Whirlygig: 98: Out on the Town

Friendship between exes not always a noble resolution

Why Can't We Be Friends?
It somehow seems noble to end a relationship with the "let's be friends" statement. Certainly it's preferable to saying mean and hateful things that, while describing feelings of the moment, might be a memory not long forgotten and not really how you want to let sleeping dogs lie. I'm just not convinced that remaining friends with past lovers is an altogether attainable feat, but here goes the story of an attempt.

Kerry is a single friend who's beautiful, smart and funny. She usually has her pick of the litter, if you know what I mean. We've been friends for almost 10 years and luckily we both share the motto as what happens on the mountain stays on the mountain or wherever it is we happen to be meeting up. It's never dull when Kerry and I catch up, which is unfortunately rare since she lives in Atlanta and I'm here. But we manage to keep long distance phone companies in business and talk almost daily.

Thank goodness for free nights and weekends, plus the fact that I was available for Kerry's crisis Friday afternoon while at the car wash. While I detest those that talk on their cells in public, I could tell from the tone of Kerry's voice that she desperately wanted to tell me the latest breaking news of her "friendship" with Ted. They used to be a couple, and a darling couple at that.

Ted looks like Billy Baldwin, who I always have thought was the cutest Baldwin brother. He has charm and blue eyes that don't quit. While Kerry spent most of the last year trying to convince me he was making her crazy, I know she was crazy about him.

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when the chemistry between two people is on par with ignitable, which is what Kerry and Ted shared. Still, I will give it to Kerry as she planted her foot down firmly and ended things with Ted in late June. Citing irreconcilable differences and more details than I care to repeat, they've stayed out of each other's arms and beds though have weekly conversations updating the other on career and family highlights.

Yeah, in the name of friendship they chat. I suspect neither has let go of the heartstrings, even though Kerry is currently dating and enjoying the company of Kevin, the flavor du jour. Kevin treats her like a queen and is so nice that while she's responding to the kindness factor I think she second guesses herself.

She admits she still misses Ted to me recently while we received pedicures at Mitchell's in Hyde Park on her birthday when she visited me in Cincinnati a while ago. I listen raptly as Teri massages my toes and suggest that perhaps she's on the rebound and she should slow things down with Kevin. All weekend as we shopped in her favorite haunts and ate Skyline Chili followed by Graeter's ice cream I listened and consoled, not sure that Kerry was asking my advice as much as admitting how hard it was letting Ted go.

I put her on the plane that Sunday afternoon hoping time heals and hearts move on. Now we fast forward to the end of September, and I'm the rude person at the car wash on the phone when Kerry hits me with the news that Ted has let Susie move in with him. I'm as stunned as she is but not near as upset.

It's a mixture of anger and hurt that Kerry sends over the airwaves as she tells me she found out the hard way. She stopped by to see if he wanted to grab lunch since he works out of his house on Fridays and she was in the neighborhood. What really sent her over the edge was that the new live-in girlfriend had her things strewn all over the bed Kerry bought and designed with 200-count cotton duvet.

I think it's more the fact that Ted wasn't a friend and didn't tell her when he saw her the day before at the tennis courts or on one of their frequent phone chats. After all, friends tell each other the truth and care enough to not let their friends step in it if they can see it coming. Either way it isn't pretty, and maybe this is why that whole friend concept is hard to swallow when lives move on at different speed.

— Wendy Robinson

Slap Shot
I decided to begin my journey into Feng Shui Thursday. The first chapter in the book I bought said that I needed to "unclutter my life." The first room I tried to unclutter was my kitchen. I was doing great at first. I threw away two garbage bags of old food from my refrigerator and pantries. I lost all focus though when I decided to unclutter my wine rack. I guess I should just throw away the bottles instead of trying to drink them first.

Saturday's attempt at uncluttering my bedroom was abruptly stopped when I ran into a strip of four black and white photographs that my ex took while on a business trip earlier this year where she held a white sign in each photo saying "wish," "you," "were" and "here."

After about 30 minutes of thinking about how I let yet another great girl slip through my fingers, I decided to go and do something manly with my Saturday night. I got dressed up in the black stretch T-shirt, black jeans and suede jacket I bought for next to nothing at Gap Outlet the week before and headed off to see a hockey game.

The Comet bar in Northside has a hockey team that plays on Saturday nights at Sports Plus in Evendale. I got there about five minutes before the first puck dropped and headed off to Hippo Joe's, the bar that's inside Sports Plus (right next to the kiddie land full of video games and a small roller coaster no less) for a beer to enjoy with the game.

The Comet hockey team is made up of the owner Dave, the bartender Dave and various bar patrons and their kids. They looked like a hockey version of the Bad News Bears when they hit the ice. Each person had on a different color jersey, and a few of them were just playing in sweat pants. The other team all had matching white jerseys with numbers and their sponsor's name. If I were a betting man, I would have placed my money on the other team just based on how much like an actual hockey team they looked like.

I knew that a few members of Team Comet were new to the game of hockey, but I had no idea how new they were until they hit the ice. Dave, the owner, fell down on his butt every time he took a step onto the ice. My friend Christa is also new to hockey, which is why I guess they put her on defense. She made the most out of her lack of skating skills by consistently stopping each of the other team's breakaways by just falling in front of the guy leading the breakaway and making him fall over her. She actually got a penalty for tripping after the third time she did this. It turned out that it was also her first-ever penalty playing hockey.

To my surprise, Team Comet was actually ahead 2-0 after the first period. I decided to go back to Hippo Joe's for coffee to warm up during the quick break between periods. The main reason I wanted to go back to Hippo Joe's was to talk to the hyper-attractive bartender who was working. She was tall with long blonde hair but wearing just a little too much make-up for me.

I spent about 10 minutes talking to her about what it was like working at a bar in Evendale before heading back to the game. When I got back I was told that I just missed a fight. It seems that one of the 13-year-old kids who plays on Team Comet got into a scuffle with a member of the other team who was probably a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than him. It was just my luck to miss the only fight of the night because of hitting on a bartender.

The game ended with Team Comet winning 6-0. Afterwards, I decided to hang out with the team at Hippo Joe's and savor the taste of victory with them and to talk to the bartender a little more.

— R.L. Newman

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