Monday, May 17, 2010

On Friendship

Friendships tend to come and go through life.  Whether you want them to or not, people you care about tend to move on and little by little you realize that they went from being your best friend to being no more than a mere acquaintance that used to be your best friend.

I'm currently without a local best friend.  It's kind of a weird, floundering place to be. I know lots of people and have lots of casual friends, but I'm used to having one best friend who is my "go to" person. She is usually the person I can chat with about any topic, large or small.  I have known my last, local best friend for almost 6 years.  She lived around the corner...Then she got a new boyfriend, and started working full time, and moved away. Granted, it was only across town, but evidently, it was far enough away to be an issue. We limped along for another year, but the 30 minute versus 5 minute drive was obviously too much for us.  The last time we really spent time together was last summer when she had surgery and I went to the hospital to hang with her and bring her coffee. 

I have recognized where this was going for awhile. I just hoped it would never actually happen, or that the tailspin would be reversed.  Now I realize that we are just two people who once knew each other intimately and are still pleasant to one another, but the actual day to day interaction is really over.  You are not best friends with someone when you are having surgery that they don't know about and didn't offer to help with.  You are not best friends with someone who will never have lunch with you, or remember that you made plans for St. Patrick's day (and then not call to follow through) or won't come to your house ever because it's too far and they are too busy.  Your best friend is supposed to call you at least every couple days...and if you call them they are supposed to call you back...not 1) don't answer 2) answer and say they call you back and then never do (for days and days).  This is not a best friend.

I know all this, yet I keep hanging around, thinking that we'll be friends again. We had a lot of fun, but the relationship has been far from perfect. I am a Christian and she is not.  She thinks the Bible is fake, and I do not.  She makes lots of choices over the years that I have disagreed with and I tried to change her mind, which always just made her mad.  I'm sure we were never actually meant to be friends and I shouldn't have tried so hard.  She lived down the street, our horses lived together and our kids played.  She was a horse person who never rode, and then her interest completely fizzled.  Her daughter was Maggie's best friend, but now she is in HS (two years older and 3 grades apart) and now they don't talk much either.

So, I have moved on...not expecting much anymore, but staying friendly.  I still care about her, but I recognize that while I may mourn, she has moved on. Some days it's hard though. Some days you really need that best friend and it really hurts when they aren't there for you.  Sometimes, it would be nice if she would just be there for me because I asked and just let all the excuses go for just one day, or part of one day.  I don't want to not consider her a friend and have her not consider me a friend...but it would be nice to feel like she was still there to go the extra mile for me occasionally.

I think this really hits me hard b/c I think I'm a pretty good friend.  I try to be there for others and compromise with others. Peter is always telling me I expect too much from others. I'm sure he's right. He must be since I constantly feel let down by those around me.

I have lots of good friends. I have a best friend, Karen in KY who I have known since 1997. I have a best friend Susan, in MO, with whom I have been friends since 1977.  I have lots of great friends in NATRC who I see and ride with and hang out with at CTR.  I have great riding friends.  Maggie and I have Christa and Michaela who suffer from living just a little too far away.  I have Betsy, who is an enormous pool of information on about any subject.  I have my good friend Teresa, with whom I enjoy riding and who made me the proud mom of my dog, Bonnie. I have Amy, who lives in Houston, but I manage to talk and email to almost every day...we just can't see each other b/c of geography. I have some local homeschool friends as well.  I just miss having that one person who always called me first to tell me everything and I reciprocated the same way. Maybe as we get older, having this type of friend is unusual and I just never knew it?

1 comment:

Tammy in TX said...

I know that feeling Alice. The last person I called "best friend" didn't see me as hers. She called someone else "BF". I was okay with that. But when our friendship finally desolved, she taught me a valuable lesson that I hope you can embrace the way I did. I learned that I am married to my best friend and have been for going on 22 years. Peter may not go riding with you or tack shopping with you, but he is your best friend. Don't get me wrong, I love my other friends, but David is the one that I can't see my life without.