You’re Dead to Me

My grandmother’s eldest sister took up with goyim. Married a Catholic or something. Grandma remembers being not very old when she came by one day and Poppa wouldn’t let her in the door. He said, “You’re dead to me. Never come back.” He came to regret it later, but that’s another story.

Say it once or twice: “you’re dead to me.” It’s an odd phrase. It almost makes you feel dead.

[Photo: Flickr, DashingYankee]

Are you dead to anyone? I know I am, but I’m not entirely sure to whom. When you’re dead to someone, you don’t always get a formal statement, a doorway confrontation, a goodbye ceremony with bell, book and candle. I’d say, rarely. You just stop calling and they stop calling and nobody picks up the friendship and it dies.

No bedside vigil. No funeral. No sobbing relatives, no memorial service. Just… gone.

4 thoughts on “You’re Dead to Me”

  1. my husband has declared a couple people dead to him. it gives me the giggles. of course, they’re people he can’t totally avoid, so the statement is meaningless since he does still have to acknowledge their “alive-ness.” my husband also uses other silly phrases i thought only people in movies used. things like, “you want to dance? let’s dance” and “now i do for me” when he’s angry. i have to fight the laugh that burbles up so as not to incur his wrath. but seriously, who says shit like that??


  2. I love the phrase, partly because it sounds, as EM said, like something people say in movies. But also because it’s got this strangely heavy baggage. So I’ve been playing with it lately, but only in situations where it’s easy and doesn’t matter. “Floyd Landis. Phht. He’s dead to me.” I’m thinking maybe of trying it out on Paris Hilton because of that whole drunk driving thing. But it’d be hard to use on a real person.


  3. Now that I think about it, I’m not even dead to that one girl who hated me so much she wouldn’t let her boyfriend talk to me anymore (you know the one). ‘Cause if I were really dead to her, she wouldn’t have to prune me so thoroughly out of her life– I’d just be dead.

    I still want to see her one day and just say, “120 dollars, huh?” And nothing else.


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