How much can a collapsable salad spinner mean to someone?
This Collapsable Salad spinner is an artifact from a relationship that took place between August 1996 to January 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
We met when I was just a kid and you were a teen. It was never anything improper; people should know that. We grew up knowing each other but not really, ten year age difference and all.
Eventually you took me on as a pseudo-sister, like a family friend that goes by Uncle Joe or Aunt Sally but we decided on brother and sister — we were close enough in age it passed. Really, I think we started that just to make it easier to explain why we were together in public. Less creepy. Less questions.
Considering each other family didn’t necessarily make us friends, though. But that started to shift too. I started to grow up. Become an equal. I was an independent person with thoughts, opinions, and ideas we could share. No longer a kid.
But we lived either on opposite sides of oceans or across the country from each other. Never in our home city for extended periods together.
“Friends” was a stretch, but well-acquainted we became. Seeing each other about once a year, we were like passing ships that would make sure to shout hi to one another. We were in each other’s lives because that’s just how it was. Familiar and friendly.
You moved to LA for work and after college, I followed suit. My industry is the one deeply linked to this city, so I had little choice.
Forever looking out for me, you offered me a place to stay until I got going. You took care of me, introduced me to your friends, made sure I survived. My crashing on your couch turned into us looking for apartments together and signing a lease for a dim, dark, dank apartment that we made into a nice little home. and that’s where it all went to shit.
If only my messiness would have bothered you more. Or maybe if I’d been allergic to your cat. You should have hated my cooking. It should have driven me mad how much you played video games. But it never did. We got on fine. Good. Well. I fit in perfectly. Your friends liked me. Your co-workers liked me. You and I worked.
You and I worked.
We started to flirt, who did so first is of dispute and probably never to be resolved. But a playful slap here, a little bit of wrestling there, annoying each other just so we could touch each other.
It wasn’t just the physical, though. Spending a Sunday reading on the couch while you played video games. Or you coming and lounging on my bed while I cleaned my room. Grocery trips and workouts all postponed to be done together rather than alone.
I noticed it first. Saw the change. Thought about it a bit and then obsessed about it a lot. It became okay with to me. It made sense. Of course, we knew each other best, we liked/loved each other despite all our faults, and hey, I had a vagina and you a dick, we fit.
…I had a vagina and you a dick, we fit.
You remained oblivious. Or didn’t want to admit. So, you kept trying with anyone but me. And listening to you fuck other people became excruciating. My feelings were hurt. I was becoming a bitch.
We lived in this in-between until finally a bottle of whiskey and terrible TV choices led us to do stupid things that you couldn’t erase come morning. Still. It wasn’t enough. You were never fully in. You were afraid. Age difference. History. Our families. The cons outweighed the pros for you.
You tried to rewind. Rebuild the dam. All the while, I prayed for a flood. And when it never came, I couldn’t stand it. I would rather try and fail, whereas, you would prefer to hold back and maintain. It didn’t work.
And then it all really started to crumble. Fittingly, our little dim, dark, dank apartment was sold and we were booted out. The thought of living together still crossed your mind, but I knew it would destroy me and us more than the one year together already had. So I made us separate. We promised to stay close and be friends, but it wasn’t the same.
I tried to hard and you didn’t.
I couldn’t be quiet or patient anymore. I tried too hard and you didn’t. I pushed you, wanted it all. I think I knew deep down it wasn’t real to you, that I didn’t mean what I hoped to. I was afraid space would expose that. And I was right.
Our separate truths in regards to the situation came out. For you, it was nothing but close quarters. Proximity to a vagina encouraged false feelings. For me, it was more like logic. Being sexually attracted to your best friend equaled yay. But it didn’t add up for us.
I finally had to call quits. Jealousy was making me ugly. I hated both of us for that. I blamed you. Wanted to make you feel as bad as I did. But I was to blame too and I knew that but vowed never to tell you.
We stopped communicating at my request and life went on. Nineteen years of our question mark of a relationship dismantled in less than two. You’re not my family. We can’t be friends. I guess ex-roommates is the best title I can give you. But even then, it doesn’t sit well with me.
We tried one more time. To fix the brokenness of it. Go back to how we were. You got me a birthday gift and I met up with you in Vegas for the hand-off. We were there at the same time for different reasons coincidentally. It made sense at the time.
We had missed each other; 6 months apart seemed like so long. We decided to change my plans to leave that night. Instead, I stayed so we could spend some time together. I should have known better. Us and booze don’t mix well already, but throw in a stripper and it’s a recipe for disaster. We stopped communicating at my request and life went on.
Nineteen years of our question mark of a relationship dismantled in less than two. You’re not my family. We can’t be friends. I guess ex-roommates is the best title I can give you. But even then, it doesn’t sit well with me.
The next morning, during our 4 am drive back to LA, we talked. It was then when I opened up, that you told me that how I felt was wrong. That since we were never technically together, (yes, you used the word technically), I shouldn’t feel badly. You’re not incorrect, but also that’s not totally right. Then you looked me in the eye and told me you could fuck me and feel nothing. Never had I felt more gutted and hollow.
You diminished me to the level of any other woman with a hole for you to fill. No emotions or care, just sex. And suddenly, all your excuses about caring too much and not wanting to risk our friendship were bullshit. In that moment I finally got it. To you I meant too little and to me you meant too much.
No emotions or care, just sex.
But I had already ordered the collapsible salad spinner as your birthday gift. We always complained about soggy lettuce but didn’t want to lose cabinet space to a big bulky one. I saw it and thought of you. No chance in hell I was giving it to you after that debacle. But I hadn’t the heart to return it and didn’t want to use it either. So it has just been sitting, unopened, in my car trunk.
I’m always going to swing back and forth when I think about you. I can appreciate that you were wonderful for me in some ways. I also know that you were terrible to me in others.
Getting rid of this won’t change anything, but it will at least free up some space.