I realized a while ago that most of the
kids I’m friends with are people who, if I were to meet anew
now, I probably wouldn’t befriend. That was a pretty strange
and shocking revelation. Like understanding that I wouldn’t
love my parents if they didn’t raise me or something. Which,
uh, we all know is definitely not true.
But what set me off even more than that
epiphany was my next conclusion. Which told me something I
didn’t quite like – longevity of a relationship matters.
I was really very bothered by this.
I mean, how dumb is that? This is why
even couples that don’t work often “make it work” because
time has been following them along like a never-ending,
winding serpentine tail for years. This is why old friends
feel bad giving each other up, even if they feel a
tantamount sense of relief at the good riddance. It’s
probably due to a couple of factors, really. For one,
there’s the idea that you’re leaving the segment of yourself
that’s attached to said person behind. And we all know
people don’t enjoy estranging themselves from themselves –
even though the majority of us do it all the time.
But another thing is probably that we
feel that we are vagrants. People like a sense of eventual
consistency, tradition, and settlement. And the inability to
maintain a lengthy relationship seems to signal an
ineptitude on our part. But even more agitating is that
itching, sickening sensation that maybe we’ll never get/keep
it together. Why do we keep messing up? Why is always next
time? Why always tomorrow? Whoever said that even worked out
for Scarlet O’ Hara?
Anyway, back to the issue at hand. So it
really unnerved me that longevity mattered in relationships.
I mean, what a completely arbitrary factor! Like, you’d be
more likely to keep someone you knew for longer than shorter
if a fight occurred. Because a brief period of time spent,
conversely, gives people a feeling of temporariness, which
is also, paradoxically enough, a sort of safety. Brevity and
longevity both make us feel safer – how strange. It’s the
in-between, probably, that trips us all up. The gray area,
the period that we can’t classify, that doesn’t fall neatly
between the bold lines of a chart or box or whatever.
But even with this rationale behind me, I
still felt unsettled. I felt like every passing moment with
a friend meant another footfall along the path to
inextricable and messy relationships.
However, there’s really nothing to do
about it. Except maybe acknowledge that this mindset exists.
I mean, relationships shouldn’t be reversed, or halted, or
sped up, or anything really. They should just go. Maybe the
caveat should exist that longevity will matter, but that it
Or is it futile? Will we fall into time’s
funny trap no matter what?
Now you see why this is pestering me.