When you look up the term ‘break-up’ in the thesaurus, ‘inconvenient’ should be listed as a synonym. That’s because when a couple you know hits splitsville, catching up with them individually is a royal pain in the arse.
It all started with my divorced parents. Once I’d moved out of home at age 19, I got into a horrible pattern of visiting my mum and dad each twice a week. After not having a life for 4 years, I soon got fed up and moved to Melbourne.
There I befriended another couple. It was all going swimmingly for the first two years. Double dates, scrabble nights with the perfect amount of players, dinner parties with recipes for four. Then the bombshell dropped. Their break-up was so bad I couldn’t even cc them both on the same email, let alone invite them both to a warehouse party containing 500 people where there was a 0.01% chance of them running into each other. By the time they were on speaking terms again a year later, another break-up happened.
This one was a lot less painful. The guy was working overseas in Dubai. That’s one good thing about long distance break-ups. No one has to move out and find a new place to live. And there’s no awkward ‘which one shall I invite to my birthday’ decisions to make. By the time the guy returned to Melbourne six months on, another couple I knew were history.
This break-up was really problematic. My boyfriend would always invite the guy out whilst I would unknowingly invite the girl. Then we’d realize that we’d both fucked up and that one of us would have to go about the tricky business of uninviting someone. Not pleasant. Plus when their respective birthdays came up, you’d have to quiz the other person for gift ideas. But then you’d be worried that reminding them of their ex might be too painful. And so on.
I hate difficult situations. I also hate the Apartheid mentality that comes with break-ups. (Did Apartheid last? No.) From now on, I’m not making friends with any new couples. I’m not going to do any matchmaking either. If perchance I do befriend a pair of lovebirds, I’ll just avoid getting too close to either one of them. By seeming standoffish, neither party will want my shoulder to cry on during the aftermath. Nor will I be required to take sides.
Why can’t we all learn from the O.C.? Through drinking problems and extra-marital affairs, Sandy and Kiersten simply stuck together. Having said that, I’ve probably jinxed it now and the next episode will feature Sandy with a pre-nup defending himself in court. Meanwhile Kiersten’s divorce lawyer will be saying to himself, ‘This break-up sure is damn convenient. Now I can justify upgrading my Beamer to an Aston Martin.’