The Perfect Life #19
Breaking up with Friends During a Crack Up
Dear Dr. Perfect,
I have a morose friend who overshares his grief and constantly texts me and leaves me feeling like a harried tourist in my own life. Is it okay to break up with him, as if he was a lover in a relationship that just isn’t working out? His wife died six years ago, and he is seeing a gestalt therapist who is, I suspect, very hard of hearing.
Dear unfortunate shoulder to cry on,
Your friend has you boxed in like a lab rat. It’s best to extinguish this thankless affair before you find yourself in therapy, talking only of him and the increasing baggage he’s dumped on you. If you’re a people pleaser, like myself, you may find this difficult to achieve. There’s not a single online customer service survey that I’ve been able to resist. What are we supposed to do with these things?
I give most businesses an eight or nine. As consumers, we’re just happy to not get ravished. Do I expect more than adequate service? It’s hard to believe that my responses have any real effect, especially when they spell my name wrong in the email. The “P” in Dr. Perfect is capitalized, thank you.
When they ask if there was anything they could have done better or differently, my answer remains the same: more strippers.
No matter what mindless responses I deliver, these surveys flood my inbox. Why doesn’t our government engage in this kind of relentless customer service? Because the lifelong career politicians who make our laws and spend all our money don’t give a shit, that’s why. We’d have better luck if five-year-olds ran the country, which I either saw in a movie or just made up.
Disregard my political cynicism. I just assume that you’re a good listener. You’ve been putting up with this louse long enough. Maybe you should trade up for a seemingly more balanced individual like myself. I have all the usual hang-ups of middle-aged professionals on their third marriage, but perhaps we could reach an agreement. I haven’t even looked into gestalt therapy. Multistability tests in the nude? Yes, please.
Therapy is a tough racket. This miracle act involves honesty, because if a person can’t be honest with themselves and their issues, there’s not much you can do. I’ve heard from therapists who will simply agree with their patient’s delusions to run out the clock. They’ve lost their passion, but not me. I give each letter I receive one hundred and ten percent, sometimes even more. I’m the hardest working advice columnist I know, and I know at least five of them, degenerates and perverts all.
Your friend is desperately seeking to maintain the very negative energy that keeps him going throughout his miserable day. People like him would spoil a perfect sunset with groans of boredom.
If you don’t have the nerve to break off this unfulfilling arrangement, you can always hire someone to pretend to be his friend and take the heat off you. I know a guy who can arrange it. Feel free to send me your email and enter to win a $500 TJ Max gift card by filing out an online customer survey. Even we at The Drunken Odyssey have to do these things to keep the lights on. I wish I had never brought it up.