Broken Friendships & Knowing All Too Well
“I left my scarf there at your sister’s house and you’ve still got it in your drawer even now.”_Taylor Swift
I’ve been spared a lot of heartbreak re: romantic relationships with men in my life. I just have. Maybe this makes me rare in terms of like…being a human but I never had that romantic One Who Got Away. There isn’t someone out there (aside from the MASSIVE celebrity crushes I will never let go, no) who I desperately want to be with romantically…who has broken my heart. I am blessed enough to be with the person I want to be with. Someone I love and who loves me back.
Friendship heartbreak is a part of my past though. What I haven’t suffered in romantic heartbreak, I’ve had that heartbreak five times over in my friendships. I went through a shitty friendship breakup right after college that I still don’t understand. Still makes me sad. Really sad. I would’ve fought for us. I would’ve fought for her. I don’t know what happened but I know I miss her and maybe part of me always will.
I was in love with her. I am in love with my closest girlfriends, always. There is a part in one of my favorite books (which I will be writing about next week), Who Will Run The Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore and the narrator talks about having her best friend’s outfits memorized. And that’s how it was with my friend and me. I had her outfits memorized, her makeup, how she’d do her hair whether we were hanging out casual or doing Something Special. And even now when I smell the perfume she would wear (Gap So Pink!) I think about her. And miss her. It broke my heart so much I rarely even talk about it.
So to be honest, a lot of times when I listen to songs about romantic heartbreaks I think about friendship heartbreaks and a lot of the same things still apply.
“We’re singing in a car, getting lost Upstate.”
“All Too Well” by Taylor Swift is a perfect song. One autumn day last year I went for a long walk as I’m wont to do and I was cuh-ranking the TSwizzle as I’m also wont to do and the weather was sublime. It was one of those cloudy grey autumn days where the trees look absolutely on fire and there’s the promise of navy blue night-rain.
“Autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place,
And I can picture it after all these days.”
“All Too Well” came on and I has halfway through my walk and although I’d heard the song lots of times before, you know when you have that moment when you really connect with a song? Like the moment when it doesn’t matter how much you’ve heard it before…it’s like hearing it at the perfect time at the perfect moment and the conditions are practically perfect in every way? It happened to me. I had the moment. I was alone and I started sobbing. Sobbing and walking.
“I might be okay but I’m not fine at all.”
Whenever I cry in public I start thinking about other people because I don’t want them to worry about me! I don’t want some old man to look out his front door and see me walking down the sidewalk, crying. I don’t want him to have to think about asking me if I’m okay. Because I am! I’m okay!
“There we are again in the middle of the night. We’re dancing around the kitchen in the refrigerator light.”
One night my friend who isn’t my friend anymore was upset so I drove to her house and took her a Slim Jim because she loved Slim Jims. We would get very excited about jerky together. And there are memories and life things and I am a human girl. Oh, how I do love kitchen dancing. For years, the name of my blog was Kitchen Music and there is a story in my collection called Kitchen Music.
“You call me up again just to break me like a promise. So casually cruel in the name of being honest.”
I will be first in line to buy Taylor Swift’s YA books if she were ever to write them. Any book. “You call me up again just to break me like a promise. So casually cruel in the name of being honest. I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here b/c I remember it all too well.” is one of my favorite lines from anything ever. I mean seriously, go back and read it again. Swift-magic. (*throws glitter*)
“But you keep my old scarf from that very first week because it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me.”
I have a card from my used-to-be friend and I wish I could call her something else but I don’t know what else to call her. (Her name is v. pretty but I’m obvi not using it.) But this card…it is tacked to the wall downstairs and I’ve thought about taking it down but really, I love it so I won’t. There is also a blurry picture of her tacked next to it. She is holding a sparkler and it was taken at my 24th birthday party. The one I had in my backyard that summer, a year and a half before I had my first baby. I keep the picture there because I love my friend and I loved that night. Still.
“It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well. Wind in my hair you were there you remember it all too well.”
I remember lots of things my friends don’t seem to. I have a very good memory. As much of a curse it can seem to be at times, it is a blessing to me. I remember what you smelled like I remember what movie we saw I remember it snowed I remember what we ate I remember what we laughed about I remember how we couldn’t stop laughing about it I remember climbing out your bedroom window and onto your roof with beers. I remember how we would sit in your room and listen to t.A.T.u. and Marilyn Monroe and how much I loved your family, your hometown, your weird things plus my weird things and how they equaled our weird things. I remember holding hands in bars and cigarettes and sharing super-sticky expensive lip glosses and braiding your hair. All too well.
“I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to.”
I remember the songs and the mixtapes and cleaning out our purses at White Castle and the cozy little diner in the country we would go to and hanging out on campus and also, everything. All too well.
“After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own. Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone.”
My One That Got Away is a girlfriend, not a boy. And I’m glad I remember, even when it’s sad. I’m glad I remember because I’m alive to remember and one day I won’t be and life hurts sometimes. A lot. It hurts because I can feel. But also I’m both okay and fine about it now. I loved that autumn walk, those leaves, this song, the slinky way it reminded me of something else. Such a sweet, sad song I love so much. I have never listened to it without crying. Thank you for it, Tay. I love youuuuu.