We have all sorts of friends. Friends from our school days, friends from work, neighborhood friends and then our best friends. The ones that call us every day, if only for a quick check in. And, the ones that we talk to a few times a year, yet it seems like not a day has gone by once the conversation begins. Some of us have a multitude of acquaintances, which is nice, but truly have only a handful of what we’d consider close friends. The ones that know all our secrets, who have been their for us through thick and thin.
And of course, the needy friends who talk endlessly about themselves for half an hour and have to quickly end the conversation, when it’s your turn to share. We all have one or two of those friends. Which we don’t really seem to mind too much, if just listening is therapy for them, we can feel good that our one sided conversation somehow helped or may have improved their lives. Then there’s the friend with the same stories, complaining about his or her spouse or the kids or work, you name it, never taking your advice, but we know that allowing them to vent is what they really want and we are happy to provide this kind of friendship. And, my all time favorite, the friend that posts on social media things like, “I am such a giving person and will do anything for a friend. I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse.” Self praise indeed.
As we get older and hopefully more mature, we come to rely on and appreciated our Besties, as they call it now of days. They are the thick and thin ones. The friends that are first Responders, when tragedy strikes, the first ones to be there when we are sick or feeling sad. The ones that honor our friendship and we reciprocate in kind. The ones that truly care.
But what happens when the day comes and you discover that your Bestie is not your Bestie at all. It’s like a horrible break-up or you wonder, how could you have misjudged your friendship? When your Besties just dismisses you, like throwing out an old pair of shoes. How do you reason it out? How do you react. Did you miss the signs???? Did you say something unwittingly and are clueless as to what may have transpired. Or worse, you realized you are not the awesome friend you thought your were? Were you never their Bestie in the first place?
Well, it just happened to me and I must confess, I am heartbroken and feel foolish at the same time. My former Bestie, Fredrick is someone I spoke to each and every morning over our first cup of coffee. This went on for 8 years. Then suddenly Fredrick was MIA for two entire days. The home line did not have the capability to take messages, so my total of 6 calls over went unnoticed. No answer from the cell phone either. Now, two days may not seem like a long time to most people, however after talking to someone every day for 8 years straight, I was very much concerned. Finally on day 3, Fredrick called, saying simply, ‘Oh I was busy.” I explained that I was worried and had call several times to no avail. The response was that of annoyance, as the words rang in my ears “Don’t ever do that again!” “When I am missing 4 days or more, then get worried.” Duly noted, I thought to myself. The daily morning calls resumed. Okay, this must have been a one-off. No big deal, right? A week or so later, during a casual conversation Fredrick said, “Don’t You Get Snippy With Me!” Snippy? I didn’t know I had been snippy. I have never been called snippy before, but apparently, unbeknownst to me, I was snippy. I got a little chocked up and said I had to go and quickly ended the call. Later, I learned that this person is currently in-between jobs and the pressures had been mounting. I would have assisted in any way possible. Two weeks later, Fredrick called me to asked if I had cooled down. He had not detected the quiver in my voice two weeks prior and just thought I had hung up the phone on him. He explained that the 6 unnoticed calls where in fact 12 calls and where very much noticed by his roommate. And, that he did not yell the snippy thing to me…….Turns out, I was the insensitive jerk in this scenario.
Coincidentally, my dear friend Ginny recently shared with me a friendship gone awry story. She told me her girlfriend of over 20 years accused her of gossiping. Only later to say she was mistaken and it was NOT Ginny who had gossip at all………..yet she still advised Ginny to stop gossiping in the future. Now, that’s just crazy-making talk. What is it? Is there something in the air that I don’t know about? Is the world off kilter? Is there something in our food that is making people goofy?
Meanwhile, I continue to carry-on. I have family whom I know will love me to the ends of the earth and I will cherish and hold them close to my heart forever.
We are social people and need interaction with friends. We love our friends and losing them can feel much like a divorce. Friends are important, especially in these cyber times, when so many don’t even leave home and remain at their key board for hours upon hours.
Moral of my story, we need friends and cherish our friendships. Some friendships come and go and come back again. I don’t want to suggests that friendships are not near and dear to our hearts and it is important that mankind interact with one another in a positive way. But at the end of the day, what we really need is God and family, for it God and family that make us complete.