Emotions beyond emoticons

“I’ll be civil, but I still hate her.”

My friend had invited the girl who broke his heart to a party at his house. How stupid of him. Why did he continue to invite this person back into his life when she had hurt him so profoundly?

I routinely look at my friend’s problems and boil them down to their simplest point, offering up a solution that is simple, easy and mess free.

What I’ve always found perplexing (beside the fact that they don’t do what I say) is that I’ve never been able to do the same for myself.

While I can see what something I’m going through may look like on the outside, I have a whole mess of memories and emotions chasing each other around on the inside.

I used to say that these sloppy annoying feelings were “clouding my judgment,” but maybe they exist to add color and dimension to what would otherwise be a series of lines. Those lines, while easy to interpret, don’t add up to a whole hell of a lot on their own.

Technology allows for so many things to be easier, more convenient. Yet as we get closer to perfection more people suffer from mood disorders and our miracle pills aren’t working. Maybe we just aren’t built for this.

I think “it’s complicated” has got to be the least popular yet most accurate of the relationship status options on Facebook.

Picasso said that “every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction,” and falling in love is basically shattering the ego, then presenting your smashed up heart to someone, hoping that they aren’t holding a sledgehammer behind their back.

Let’s go back to my friend at his house party.

It was that night that he had his “this person isn’t right for me” epiphany after a year of psychological warfare.

He needed to come to that decision on his own and, who knows? Maybe in some parallel universe maybe I was wrong and she’d have come to that party ready to confess her undying affection.

Watching a friend feel something can be difficult and we often want to rescue them, usually because we’re projecting our own pain onto a situation that’s isn’t any of our business.

If someone is in a toxic relationship, the most we can do is show concern and step aside. Some things are meant to be dealt with in a slower, more ceremonious manner and only the parties directly involved know the whole story.

As kids we spent hours making mistakes - we got dizzy and messy on purpose.

We wanted to be firefighters, astronauts and ballerinas.

Somewhere down the line we traded a craving for what was exciting for unoriginal sitcoms, sex without love and some bullshit cookie style flake that’s supposed to be an Oreo.

Let yourself and your friends feel feelings, won’t you? You never know what could happen and maybe it’s worth getting a little smashed up for.

Dating questions? Life advice? Complaints about budget-brand cookies crumbling before you open the bag? Email melanie_dahling@hotmail.com.

Published in Volume 66, Number 23 of The Uniter (March 14, 2012)

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