I’ve already admitted that I’m bad at making new friends. Well, I’m pretty bad at keeping old ones too. It’s not my fault; friends wax and wane just like the Moon, if the Moon were someone I pretended to like on Facebook. Friends you made in high school don’t necessarily fit into your life when you’re in college, and friends you made at your first job don’t necessarily fit into your life when you’re standing in line at the unemployment office. Friends come…and then they go, never to be seen again. And that’s just the way it is. This is the time of year when people ask, “Should old acquaintance be forgot?” because that’s the only lyric in that New Year’s Eve song that people actually know. Well, my answer is yes, they should be forgot. After all, an acquaintance is, by Merriam-Webster’s definition, “someone who is known but who is not a close friend.”
But sometimes, the order of things is disrupted. A portal in the space-time continuum rips open in the middle of West 46th Street and suddenly I’m standing face to face with that guy from sophomore year I was friends with only because he was dating the girl who was best friends with my girlfriend at the time. Or maybe I’m standing in front of his ex-girlfriend. Or, even worse, maybe I’m standing in front of my ex-girlfriend. No matter who it is, it stinks. We shake hands, or we hug. We exchange pleasantries. I smile — but in that I can’t fucking believe you still exist kind of way. And then, I say something I don’t actually mean. I don’t know why I say it, but it always seems to bring the conversation to an end — and that’s good enough for me. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think it should be the standard way of politely telling someone, that you’d rather not see them again.
“We should definitely get a drink sometime.”
At its core, this is a false statement. I don’t want to have a drink with you, ever. So why say it, you ask? Because it’s less awkward than saying I’d rather not see them again. But won’t it be even more awkward when you have to tell the person that you don’t actually want to have a drink with them, you ask? Wow, you’re annoying. No, because if the person is the least bit intelligent, they will pick up on the utter passive aggressiveness of the very phrase.
Let’s break it down piece by piece.
When anyone starts a sentence with “we should,” they really mean “Jesus, God, please let’s never.” Sure, there’s a lot of things we “should” do. We “should” call our mothers more often. We “should” make a $1 donation to the cancer charity at the grocery store. We “should” stop watching American Horror Story, because it’s fucking absurd. But will we? No, we won’t.
“We should definitely…”
The addition of “definitely” only further emphasizes that what I’m saying is complete bullshit. I mean, is there any other word in the English language that we use so insincerely, and with such frequency? “Definitely” means there is no way — zero chance — that something won’t happen. Nothing is definite, my friend. Everything is subject to fucking up — like the alarm on my iPhone that I set to remind me when I’m supposed to meet you for those drinks.
“We should definitely get a drink…”
One. Just one drink. I’m basically telling you that the time it takes me to finish a glass of Stella is the exact amount of time I have to devote to talking to you. Or a shot of Jameson. Does a shot count as a drink? If it does, then we’re dealing with even less time. And if we factor in the time I’ve already spent talking to you on the street when we first ran into each other, I think our time is about up.
“We should definitely get a drink sometime.”
Yes, sometime. Not tomorrow, or the day after. And definitely not today. But…sometime. Could be next week, could be next month. Could be…well, never. You see, when I’m planning something I really want to do, I make a fucking plan for it. You wanna go bowling? BING! Let’s go Friday. You wanna see Wolf of Wall Street? BANG! The next showing is in 30 minutes. You wanna go to the titty bar? BOOM! That shit is stupid. (Seriously, guys, stop going to strip clubs. It’s a waste of money. Internet porn is free.) But when there’s something I don’t want to do, I say we should do it “sometime,” and “sometime” is a time that never comes.
This probably makes me seem like I have no time in my life for people. And you’re right, I don’t. I don’t have enough time in my life even for the people I do want to see — and I’m trying desperately to right that wrong. So, please forgive me when I try to conserve some of my time by choosing not to share it with you, someone I haven’t seen since I used to listen to Limp Bizkit. It’s really nothing personal, and I truly do wish you the best, but…We should definitely get a drink sometime.
Featured image courtesy of Fine Art America