A Smart Blonde's Manifesto

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Goodbye Is the Hardest Word to Say

I don't like farewells. They always seem to be the opposite of how much you actually care about the person. People who I've seen twice in the past year run up and hug me like a lifeline, saying they can't imagine life without me (hint: remember the other 363 days?), while the ones I will really miss... there simply are no words.

You know those internet chain letters that threaten about somebody dying right after you got into an argument with them? I've never really understood what's so horrible about that. It's sad that you argued... but your relationship with your parents isn't defined by fighting over cell phone minutes. Your friends aren't less important to you if one is a few minutes late picking you up for school. A tearful goodbye won't make you miss a person any more than dating someone terminally ill out of pity could make you love them. And I don't need or necessarily even want them with the people who deserve them.

I almost wish I could just leave without actually saying goodbye. It puts a funny strain on a conversation to feel like every joke needs to immortalize the years of laughter you've enjoyed, every little gesture silently voices all the intimacy of familiarity and affection. Every hug carries the weight of possibly being the last. It's just... overwhelming to try to gather everything these people mean to you into one final encounter - the goodbye. It's not a sad thing. In fact, it's a gift that I have people in my life whom it will be so hard to go months without seeing. I just want them to know that my quiet goodbyes aren't lukewarm, they're heartfelt.

At the same time, it's exciting to be making my first few friends at MIT. I feel I have to share this little conversation snippet because it was one of the first honest laughs with a new friend, and new friends mean a lot when you're in the process of leaving your old ones:

Me: We're both MIT students, I think we're beyond the point of academic pissing contests
Phil: Indeed
Me: Think about it...
Me: MIT kid #1: "I took 20 AP tests and had perfect SATs!"
Me: MIT kid #2: "I cured a form of cancer!"
Me: MIT kid #3: "I did both!"
Me: The casual observer: "You're all absolute losers and insane to boot."
Phil: HAHA, exactly
Phil: Phil Kim: "I can talk to girls!"
Phil: Hah, take that
Phil: Something kid #1,#2 and #3 will have a hard time following
Me: Karen Castelletti: I AM a girl!


  • At 4:51 AM, Anonymous Dayne Homaee said…

    Babe, I am going to miss you so much... but it isn't like we HAVEN'T gone through this before... although it will be harder after seeing eachother all summer. But I think if we try hard enough good bye will not be a word we will have to truly say to eachother.

    So I say... Cya Later ^.^

    Love you,

  • At 2:06 PM, Anonymous getalife1234 said…

    i guess i didn't notice the farewell part too much, cuz guys jus tend to "grunt and say bye"? but yea, when u feel the true sincerity in that close someone's words (if u even need words), it's the best, but also the hardest...

    haha awesome convo snippet. ;P im touched.

  • At 1:49 AM, Anonymous Mary Schellentrager said…

    I was sooo sad to say goodbye to you Karen. I am really going to miss you.

  • At 1:49 AM, Anonymous Mary Schellentrager said…

    I was sooo sad to say goodbye to you Karen. I am really going to miss you.


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