Friday, August 11, 2006
Breaking up is hard to do.
Before we left Melbourne, we had several friends who were in happy couple bliss, you know, living together, finishing each other’s sentences, buying big things like apartments together and even planning babies together! 18 months later, some of those happy couples are even happier when they’re not together and even happier still with a different partner!
The problem is that I wasn’t there when these happy couples broke up. I didn’t have time for it to sink in, for me to mourn the loss of the other partner (as you know, you can’t take both sides – you have to CHOOSE one side!) and for me to come to terms with the whole break up thing.
When you’re friends with both sides, how do you choose which side to keep? Sometimes the choice is made for you in some weird custody battle between the couple. “You can’t have Peter, you already have Paul. You already have a name beginning with P. You can’t have another one”. Or maybe “I’m keeping Lisa the doctor. Your teeth are worse than mine; you can have Linda the dentist”. So far, I’ve ended up with the side that I was friends with first.
A long-time uni friend of mine, let’s call him Mike, was once part of one of these couples (ie. Mike and Mary). 1 week before his visit here last year, Mike announced that he would be accompanied by his new other half, Mindy.
This was a surprise given that I didn’t know that his ‘previous’ (8 year) happy couple life had disintegrated into smithereens. It was even more difficult given that his now-ex-partner Mary, had given up her rights to all his friends, especially seeing as we got along really well. I really liked Mary, even saying “Mike and Mindy” wasn’t quite the same as saying “Mike and Mary”. After sharing numerous birthdays, drunken evenings and rowdy New Year’s Eves, I didn’t even have time to say goodbye! And now I had to start all over again with Mindy.
The reason why I’m rambling on about this is that another half-a-happy-couple-and-new-other-half is visiting us this weekend. This friend of ours has a new girlfriend. So out will come the awkward-at-first-getting-to-know-you small talk followed by silent comparisons on how the ex-partner preferred a beer to a glass of champagne or how the ex-partner laughed louder at bad jokes.
Forgive me for sounding bitter but I’m still getting over Mary.