Thursday, April 7, 2011


Most conventions are stupid. No one thought them through when they were invented and no one has thought them through since, so we keep following them over and over with the same maddeningly unsatisfactory results. It's beyond infuriating, and I often feel like the only person in the world who has ever even heard of Mythbusters.

As my readers and 4 followers know, I've courageously dedicated my down time at work to defying tradition and unveiling its embarrassing  lunacy on this site. But some traditions really are there to protect us. I'm guessing this happens more by accident than by design. A 95% confidence interval is wrong 5% of the time. But either way, the fact remains that some traditions should be respected and obeyed.

One such tradition is the standard practice of hating your friend's ex. I used to think this was stupid. For one thing, the ex may not be at fault at all. Even if they initiated the split, it's possible, likely even, that they acted rightly. For another, breakups are in some respects even harder for the breaker than for the breakee. The whole practice of automatically shunning the ex just out of loyalty to your friend seems grossly unfair, and I've made a concerted effort to avoid it. I've sent the "Hey, just checking in. We can still be friends even though my friend cried for a week over you." emails and had the "Oh, hey, glad you're well and with that skank." niceties at the awkward first post-breakup social interaction. I've tried all of that, out of fairness, and here's what I learned:

Fuck being fair.

Seriously. It's not a moral judgment. I still totally get that the ex may have done nothing wrong. I'm not condemning them or their actions. But I'm also not going to make nice, check that they're okay, or pretend to still be friends with them when all they really ever were to me was my friend's significant other. I'm not going to do any of that because whether they meant to or not, whether it was their fault or not, they hurt my friend, brutally and deeply. I can't see my friend in pain, know that pain was caused by you, and not feel sick to my stomach when I think about you. My friend's pain is my pain, and, whether justified or not, all you are to me is the person who hurt my friend. The end.

And that's really all I have to say about that.


S. Misanthrope

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