Left Outside Alone
This is weird because, in a lot of ways, this will be the first ACTUAL blog post I’ve written since setting this puppy up. Which is fine, because clearly that’s the point of it and stuff. But it’s kind of scary, not because it’s personal, but because it’s the first thing I will have written about people in my life in a while that, down the track, there is an actual chance of said people reading.
As I’ve said in the ‘About Me’ page, the things that I’ll be writing here aren’t necessarily intended to be things I want to discuss in real life. They’re not always even going to be things that I’d mean in real life, if that makes sense. Kind of like they’re often going to be half-formed thoughts that I’m still in the midst of processing and this site is kind of the machine I need to feed them through in order to work out exactly what I even think of them. So, I guess, take them with a grain of salt in the sense that I mean them in the exact moment I’ve written them but they’re not intended to be my final answer on things.
Anyways! As you may or may not know, Glenny actually kind of dated someone at the end of last year. Only for about a month, but that’s more than he’s really done in, oh, three years or so? Unfortunately, he also committed that cardinal friendship sin of the whole debacle being committed with a good friend of a good friend. I probably should have put a *spoiler alert* before I used the phrase ‘whole debacle’ since it clearly gives away how it ended.. It was awful. Like, heart-crushingly awful. To be fair to Matty, part of it was due to the fact that I just had not liked someone in years. I guess I’ve met guys that I’ve thought were cute, or nice, or whatever. But no one who is real relationship potential. Ever since Michael, I’ve found it weird to transition back from ‘love of life’ to ‘kind of like’. It’s hard to go backwards, I guess.
So, anyway, Matty was the first guy in three years that I saw even the possibility of something special. And then, a month in, he just had a big freak out and broke things off. Which, to be fair, is totally fine. Like, I didn’t respect it, but I didn’t begrudge it either. Sometimes things just don’t work out, you know.. The only thing really sucked was the fact that he turned into a total douchebag afterwards. Like, started being really cunty in a deliberate way (excuse the language, but it’s pretty accurate – you know, besides the obvious vaginal connotations.. Wow! It just took me three goes to spell the word ‘connotations’ right. How embarrassing.) And this is where it was kind of hard to deal with.
I’m not an idiot, right. Like, I know the friendship etiquette with these things. Just like in the early days, you don’t discuss the dating things with the mutual friend, when things go pear-shaped, you leave them out of it as well. Which is fine. But it’s weird, you know, like how in a friendship that you previously discussed anything and everything, suddenly there’s this wall, this big gay elephant in the room that you both see but can’t acknowledge. And it’s fucking awkward.
I guess that’s the thing, really. For the last few months, fairly or not, I felt kind of abandoned by both my friend Marc and a few people in that group of friends. Not that I wanted him to have big conversations about it with me or anything, but just some sort of acknowledgement that “Hey Glenn, what Matty did to you was kind of shitty. But don’t worry, I’m still your friend too..” and I kind of feel like I didn’t get that. I’m not even saying that that is the right thing or what needed to happen but, suddenly, I just felt like my friend drifted away and that I drew the short straw in some sort of gay homosexual divorce settlement that I never wanted to happen in the first place.
Because I actually really made such a gigantic effort NOT to make things awkward for our fifty million mutual friends. There were no sobbing status updates on facebook. There was no disparaging remarks made about Matty to anyone that knew him. There were no attempts ever to discuss any of this. Like, literally to the point that, the other day when Matty was back in town for the week, I deliberately pulled back and didn’t try to see Marc so he wouldn’t be in any awkward position where he felt like he had to choose. I didn’t go to any of the bars or clubs that I knew they were likely to go to so there wasn’t any social tension.
The stupidest fucking part of the whole thing was that I didn’t even want Matty and I in the same room together to be this oil and water, one or the other kind of deal. Sure, after he said he didn’t want to date any more I told him that, in the immediate aftermath, I didn’t want to see him for a while in order to lick my wounds and heal, but I wasn’t rude or spiteful about it either. And I deliberately extended a olive branch to him a few weeks later when I was finally at the point that I could genuinely mean it without some sort of ulterior motive. But he said ‘no thanks’ in the most deliberately asshole-ish and hurtful way possible. Which was good, actually, because it made me realise what a bullet I’d dodged, so it was kind of comforting in that sense.
But despite all this I’m left feeling like I lost one of my best friends in the deal and I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know if the feeling I’m feeling is in any way real or if it’s all in my head. Life is weird sometimes, you know? Like two people can be in the exact same place at the exact same time but see two totally different things. And since my feelings are hurt, I haven’t yet found a way to be the bigger man and address it instead of just pulling back. But sometimes in interpersonal relationships, you need the other person to make the effort.
I think what I said before kind of hit the nail on the head for me. Like, I’m fine with the fact that Marc is closer to Matty than he is to me. I knew that going in and I factored that into my decision making process when I decided to take this crazy gamble in the first place. But I never realised what it would feel like to literally have this conversational no go zone always hanging in between us. It’s like I built a wall now where there used to be an open field and I can’t knock it down because it’s not mine to withdraw.
Have kind of got the reverse going on with my friend Alex at the moment. Alex is one of my absolute best friends in the whole world from when I lived in the UK. You know those friends that, due to the way the cards fall in life, you might not see for years at a time, but you’ll always count them as a best friend til the day you die? Well, that’s how I’ve felt about Alex ever since I met him six years ago.
I was on facebook the other day and saw a photo album of his trip to South America that he just got back from. It took me a moment to realise, but one of the guys in the photo’s was my ex Michael. Like, ‘The Offical Love of My Entire Life to Date’ Michael. And not just Michael, but one of his best friends that was a total ass to me in the aftermath of our oh so painful breakup but also there was Michael’s ex before who, without going into a two hundred page story of our sordidly complicated history, was literally like one of my arch-nemesis’s in life and is one of the main reasons my relationship with Michael broke up into so many painful little pieces.
And I don’t know how to feel about it. Like Alex and Michael became good friends while Michael and I were dating. And I know they stayed friends afterwards, because they had the advantage of now both living closer to each other (Michael in Manhattan and Alex in London) than either are now to me. But the whole thing just feels so incredibly disloyal yet I feel like I can’t say that to Alex. I’m the first to say that I think it’s retarded when two people break up that their friends should have to pick sides. It’s immature. But, I think there is also a point where, if one person in the break up is clearly in the wrong and done something awful to the other, that if I were a friend caught in the crossfire, I would stand up and make a point of defended the friend that was wronged. Especially when I historically was friends with that person first. I just think it’s a loyalty thing. And it fucking hurts that I don’t think I’m getting that courtesy back.
One of the things that is a constant struggle for me in life is accepting that people don’t have the same values as I have. And I don’t mean that in some sort of superior or martyrish way, because it’s not that. It’s just that loyalty to friends and standing up for them when people do the wrong thing by them is something that I’m fiercely proud of. And it sucks when you wake up and realize that a lot of people wouldn’t do the same for you.
Oh well. That’s the thing. Real friendship is so many shades of grey that I accept that these are issues that I can’t raise in real life. So thanks for listening to me rambled through them and try to process them in my own personal space.
In other news, I just got a haircut this morning and now have the sneaking suspicion that I look like a Conehead. Going to sleep on it and see how I feel tomorrow but think it might be time I reached for the clippers and did ‘a Britney’ so to speak. Even though that’s sooooo 2007..