Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sidewalk Cafe 12/1/2013 - Breaking up is hard to do.


It's been said that "breaking up is hard to do." When you're in love with the person you are breaking up with, you are doing something for all the right reasons because you wouldn't do it if you didn't know you had to. When you are breaking up with someone who says he or she loves you, but doesn't act it, then you are doing it out of self defense because if the person you are leaving insists that being a piece of shit is his or her way of showing love, then heading in the opposite direction as fast as possible is the best solution to a bad situation. Breaking up with someone that you don't feel much for and who doesn't seem to feel much for you is as easy as not making or taking the call. Which brings us to the woman in this picture.

As is so often the case, I was in Manhattan. I walked to the East Village from Grand Central, pausing along the way in Madison Square Park and Flatiron Plaza. Eventually I walked into the Sidewalk Cafe where I might have a beer, chat with the bartender and perhaps some of the other Sunday afternoon patrons.

Which is how I got into a conversation with Christine and Sarah. They are two friends in their mid-20s who know each other from college. One is from NJ and lives in the East Village. The other is from lots of places and lives in Minneapolis. One of the things they were discussing was how to break up with a guy. Sarah said guys have it much easier. I disagreed. Why should guys have it easier? We fall in love with the wrong women; we fall in love with women who don't love us; we get into relationships that seem to have no direction or meaning. We need to either get out by telling or by walking. Sometimes we get totally dumped on in the hope we will walk away; sometimes we act the role of the shit and do the dumping in hopes that she will break up with us. I've been on all sides of the question at one time or another.

I'm not sure I get the bit about needing to have an explanation after a few months of a maybe something's happening, maybe not type of relationship. Sarah said she's ready to move on but doesn't want to just say "it's over, goodbye." I said "Why not? It's not like you guys have declared the big LOVE THAT KNOWS NO END for each other, but it didn't turn out that way.  You," I said to her, "are at best ambivalent about him, and he, you said, isn't showing any sort of tendency toward commitment. Just say it's over." "But what if he wants to know why," she pleaded. I gave her an easy answer: tell him it isn't going anywhere and you are moving on.

 The conversation turned on how long before you throw in the towel, whether you need to give an explanation, and when do you know that you are ready to commit. Strange conversation but since I was a stranger and someone neither of them would ever see again, it was as easy for them to be open with me as me with them.

I didn't stay very long, but by the time I left, they felt comfortable enough with me to want to snapchat a photo of me - to whom I don't know - and to give me a hug goodbye.

Random Hello:

This is part of an ongoing project of photos of people I randomly end up photographing with their knowledge an approval.
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