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 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.