Married Crush: Why is your face like that? Have you been listening to Fiona Apple again?
Yours Truly: Nah, I just…look, you know, I was thinking, Christmas is the time to let people know how much you care, right?
MC (hesitantly): Yes…why?
YT: Because…because I love you. I know that’s not cool to say, and I know it’s not appropriate, and I know we’re about to go into a Christmas party full of people who will no doubt be puzzled by our distinct lack of Christmas cheer. But I had to let you know, because it’s true, and also because I’m selfish and weak and can’t deal with these feelings by myself anymore.
MC: Claire, I…I really cherish our friendship, and you are SO amazing, but…
YT: Yeah, I know. I know all that, except possibly for the amazing part. And I know you don’t love me the way I love you. I ALSO know that it’s incredibly unfair to dump this on you, especially during the holidays.
MC: <weak noises of obligatory protest> I don’t know what to say to that.
YT: You have a husband and kids (I suspect the latter is the sole reason for the continued presence of the former). And, of course, you have me, showering you with the sort of flirtatious adoration you can safely absorb without consequence because you assume (and rightly so) that I will never act on my feelings for you. But I wanted you to know, in case I’m run over by a milk truck or bludgeoned with a shovel by some maniac.
(At this point, MC’s husband, having overheard our conversation on his way to the bathroom, bludgeons me with a shovel)
And that is why (among other reasons) this conversation will not – cannot – ever happen. Part of loving someone, I think, is preserving them from the kind of deep hurt that follows in the wake of a revelation like this…and there would be plenty. So, we will maintain our friendly, flirty brand of symbiotic interaction, and I will try to bend the power of my most reliable tool (my brain) toward vanquishing my most fickle (my heart).
Also, I am adverse to being brained with garden tools.