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Well, just got back from my Thanksgiving trip to Los Angeles. Leaving is always hard, I seriously do suck at goodbye’s. I mean seriously, some good-bye’s are extremely awkward others are just too painful, while other’s are a lie.

Aug-Moving Day to Berkeley

Moving Day August 2010

We’ve all gone through the painful goodbye’s. The hardest one for me was when I left for school. I don’t think I’ve ever held my mom as tight as I did then. It does’t get easier either,  she’s usually the last person I say good-bye to when I’m getting ready to make the drive back to Berkeley after a visit. It’s also the longest one.

My mother seems to become bilingual when she gives her farewells, they usually go as follows:  “Adios gordita”  “good-bye hijita”, she throws in an “I love you, te quiero mucho hijita” (interesting, I can’t help but wonder if she secretly does know English and is just trying to fool us). Then there’s the sign of the cross, a short prayer, followed by three more hugs, and another tight squeeze.  It’s an extremely long ritual, but I can’t leave without it.

break up

Another painful good-bye that comes to mind is the romantic one. Ugh, I think I know this one too damn well. I’m sure we’ve all heard some type of excuse as to why we must say good-bye:

  • It’s not you, it’s me  (The last time I heard this one, I actually told the guy “You’re right it is you, because I’m being as real as possible with you, but you apparently want to play games!” Can I get a B-O-O-M?)
  • I’m just not ready for a relationship, but if I were you’d definitely be the girl for me. (Seriously? This is the one that really gets to me, because we all know what this really means right?)
  • I still really care about you (Okay, I’ve used this one a few times. It’s true, I’m being sincere. I realized we were just not working as a couple or we wanted different things, but I still genuinely cared about the guys. But I cared about ME a little more, as to not stay in something that I knew was simply not going to work-no matter how much I cared. These always tend to hurt a little more, because you know you’re hurting the other person. Unless you really didn’t care, then you’re just a jerk!)
  • We can still be friends. (Damn. Another line I’ve used.)
  • I really need to focus on: “school…work…my spaceship…”  (seriously? Another one I’m guilty of using, maybe I am a guy?)
  • I think we need to see other people and just see what happens.
  • I still want to be with you, but I just think we need a break. (Have we not learned anything from Ross and Rachel? Breaks don’t work, you’re either in or out?)

Ready for the one that stings like hell and makes you run for the closest rock you can crawl under:

I’m still not over my Ex.

cryingOuch! What can you say to that? I mean other than what your inner goddess is trying to say “ What the…? You couldn’t figure this out before I introduced you to my friends and family? Before I imagined our life together, with our 2 girls and little girl?” (kidding!) I’ve typically heard this with a “ I don’t want to start something with you, without ending that first.” Hmmmm, then why in the world did you tell me you were single? Again, breaks do not work! Ross and Rachel! Ross and Rachel! Need I say more?!

These good bye’s blow but on a whole different level. These require much girlfriend time, and if you’re like me a Colin Firth Marathon, with a “He’s Just Not That Into You” chaser. Let’s not forget the wine, wine, wine!

good bye work For some reason or another, the most awkward good bye’s I’ve had have all taken place in the workplace. There’s different levels of awkwardness.

  1. The “what can I really say right now good-bye?”: This good-bye usually takes place when someone you work with has been laid off. What can you really say to that person, when you can’t help but wonder if the lay off’s are going to continue and if you’re position is in jeopardy. There’s nothing you can say at this point that is going to seriously make the other person feel better. Plus you can’t really be like “Better you than me” now can you? Even though you’re secretly thinking that.
  2. The “Yea I knew this was going to happen good-bye”: This one tends to happen when you have already been notified that someone who works in your department is going to be laid off. This one to me is the hardest of them all.

I just had a flashback of when something like this happened. A co-worker of mine knew she was getting laid-off, the company had been “kind” enough to give her three weeks notice. So we knew this day was coming, but it didn’t make things any easier. She still got emotional, especially as she started packing up some things. She sat about three cubes behind me, as soon as I heard the rattling and the sniffling I decided to make a run for the restroom. But the one on the fourteenth floor was the one that I needed to go, because the one in the first floor (our floor) was not going to do. I did say I sucked at good bye’s right? I wasn’t joking.

