This week, we heard from a letter-writer with a bonehead friend.
Auntie SparkNotes, I need advice. You see, I have this "friend". Note the quotation marks. Let's call the friend Sam. Sam is really annoying. Really, really annoying. I regret ever becoming friends with him..er Sam. And I don't want to be friends with Sam anymore. And so I tell him this. And he ignores, saying, "It's a free country." And so I try to ignore him. And yet he pretends like everything is still the same. And continues to annoy me. What do I do, Auntie?
So what you're saying is, you do not like Sam here or there? You do not like Sam anywhere? You would not like Sam in a box? You would not like Sam in his socks?
What? Oh, right, your question! Well, desperate times call for desperate measures, grasshopper—and with Sam showing no signs of ceasing his offensive pal-mongering, it’s time to take your friendship-ending campaign nuclear. Here’s what to do:
1. This weekend, charter an ocean-going vessel and sail out into the open sea.
2. Once you have gotten a reasonable distance from shore, drop a line and begin fishing.
3. From the day’s catch, select the biggest, floppiest fish. Put it in a cooler filled with ice.
4. On Tuesday morning, bring the cooler to school with you.
5. Wait for Sam to approach.
6. When he comes within five feet of you, take the wet, floppy fish out of the cooler.
7. Use the fish to beat Sam severely about the head.
Wait... no, sorry, kidding again. You should not (could not!) beat Sam in the face with a wet fish. It’s cruel.
To the fish.
So, onto the serious question-answering: You haven’t mentioned what everyone else thinks about Sam, so I’m forced to guess that they find him just as annoying as you do—as in, he has no other friends and is aggressively clinging to you out of necessity. (If that’s not the case, then you need to take another look at your behavior: Have you been clear and direct with Sam? Does he know he's bothering you?)
But assuming it is true, it puts Sam squarely in the category of Social Pariah For Whom There Is No Immediate Hope—which means, unfortunately, you have limited options when it comes to removing him from your person. But since you need only deal with this until summer vacation (right?), here’s what you can do in the meantime:
- When Sam begins talking to you, be polite but disinterested.
- If he asks you a question, say “I don’t know,” and turn back to whatever you were doing.
- If he persists, say, “Please leave me alone,” turn back to whatever you were doing, and refuse to engage further.
- Remember: You are an impermeable brick wall. Nothing fazes you. (Repeat this as a mantra when on the verge of exploding with rage.)
Also: I’m not gonna make like your mom and tell you to continue being BFFs with Sam out of pity, but see if you can’t muster up a teensy, weensy bit of sympathy for his sorry butt. He’s so socially clueless that his only recourse is a forced “friendship” with someone who hates his face—and unless he develops basic social skills, this is going to happen to him, repeatedly, for the rest of his life. Sad, right?
Confused? Heartbroken? Beaten about the head with a fish? It might be summertime, but Auntie SparkNotes ain't quittin' you. Leave your questions in the comments, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.