Tuesday, March 4, 2008


My buddy (friend without privileges) Joe saw me online yesterday and said hello. Our conversation included the following exchange. The messages have not been changed.

TED: How's your bf?
Joe: haven't seen him since superbowl weekend ... it's not working for me
Joe: he wants to keep it going, but it's just frustrating
TED: Well, he does live two timezones away, Joe.
Joe: and works 3 away mostly
TED: Yeah. Maybe you should date someone from a mid-Atlantic state.
Joe: i'm just trying to figure out how to break it off with him
TED: Tell him you don't want to see him anymore.
Joe: well, that's not true ... i just don't want it to be boyfriends status
TED: OMG, why do you have to make it so complicated? If you're not bfs, do you really think he's going to come all the way to NoVA for a fuck? Tell him the relationship isn't working out and say goodbye.
Joe: i'll figure it out, bud
TED: Ok. It just really isn't rocket science.

I apologize (to you, readers, not to Joe, who deserves much worse) for that "OMG," but I was nearly out of patience. Joe has a history of getting into hopeless long-distance relationships. And, worse still, of staying in them months or years after it's clear to everyone else that there's no there there.

But let's reimagine part of the conversation with more meaning.

Joe: How do I tell him I don't want to be his boyfriend anymore?
TED: "I don't want to be your boyfriend anymore."
Joe: I can't just come out and say that. It would minimize the substantial drama inherent in the situation, and when you're in your late fifties and still not out to your family and don't have a significant other due to your own cluelessness, drama is all you have left.
TED: "I don't want to be your boyfriend anymore: you gave me crabs!"
Joe: I can't say that!
TED: "I don't want to be your boyfriend anymore. I really want to date someone whom I can see without buying a plane ticket."
Joe: That makes me sound so shallow.
TED: "I can't be your boyfriend anymore. I have a terminal disease and expect to be dead within the month. Don't speak. What we had was beautiful. Goodbye."
Joe: Oooh, I like that. But what happens when he sees me?
TED: He lives in Colorado.
Joe: I mean when he sees me online.
TED: "God spared my life, but only on the condition that I date exclusively within my own area code."
Joe: That doesn't seem very credible.
TED: "TED said he'd kill me if I ever got into another long-distance relationship."
Joe: Also not very credible.
TED: And yet, it's true.

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