Today's CEFAD provides insight to the persistent question, 'Why don't we adopt the formal diction of law and business and introduce it into our personal lives?' Wouldn't the crispness of legalese be simpler, even kinder, in its way? Um, no.
Gene was a summer intern in D.C. when he met Camille. They dated, and after Gene returned to college in Portland, they stayed together long-distance for the next six months, and there was much mutual to-ing and fro-ing. But in order to avoid acrimony, just when Gene felt the relationship had peaked, he dumped Camille. "A relationship doesn't need a long, bitter resentment period preceding a messy breakup," he explained. You can, instead, skip right to the rupture.
His crappy take was that the business of splitting up should be more peaceable this way:
Sent: Thu 2/10/2005 3:58 PM
Subject: All good things...
This is a very tough email to compose mostly because it's content has no precedence in our email database, nor is it very pleasant. However, in light of recent events and communications and the resulting thoughts and deliberations I thought it best to do it this way, perhaps it is even fitting or symbolic somehow.
The initial euphoria that surrounds the beginning of all relationships has worn off in ours. In the wake of the afterglow I am left to ponder some serious questions. Compatibility, long-term potential, chemistry, similarities, differences, goals, ambition, past, present and future, etc.. Not easy questions, although I found the answers to be even tougher and in our case not favorable.
Camille, I believe we have "irreconcilable differences" that cannot be solved no matter how long we allow them to linger. We disagree too often. Furthermore, the disagreements always take an all to unpleasant course for my satisfaction. Nothing is resolved, simply dismissed. In conclusion, I think we are both too proud to concede to the needs of the other. We would have to change into people other than the people we are now in order to make this beleaguered arrangement work. That is something I am unwilling to do. That is something nobody can be permitted to do in a relationship to make it work.
In sum, I am hereby tendering my letter of resignation from the relationship to you effective immediately. I do this now even before my next scheduled visit, which I now forfeit, in order for things to end peaceably. There is no animosity involved in my decision, which I feel is important for you to know. However, I feel if things were to continue they would become bitterly worse. So much so that continuing the relationship has become an avenue I am choosing not to explore. We are just different people, pursuing different agendas, at different places in our lives.
This isn't about you moving or not moving to Portland. It is simply that I feel the flame of our relationship has burnt out. I am quite steadfast on this issue. In fact, I consider it non-negotiable and I hope you will respect that. This just isn't what I want for myself.
I'm not trying to present all of this in a covert manner, completely out of "right field," but a relationship doesn't need a long, bitter resentment period preceding a messy breakup. Those just aren't productive or mature and between the two of us, it shouldn't happen. This isn't even a "it's not you, it's me." It's both of us, I think I just realized in first. Our temperaments, desires, emotions, are just not on the same wavelength.
If you want to think me cowardly for presenting this via email, so be it, but I wanted to avoid conflict, the possibility for reflection and thought instead of blind accusations, the avoidance of painful phone conversations that would be non-productive and an unnecessary visit to Baltimore. I feel this format is more appropriate for conclusiveness and finality, avoiding any acidic conversations of things best left unsaid. Best to just leave things on a good note. A parting of disagreeable yet hopefully peaceful terms. I fear the outcome of this decision in ultimately my loss, but in life I have the freedom to exercise such personal judgements, however poor they may turn out to be. However, this is the right decision for me at this moment and for my future. My apologies. I still care for you a great deal but a "loving" relationship between you and I is, in the end, unrealistic.
Regarding prisoners of war. I shall return the necessary belongings to you as soon as it is reasonably possible. Again, I am sorry, I really am. I truly hope you get all the goods things that are coming to you in life. I still admire you a great deal as a person but I can't ignore how I feel on this subject. Rock on.
P.S. Thank you for all the doors you opened for me regarding aspects of our culture where I never even knew there were doors at all before. Truly marvelous.
P.P.S. I consider this an amicable split. I am sorry if you are bitter but please do not lash out in irrationality or anger. I cannot, nor will not tolerate that. If there are things left unaddressed I will address them with you as needed in order to set things right and best restore the balance in both our lives.