The fabric of friendship

What do I make of this supposed bitter end, when it actually feels like a mighty relief?
And this weird numbness that’s quickly replaced the old regret, when I think about how quickly I’ve forgotten and moved on. What do I make of that?
What do I do with those random, totally unnecessary associations that remind me of how nothing will never be the same?
And the events that remind me of what a fool I have been?
How do I stop this unstoppable feeling of wanting to go back in time and give myself a resounding slap for falling for it again?

Where do old friendships go when they change? Do we stack them like old clothes in a closet? Or do we reduce them to ashes, to a grayness that must never be remembered again?

For all these years I thought it’s easier said than done. Moping over unpleasantness was the way to go when it came to matters of friendship. And I’ve moped, sulked and driven myself batty over this particular one. Until it actually happened recently. And I realised that when its time, it is easy to switch off and move on. But it only happened when something snapped inside and I saw that it was for a reason. All along I had been beating myself over it. And now, suddenly all I felt was immense relief. Like finally getting out an altogether uncomfortable clingy pair of jeans in the oppressive heat. And letting the breeze comfort you again.

You know what the weirdest part of it all was? There was that anger I told you about. When the penny had finally dropped and I saw that it was in fact my fault. I that had chosen to stick with those uncomfortable jeans. It was a classic case of masochist meets denial. I believed that it felt right even when it felt so wrong.

Here’s the truth: I can’t control the way people behave with me. Sure what they do can make me angry, sad, hurt, upset, happy, all of that. But the root of it all is in my hands. What I can control is the kind of relationships I want to keep. The way I want to be. And how I’m willing to be treated. And if I had given it all up and chosen the discomfort, that was nobody’s fault but mine.

Kind of like forcing myself into an old pair of jeans that no longer fit. I’m fatter, I’m wider, I’m far too grown up to squish into the confines of old denim. Yet I cling on to some old nostalgia and believe that I can still pull it off. I tell myself the old style still goes. The faded look suits me. The flared bottoms will make a comeback. Until that one day when something snapped, and I realised it was probably the fabric that was stretched to the seams holding this giant mess within.

Suddenly it became apparent that I’ve been fooling myself. Some friendships are a lot like wearing a favourite pair of jeans. No matter how old and faded and worn out they get, I don’t want to part with them because they’re really comfortable. They remind me of a security and happiness I once had. Until one day they give way and I see that I don’t even care about style anymore. The person I am inside those jeans isn’t who I really am anymore. And that really was like the last straw on the camels back.

Old jeans must make way for new ones. Gone are the days of enduring jeans that cling to my bum. All I want these days is loose linen. It breathes easy. It’s light. It lets you be. And that’s when I happily discard that weird pair of jeans that I now realise will never be my style again.

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19 thoughts on “The fabric of friendship

    1. :) but its true, isnt it? Sometimes we’re stuck in a place that reminds us of a comfortable time, that we fail to recognise how uncomfortable it has turned.

  1. This was a lovely post. I know how difficult it is to let go of old friendships. I fool myself into thinking it’s easier to live with the hurt and have the friendship, than to let go of the friendship and the pain that comes with it.

  2. Stanley C

    You were talking in riddles, but the gist of what you were trying to say is apparent..thing here is you’ve acquired newer pairs of Jeans and Linen shorts(wink) along the way for which you’re making extra time for, these days, and which probably graces you better now..only solution here if you want to keep the older pair of Jeans: wear them in moderation…and they better be ok with that!
    Can’t believe i pulled that off…ooh, i love being riddly

    1. Riddles?! More like metaphors! Hehahaha, but yes, youre kind of almost correct with your deduction :)
      Its not so much acquired new jeans, as discarded old ones and realised I dont even want jeans anymore :P

  3. A

    This struck a chord. I’ve struggled with an old pair of jeans for an unreasonably long time. Some days i can still feel em on despite having trashed em.

  4. Tamanna Mishra

    Ah, something I have wanted to say about old jeans for the longest time and didn’t know how to. Loved it. As usual :)

  5. R

    Beautifully written, Revati. I do a regular spring- cleaning of my f’riends’. Especially the ones on the periphery – the ‘sms once a month’/ ‘call every 6 months’/ ‘catch up only on FB’ kinds. I’ve also had to let go two very dear friends – like you said, the problem often is us. Once we see the truth and decide to let go, life gets so much easier. I’ve also reclaimed some friendships that I thought had died. And the second time round, its been so much better!
    Loved the jeans/ linen allegory – living in Madras, it couldn’t have hit home harder!

    1. Luckily i dont have too many friends to begin with or given the direction im going in tht would have driven me batty :P. but i so get your spring cleaning analogy. When i was on fb i did it all the time. Youre lucky – Finding friendships i have lost isnt something thats happened too often to me. Maybe that would be a refreshing change for me :)

  6. BK

    Beautifully written article…I have been pondering over it for sometime…that why do I end up with wrong friends…the answer is simple the people are not wrong my choice to make them my friends is….I think not just the old jeans…for my story I feel I need to exercise more caution while buying jeans :) loved your article …struck a chord.

    1. Yes i make that mistake too. Make wrong choices, trust people too soon, expect that friends will treat me the way i treat them. Invariably i am disappointed on all fronts. But dont beat yourself too much over it. I think its ok to make wrong choices as long as you wisen up and move on from there. My issue sometimes is being stuck in the rut. Like i have described here. Thanks for dropping by. Glad it struck a chord with you :)

  7. I still have my first Levis :-) and the way you have compared old friends with that pair of jeans, oh well, it just might be the right time to let go off things rather than clinging on to them. But then, why is it so human to not easily let go and try to always have what you had!

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