As I grow older I find myself dwelling more and more on my friends, and what exactly constitutes a friendship.  I’ve always taken time out to tend the garden of friendship with many people. I am naturally gregarious, I enjoy socializing and other peoples company.  I take the approach that any friendship takes nurturing, it needs to be fed and have some measure of involvement on either side, otherwise it’s not really a friendship. It cannot be all one-way traffic so to speak.

Recently I’ve found myself extremely disappointed, saddened and angry even, at a couple of my so called friends. 2 people I have known for over 15 years a piece. 2 people I thought were good friends of mine, but due to their actions (or specifically inaction) have made me feel sad and rejected.

One person specifically, who’s erratic behaviour I have defended over the years….. Oh the delicious irony.

Known him since 92, been through a lot. We found one another in midtown Manhattan and went through the horrors of 9/11 together as I was homeless due to the attacks.  This person whom I last saw with his fiance, at my house in December over 2 evenings, drinking, making merry, eating dinner together. Breaking bread. So what exactly did this guy do I hear you ask?

This person didn’t tell me he was getting married. Not a Vegas sneak away, but a large, planned ceremony, with guests in Napa. No message of any type that he was getting married.  I found out after many mutual friends asked me if “I was going to the wedding?” “What about him getting married? Would never have thought it, after all these years!”

What did I do to deserve this? It’s as if I committed some mortal sin against him. Something that I truly cannot fathom after racking my brains to think of any transgression or insult I could be accused of. It’s not that I didn’t get invited when others did, it’s that he didn’t tell me he was getting married. In fact I haven’t heard 1 word from him since that December evening. It’s as if he couldn’t be bothered.

It really bothers me that I can’t just shrug my shoulders and move on. Accept that this is life. This guy was my friend. I thought he was my best friend. How could I be so blind I keep asking myself. Surely he couldn’t have just, forgotten to tell me? Nah, I don’t think so.

It must have been a deliberate, conscious act. And that hurt me.

So it matters. If it didn’t matter, then I suppose it wasn’t a real friendship. From my side at least.  I will be fine, I am secure. My faith in me and what is important in life is solid. I will continue to nuture those friends of mine, but a little piece of me is bitter, and sad, and frustrated. And I hate that feeling, but it’s one that just won’t go away, for now anyway.


~ by john on June 27, 2009.

3 Responses to “Friendship”

  1. Hey John. I’ve been through a similar “I thought we were good friends” experience. I had a friend who I had consoled and been a friend to while she was going through a hard divorce and lots of sleepless nights (including mine). Turns out that that didn’t matter. When I needed her when Ixchel was sick she completely blew us off. It was strange and it did hurt. I’m over it now, sort of. It sucks when it happens but now I’m better off for it. I just concentrate on friends that give back as much as I do. Sometimes it’s that simple. C’est la vie right?


  2. Hi Mando, thx for your note, I guess I’ll chalk it down to c’est la vie, although I still don’t understand it. I guess we all have different ideas about what a friendship means. As you say, just concentrate on friends that give back as much as I do. That’s my mantra moving forward!

  3. John, I can relate to this too.

    Within the past 10 years, I’ve had two people I thought were my closest friends vanish. It’s hard not to question why, but who knows? The folks I have left are not going anywhere.

    But I have a little hard knot in me that I still sometimes feel – I think it’ll be there forever. It reminds me how much I loved them.

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