A short lesson in love, friendships, and the friendships that fail after love fails.

Happy couple.  Fun couple.  Loving couple.  Sad couple. Mad couple.

Pick up everything and screw being a couple!

You’ve been through it.

We’ve all been through it:  The break up.

Unless you are one of the annoying minorities who married the first and only sexual experience you encountered, and have somehow survived the often apocalyptical tendencies of two people sharing a life with nothing but precious and stomach-churning tales of your matrimonial omnipotence,  you’ve been through it.  And don’t tell me otherwise, you big fibber.

Once love is lost and it’s a struggle to maintain any semblance of civility within the partnership, it can quickly end in an exploding ball of napalm, splattering everything around it. It’s why God invented divorce attorneys and made it easier to light the knot on fire, than to tie it.  Idaho is ranked 8th in the nation for highest divorce rates.  Almost 10% of all marriages, once bursting with life, love, and hope, have now burst into flames, plummeting into the sea of a bitter yesteryear.  It’s not considered, “falling out of love” because it’s super awesome.

But this isn’t just about that marriage certificate that, without a loving emotion to breathe life into the sail, would be merely another scrap of paper.  It’s not even about the couples within the relationship itself, as they have quite enough rubble to sift through on their own.  This is an issue which reaches deeper than the vulnerable secrets and the shy idiosyncratic dances couples share together.  It’s where the napalm explosion reached: that group of friends caught in the midst of the turmoil.  Whether they be friendships created long before the couples officially united, or friendships created along the path of the couple’s journey, none of it ever seems to go the way they hoped once the vows and the gloves have come off.

I’m sort of an expert at divorce much in the way that the bombing of Hiroshima was to the beautiful parks in Japan.  However, the primary skill I’ve honed in on through these many events is the ability to remain acutely paranoid with everyone I know.  My Spidey-sense buzzes constantly with each new possible twist that my mind assumes is happening behind my back.  Certainly many of them are mere shadows caused by a misfiring synapse in my brain, but it’s when I allow my guard to ease that I’m often infiltrated with shock and awe.

The sad truth is, no matter how ‘tight’ you feel with a friend, when the breakup of your love-life rains down, the combined friends scatter like roaches after the curtain swings open to reveal the light of reality.  No matter how many times I’ve heard, “I won’t choose sides”, the sides must be, and are, chosen.  In the beginning, many of them might snuggle up to the side they knew the longest, before you began this venture into love.  “I was your friend first, and your friend I’ll remain!” they proudly boast with one hand on their hip and the other pointing a reassuring finger at you.

But then, they drift.  They get curious, as humans are programmed to be, and casually poke around at the gate to the neighboring yard.  I watch this happen each time with the same level of interest, mixed with a feeling of defeat.  Sometimes the friend will tap the gate with their foot, testing to see how easy it opens, hearing a light squeak as the rust within the hinges grinds softly onto the metal.  At that point it seems you might as well toss a fucking coin because your chances of knowing for certain if they’ll come back to you or hop over to the other side require just as much guesswork.  I’ve attempted to lure, bribe, discuss, and rationalize these ‘trusted’ reactions throughout the years.  I try to understand what causes a person to suddenly care less about longevity and more about ulterior, often selfish, needs.

We’ve all been through it.  We’ve all watched it happen and it’ll reverse while it’s happening.  Back and forth between fences, some will wander.  They’ll graze some cud over there, eat some hay over here.  Sometimes they’re naturally crafty enough to pretend as if they’re “neutrally biased” in a pasture brimming with natural bias.

Ha.  Neutral.  No such thing.   Not in the beginning of the end, there isn’t.  Not from what I’ve seen.  Pick Team Edward.  Pick Team Jacob. Or pick your nose if you couldn’t care less.  For the 1% who can manage to truly love both teams and honestly admit to doing so equally, without ulterior motives, I commend you… to the rest, you amuse me as both a statistic in a pie chart and a validation of a hypothesis: trust is one of the many elusive ingredients of human emotion.  It’s just as ornery as love, jealousy, rage, and so many other fleeting chemical imbalances we can’t fully explain.  They’re simply in our lives one moment with absolute certainty, and vanishing the next in a vaporous cloud of confusion – just like the relationship they were once networked through.  Sure, it can piss a chap off… you can stomp around and curse… Yet, I can’t truthfully say that I’m not guilty of doing the very same thing each time I’m faced with the choice of choosing sides while in the midst of a friend’s deteriorating relationship.  Yes.  I can be just as much of an asshole as you.   Keep that in mind as you’re wandering between pastures.  Don’t shit where you eat, my friend.  🙂



  1. […] and I attempted to maintain a friendship, but, as I posted 2 blogs ago, whenever there’s a divorce, there’s also a divorce of friends. The grudge he has carried since […]

  2. Just call me Mowth says:

    I choose you. Is that cool? Occasionally, I will chose myself…sometimes my kid…sometimes your kid(s)…sometimes one of your other ex-wives. I’m wishy-washy like that. However, I can certainly promise that I will never sneak behind you to pick one of the aforementioned others…I will do it right in front of you.

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