May. 3rd, 2011

lemon_says: (Default)
I'm not deleting this journal. I got some really kind emails and phone calls and decided against it, but I'm offering amnesty here: if you don't like me, dude, just drop me. It's okay. Honest to God, I won't take it personally, and I'm not going to shun you or be rude in someone else's LJ, mmmkay?

That said, I do think that this is self-indulgent--but I never said that was a terrible thing, did I? I don't have any delusions of grandeur here; I don't claim to be the best writer you'll read, and I'm probably not better than you at anything--except maybe Trivial Pursuit, I which I excel to the point of embarrassment. But I do enjoy the companionship I've found here, and I figure if I piss people off sometimes that just means I got you to think about something.

So here's something for you to think about: the notion of closure.

Recently, I became aware of a situation in which a married man (with two young children) contacted his ex-girlfriend, giving his wife the explanation that he needed "closure."

To me, that translates to: I want to know if she's still available, and if she is, I'm outta here. If she's not, I'll stick around until some other skirt catches my eye.

What do people mean when they need "closure"? I've seen it mentioned several times today in light of the death of bin Laden; articles include references to the families of September 11 victims finding "closure" in his death. What does that mean, really? I can see feeling a sense of satisfaction, even vindication somehow, but closure? There's no answer to why. There's no resolution.

People toss around the word a lot with regard to relationships, saying they need to contact an ex or an old friend just one more time for purposes of closure. I always think of when my old boyfriend (once previously referred to here as "Todd the Idiot") called me two weeks after I broke up with him. "Do you need something?" I asked, not unkindly.

"I need closure," he said. "This was very sudden."

"I'm not trying to be rude here, but closure was when I broke up with you," I said. I wasn't being mean--although he probably deserved a little mean, as he attempted to subpoena me when he got fired from my former employer, but that's a whole different story--I really didn't get what had been missing. I had called him and said I didn't want to see him anymore, and he said okay. When I hung up the phone, I considered the issue closed.

I have wondered, at times, what it was that made people bug out seemingly inexplicably. I had a couple of good friends in high school who suddenly turned on me, but by the time I noticed it was past any point where I would have wanted to find out what happened (I was busy, which might have had something to do with it). People have asked me as recently as a few months ago why we aren't Facebook friends, and I don't have an answer, except why would I want to be Facebook friends with someone who for some reason or another decided she hated me 18 years ago? There comes a time, as we have all seen, when a relationship clearly cannot stand up to whatever strange or bitter undercurrent ran beneath it. You don't have to go away mad; just go away.

There was one friendship that I didn't like how it ended. It was ugly, and I was glad when she contacted me just to say that she was always sorry it had gone that way. I was too, and I said so. We didn't continue the correspondence after that. I know how she thinks pretty well; I think neither of us was up for the drama of a reunion that would probably eventually end just as badly. I think that's as close to "closure" as I've gotten.

So, what does it mean, to have closure? Getting the last word? Finding out the real reason something happened? Checking to see if the spark is still there? All of the above?

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