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July 26, 1999 e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


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The Frito up the nose meant nothing to you?!

Dear Breakup Girl,

It's your pal Frito Nose from last September and I have a new question about the same old guy. As it turned out, you were right -- "Chip" did have the hots for me at the time, but I didn't find out til AFTER he decided I wasn't The One and changed his mind. (I later learned from his sister that he's decided not to date anyone until he finds The One. Whatever.)

Instead of acting on your advice in September, I agonized til December. Fearing the worst, I timed my attack so that I'd have two weeks of Christmas vacation to recover if he spoke those three little words ("And you are...?").

"Oh, I'm so glad you asked! Let's just be friends blah blah blah blah blah," he replied. I wanted to scream, "So the Frito up the nose meant NOTHING to you?" But instead I plastered a smile on my face and began backing toward my car. As soon as he paused for breath I hopped in and drove off, tires squealing.

Of course, he'd just handed me a gift-wrapped reminder of this ego-crushing blow. When Christmas rolled around, I ripped off the wrapping to find...a lava lamp. WHY he thought I wanted that ubiquitous college dorm decoration is beyond me, but after I got over feeling misunderstood I saw a pattern emerging. The last guy I liked who didn't like me back gave me a strobe light for Christmas. If I keep this up for another year or two, I'll have enough stuff to throw a party! "Uh, let's just be friends, but here's a mirror ball!"

I digress... . It took me a while, but I got over him and decided to give the "just friends" thing a try. For one fabulous month our relationship was better than it had ever been -- now that we were completely open about the past, and had moved beyond it, we really enjoyed each other's company.

Then his sister came to visit. She and I became very close, very quickly. We'd either pair up for late-night gab-fests or the three of us would go out, but Chip seemed to back off and let her run the show. After she left I thought Chip and I would resume our new and improved friendship. Instead, he became cold and distant, putting up a polite front when we saw each other around, but ignoring me the rest of the time.

According to both his sister and a mutual friend, he has "issues" with me. I didn't want to get either of them mixed up in this, so I asked him point blank if I'd done anything to upset him and what I could do to make amends. But he just said, "No, why? What do you think you've done to upset me?"

At first I was content that I'd done everything I could to patch things up and if he refused to tell me what was bothering him, it was his problem. But now I almost feel sick when I see him and his arctic body language contradicts his polite conversation. I feel like I've lost a potentially great friend and can't do anything about it. (I know there's nothing in this letter to recommend him, but... .)

The reason for his anger could be any number of things I let slip to his sister when she asked about our "relationship." It was so easy to fall back into bitter, rejected mode with a girlfriend. I tried to be careful what I said, but dang if the giddiness of new friendship doesn't sometimes overwhelm my better judgment. Still, how dare he condemn me over hearsay? He should at least confront me.

My friends have suggested I write him a letter expressing my desire to make amends. Personally, I think the heartfelt letter thing smacks of fatuous high school melodrama. What do you think?

-- Frito Nose

Dear Frito Nose,

Ooh, I'm mad at you. Not because you didn't take my advice, but because you took my joke. I vowed to make a mirror-ball crack the minute I read about the lava lamp, but you beat me to it, you smart Pecan Sandie.

Anyway, yes, he should at least confront you. I mean, "Should." Sure, that'd be nice. But he didn't. Our readers may also recall that he has never been one to work a lot of elfin magic with the art of the Direct Statement in the first place. Why start now, with something really uncomfortable?

And no, he shouldn't condemn you over hearsay, but hey, you know, blood is thicker than ... lava. (From now on, leave him out of your girlgabfests with the sis, OK?)

Still, if you want to write him a note, be my guest. I'm sure you can get the tone right; only fatuous melodramatic letters smack of fatuous high school melodrama. Thing is, as I always say about these sorts of letters, really, you write them for you, not In Order To Get A Response. You know? So say what you need to, then curl up for a bit of yuck-healing time with some Funyons and I don't know, a Bedazzler. Then find a guy who's all about good old-fashioned love and romance, plain and simple. Like, who won't cause me to use/mix all these hip kitschy ironic post-modern metaphors.

Breakup Girl



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