1 Aug

When we were younger, we got into an argument about pasta. I always said raviolis- the plural, while you said that ravioli was like deer- the term for the plural is the same as the term for one. I thought you were wrong, but after that I always said ravioli when referring to the plural because saying it that way reminded me of you, and I thought you were cute. A few months later you said raviolis to me and a few years later we started dating. I can’t say why, but the fact that we switched our vocabulary of microwave food always meant a lot to me. It was proof that I had changed something about you. It was concrete evidence that you had altered who I was.

I want you to know that you changed so much more about me than the way I refer to Chef Boyardee. I want you to know that you gave me so, so much more.

When we dated, you always told me not to take you into account when I was making plans. You didn’t want me to do the things you wanted to do unless I actually wanted to do them. If I didn’t, then you would prefer to do them without me. And I could do my own thing. That made more sense, you said, and I guess in some ways you’re right.

You told me just to be who I was. When I asked you what would happen if you didn’t like who I was, you asked me why that mattered.

My favorite books were not your favorite books. In fact, sometimes you would give harsh reviews of my favorite books, even when it hurt my feelings. You told me it was better to be honest about the things you hated, because that’s what love is. Being honest. And when it came to your books, you mostly told me not to read them. Because they were your books, not mine.

You didn’t listen to my music, although, god, I really wanted you to. I listened to your music. You thought that was ridiculous. Why would I listen to music you loved when I could listen to music I loved? I told you that I did it because I loved you. “Well you love your music because it’s just what you love, and that’s much purer in my opinion.”

After a while, I realized that there wasn’t any point in changing each other. You were who you were, and I was who I was. When we did things together, we did things we both loved. I never pretended to like your things, and you were never offended when I didn’t. We argued a lot- about politics and social issues, and your opinions of my friends, but I never questioned who I was. I could always see exactly who I was when I was with you, because it contrasted so strongly against who you were.

After a while, it wasn’t fun anymore. Your criticisms of me got meaner, as you lost sight of the person you used to like. Our lives became impossibly different, and soon you were only a shadow of the person I used to know. At last, we lost the final joy we shared together. You were silent at my jokes, and yours made me cringe, and sometimes cry.

I don’t want to be like the person you are. I am far more confident in the person I am becoming. You taught me independence. Sometimes you taught it purposefully, because it’s something you really care about. Other times you taught me independence on accident. You didn’t call when you said you would. You didn’t care. So I put on my big girl pants and cried to my own music, and laughed at my own jokes. Slowly, I became confident in myself.

I really don’t miss you anymore, because I realize this. But still, I know that all of your beautiful philosophy and awful comments and shitty attempts at friendship made me who I am today. So I guess you did change me. Thank you.

Now when I eat more than one ravioli, I’m going to say raviolis. There are more than one of them, and therefore I will use the plural. Because you don’t decide my vocabulary. I do.


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