I took my sweet time, didn’t rush for the elevator, fixed my hair and make-up. I was up there about a good thirty to forty minutes, just to find out that she decided to wait for me in the mailroom! I still remember the look I got from my other co-worker when I said “why?” when she told me she was waiting for me. I don’t want to be mean, but what am I suppose to say? What can I say that really does sound sincere and reassuring? I have no idea what I said, but I do remember standing there feeling extremely awkward and hoping something amazing would pop into my head and make the awkwardness dissapear.

  • 3. When someone you don’t know all that well leaves due to retirement or a new job.          You’re invited to the party or celebration, you have to go because not going makes you out to be somewhat of a dick. Or worse yet, when they double the event for two people and you only know one person. So you step up and hug your person and realize that the other person leaving is standing right next to them and now you have to decide what to do: hug or handshake? What do I say? Wait, do I even remember his/her name?

Just me? I doubt it!

  • 4. The “I knew it was coming” good-bye: This one should not be confused with number three.This happens when someone you are good friends with in the workplace get’s fired. You, keen observer you, knew this was coming. Why? Because you love your girl/boy but damn they are just not getting things done at work. Now to make it a bit dramatic you add in the fact that they are the weakest link in your department and because of this have increased your work load and you are tired of covering for them. So here you have to say good-bye and maybe say a few bad things about your employers, but you are secretly hoping that you get to get to sit in the interview when they look for a replacement because you don’t want to go through that again. The good bye here is not really that bad, but it has a bit of guilt to it. You know you will see them later and you might even offer to buy the first round to help you get rid of the guilt show your solidarity.

The lying good bye’s tie in with the work place ones. Because in any of these situations you might say “let’s keep in touch.” But you really know you won’t. Think about it, when you see a friend do you say “let’s keep in touch!” No, you just say: “talk to you later, bye, laters, adios, or peace”.  Why? Because you know you will be talking to that person later, they are a constant in your life. So you know that one way or another you will be in touch.

I’m sure we’ve all said: “let’s keep in touch, or let’s hang out soon”, simply because it sounded like the right thing to say at that very moment. But you know that it will not be happening. You might think you will, but the truth is that it won’t happen. You might have the right intention of doing this, but eight out of ten times it won’t. I’m not saying humanity is becoming a cruel and obnoxious race (although there’s room for debate on this one, maybe another day.) I’m just saying that humans are creatures of habit.

Think about it when you start school or work, you quickly make friends with the people in your department or the person you have in more than one class. In school, it’s usually the person that you spend more time with outside of class that you build long-lasting relationships with. Study groups, same dorm rooms, same apartment building, anything that brings you together which allows you to spend more time getting to know each other.

Same goes at work. It’s usually someone you go to lunch with on a daily, you work in close proximity with, or someone you hang out with after work. You find out someone likes to go on hikes like you do. You start going on Saturday mornings, you get to know each other more, and realize you share other interests. They become a constant in your life.

Now, if you can sit there and  say that this a generalization and you don’t fit the profile. Congratulations you are awesome, but I still wouldn’t believe you.

I’m going to be real with you, I know I’ve said it and I haven’t kept in touch with folks. We were not close at work or in class, our interactions were to a minimum. Usually not enough for me to say “Awww, I miss so and so.”

Since, I’m trying to be someone who sticks to my word. I’ve chosen to just say “Good bye”  without any add-ons unless I really mean it. I’ll do my best to keep in touch with someone, but if they are not reciprocating then our last good-bye was in fact our last good bye. Simple.

likeLuckily for many, now there’s Facebook and you can request a person and like a few of their posts, and there you go “You’re keeping in touch!” just like you said you would. But we all know that’s not really what was meant, but this is now acceptable in society.So like away my friends, because every thumbs up means you’re keeping in touch.

Now it’s my turn to say good-bye, but we shall hang out tomorrow. However, here’s a special treat, remember BREAKS don’t work.