Recently a 7 year friendship ended. I did not choose to end it, it was her choice. And as a friend I’ll respect her choice and not argue or question her decision. Now, if it had been something I was at fault with I would happily apologize and ask what I could do to make it up to her. But it isn’t really that type of break. It’s a “I disagree with your choices and can no longer be associated with you” type of break.
So you see why I’m not going to put any effort into trying to “mend” the relationship. I will say I am surprised by her actions. She touts acceptance of others, Democrat, Vegan, Spirituality over Organized Religion, Yoga… you get the idea. Then makes this judgment out of excessive paranoia. Of course, she does have a bit of paranoia, which even she herself might admit. I’ve always attributed it to a lack of trust in people & her judgment of them. I watched it when she tried to date online. Whatever.
Amusingly this isn’t the first time a girlfriend has ended a friendship. (More amusingly I look back over my pattern and ALL my close girlfriends ended it with me, not me with them. And ALL my boyfriends I ended it with them, not them with me.) My longest friendship with a female friend was 10 years. Lydia Riehl. I met her when I was in high school. She was my boss at Baskin Robbins. 4 years older than I, we hit if off over common interests and the fact we looked like sisters in our uniforms! We stayed in contact when I went to college for 3 years and when I came back an eager to party 21 year old she would come with me to The Black Angus in Burbank (when it had a dance floor and was hip!) and we would party the night away 3 days a week.
She was originally from Alabama & had no family out here in SoCal so she often came to my family’s for holiday events. She’d moved here to try her hand at acting as so many do. But Fate was having none of that. After managing a Baskin Robbins store here and there she ended up working in the purchasing department of Hilton Corp. and is now (thank you Google! lol) VP of Op for Carver & Assoc a hospitality contract services company.
During our 10 year friendship we lived together for a year and I while she wasn’t my only friend and I wasn’t her only friend, we tried to stay in contact and hang out. (Amusingly, very similar to what I had with my last long term friend, Eithne.) But we were slowly growing apart toward the end of those 10 years. As I neared thirty and she surpassed it our interests were no longer very in sync. But she knew me and I knew her… or at least I thought so.
Then on her 31st (if my math is correct and I kinda suck at math!) birthday she invited a bunch of us to meet her at our current favorite watering hole (which is now a clothing shop.. go figure!) She invited me, my old roommate Ellen and some work friends. When Ellen and I got there, we saw Lydia seated at a big table with three people. So we sat down and we all started drinking and chatting. Ellen and I naturally start flirting with the one cute guy at the table. We, logically, assumed he is one of her work friends.
Long story short, I win. Duh. And take the cute guy home to play. Couple of days later I call her and leave a message on her machine. No reply, so after a bit I call again. No reply. So then after 10 days I leave a message, “Apparently you’re upset at me for some reason and I have no idea what it is! If you’re mad, at least talk to me so I can fix it!” Day 14 and she finally calls me.
Apparently the guy I took home wasn’t a co-worker. He was a man who’d come over to talk to her while she was sitting at the big table alone, waiting for us. And I’d stolen him. And somehow I was supposed to have known this. I profusely apologized and told her she could happily have him as my friendship with her meant more to me than he did. But she didn’t like the “new me.” (Back from Club Med, see previous post with pix 😉 See I’d discovered my inner entertainer was sick of being squelched and was OUT there!) and she felt the “old me” (more of a follower than a leader) would have known she was flirting with him.
I ran that last bit past Ellen who agreed if she was flirting maybe it was a Southern thing cuz she missed it too. But I then sat back and asked myself if I wanted to bend over backwards to repair the friendship. I did the whole pro/con list and came up with lots of “I do for her” stuff (I went to her, she never came to me. I was the one who did most of the relationship maintenance, etc.) and very little “she does for me” stuff. So I left it. I didn’t call her. And she left it. And we both moved on. (No doubt she did the same and felt my nagging need to get together wasn’t worth the effort. lol.)
And sometimes that’s what happens in any relationship. Okay… any ADULT relationship. Those who just cannot let go and stalk or harass, well, they are not adults. But we move on. We take the lessons that person helped us learn and we treasure them. We meet new people who are hear to teach us or be taught by us and the experience always enriches our lives.
I’ve always wished I could have held my oldest and middle son back a year in school, just like I did my youngest son. They would have had a better time of it in school. Their little brains would have developed more and sadly now it is too late. But if I’d done that I wouldn’t have met Eithne and we wouldn’t have been there for each other in the next 7 years. So in that way I cannot completely regret the choice, even if we are no longer friends.
The nice thing about a blog is often the desire to meet up with old friends is to show them your personal growth and see what growth they’ve done. Amusingly now that I have this forum, if anyone ever gets curious or wonders what Heather is doing now, they have only to read the blog. I felt that way about a certain man who’s friendship I treasured but had to break contact with. Made me excessively glad to learn recently he’d been reading it all this time. But that’s probably just my big ego!
And how do I know the friendship is over? She de-Friended me from her Facebook page. Took me almost a week to notice!