Remember the good old days? The days when you could actually lose touch with the people you wanted to lose touch with? Sadly, those days are gone.
Once upon a time, you could leave a job and rest assured that if you never wanted to hear from those cubical mates again, you wouldn’t have to. Old neighbors would receive holiday cards for a few years until the communication fizzled out and expired friendships were allowed to simply fade away. It was a natural part of the cycle of life. Relationships come and go and that’s how it always was and is supposed to be.
Until Facebook. Thanks a lot, Mark Zuckerberg.
A few months ago, I heard from an old acquaintance. She was the type of person who you know for a brief period of time and never hear from again. Except that she found me on Facebook and lived not too far away. Would I like to meet for lunch? I could barely remember who she was, but I accepted. What did I have to lose?
Turns out, a few precious hours of my life. Within minutes, I remembered exactly who she was and exactly why the relationship should have died a quick, painful death. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to agree. Before the meal was over, I was somehow roped into a double date for the next weekend and invited to her kid’s birthday party. I’m really not even sure how that happened.
I rushed home and called Jeff. Normally, when I meet potential friends and we take that big step of a double date, I give him a speech about us needing more couple friends and to be on his very best behavior. No crude jokes. No inappropriate stories. No third glass of wine. This time, I did the opposite. We need to get out of this friendship now, I told him. You have my permission to be offensive. Be obnoxious. Do all of those things I would normally kick you under the table for. Be your worst self ever.
And, he was. He told jokes that only belong at bachelor parties. He was loud and brash and didn’t think twice about inserting his unwanted opinion. He was horrible. It was perfect. We never heard from her again and the pending Facebook request was cancelled.
And that, my friends, is how you end an unnecessarily resurrected relationship.