This post will be an ode of sorts to my old friend J, the person with whom I broke up on Friday. All the things I never said because I wanted to be nice and a good friend, since I did at many times enjoy her company, will now be said. If she will still read this blog, I cannot say for sure, but if she does and does not like what I have to say, tough titties.
First, let me relate to you the straw that broke the camel's back (the camel would be me in this scenario): Friday morning, I received an email from Miss J telling me that her parents were in town and did I want to have brunch on Sunday. Understand that this email was sent after three months of tense relations between us during which J. fired off the occasional message to see how I was doing and I replied and it was all very cordial/terse. See, she got herself a man back in February/March, T., for which I was happy because she really needed and deserved someone special. I had started to notice that we hung out less than before, and when we did, T. was coincidentally out of town. But when I invited her to a SummerStage event in August, and after saying yes, J. then decided to go to a museum with T. instead, I saw that we weren't hanging out because she spent all her weekends with him even though she often saw him during the week too, which to be fair, she told me outright. But see, he was, according to her, "nice", and I am, I know now, very mean chopped liver. A case of have boyfriend will leave girl(s) behind. Fair enough. Far be it from me to get in the way of destiny and love. So I stayed away thinking that when she was ready to see this friend again she would email or call and, well, we'd cross that bridge when we got to it.
Fast forward to Friday's email. I replied that my mom would be in town too and that we had plans for Sunday. J. replied that she had "given up" on trying to hang out with me because she thought I should take "a more problem-solving approach" to my life. She was referring to my bitching about my job, and other things when they weren't going right, and her perceived notion that I did not do anything about any of it. Note here that she says this to me about a week or so after I announced to her that I had secured a new job, which apparently went in one ear and quickly out the other. I will be the first to admit that, yes, I bitch and moan my fair share and beyond, but I certainly am not one to do nothing to solve the problem. Besides, if we did not bitch, why then were blogs invented? But this was definitely the comment that made my jaw drop: she said that she felt that her "only" job as my friend was to listen to me, and that any advice she would have offered would have made me mad, as if I were this beast who would turn even more beastly if she said something I didn't like. This made me feel like the most horrible person on earth, and I don't think I have resented any commentary more in my life. Honestly, if she were in front of me, I might have clocked her. Come to think of it, if she were in front of me, she wouldn't have said anything at all, and therein lies the problem. First of all, and I know she knew this even though she could really be annoyingly clueless at times, I listened to her a lot, too, even about things that were maddening to me, and for the record, she has one or two issues in her life that she never did anything about either. My reply: "I hope that, in the future, you will be more understanding of the fact that not everyone chooses to swallow bullshit and internalize everything," or something along those lines. I did not mention the fact that among the many things included in the job description of a friend is to LISTEN, in sickness and in health, for fuck's sake, and to try not to give unsolicited advice and just be a shoulder to cry on. That would just be spoon-feeding J. something that she should already know, and I already spoon-feed for a living. I concluded my response by saying that us not hanging out would prove to be a relief to us both, and I meant that with all my heart. Let me ask you, my lovely readers: have you ever known someone who inadvertently brought out the worst in you? Well, this was the case for me. J. made me want to pick on her like a schoolyard bully and I hated that I felt that way and that I might make her feel badly about herself in any way. I probably might have at some point, and for that I deeply apologize. Actually, I should have said this to her, but oh well.
Her pitiful reply: her parents had not raised her to be emotional. No shit. She was strangely unemotional, a little cold, even. I think at least 6 months passed before she would allow me to give her a friendly hug. Last October, my mom and I had dinner with her and her dad. I thought her dad was wonderful and extremely wise, and at hello and goodbye, he seemed very warm and offered a hug and kiss. Anyway, my mom mentioned to me that when she went to give J. a hug and kiss goodbye, J. tensed up and made this face of "get the hell away from me", which offends me even now, as I am fiercely protective of my mother and do not appreciate anyone making her feel awkward, not even my father or stepfather.
In any case, it's over. Neither I nor J. will have to do anymore play-acting. And no, I did not spend my weekend moping around the house singing Michael Jackson's "She's Out of My Life" or anything like that. I did talk to the lovely S., my trainer at the gym, and since I was in self-doubt mode (and PMSing on top of everything), I asked him if he thought I was pessimistic. I thought that he would know given that we've been "together" for three months now, he has seen me at my worst, and often tells me he loves me ( as a friend of course. Otherwise we'd already be married and waiting on beautiful Guatenigerian babies.) He said that, given what I have been through in my life, he thought I was pretty damn positive. My mother said the same thing, and she is always devastatingly honest with me. A REAL friend. Even my friends at work have always thanked me for bringing positive vibes into our awful office. I can only conclude that J. probably sensed that I wanted to pick on her, that I never really felt that wonderful about our friendship, so I guess things just ran their course. I regret that I spent so long carrying it on, and that I wasted my time as well as hers. I would love to say "no hard feelings", but that would be a lie, unfortunately.
By the by, the office party went OK. Me and the Russian started out by taking a few shots of Stoli before the speeches, so I was nice and warm when the Director started up. He had some very kind things to say about me, and added "Let this sad occasion serve as a lesson to all of you on how not to let excellent people go." Too bad only two of the people who needed to hear that were in attendance. I really do regret that my departure leaves some of my favorite colleagues in a little bit of a pickle, but all of them understand why I need to go and support me in my decision. I made my own little speech: "It is impossible for me to sum up almost 5 years in one tiny speech, but I want to thank you all for the good times as well as the bad, because it is the bad times that show us who our friends and supporters really are, and make us appreciate the good times even more."
Editor's Note - In response to a comment left by anonymous: This post was not directed to anyone in particular and was meant only to tell the story. However, the subject of the posting did read the post and actually replied to Mariposa's personal email. Please refer to the last line of the fifth paragraph. This still stands. Mariposa is not too self-righteous to admit that she will be holding a grudge in this particular case.