We've been friends a long time, let's say we call it quits?

I was driving to a friends, to feed her cats, while she is away, and I was listening to a political commentator talking about spin and how we love to hate our politicians. And then I was driving home, listening to 3 commentators about which cities they loved and hated. Finally, on the way home from the grocery store, I listened to the child of holocaust survivor. Who talked about refusing to hate. Hate has been on my mind, of late. And it's a word we throw around a lot. I hate onions and cooked spinach. I hate my computer when it does that. I hate. . .

I was having this conversation at the hairdressers. About this person that I wish I really hadn't met. And frankly, I could do without her in my life.

"Mrs. Spit, you just don't like her."

Sigh. "You're right."

And with those words leaving my mouth, I felt both a weight lift from my very soul, and a terrible dread. What does it mean to be a person who just doesn't like someone? What does it mean when you look at this person, and think they just aren't the greatest of people? And that because of who they married, and how they are connected to you, you have to put up with them, at least on some level, but, honest to goodness, you just don't like them?

Because you just don't, can't make yourself like them? When you throw up your hands and say when I met you, I expected to like you. And I have tried, valiantly, vainly, and possibly beyond the realm of sensible. Five years. I have tried to find common ground, find the good and the nice in her. I just don't like her. And I have to confess, damn I'm tired of trying. Would someone tell me when I can pack it in without feeling like I should have tried harder?

The cashier was less than charming at the grocery store last night. I didn't hate her, but I did make a mental note to avoid her line next time. I suppose I could easily say I didn't like her. . .

But I didn't lay awake last night. I don't feel guilty telling you I didn't care for the cashier.

But, it comes down to this. I don't like this woman, that I would still tell you was my friend, if you asked. I'm not entirely sure why I don't like her - perhaps she's too blunt, too cold, too self absorbed, perhaps she's too negative, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. Perhaps I could just throw up my hands, and say 'poor social skills'. On both our parts. And maybe all of that is true.

I could tell you all of the things this person has done. And I suppose I could make a good case, and I'm aware, with the power of my words, maybe I could make you dislike her too? But, if I am fair, I'm not entirely sure that she likes me that much either. Honesty compels me to admit that she could probably make a case to you about not liking me, either. I don't actually know if she likes me, I mean really, how do you start that conversation. "Hey, I don't like you much, I think you don't like me, and how about we cut out the farce and just admit we don't like each other . . ."

I don't have a million friends, but generally speaking, I don't dislike people. A few. It's rare for me to meet you and actively dislike you. I suppose we could really call it what it is - it's beyond active dislike. I don't hate, her, I won't hate her. She's not evil, she's not a monster, even though I don't particularly care for her behaviour. Loathing maybe?

And I come back to this - how do I love my neighbour, when I don't like her? And why do I feel so guilty about just saying that I don't like her?