As well as jettisoning all the stuff, lockdown has meant a little light culling in the ‘friend department’. I mean, who have you really missed? Here are some lockdown losses that are really gains…
That woman from three jobs ago who you used to go out cocktailing with, in fancy hotels, pretending you were in Sex And The City. You’d talk about finding a husband and posh handbags. Now you have an agonising supper once a year but she’s morphed into the poster girl for the Wifey movement: she wishes young singers would put some clothes on because it’s they’re asking for trolls, and what’s wrong with not having your own bank account or your name on the mortgage and women shouldn’t be in the army because it’s basically unseemly and oh my God she’s such a sexist and you are never going to see her again.
Everyone has one. The friend for whom conversation is actually just a machine gun fire of questions: some micro ‘Where’s your dress/earring/shoes/blush from? What did you eat every day of your holiday? Tell me everything about so and so’s house/garden/body?’ Right through to macro ‘Are you happy/fulfilled/do you believe in aliens/why do think I’m not sleeping?’ Apart from being exhausting and boring, it’s just like watching someone’s brain viciously unload and frankly, you’ve been trying too hard to keep yourself intact to be verbally waterboarded by this Paxman-esque drone. Q&A over.
The primary school person
Wait hold on, who? This person got in touch in lockdown, presumably because they are spending 75 hours a day on Facebook. And old you, pre-isolation you, would have insanely accepted the friend request, said yes to a drink and actually squeezed your body/mind/soul/diary into a date and then had to deal with the stress of cancelling a million times. Now though, you know more than anything that time is precious and you are not going to waste it. Friend request denied.
Of course, exes can be friends. One of the things that you have prided yourself on was your sunny, friendly, live and let live attitude. How grown-up is it to be friends with the ex-boyfriend who smashed your heart into smithereens? You were fine. Fine with him talking about all the hot girls he was fucking; fine with him getting drunk and trying to get you into bed ‘for old time’s sake’; fine for listening to him being all depressed and everything. But. BUT. BOOHOO. He’s a bit of a cunt? He’s always been a bit of a cunt? He was certainly a cunt to you. And do you need cunts in your life? Oh cuntraire mon amie, you don’t.
This text lands two weeks into lockdown. ‘Anything you need, I am here for you. Anything.’ Weepingly grateful, you text back something like, ‘I feel so relieved, as I am worried about the crushing loneliness, really all I need is someone to check in with me now and again.’ OK, maybe all you reply is, ‘Thanks and how are you?’ Either way YOU NEVER HEAR FROM THEM AGAIN.