The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance

I understand anger. I understand saying things you cannot take back. I understand being hurt. What I cannot understand is suddenly losing the love you felt for someone else.

Understand it or not, it seems like it is a constant theme in my life. I become friends with someone, that person continuously tells me how cool I am, how much I mean to them, and then I am abandoned. And because I do not understand how someone can suddenly cease to care, I keep banging my head against the wall, trying to break through and renew the bonds of friendship that have been severed.

As you may well imagine, I am a bit skittish when it comes to making new friends. I hesitate because, frankly, I don't want to risk giving a piece of my heart to someone who will carelessly discard it. And my fear that this will happen makes me tedious with the friends I already have (for is there anything more tedious than having someone suspect you will grow tired of them or so insulting as having one constantly doubt your loyalty?) Someone I knew in college once described it as "putting so much importance on the last six seconds and ignoring the last six months."

I tell myself that just because this happened to me when I was ten (then my friend abandoned me because I skipped a grade and she didn't. Also, I was told later, because I started to develop breasts), just because this happened to me when I was sixteen (that time, the friendship ended because my best friend did what he had done many times before, blew up at me and stormed off, but that time I didn't call him to apologize for whatever I had done that had set him off-not that I ever knew, but I had previously apologized, all the same), just because this happened in college, does not mean it will happen to me as an adult. In theory, adults are more mature and simply do not have time for that sort of drama. And I am busy with Julian and Fred and the demands of life, it isn't like I have all that much time to dwell on whether someone wants to be my friend or not.

But just because we are grownups now and should be able to talk through our issues with the people we claim to love doesn't mean this actually happens. And just because I am a wife and a mother doesn't mean I don't sometimes get sad when I think of the friendships I have lost.

The thing about thinking that everything is your fault is that it means that you have the ability to control what happens. It isn't true, however. There are things outside of one's control. No matter how much you may love someone and no matter how willing you are to discuss whatever conflicts have arisen, you are only in charge of yourself. You cannot make someone be your friend. You cannot make someone love you. Even if they once did.

So while I can't understand how you can love someone and call them your best friend one day and then, literally, the next day want to have nothing to do with them and ignore all overtures of friendship and reconciliation, I have to accept that this happens.

Sometimes, the only thing you can do is stop trying and let go. And take comfort in the knowledge that Sinead has been there, too, and to wonder if I should get her haircut (see second video).


Anonymous said…
No to the haircut. It reminds me of the one melanie had when she was seven. Sorry.

karrie said…
I feel ya.

One of my closest and oldest friends seems to have vanished off the face of the earth. The last I knew--this summer--she was in New Mexico, and knew I was driving x-country in the fall or winter I have tried e-mailing and leaving phone messages letting her know I am here, and no answer. I'm not sure if I should panic that something horrible has happened or feel hurt that she is ignoring me.

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