You’ve been with me through some of the darkest moments of my life. You’ve also been there with me to celebrate the most joyful occasions. I can’t remember a time that you weren’t there for me. It didn’t matter what time of day or night it was; you always had time for me. You were always there and, odd as this may seem by the time you finish reading this letter, I really appreciate that.
In those times when I felt anxious or awkward, you knew just how to ease my nerves and make me relax. When I was so angry I could scream, you helped me step back and re-evaluate the situation or just blow off steam. You were there as I became an adult. You even helped ease that transition. Oh, I know you didn’t make me any more mature but you had a way of making me feel like I was.
I would have done anything for you, too. I’d get out in the nastiest weather just to pick you up and bring you to my house. I’d scrimp and save during the lean years so we could be together. I’d leave the company of my family and other friends just to be with you. In fact, I’d even give up a little of my precious time with the grandgirls just to hang out with you for a few minutes.
We had our little rituals, you and I. Tap, tap, tap, a quick spin of the wheel with my thumb, a deep inward breath followed by a relieved exhale. Even though I began to realize that you didn’t always have my best interests at heart, I still hung out with you. I still welcomed you into my home.
Over time, our relationship began to change. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to hang out with you anymore. You even started hurting me but I always forgave you and welcomed you back. Yes, I’ve been burned more than once with you. It’s just that we’ve been together so long I had trouble imagining not having you around. I’ve wondered how I’ll deal with the nervousness or anger. How can I hang out at the pool hall without you by my side?
Our relationship has caused some problems. It got to the point where my family and friends didn’t want you around, either. MrWurdi didn’t want you in the house so I started hanging out on the front porch with you. I froze my ass off in the winter and fought the bees and other flying buzzy critters in the summer just to spend time with you. My mother let you ride in the car with us but made pained grimaces and coughed meaningfully even with the window down.
I hate to break it to you but they all think you stink. No, there’s really nothing you can do about it. Cologne or perfume won’t fix it. Although I love the way you smell when I haven’t seen you in a while, even I am beginning to find your particular scent offensive.
But that’s not why I’m writing this letter. I’m not writing this letter to you because you stink or because you’ve hurt me or because I’ve spent too much money and time just to be with you. I’m not writing this letter to say how bad for me you are. You already know that. I can’t even say you didn’t warn me that you were bad news. Hell, every single time I picked you up, the message was loud and clear.
I’m writing this letter to tell you that while I may miss you in the days and weeks to come, I don’t need you in my life. Not only that, I don’t want you in my life. So, here’s your notice. I want you and your stuff out of my house, purse and car by midnight tomorrow. As of November 21, 2007, you are no longer welcome in my life. I’m sure I’ll see you from time to time but I don’t want to reconnect with you. Ever. We’re done. Good-bye, Virginia.
Smoke ‘em if ya’… erm…nevermind.
P.S. If you see those friends of yours, Salem Slim or the Marlboro Man, tell them I don’t want to see them, either.