To Future Friends

Posted on Saturday, December 12, 2009

I believe we all have a friendship style, and mine is very low key. I’ve never been the kind of person with dozens of friends buzzing around, friends for every type of occasion. I have more often found myself with just a few, good friends at any given time. Sometimes they’ve been available to me; sometimes not, so I have concurrently come to rely upon and enjoy my own company. I’m just as happy to go to a restaurant or a movie all by myself as I am with others. I’ve never understood people who endure the company of people that they later spend their time picking apart rather than just going solo. For some people, clearly, that “picking apart” is part of the fun. In fact, I could see myself falling into that unkind habit, so it’s just as well that I don’t pursue a lot of shallow friendships.

Last year, I lost a good friend and I still don’t know why. She suddenly—quite suddenly—decided to sever contact, and has never responded to any of my attempts to communicate with her since then. I’ve gone over our final, cordial email exchange dozens of times to try to discover something that could have offended her. Nothing. One minute we were making plans to get together that evening, the next she no-showed me and now no longer responds to my calls or emails. It’s a puzzle, but it’s not a tragedy. After all, the last thing I want to do is pressure someone into continuing a friendship if their heart is not in it. Still, it hurts that I don’t know what happened after all these years.

This year, I lost another good friend. In this case though, it was my choice. This person has been a huge part of my family’s life in recent years, but, recently, I came to my attention that she holds a very low opinion of my husband. I certainly don’t require my friends to also be my husband’s friends, but I also don’t feel like I can invest time in a friendship with someone who believes, after observing one unfortunate incident, that the man I’ve lived with and who has loved and supported me for more than 20 years is a Bad Person (I’m not sure if she believes him to be evil, but it might go that far). Even if that weren’t a deal breaker (which it is), she also allowed her opinion to make its way, albeit indirectly, to my son. And that, I’m afraid, is simply unforgivable (not that she feels any regret about that happening anyway). My son and my husband have a complicated relationship as it is, and I don’t need to bring any adults into the mix who are going to disrupt the work we’ve done to establish a peaceful family. No.

So, anyway, it’s getting a bit lonely around here. Luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some new people and try some new things. In fact, I think it’s getting easier to meet potential friends now that kids are getting older and people seem to have a bit more time. We shall see.

8 Response to "To Future Friends"

Margaret Says:

Toxic "friends" are not real ones anyway and I share your anger that this person would DARE to interfere in your family relationships. None of her effing business!! I hope you consider me a friend, albeit an internetish sort of one and you know I'm always up for a coffee at Beyond the Bridge. P.S. The other situation would drive me utterly nuts. I would feel compelled to know WHY.

Op Says:

Honey, you know you are my best friend on the planet! That will NEVER change! I can't wait to see you later this month in Keizer and then in WA. We have lots of time, and could spend it with cheap champas and oreos(FLASHBACK 1984)!!! LOL

Danger Panda Says:

Margaret, you are an EXCELLENT friend! And, yes, I'm looking forward to seeing you for coffee one of these days soon. Looks like I'll be doing either a stint of student teaching or long-term subbing here soon and I need to pick your brain about classroom management. I need the benefit of your experience.

OP--what do you mean "cheap" champas"? My recollection is that Faithie spent a pretty penny for what we managed to polish off in just a couple of hours! So, yes, let's do that--with or without the oreos!

Anonymous Says:

Please count me among your friends - albeit a distant and "older" one. You have been "family" since ... forever. Wishing you enough . . . d/mom

Danger Panda Says:

Thank you, d. Of course I count you! Yes, family indeed!

Fran Says:

"I’m just as happy to go to a restaurant or a movie all by myself as I am with others". You are not alone Panda! Here's the other one.
I even prefer to be on my own.
Friends! I no longer believe in friends, I think you only can say that you have good acquaintance. 28 years ago I experienced the same as you. I also lost a very good friend, and I still don't know why. When I called her, (her daughter answered the phone) she wouldn't come to the phone. Her daughter said that she was working upstairs. I asked to call me back. I never heard from her again. We also tried to find out if we'd offended her but we couldn't find something.
I've learned my lesson, I only rely on my self. I think, if you are really good friends then you must talk if you feel offended.
Yes, and even after all these years it still hurts also me. But, I think by myself, if I have offended her, then I did it not on purpose. Nobody is perfect!

Cherie Says:

Hey, don't forget your friends in Salem. We may not have the opportunity to get together very often, but I still talk about 'my friend Kris in Seattle', and everyone knows who I mean...

JoJo Says:

I've had people cut me out, and I've done the same. Sometimes the chemistry just isn't right.

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