Saturday, December 02, 2006

"I never want to speak to you again."

Not including humorous exaggeration, I have only heard this phrase (or some variation) twice in my adult life, and I've used it only once. I once asked Angelyn never to speak to me. We were later married. The first person to tell me she never wanted to speak to me again was my sister, and she's given to sweeping dramatics. We've spoken since, but honestly, not often. She never apologized for that request, and I can't say I've quite forgiven her. More recently (namely this evening), someone else asked me never to speak to them again. This person has been a friend since I moved to Orlando, though our friendship has often been contentious, combative, and competitive. I guess in that sense, neither of us could claim to be a "good" friend of the other. However, he is a person I respect and admire, and it saddens me that he would take this tack, even if I offended him. Maybe he has never respected or admired me. I don't really know. However, I know he can't just take it back. Something changes when you've announced your renunciation of a friendship. To declare to someone that you no longer wish to acknowledge his existence is about the ugliest, most hurtful thing I can think of. It's also rude, petty, and childish, and I have to wonder whether I can respect and admire anyone who would say such a thing to his friend. I guess time will tell.


  1. I would take this literally - especially since semantics comes into play here - Your "friend" said "I never want to speak to you again" - but didn't say "Don't ever speak to me again"
    I think I'd take a shot.

  2. Ah, but I was paraphrasing (poorly). As it happens, what he said was actually closer to "Don't ever speak to me again." So in the game of semantics, I still lose.