The One About Gwyneth and The Dead Wood

Dead-wood1 Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow is the prettiest darn lady in the whole wide world. And she has the prettiest darn book out about how rubbing some organic couscous over some samphire and eating it makes your bottom tiny and your kiddiewinks super clever and well-behaved. She has an Oscar in her downstairs loo. Her hair has that darn delicious ‘just done a Coldplay’ tousle. And she is in that super douper big Iron Man 3.

Gwyneth Paltrow is so darn smug.

 Not everybody loves our wee Gwynie though. Despite all these accolades she has also been voted the most annoying celebrity in the world as well. Poor gorgeous rich lady. It was probably the samphire that swung it.

Then again, she probably doesn’t give a toot. What probably does keep her pretty little peepers open at night is the dwindling frequency of calls from her chums. Lets face it, who wants to go to someone’s house for the babbling crap over a vat of wine just to hear how goji berries are the new wheatgrass, and the vat of wine is invisible? I think I’m busy that night.

Gwyneth is not alone, it can happen to the best of us. Like hair and skin elasticity, the other thing we can lose as we age is friends. It could happen for any number of reasons. You might not work together any more. You might have moved house, had kids, taken the pledge, become a sex addict. That old end of a relationship adage ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ does have it’s place, but just sometimes it isn’t you, it’s them. The Dead Wood.

It has happened to me. I had a friend. We were friends for a very long time. Then one day I woke up and realised that it was always me who called, and even when I did all I got was earache, complaints and guilt trips. Fun times indeed. I decided that day just to wait and see how long it would be until she actually called me for a change. It has now been 4 years.

Everyone has some dead wood in their lives. You may not see it, but it is there. You can see it in your hesitation to ‘accept call’ when their name pops onto your screen because you know you’ll be stuck for the next 45 minutes talking about getting the driveway paved or how great work is going or how, oh god,will they ever stop blowing, how long have I not been listening, is there a way back into this conversation? You can see it in your frantic searching of the memory bank to come up with a reason why you can’t join them at the dinner dance or coffee or Tescos. Even for a moment. In three months time.

It may sound harsh, but that dead wood needs cutting out. It is the kindest thing to do. It is best for both of you. You are setting them free to spend more time with the other wab parents from their kid’s nursery which no doubt they will thoroughly enjoy. As they swap boasts. And power hoses.

As for you, as Shakespeare would say, life is too darn short to spend with people who do your nut. Cutting out the dead wood means you have more time to spend with the friends who make you laugh, who have your back, who make you smile at just the thought of the look of them when you caught them dancing alone in the kitchen in the afternoon when they didn’t know you were there. The friends you love.

So lets raise a glass to our friends, old and new. The ones who tell you that you were fine and not at all drunk when you have the fear. The ones who tell you they think you’ve lost weight when you clearly haven’t.The ones who don’t give you shit. The ones with whom the conversation just carries on whether you spoke this morning or last week.

And most importantly the ones who don’t see you as dead wood either.

Cheers to you all.

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