Tuesday, 24 May 2005

getting it off my chest

This is long and possibly boring, but I need to get it out of my system.

Did you ever have a friend at school who you though you'd be friends with for ever?

Someone who continued to be one of your closest friends all though your twenties? Who you felt you could rely on, turn to when you needed help and who you would in turn provide unconditional support for, whatever, whenever?

Who, if you were honest, you were probably a little bit in love with all that time?

Who you offered a place to stay when you were both thirty and she'd left her long-term boyfriend and needed somewhere for a few months?

Who suddenly started treating you differently?

It's been going on for four years now, which is co-incidently pretty much the time since I split with Crazy Tom. She and Crazy Tom and another friend all went to Glastonbury together six months before he and I split up. He was different when he came back. So was she.

Just after that, she started going out with a mutual friend of ours, who I'd dated aeons ago and was still friendly with.

Since then, we have had no meaningful communications of any kind - the 'sharing your life' kind of chats that you have with a good friend. On the one occasion we did get together, with a third friend, she asked me whether I'd be prepared to have an affair with her boyfriend and seemed startled when I was taken aback at her. She hasn't responded to any of my attempts to communicate, apart from occasional christmas and birthday cards. When I respond to a card with a friendly email, nothing happens. The boyfriend hasn't been in touch either, and I would have said that we were reasonably good platonic friends too.

B and I started dating three and a half years ago and got married two years ago. We invited them both to the wedding. He couldn't come, but she did, and was really prickly and edgy.

They got married a year ago. They invited us to the wedding but we couldn't go as we were on holiday abroad. I felt uncomfortable going to her hen-night because of the prickly-edginess and also because it was one of those 'weekend away' events that I couldn't really afford, so I piked.

Last week I got an email saying she was pregnant.

I responded with an email saying congratulations, that we'd been trying for a while, nothing was happening and we were thinking about adopting.

No response.

Then towards the end of the week she sent out another email. An invitation to a weekend get-together, with a couple of other friends who we were at school with, both of whom I see quite frequently.

I've thought about it over the weekend and I just can't go.

I can't walk in to her space - and she has asked us all to go to her house - and either pretend that there is nothing different or put up with her being prickly and competitive at me, which is her modus operandi, particularly when she feels uncomfortable.

So I've taken the honest option, emailed the other two friends and said I don't feel comfortable enough to meet up and then emailed her, saying the same, telling her that I felt that there was a 'coolness' between us. And saying that if she wanted to contact me to talk it through then that would be fine, but otherwise, wishing her all the best.

I didn't expect a response, but I've got one.

She doesn't see that there is anything wrong, as friendships naturally ebb and flow according to circumstances and if I am giving the impression of being cool with you, then please be assured that this is entirely accidental. If you are feeling cool with me,then I must be very dense as I do not understand why.

Friendships DO naturally ebb and flow. But it's gradual. They don't suddenly come to an end like this one has with no stated reason. You don't suddenly stop communicating with someone you have a fifteen year deep friendship with, without having a reason, whether or not it's one that you're actually prepared to state.

The friendship has been over for some time and I no longer really miss her. But I am angry, because I don't like dishonesty and what a Swedish friend of a friend calls "English Bullshit". I find people really difficult to interact with sometimes and I don't think I deal with situations involving them very well. Computers and animals are much simpler.

Long, boring post, but it's off my chest. I will post something funny about farming tomorrow :).

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