I recently realized why humans shrink as we age—why we begin to slump forward and walk with difficulty—and the reason is: years and years of carrying the weight of past flames, grudges, grievances, ideals, and infatuations on our backs. We keep adding and hardly ever subtract. We’d rather squeeze every last drop from our relationships until finally those bridges collapse and we have no choice but to move on. Ah, to be human and fallible.
This list contains highlights of people who have found it too easy to unearth old phone numbers from their contact lists, and who have chosen to instantly indulge in feelings that would naturally pass if given a couple seconds more. These are people who keep folding and squeezing the toothpaste to get a bit more. They collect souvenirs, coupons, and cringes from the people around them—and they’re near you right now.
15 You wild tho
The politics of sharing Netflix accounts becomes a little fuzzy when the messiness of relationships is in the mix, but I’m pretty sure this unprecedented response is wholly and completely inappropriate. I don’t know if I’m impressed or horrified by the gutsiness of it. It couldn’t hurt to ask, could it? The new season of Black Mirror is definitely worth the humiliation.
Personally, though, I would cap the sheepish request for the new Netflix password at a month post-breakup. Within a month, there’s still some residual feelings for each other, perhaps some empathy—perhaps more pity than empathy—and it’s much more likely that sharing Netflix won’t seem so weird since you were just so close with that person. But a whole year? You’d expect the other person to have their life together enough by then that they could at least find someone else’s account to mooch off of.
14 When a lot of effort only goes a little way
What do you do when you have an incredible gut-busting joke like this, but you don’t have any friends who like Ed Sheeran and who would fully appreciate the biting humour of it? You have to pull from the archives, and yeah, that means sending it to your Uber driver who tossed off a comment about liking his music just to fill the silence and hopefully get a five-star rating.
By the uncalled for, harsh nature of the Uber driver’s response, however, I do think there is more to this iMessage conversation than it appears. Something tells me there are many more messages that have preceded this one. Honestly though, the only way you could be mad at such a wonderfully cheesy joke is if you’ve cried an unhealthy amount to the album.
13 From lovers to LinkedIn
You can stop worrying if that text you sent too late one night made you seem irreversibly pitiful, because I bet it is still nowhere near this bad. We have just found rock bottom! When you have to resort to a social platform designed for professional networking just to get into contact with someone and beg them to unblock you, sweetie, it’s time to let it go.
Understandably, every social media platform has made it a billion times harder to let people go. You can either see what they’re doing, saying, reading, watching, or you can see where they are, who they’re with, and what connections they’re making without you. On LinkedIn, at least people are notified when others are creeping your profile; imagine if every platform had the same feature… we’d all soon learn how psychotically clingy we truly are.
12 How to lose weight and keep it off
This one has me sweating. Yes, having your food stolen is the absolute worst feeling in the world, especially when the thief lies to your face about it and you can smell the perfect blend of spices you personally curated lingering on their stinking breath. But to first even have the thought to search up their MyFitnessPal account, then actually do it, and then write a very public and direct note to them and leave it at the scene of the crime—well that is the making of a true grudge-holder, exacting a passive-aggressive revenge on those who have crossed them in order to quell their insatiable attachment to the wrongs of their past.
Whoever wrote this note made the decision that burning a bridge and consequently creating an eternally uncomfortable workplace situation is better than buying a quick lunch and labelling their food in the future. Okay, okay, I kind of agree.
11 Tom, I see through you
Tom, this is inexcusable. You had enough money to get a new phone and plan, but not enough money to get a new charger? Nope! I’ll tell you what this really is: it’s a Trojan horse. Tom is using a pitiful disguise to enter his ex’s life, and if she fell for it, then he would destroy her in battle and he would win the long, hard-fought war and his story would be told for centuries.
Thankfully, we’ve got a thinker here. She didn’t even try to take a stab at who it could possibly be asking her such a ludicrous question. She was probably using his charger as they were having this conversation, laughing deviously at his inability to let her go.
10 Let's all leave "stingray" in the past
This is a story of success—someone who had a really hard time letting go of the death of our beloved Crocodile Hunter, but was ultimately able to put aside his anger and choose forgiveness and love. He recognized that fighting fire with fire is never the answer, and that “water pancake” is a much better name than whatever everyone else calls them. What could a water pancake do to anyone? Flop around and make you feel all warm inside, that’s what.
What everyone really needs to let go of is blaming animals for attacking humans who do things that are specifically threatening to those animals. Look what happened to Harambe! He was in the running to become President of the United States post-mortem, that’s how bad people felt.
9 Hey you, let it go!
Ah yes, the classic “Hey you,” a cousin of the even more atrocious, “Hey stranger,” both offspring of the “Hey,” dynasty of people who won’t let things go.
Perhaps it is exactly because they are holding on to too much that they don’t have any free hands to take a hint! I’m really curious as to how someone can rationalize sending more messages after being ignored for more than a year—if someone ignores me for a week, I basically cut them out of my life. Did they think the other person was just really busy? Broke all their fingers? Preferred pining for them in silence? Wanted to reply but was held hostage in another relationship? Had bad service and never received the messages? Were waiting for a certain number of messages to respond? Might’ve recently reconsidered? Chances are slim, and slimming.
