June 11, 2011

Friendship is a two-way street

We were tight.  And when I say "tight" I mean "tight!"


We met at the office - lo, these many years ago.  Turned out we lived in the same neighborhood; we had much in common.  A friendship was born.

The kind where we talked on the phone every day - even though we saw each other at the office daily.  The kind where we just dropped in (nearly every day) at each other's houses and who cared if one or the other was in their pajamas.  The kind where even my mother was jealous of our friendship because she feared this woman was taking her place as mother/grandmother (what can I say - my mom had issues).

We were TIGHT.

When she decided to move to North Carolina to be with her son and his new family, I was heart-broken; but I understood - she wanted to be a "hands on" grandmother.  When the opportunity arose for us to move to the East Coast, I lobbied hard for North Carolina.  Hubby agreed that NC was as good a spot as any since it was the half-way point between his family in New York and Florida (not that anyone ever stops here.....) and the climate was (supposedly) temperate.

I informed him that I didn't mind up-rooting myself and moving half-way across the country for him but I was damned if I was going to start over in a place where I didn't know a soul.

So, of course, we ended up here.  With my friend.

It was wonderful - we spent much time together.  Pretty much every day.  And the daily phone calls resumed.  She was a fixture in Man-Child's life.

Then?

Then she met someone.  I was happy for her.  Ecstatic, even.  He was a great guy - there was some baggage involved (isn't there always?), but still.  He was good for her.

But we noticed she began drifting away.  She wasn't as much a part of our lives anymore.  Man-Child complained.  I complained to Hubby.  He agreed.  She was beginning to live her life in his back pocket (not at his demand, I might add).

It was like she had turned into a high school girl all over again.  Girl meets guy.  Girl falls in love with guy.  Girl dumps all her friends for guy.

We figured this stage would pass.  Because surely, they were mature adults, and sooner or later they'd get sick of each other's constant company.

Eventually, he asks her to marry him.  She said yes.  We were ecstatic for her - he's such a great guy.  We loved him.

In the meantime, nothing changes.  She is still in his back pocket.  Nothing can convince her that she should get out - spend time with friends.  She's immersed in her new life.

With a heavy heart, I admit defeat.  I move on with my life.  Making new friends and carrying on; but still reserving a special place for her (and her new family) in my heart - because, in my mind, she is family.

Fast forward thirteen years later.....and this is what I see on FaceBook?


Why would I presume to think this might be directed at me?  Maybe because the morning after this post, she called me just to "chat".  I hadn't heard from her since I don't know when.  I hadn't seen her, despite the fact that she only lives five minutes up the road.

Now, after all this time, I'm the bad guy?  Seriously?!

In the past thirteen years, I have left my heart open and kept the friendship on the table.  If she needed me, I was there - all she needed to do was let me know.  She never did.

But now - it seems that because I haven't called the disinterested party as often or taken an active part in her life (because I wasn't asked to!) I'm the one that just drifted away.

Never-mind the fact that for the past thirteen years, she has forged a new life - which I did not begrudge her.

Will I let her back in?  Of course.  There is no question.  

But am I going to be the one dropping everything and scrambling to make our friendship what it used to be?  No.

I understand that she is at a point where she is looking around and realizing that something is lacking in her life and wants things to go back to the way they were (how do I know - because whatever she happens to be thinking gets posted to FaceBook; it's the only way I know anything anymore about her life).  Unfortunately, they can't.  We aren't the same people we used to be - our lives are vastly different now and our needs for a friendship have changed.

Am I hurt (and a little angry)?  Yes.  It disturbs me that she is not seeing where she was wrong in this; no, I'm not saying it's all her fault - but she's not taking any responsibility either.

Will I try to be the bigger person?  Yes, but it won't be easy.  And I'm still not going to be doing all the heavy lifting here - but maybe I can meet her halfway.

10 comments:

  1. I hear you, Gigi. It happens; people change, and it seems to happen to everyone over the years. I had a girlfriend and we were super close for decades, and for whatever reason, she didn't want to continue our friendship and shut me out. I missed her for a long time, and last year I called her. She told me she had been going through some terrible times with a guy and it had nothing to do with me. But we couldn't ignite the old spark again. I missed her for a long time, but now we are both different.

    Interesting and thoughtful post. Thank you.

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  2. Well, I certainly know how you feel. I have friends that I love dearly that I feel elt down by lately. But- I had a thought: read the note with a different attitude. Read as her saying, "I miss you, yeah you, the one I'm talking about. I realize I feel alone and don't like it." Maybe she's pointing the finger at HERSELF and not you. Obviously it's a sore spot, because your heart still hurts from her abandonment. Maybe she just had a light-bulb moment.... call her later in the week and see what happens.

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  3. I think she is just missing your friendship, sometimes you just wake up one day and realize, "wow. how did that happen".

    I understand where you're coming from too, but as a friend who lost a friend FOREVER, it doesn't matter whose fault, be happy for another chance! Laugh, love and have fun.

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  4. Oh Gigi, when I move to NC I am totally friend stalking you! I have a friemd that I adore, she is like a sister to me but a new man in her life has changed things. He is great, encourages us to do things, she just doesn't want to be more than five feet from him! I love her so much that I find myself jumping into the middle of their life, just to spend time with my friend. It's hard, and I don't like it but otherwise I would never see her.

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  5. It's amazing how sometimes "life" gets in the way of what really matters and friendships blur around the edges. With today's technology it is amazing how many friends I find now scattered across the world and how much regret fill my heart when I realize I let those friendships slip away over the years. None are as close as down the street but I wish they were... It's hard to give someone another shot when they have burned you before, but time does change people and you can never know if it's for the better until you give them a chance.

    Good luck--VB

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  6. Hey Gigi - how come I can't highlight your blog? Is that my browser or have you clicked a setting on yours that disallows that - I wanna know.
    I think you can count yourself lucky - here's why - I have one friend in particular that's drifted away - BUT she did so b'c I said mean things. I don't know WHAT mean things - and I would rather not know b'c she can't seem to forgive it. I also am kindof LIKE her hubby who she's divorced and I'm sure she doesn't want someone LIKE that in her life again.
    Oh - and I would think that you need to clear the air in person with her - you know what the word says - when you are offended by someone - go to them and tell them. Well you could grind off the edges before maybe - but you could just inform her of what you've said here - I mean really - why would she be able to waltz back in as if nothing had happened and that she was not GONE for the last 13 years - I don't think you can totally IGNORE that fact. So you go goil ... or as I like to say - "Take my advice - I'm not using it" LOL! Happy weekend.

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  7. Gosh, how many times have I heard this same story. Girl meets boy, girl get head stuck up boy's a$$. Girl forgets all about friends that were around LONG before boy. Happens ALL the time, Gigi. You are NOT alone.

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  8. I know what you mean! It is really hard to keep friendships alive. My best friend feels that (even though she hasn't said it in a while)I don't call her enough and I probably don't. I work ...she doesn't so when I get home I've got tons to do and I'm tired. I do call and try to get together with her on my Spring breaks and the summer but lots of times she's busy with one of her grandkids. So it really is a struggle. I'm glad that you are willing to take her back. I would talk to her about it though. Good luck and keep us posted!

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  9. I understand completely - I've had several friendships go this way the past few years. It really hurts. My husband tells me to just let it go but it's not that easy.

    Good luck!

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  10. Maybe it wasn't directed at you but she had realised that she missed you?
    Sorry she has hurt you.
    I saw something similar on FB last week. x

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