Fools Rush In
23 September, 2010


I, like most of the people of my generation, who are trying to earn a living, am a busy person. But even though I am usually swamped in paperwork, I occasionally find time to read. Sometimes I even find time to read novels, although that activity has become somewhat of a rarity in my life. (I have been trying to get through Herzog, by Saul Bellow, since 2008) .

What I do get to have time for in my own

research is to read other people’s articles. BBC recently published an article called ‘Falling in Love Costs’ by Jonathan Amos, a Science Correspondent. The article states Oxford University researchers have found that people, who enter into a romance, on average loose two friends. The article does not elaborate on why the said romancers loose those friends, but it does mention at least one family member or a friend will be pushed out to accommodate the new lover. The reasons can range from one extreme to another. It could have been that you, (the person in a relationship) never liked those two friends in the first place. Maybe the two friends hated your new boyfriend and left on their own. It could be that it was a recycled relationship - an ex whom all your friends have trashed had come back into your life and you could no longer face your friends. Perhaps the giant squid told your friends to abandon you and to spend their time in a dive bar talking about to a bottle of Guinness beer. It could be any of the above, but most likely there’s a much simpler an explanation. Some friends are just there to fill the empty void until a new lover comes along. And it sucks to be that friend. The story is an old one. Who hasn’t had a flaky friend, the one who only found time for others when the husband was out of town, or when the boyfriend was hanging out with his friends for the night? I personally have had to come to terms with quite a few such friends all the way through college.

But I got wise pretty quickly and when someone, who used to be a friend, disappeared into boyfriend, or girlfriend land only to resurface after a terrible breakup, I knew not to trust that friend not to do the same thing when the next romance came around. It hurt, of course to know my friendship meant nothing to a relationship with a lover, but I had thought I was done with it when I entered professional world of nine-to-five working, married people world. I was wrong. Just because we grow older, that does not unfortunately make us wiser.  Colleague and a dear friend went through a terribly heart breaking divorce. She was inconsolable. My friend Mancho and I took turns spending time with her just so she would have someone to talk to, as most of their friends were the ex-husband’s friends. In California a couple without prenuptial agreements splits everything in half. She finally realized she was getting over him when the hardest decision she was facing was giving up half of her CD collection. After this revelation, she decided she wanted to be single again and we became inseparable. Mancho would sometimes come out as well, when we would go to Little Tokyo or China Town for festivals and sushi. Mancho has never been a big nightlife person so she didn’t come with us to bars or clubs, but we had a great time. I introduced my friend to my circle of friends and she became a staple in the group. My friends are all professional working people. It has been a recent development, as Mancho, the last slacker of the group, has finally gotten herself a working visa. So none of us see each other very often, but we all talk on the phone and living far away from our families we learn to rely on each other for emotional support. Most of my friends are married or in a committed relationship, but that doesn’t stop them from acting like regular human beings. We all learned the hard way that relationships don’t often work out the way we want them to, and we have become very careful in preserving friendships we care about. My new friend has yet to learn that lesson. A few month after the divorce was finalized she disappeared into a new relationship, and I haven’t heard from her since. I guess she didn’t need us to fill the space, she had found a new occupant. Mancho prefers to think of her living out her days in a dive bar drinking with a giant squid and talking to a flower pot.

Note: Mancho is a friend of mine who immigrated to the United States from Georgia a couple of years ago. I have mentioned her in my stories for GJ quite often.