We were friends for a long time. Back when I rifled through my father’s
hidden stash of dark chocolate, you were there. When I sneaked Mars Bars from
the larder and hoped no one would notice, you were there. You even came along to my grandmother's house that summer when I was just six. How embarrassing to find that Granny had taped closed the lolly jar after she noticed I'd pilfered some.
You understood, though.
You were my friend, even when my Dad became sick and it shattered our
family. You stood by me when I lost myself in school. After our separation at
university, you appeared when I needed you again. You have been a steady friend,
available at any moment of any day. Boring weekend? Nothing to do? Tired?
Confused? Too much to think about? You were there offering a plate piled high of
hot buttered toast. Or best of all, offering a great big bag of crisps.
As I grew up (literally: upwards and outwards) my friends liked
you, too. We'd all go out and eat curries, or deep fried crumbed mushrooms and
potato skins. And a salty main course always called for something sweet, so we'd
create ice cream taste sensations with Mars bar sauce and peanuts. We were all
friends. We stuck together.
Who needs blokes when you have popcorn drizzled with butter or bowls of
As it turns out, blokes are more interesting than you. You have
to admit, though, that occasionally, when we did get together, a whole pizza
would disappear and sometimes a pound-size bag of Maltesers, too. And I never
did practice moderation on that rare occasion we'd go a restaurant. Hello!? I
had to get my money's worth.
My job made it convenient to spend time with you, which was great,
wasn't it? All those tacos and freshly deep-fried chips? What's not to like
about deep-fried flour tortillas dusted with cinnamon sugar? Hot chips? My
I really never expected to see you once I got married. And I probably
wouldn't have if infertility hadn’t lurked. I will never forget the first time
we were together again. They're not kidding, are they? Once you pop, you just
can't stop. I had to hide that Pringles can when it was all over so my husband
wouldn't realize how much I ate when we reunited. We picked up right where we
left off, didn't we?
Married life stressed me out, but not because of the marriage itself.
The other stuff that happens to grown-ups challenged, teased and tested me -
bereavements, the infertility, moving, job changes, financial trials,
parenting, pregnancy, moving again--oh, and let's not forget the Sarcoidosis and
the Prednisone. I am so glad you were there for all of that. I am, really. You
were the one I could count on. Making friends is tough when you're a grown-up
and working at everything that was just too hard!
But here's the thing. I outgrew you, just as surely as I outgrew those
size 10 blue jeans. Sure, you still felt comfortable to me. You calmed me down,
welcomed me with open arms. But I grew tired of sneaking around with you. I
realised that you act like my Best Friend, but you sabotaged me. You stabbed me
in the back. You do not have my best interests at heart. It's really all about
you and was never about what is best for me.
But breaking up was hard to do. You became my worst bad habit,
the dark sin I repented of every Monday morning. I was embarrassed by the way
you dominated my time and I pretended that we weren't really that close. But it
was clear enough to anyone who looked at me and my extra chins. The telltale
signs told that we were on intimate terms. I preferred spending time with you
than anyone else.
So, you had to go. Food, you were the sorriest excuse for a friend
ever. All that time when I thought you were helping me, bringing me peace,
entertaining me, you were wrapping your chubby little fingers around my heart,
ready to cut off the circulation.
You were demoted. So, stay in your proper place. From now on, you
serve me, you nourish me, you keep me healthy. That's it. Our old relationship
was clearly sick.
I might be lonely for you and maybe I'll be tempted to call. You are so
familiar to me! The easiest possible solution to every problem! Bored? Sad?
Happy? Tired? Cause for celebration? Let's eat! I may want to call you. But I
can't. I've stopped. You are no friend, despite your chumminess.
We're breaking up for good.
And I mean it this time. Leave your key on the table and don't call me