Mending Fences: An Exercise In Futility by
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Prompted By Mending Fences

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Right, friendships. Those things we forge in the furnace of youth, fueled by shared baseball card collections and a desperate need for someone to understand our Nirvana obsession. But then, like a dodgy takeout of Indian curry, they often leave a sour aftertaste – only this time lasting far into adulthood.

Why? Well, let’s be honest. People change. Me, once the resident class clown, was later a beige-wearing computer professional with a crippling fear of roller-coasters. My closest friend, the quiet one who preferred bugs and beetles to The Beatles and rock n’ roll, is now a tattooed thrill-seeker base-jumping off mountains and out of airplanes. Suddenly, our weekends spent building pillow forts in my parents’ basement seem about as relevant as dial-up internet.

Then there are the arguments. The epic falling outs over who ate the last slice of pizza (looking at you, Robert) or that whole “borrowing my Kurt Cobain t-shirt and then mysteriously shrinking it in the washer” debacle. (“Never forgive, never forget”.) Suddenly, talking to your once-best bud feels like trying to have a philosophical discussion with a particularly stubborn pigeon (no offense Steven).

Now, some of you might be thinking, “But Kevin, what about the power of forgiveness? Of patching things up?” To which I say “bless your kind little hearts”. Have you ever tried to mend a ripped pair of jeans with duct tape? It looks desperate, don’t it? The same goes for fractured friendships. Sure, you can give or accept an apology (though let’s be honest, most apologies sound suspiciously like justifications these days), but the underlying resentment will always be there, like that rogue sequin still clinging to the bottom of your sneaker.

The worst part? Even if you manage to overcome your differences, the conversation will likely be as thrilling as watching paint dry. You’ll dredge up those tired old anecdotes (“Remember that time we…”), desperately trying to recapture a spark that has long since fizzled out. It’ll be like watching a particularly uninspired re-boot of a classic A Team episode.

Of course, there’s always the chance you’ll genuinely reconnect. Maybe you’ll discover a shared love of beige cardigans and sensible shoes? Maybe Robert finally fesses up to the pizza theft (justice!). But let’s be real, the odds are about as good as winning the lottery or being struck by lightning.

So, what’s the point? Here’s the thing: sometimes, letting go is the most mature option. Think of it like clearing out your wardrobe. You wouldn’t keep those neon green parachute pants from the 80s, would you? (Although, to be fair, they might be making a comeback – fashion is a fickle beast.)

Instead I suggest we focus on the good times. The laughter, the shared secrets, the time you accidentally set fire to Robert’s eyebrows while passing him a lit joint (oops). Cherish those memories, then move on. There’s a whole world of potential new friends out there, some of whom might even appreciate my questionable taste in music. Unless, of course, they try to borrow my latest almost new Nirvana t-shirt – then all bets are off.




Profile photo of Kevin Driscoll Kevin Driscoll
(Mostly) Vegetarian, Politically Progressive, Daily Runner, Spiritual, Helpful, Friendly, Kind, Warm Hearted and Forgiving. Resident of Braintree MA.

Characterizations: been there, funny, moving, right on!, well written


  1. Jim Willis says:

    This one checks all the boxes for me regarding broken friendships. Very clear writing and memories that read as if they could be mine, along with the observations on them. Your advice on remembering the good times and moving on is very sound. Otherwise, we’re lugging around a lot of needless, painful baggage.

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