Five years or so ago, I broke up with a friend of mine.
It had been a long time coming, this break up. We had been friends since 1991 or so, and it had always sort of been a thorn in my side. She just wasn't doing it for me, and probably vice versa, and I didn't really see the need to continue the relationship.
it was a hard decision to make, and even more difficult to execute. I had her meet me at a bar, and tried to let her down gently. She looked up at me with sad, puppy eyes and said, "are you breaking up with me?"
It's not you, it's me, I'm sure I said.
Fast forward to a couple days ago. I saw said friend in Grand Central Station. It looked like she was trying to catch a train, probably to her fabulous home in Westchester, or Greenwich, CT. She looked like the quintessential working suburban wife/mom, put-together, good hair, and poised.
Me, on the other hand, had definitely seen better days. Of course, my hair was a wreck--it has a mind of its own. I was probably wearing one of my outfits of late--ripped jeans and some sort of baggy, ill-fitting top. I had no makeup on, and was carrying a bag from Zaros that housed a giant black and white cookie--my healthy afternoon snack.
Our eyes met and then we both turned away.
It was seriously worse than running into an old flame. Those same familiar questions popped into my head. Why didn't I fix my hair that day? Would it kill me to put on a little lipstick once in a while? Isn't it about fucking time to stop eating those damned cookies? Did she notice my lack of wedding ring?
I did what any red-blooded woman would do after seeing an ex on the street. I started to obsess. I googled. I thought about the old times. I wondered why, indeed, did we break up? Were things really that bad?
And then I sat myself back down in reality, and decided that, my life without her in it is a much better place. Bad hair, no lipstick, and all.