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Relationship Residue: The Stuff That Sticks

  This post was inspired by a broken slap-chop and a sliced fingernail.

Today as I chopped up parsley for tabouleh by hand (a deplorable and messy task), I realized that the only real residue that was left over from my last foray into the land of romantic love were a few forgotten belongings, and a reinforced belief that being treated badly is not my problem, it’s a problem of  the person who did the bad treating. You know what I mean, right?

To put it simply, you being an a-hole is not my problem. It’s yours.

Had I known the slap-chop was a piece of crap, I would have picked up a new food processor yesterday (it’s been on my list since I binned my old one). Had I known it was useless, I would not have messy, wet, parsley bits stuck to my hands. Yes, it struck me as a metaphor for the broken relationship.

When a relationship ends, there is, like a bathtub that was once filled with warm water and bubbles, icky residue that’s hard to wash off and no one wants to touch. I think most people refer to it as scum.

In the past I have ranted, raved and stuck-it-to’em after a relationship. I’ve been hurt, angry and took solace in the most creative vindictiveness.

But not now.

Maybe it’s because I’ve achieved some sort of emotional maturity, and maybe it’s just because I’m wiser. 

As a middle-aged woman, I like to think I choose where my energy goes. I like to think that I channel it toward peace, positivity, and at the very least, not to people who are emotional fuck-wits.

But there is always the residue of self-doubt, indignation, anger and resignation. Long ago I came to some sort of peace with the fact that I cannot control anyone else’s feelings. People either like who you are, or they don’t. To be inauthentic is a crime against yourself and everyone you enter into relationship with.

I’ve also come to realize that relationship residue exists because  the good we had once hoped for, gets bogged down with the residue of hurt and betrayal. We’re just people, doing our best to get by. The bad stuff sticks to our romanticized memories of the hopes and dreams we projected onto the relationship.

Today, with sticky parsley covered hands, I tossed the remainder of the  visible relationship residue into the bin, knowing that I had betrayed no one, especially myself.

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