8 They're both enjoying this a little bit
It seems there’s a lot to be let go of in this loving exchange between two pals. Being told to move on and “forget me” would be absolutely infuriating; what kind of person has an ego that annoying large? But comparing someone to trash cans and dog feces isn’t coming from much higher ground; you clearly haven’t moved on if you’ve still got canons full of these types of brilliantly biting comebacks.
There should really be couples’ breakup therapy, and I really feel that I should be the moderator. Is it coming from a shallow place of wanting to hear more stinging clapbacks? Absolutely, but I still think I’d do a pretty good job of giving them advice; at the end of every session, before they hand over $250, I’d whisper to them both, “let it go.”
7 Don't blow i—aw, too late.
This deserves a monumental slow clap. It was so close to being sweet, so close to sounding genuine—but it’s just another white lie... you know, because cocaine. The idea of “the one that got away” is such a classic indulgence in holding on to things that are better left alone, but, to me, this looks more like a “the one that knew they deserved better” type of situation.
Try and find an emotional texting rant that doesn’t end in “lol,” I dare you. We are incapable of letting ourselves be completely vulnerable even when we’re literally trying to communicate our most vulnerable feelings, lol. At least whoever received this text can feel good knowing that they made the right choice all those years ago.
6 Several layers of things to let go
The time stamps on these messages alone are enough to make any sympathetic person cringe, but this person tried everything they could to keep their grip fastened on this non-existent relationship. It’s like they knew that they were basically yelling into the abyss and but wanted to make sure there was absolutely no one on the other side by sending out highly provocative messages.
It took more than a minute to realize that Adam Sandler’s career took a turn for the worst? That’s infuriating! And why would you ask if someone would pick up if you called instead of just calling to find out? The secret of wanting to call is out—might as well just do it. And the whole thing about not crying at their grandfather’s funeral… well, there’s a bit too much to be unpacked in the time we’re sharing right now.
5 Merry Christmas, capiche?
A certain white heterosexual cisgender male needs to let go of the past he was so comfortable with! Times have changed, old man, and you have to accept that little Tommy doesn’t want any of your stereotypical male sports gifts; no, he wants a miniature figurine of the queen of queer, the one and only: Lady Gaga. And he’s willing to go to lengths for it, including ruining Christmas for everyone else, because Santa certainly wouldn’t be able to slide down all those chimneys with two broken legs. Tommy is quite serious, he knows where Santa lives—probably a bad move on Mr. Claus’s part to make that information so public—and he’s not afraid to call out ignorant behavior as he sees it. Watch out Santa, kids these days aren’t like anything you’ve seen, and it’s going to take much more than throwing some conventionally gendered gifts at them.
This one confuses me, because it doesn’t seem like there was anything between the two to begin with, yet it’s still difficult for this person to let it go. I wish it was in some way physically impossible for exchanges like this to occur, that the laws of physics somehow restricted messages from people like this to travel through the air and to your phone.
It’s clear from the last message that this person knows they should let go, but wants to give it one last go with a catastrophic bang. It’s all over the place; gross, sad, a hint of ADD, a more than peculiar curiosity, and a general “oh no,” quality to it all. Are they trying to show that they are a productive early-riser? Are they empty because of all the bodily matter they just expelled, or emotionally? Are they offering to buy the tacos? All important questions.
3 We hope they're doing well
This is something I personally struggle with letting go of, especially because there have been more than a few times where I’ve given someone directions and continued walking in the opposite direction of where I directed them, only to stumble upon what they were looking for and become overwhelmed with guilt and concern. They really could be anywhere right now, lost and confused, wandering eternally east, when they should really have been going west. I like to convince myself that, because of me, they ended up being somewhere they would have never gone. Then they bumped into the love of their lives, who then helped guide them to the place they originally meant to go. And when they renew their vows at the age of 86, purely to celebrate being married for 50 years, they’ll tell the story of how one of them was lost, but the other made them feel found.
2 Clinging to an illusion
People get attached to the weirdest things, like the shape of meat, the colour of a coffee cup, a person they met once who only gave them their number because of how much alcohol they’d consumed, or a statue of a Confederate General—things that are useless, wasteful, and easy to discard (zinger!). It’s best to be hit with the truth, publicly and humiliatingly; Cooper Franklin deserved Wendy’s big ol’ square slice of sarcastic pie.
You may have noticed, there’s a trend among the things that people have a hard time letting go of: the things people hold onto most tightly are lies. Relationships, the idea of conventional genders, any sort of romantic interest, a sense of justice, how “natural” fast-food is—people want them so bad, they’ll never let go.
1 A lifelong struggle
What you see here is an entire lifetime of one brother begging the other to let it go. Twins have a hard-enough time dealing with the fact that one is born first—the older one always the first to let people know who’s older—but this is a whole new level of competition.
Those three minutes of being a different age will probably be hellish for them when they’re trying to own the year they were born (unfortunately the one born in 2017 will be more than a little disappointed) but soon they’ll realize that, in fact, nobody wants to hear about their birthdays because everyone just wants to go out and celebrate New Years on December 31st, and stay inside watching movies and nursing hangovers on January 1st. Even you cared about this weird phenomenon for the five seconds it took to process the picture, and now you're ready to let it go.