The Statue of Limitations

My BFF (aka Best Freakin’ Friend) and I have been engaged in a multi-month discussion about how long Friend Etiquette allows a person to bring up and/or hold against another friend a crap thing they did. The debate initially started months ago when I was explaining why a friendship I once had went sour. The incident that originally put a strain on that friendship involved some Tupperware, a hospital, and the temporary incapacitation of a dialing finger. My friend and I never talked about what happened and eventually, the lack of communication caused the whole thing to grow into this big abyss of Unsaid Things and Unexpressed Anger. At some point we blew up at each other and stopped speaking. Looking back, it was rather stupid and largely driven by PMS. If we had talked about the Tupperware Incident when it initially happened, we probably would still be drinking martinis every Thursday night and rating boy booty together. So, BFF and I started to talk about how long Friend Laws allow somebody to hold something against another friend and what was the period in which a person could bring it back up if it still was making them mad/irritated/otherwise annoyed.

This has come up a lot in the last several months. In that time, there have been various instances where I’ve not spoken up when a friend has initially been retarded. Usually this happens because in the moment, I am so darn mad that if I had said something, it would have been a bit loud and potentially gotten us kicked out of the bar. I’ve got a temper at times and know it. It’s especially bad when my friends are Big Jerkfaces. But, can I calm down and revisit the issue a few days later or did the window in which I could say something pass? And if I can circle back, how long do I have? Ugh. This makes my brain hurt. And there have been other times when friends will bring up something I did weeks or months ago and have since apologized for multiple times. BFF and I have been trying to figure out how long the statue of limitations is for having Instances of Wrong thrown back at you both for situations like this and for times when a person fails to speak up about being angry. It’s all very confusing.

BFF thinks this is all impacted by the gender of the friend. By her reasoning, girls seem to think and fester and dwell and if they don’t get stuff resolved, it gets ugly. But if they do put themselves out there, they eventually Talk It Out and then have Closure and Move On. Boys seem to be more in the Dude, Whatever, Let’s Grab a Beer school. Unless it’s something really bad and then they throw a punch or two before they grab a beer. Or they challenge each other to a Wii Duel–May the best man win and all that. (On a side note, I recently played on a friend’s new Wii…I think Nintendo needs to make a Hula hoop game for the Wii. Then, there could be Hula hoop-offs. That would be awesome. Really.) BFF thinks that girl to girl contact has no Talking Time Limit, but boys have a short Incident Retention Period and must be corrected instantly or the correction will be irrelevant, much like puppies who pee on the carpet.

On the other hand, I think that if it bothers you, speak up. A friend will listen and try to take it seriously, no matter their gender. While a girl might actually process the conversation and a guy might just smile, nod and secretly think you are nuts, at least it is no longer internalized. Frankly, if somebody is being a turd, they should know they were a turd, even if it was a few days later. Because really, who wants to be pooh?

So, we continue the debate on and off, with no real answer. This is the stuff of friendship: talking about talking about stuff.


One Response to “The Statue of Limitations”

  1. Just a Girl Says:

    Basically, this is funniest thing I have ever read. Well, besides the Bionic Kitty suicide attempts, mind you.


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