blog and leave comments.

Or I don’t care, in which case I don’t want to be a part of their lives or go to their stuff and I just want them to read my blog and leave comments.

Is that so wrong?

24 Responses to “Letting Go”

  1. Ugarles Says:

    It isn’t wrong. Now go leave some comments at Hawthorne Street.

  2. Dawn Summers Says:

    Is that the blog with pictures of cats?

  3. Ugarles Says:


  4. Katie Says:

    It’s not wrong at all… I wish I could be more like that.

  5. April Says:

    I believe you know how I feel about this. (Lava)

  6. pearatty Says:

    I don’t know that it’s wrong. Although I can envision going from boyfriend to friend in certain cases, for example, if you just both decided there was no physical attraction, or you just didn’t enjoy the same day-to-day activities/living style, but had some activity in common. But I don’t see it in the case you describe, where you broke up because of a character flaw[s] (flakiness/lateness/standing you up/not keeping word) that would affect a friendship as well.

    In that case, I’m like Katie, I wish I were better at drawing that line early and cutting the person loose.

    On the other hand, I wonder if this is a policy that both has you letting go of people that could be friends in a limited capacity, and putting up with more than you should because people are either in or out for you.

    Example: you have a friend who never coughs up her fair share of the restaurant tab, but you enjoy playing poker with her. It seems your way has you either putting up with her weaseling out of the check, or cutting her loose entirely and not inviting her to games anymore.

    An alternative could be to recognize the flawed nature of all human beings, and adjust your relationship accordingly — you could just go to games and enjoy the person’s company, but never make plans to eat with her.

  7. pearatty Says:

    Also, funny post, knda squirmy when I think about the publicness of it, though. I really like this line:

    “Or I don’t care, in which case I don’t want to be a part of their lives or go to their stuff and I just want them to read my blog and leave comments.”

    You are so true to yourself. :)

  8. Dawn Summers Says:

    Ha! Well, my philosophy is why should my blog suffer because you suck as a person. Amirite?

  9. Katie Says:

    P.S. Good post. I’ve been thinking about a lot of these issues myself recently. I totally fail with teh men.

  10. Pdov Says:

    I think your approach is well worth pursuing, too many people (myself included) give excuses for very bad behavior (or worse, being treated badly) – and then go on long and sad break ups – where the end is clear to everyone but the person who has been wronged. A clean break is good, friendship can evolve from a romantic relationship, but rarely. This guy just wanted best of both worlds, he wanted all your energy without sacrifice on his part (or he might have loved you and wanted you in his life even if it meant “friendship” that maybe would have turned back into romance.)

    P.S. So what I get from this post is that you like comments. #justmakingsure #moralofallDawn’sposts

  11. Dawn Summers Says:

    #moralofallDawn’sposts LOL #Yup #prettymuch In a year of sending me annoying texts and emails, it never occurred to him to just comment on my blogs! #Idjit

  12. Tae Says:

    “Anyway, after months and months of emails and texts which vacillated from apologetic to accusatory (why am *I* so hard?! What???) He settled on the “let’s be friends meme.”

    Yes! O. K. PERFECT!”

    Maybe you shouldn’t have said OK? Maybe you should have said, “Dude, I don’t want to be your anything. Get a life that doesn’t have me in it.” And then blocked his emails and his phone number from your phone.

    Yeah, I’m one of those too.

  13. Dawn Summers Says:

    Hahaha I was joking about that for the post. I flat out said absolutely NOT because my friends are people I count on and he is getting dumped precisely because I cannot count on him. And then he started to cry. Again. #nobueno

  14. Dawn Summers Says:

    But tell me more about this blocking phone numbers. I’ve blocked the emails and the facebooks…but why am I fucking getting “Happy Mother’s day” texts from this dude LAST MONTH!?!?!?! #crazypants

  15. April Says:

    I’ve never blocked a phone number, but I do have multiple entries in my phone for “DNA”. (do not answer) Cause deleting the number isn’t good enough, lest they call months down the road and you innocently pick up.

  16. Jordan Says:

    I can understand how you feel. That’s why I never promise you anything. By keeping it vague, I can never disappoint!

    For realz, though, I am all for ex-communication from exes. I never understood becoming “friends” because, well, usually we were never “friends” unless my penis was also somehow involved. Sure, when the penis was put away we acted like friends, but that was because of the other times, when my penis was in-play. Besides, what sorta friend used to play with my penis but now won’t but still wants to remain friends. That’s not friendly!

    Ok, for realz-realz, if the dude is a flake and you broke up with him for a reason, that says it all. Wanting to be friends or carrying that crap with you is to no one’s benefit.

  17. Tae Says:

    I don’t know what crackberry users use. AT&T has several ways you can block a number (AT&T Smart Limits). Used to be you could also call them and give them a number to block – not sure if they do that anymore. Being in a relationship for 12 years (and not having affairs) seems to have made that feature unnecessary. That, and my not being afraid of making a scene in public places.

  18. Dawn Summers Says:

    hahahahaha I less than 3 Tae so very much. ^5!

  19. Tae Says:

    What language is that?

  20. Dawn Summers Says:

    <3. High five. #yourewelcome

  21. Tae Says:

    So you don’t use half the symbol for heart anymore?

    And wha’d I do to deserve to be loved less? *sniffle*

  22. Dawn Summers Says:

    What’s half the symbol? It’s always been the less than symbol and 3. Less than 3: <3!

  23. pearatty Says:

    Is it Friday already?

  24. Dawn Summers Says:

    hahahaha feels like it!

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