We were friends for a long time. Back when I rifled through my mother's hidden stash of marshmallows, you were there. When I sneaked cookies from the jar and restacked them so no one would notice, you were there. You even came along to my grandmother's house that summer when I was just nine. How embarrassing to find that Grandma had taped closed the M&M jar after she noticed I'd pilfered some. You understood, though.
You were my friend, even when my parents became enemies and broke up our family. You stood by me when I lost myself in middle school. After our separation in junior high, you appeared when I needed you again. You have been a steady friend, available at any moment of any day. Boring weekend? Nothing to do? You were there offering a bowl of ice cream slathered with peanut butter and chocolate syrup, and on a lucky day, miniature marshmallows.
My friends liked you, too. We'd all go out and eat french fries at Wink's, that dumpy little drive-in they demolished years ago. And a salty main course always called for something sweet, so we'd head over to the new Dairy Queen for a Peanut Buster Parfait. We were all pals. We stuck together.
Who needs boys when you have popcorn drizzled with butter?
My high school job made it convenient to spend time with you, which was great, wasn't it? All those tacos and freshly deep-fried chips? I loved those "Crustos" (despite the unappetizing name). What's not to like about deep-fried flour tortillas dusted with cinnamon sugar?
True, we weren't on the best of terms in college, but I was so busy! I did appreciate how you'd lurk in the basement on the off-chance I might come downstairs with fifty cents for a Twix bar. Yet, we didn't make time for each other.
As it turns out, boys are more interesting than you, at least they were at the time. You have to admit, though, that occasionally, when we did get together, a whole pizza would disappear and sometimes a pound-size bag of M&Ms, too. And I never did practice moderation on those rare occasion we'd go a buffet. Hello!? Starving college student! I had to get my money's worth.
Even though I ignored you while I prepared for my wedding (all that sewing, what was I thinking?), I did perfect my one-pan brownies, didn't I? That counts for something. And let's not forget those jumbo muffins at the bakery next to work! See? Always, forever friends, even though my wedding was coming. I still thought of you often, even if we didn't linger at restaurants.
I really never expected to see you once I got married. And I probably wouldn't have if my husband hadn't started working the night-shift. I will never forget the first time we were together again. They're not kidding, are they? Once you pop, you just can't stop. I had to hide that Pringles can when it was all over so my husband wouldn't realize how much I ate when we reunited. We picked up right where we left off, didn't we?
Married life stressed me out, but not because of the marriage itself. The other stuff that happens to grown-ups challenged, teased and tested me--my dad's death, the infertility, adoption, moving, job changes, financial woes, my husband's cancer, parenting twins, pregnancy, moving again--oh, and let's not forget the breast lump and biopsy. I am so glad you were there for all of that. I am, really. You were the one I could count on. Making friends is tough when you're a grown-up!
But here's the thing. I outgrew you, just as surely as I outgrew those size 10 blue jeans. Sure, you still felt comfortable to me. You calmed me down, welcomed me with open arms. But I grew tired of sneaking around with you. I realized that you act like my Best Friend, but you sabotaged me. You stabbed me in the back. You do not have my best interests at heart. It's really all about you and was never about what is best for me.
But breaking up was hard to do. You became my worst bad habit, the dark sin I repented of every Monday morning. I was embarrassed by the way you dominated my time and I pretended that we weren't really that close. But it was clear enough to anyone who looked at me and my extra chin. The telltale signs told that we were on intimate terms. I preferred spending time with you than anyone else.
So, you had to go. Food, you were the sorriest excuse for a friend ever. All that time when I thought you were helping me, bringing me peace, entertaining me, you were wrapping your chubby little fingers around my heart, ready to cut off the circulation.
You were demoted. So, stay in your proper place. From now on, you serve me, you nourish me, you keep me healthy. That's it. Our old relationship was clearly sick.
I might be lonely for you and maybe I'll be tempted to call. You are so familiar to me! The easiest possible solution to every problem! Bored? Sad? Happy? Tired? Cause for celebration? Let's eat! I may want to call you. But I can't. I've stopped. You are no friend, despite your chumminess.
We're breaking up for good.
And I mean it this time. Leave your key on the table and don't call me again.