This post was written in my head Saturday evening at 5 pm as my family and I sat down to dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, only to see my ex-best-friend parade in with her husband, toddler, and infant….landing at a table 4 feet diagonal from me. This is the kind of bullsh*t that happens to me all the time. I can’t leave my house without being punished with a bitch former co-worker I never wanted to lay eyes on again, a former screwoff classmate who’s now rich while I’m poor, or basically any human that knew me before this day today. I don’t want to see any of them. I want to pretend that was all nightmares, or science-fiction-esque life memories implanted into my brain to terrorize me. But apparently I am doomed to literally run into my past at every instance I believe I’ve outrun it.
So there she was; the girl I went to summer camp with, the friend I watched SNL and Mystery Science Theater 3000 with until our stomachs practically broke from laughing so hard, my best friend from age 13 to 29…who I stopped speaking to three years ago.
In all honesty, our friendship was over long before that. When I left my fiancé at age 23, she wasn’t there for me, and I never really forgot it. She didn’t ask me what happened, or rally support, or do basically anything you would expect a friend to do at the worst moment of your life. When I quit my job and ended up unemployed for 4 years, she was nowhere to be found. When the second most important relationship of my life ended, she was mysteriously absent once again. And when I was in Nashville carrying out a plan to kill myself, she didn’t even know I was gone.
Writing all of this makes me wonder how I still considered her my “Best Friend.” Is it because she just always was, and I never thought to re-title her? Or because I was maid of honor at her nuptials? Maybe it was because I was the one she called when her baby was in the hospital with pneumonia. I don’t know what I was hanging onto for so long, but I eventually DID let go.
I let go of the idea that she was going to one day become the friend that I needed. The friend who would be there for me. The friend who is there in good times…or bad times…or either, really, cuz she sucked at both. It’s not that I didn’t give her chances. Many. It’s not that I didn’t tell her how I felt; this was my reward for doing that:
“The fact is, that like most adult friendships, I don't have a lot of time to give. I'm sorry, but my job consumes 90% of my life during the school year. What little energy I have left I have to give to my son and my husband. I feel incredibly guilty that my son spends 9 1/2 hours of his day at daycare. I want to give him every free moment I have. So, unfortunately, dinner every once in awhile is all I have to give. I don't think this is all that uncommon among adult friendships.”
And STILL I gave it one more year after THAT!!! God, I am such a doormat. The final straw had to do with Austin, the place I moved to in the first place because none of my friends back home gave two fu*ks about me. At my little going-away get-together, my 2 high school friends basically invited themselves to come stay with me over Spring Break. Come November, one backed out; whatever. Then a month before she was set to come, my ex-bestie tells me she can’t afford the trip.
Bulllllllllllllshit, is what I say. $300 bucks to come stay at my apartment for free, a luxury beyond her grasp? As she posts on Facebook about getting a mani/pedi with the friend she’s blowing thousands to go on a Hawaii couples’ vacation with, forking over hundreds to do Ferrell’s and dye her hair blond in preparation for? The same friend she goes to midnight showings of Twilight with, you know, who couldn’t be bothered for an hour dinner with me once a year?
And why am I still angry about this sh*t? I haven’t seen her in 4 years, and I would have been content for it to have been much longer. A friend-ship is like any other relation-ship: there is the person who is actually before us (who we are usually incapable of seeing), and the person we wish-want-hope would be before us. And there comes a day of reckoning when we accept that the image is hollow.
Her last e-mail to me stated, “Now you've decided to shut me out for whatever reason, but I feel I deserve one last communication.” SHE deserves? She never got that last communication.
I don’t mind being the petty one, or the stone cold bitch; I’ll be the one with the problem. Cuz you know what, I don’t have to sit around wondering why she doesn’t give a sh*t about me anymore, and she doesn’t have to come up with excuses to blow me off. Win-win.