Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Superficiality - Guilty or Not? Or Am I Human?


I have to point out that I am spiteful and that I hold a grudge far longer than anyone I know.  That said, I’d like to talk about why.  I’m a loner.  I always have been.  I have only had one best friend at a time, starting when I was five.  I met my first best friend at our neighbor’s chicken coop.  I was watching the chickens while my dad was at the barn getting fresh milk.  This little girl comes up to me (the farmer’s granddaughter) and asks me if I want to be her best friend.  We were inseparable for seven years.  When we entered junior high she became popular and I did not.  She hung out with the cheerleaders and sports groups.  I hung out with nerds and outsiders.  What’s funny is that I never held that against her.  I still smiled and waved to her in the halls, and as we became adults we always spoke when we ran into each other.  She was the best first best friend a girl could ask for.

No, I’m not sure when I started holding grudges but it was definitely after I started dating.  In my senior year I lost my virginity and the guy I lost it to.  My best friend at the time was a geek like me.  Not such a loner (she really didn’t have the dark, sad look that I had and couldn’t pull it off), she had lost her first boyfriend through a tragic car accident.  When my ex asked her out she came to me all excited and asked if it was ok.  I told her that it would be, as long as I didn’t have to hear all the gory details.  She told me all the gory details and I promptly walked away from her- forever.  I tried to get back in touch with her later on just to see how life was treating her but she made her life sound too busy to really give me a straight answer so I never got back to her.

I have held grudges and then let them go.  This includes my brother’s ex-girlfriend.  We did everything together – shopping, partying, clubbing, heart-to-hearts – it was great and I never loved any of my friends like I loved her.  Then she decided to get married, and I was the person she asked to spend her last night as a single girl with.  Then she moved away, started having babies, and made new friends.  Did I resent that?  I guess I did.  We barely spoke and it’s only now, after several years of being back in the neighborhood, do we keep in contact and see each other.

I’ve gone through several jobs in the last couple of years.  Not because I was fired or laid off, but because the pain of going to a job where one’s voice didn’t matter anymore hurt too much and the way staff were treated was abominable.  I had been there for ten years and made some really good friends, or so I thought, until I left and worked elsewhere.  One of my very best friends, yes, I said best, didn’t even show up at my barbeque last year after I had spoken with her two days before to confirm.  At that point she was saying that she would absolutely be there.  She never showed up or called.  At this point I had been gone from that employment for one year.  I had kept in touch with them, visited, emailed, called.  I should have known something wasn’t right the last time I stopped in there.  She sat at her desk while I visited with other staff and she kept her head down.  She wouldn’t even look at me.  I never went back, and a couple weeks later she fired a woman she had worked with for years.

What bothers me is that she didn’t talk to me.  We were such good friends, or at least I thought we were.  I realize that I was no longer part of her work environment but we used to get together to eat once in a while.  We partied at each other’s home, we knew each other’s children, we even took their phone calls if the other was busy.  I don’t know if I did something wrong, or if I offended her in some way.  She took one of my other friends with her (I know this sounds very 8th grade, but it’s how it really happened).  She brought her in to volunteer to cover for the person she fired.  That friend hasn’t really spoken to me since either, just a phone call by me at Thanksgiving.  I had also called her to see if she wanted to scrapbook with me, but she told me she couldn’t afford it, so no, she did not want to go.  She was very short with me and I knew then that I was out of the loop.

I miss my friends.  I miss the camaraderie and the silliness. The other day I realized that I had been un-friended on Facebook.  It was then that I realized that what I was doing in my life no longer mattered to her.  The other friend, the one she took with her, will speak to my boyfriend and ask him for favors, but will not call me or try to engage in conversation when we run into each other.  Not that I do, either.  Work friendships are just that, friends from work.  Once you leave you can’t go back, unless you offer to help out, and I just can’t so I lose.  The only thing is, they do too.

So am I spiteful?  I guess I am.  But I think maybe I’m a little more wary of superficial friends.  If one isn’t true, then I don’t want it.  And I guess they don’t either.