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Blog: Email's Too Short, A Fight's Too Long. How Am I Gonna Say...Goodbye To You?

(originally written 11/16/10)

I’ve broken up with girls before. I’ve done it in a variety of ways. I even did it once by snail mail, which I ain’t too proud of. (I had to employ that method because I’m such a sucker for big blue eyes, even when those big blue eyes are providing sight to a wacko.)
Now for the first time, I find myself having to break up with a guy.
And I have NO CLUE how to go about it.

I don’t want to embarrass this dude, so we’ll refer to him as “Bob”. I’ve known Bob for a very long time, since my teen years. We’ve had a lot of fun times together, especially early on in our friendship. But Bob and I have become very different people during our adult years. 

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you the following evidence of a friendship that, in my opinion, has run its course:

Exhibit A) Bob is a raging pothead. If he is awake, he is high, about to get high, or just coming off of a high. He has tried many times over the years to get me high with him, even though I’ve told him in no uncertain terms I find that crap disgusting and will never touch it. You would think if you went to a friend’s house and knew that friend disliked pot, you would roll up before you came so as not to expose him to it. 

Not Bob. Bob not only brings it to my house; he rolls up in my living room if I don’t order him outside. He’s even rolled up in my car while in motion. And when he rolls up, he coughs something horrible. Choking, spit flying—it’s embarrassing to watch. It wasn’t until recently that I realized just how inconsiderate that was. I mean, I felt bad eating Josie’s birthday cake in front of my diabetic cousin on Saturday. 

But I overlooked this selfishness in the name of being “boys”.

Exhibit B) Bob is extremely tactless and judgmental. Bob is the kind of guy who will walk into a friend’s new house, and tell him his interior sucks. He doesn’t mean to be hurtful or disrespectful, but he is. He once called an acquaintance on her wedding day, telling her off for not inviting him. And when her husband quit associating with him, Bob blamed it on jealousy, which is almost laughable, as this guy just bought a house the size of a small castle and Bob is about to wrap up Year 3 of unemployment.

Bob curses in public, in front of women and children, even when I beg him not to. His reply: “I don’t give a f---“. I cuss too, but among friends in private—not out in the open. And I’m not just talking the PG stuff. I’m talking George Carlin’s 7 dirty words. It is nothing for Bob to be in line at the store and go into a tale about “this b---- I f----d last week”. It is utterly humiliating. I physically squirm sometimes.

But I overlooked the embarrassment in the name of being “boys”.

Exhibit C) Bob is so full of himself, it’s a joke. He is convinced that he could have any woman he wanted, even though the times I’ve seen him hit on girls he gets badly shot down. He’s always telling me how I should be—I need to act like this, I need to dress like that, I need to go here and here if I want to get b----es like he does. The thing is, I DON’T want to get b----es like he does. I’m not into bimbos. He can’t wrap his head around the fact that just because he’s into porn stars and dancers and strippers, doesn’t mean I am. I’m not. I like real women, not a good photo op. 

Bob goes on and on about encounters with women from eons ago, as if people are supposed to be impressed. I’ve told him that the only person who cares that he danced with a couple of Raiderettes six years ago is him, but the story keeps circulating.

Playing sports with him can make you hate him. He’s the worst trash talker I’ve ever known, which wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t attempt to cheat and play dirty to succeed. One year he beat me in hoops something like 50 wins to 40. Of course whenever he told the story to others—which was often—the count would be 50 to 30, or 25, or I’m sure even 10 when I wasn’t around to correct things. Furthermore, since he learned to box, he’s always trying to fight me, as if he needs to prove he can beat me up or something. WHO DOES THAT TO THEIR FRIEND?

But I overlooked the bravado in the name of being “boys”.

The final straw came when I went to D.C. We wanted someone to live in our apartment while we were gone, just to keep an eye on things and move our cars, check our mail, that sort of stuff. My girl wanted her friend. I pushed for Bob, knowing he lived at home and could use the privacy. Ultimately, Bob won out. He thanked us by breaking blinds and a toilet seat in our home without bothering to notify us, leaving an empty whiskey bottle lying around (my girl dislikes booze) and leaving porn open on our computer (my girl hates porn). 

I was embarrassed, as I had pushed for the guy.

What complicates things: Bob can be good and generous. He’s given me things. He’s had me over for dinner loads of times, invited me to ballgames, stuff like that. But he is quick to remind you of things he’s done for you and “jokes” about getting something similar in return—one of the worst etiquette breaches one can commit. 

But we’re just two VERY different people now. I’m going forward. I have a daughter now. I have friends who don’t embarrass me. I have very little in common with Bob nowadays. I’m not going to change. He’s not going to change.

Since he isn’t taking my total neglect and avoidance of his phone calls the last couple of months as any kind of hint, I’m going to have to look Bob in the eye and say “Get to steppin’”. I just know it. And once I do, there’ll be no going back. I think back to the old show Home Improvement in which an old buddy of Tim’s caught up with him. Wilson asked Tim, “Is he one of your best friends today? Or was he one of your best friends 14 years ago?” 

Now I’m Tim. 
Only I won’t be able to grunt my way out of this…

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