20 May 2008

Slightly Disgruntled

OK, here's the back story: about 9 years ago one of my best friends, who I've known for over half my life, who introduced me to the man who became my husband, moved Out West. It had always been her dream to live there and when she finished grad school she packed up her then-9-year-old daughter, 2 dogs, 2 cats and a houseful of stuff and moved, driving across the country. When she first arrived we talked frequently on the phone, sent letters regularly, e-mailed, helped her out financially.

In the years she's been gone, I finished my schooling, moved into my teaching career, had kids and became a stay-at-home mom. I try to keep in touch - sending an e-mail or letter with pictures of the kids, birthday and Christmas cards and gifts, various and sundry notes/little "thought you'd like this" gifts. Before I was pregnant with child #1 I flew out and spent a few days before Christmas seeing their new city and hanging out and they've spent the holidays with us a couple of times.

Now here's my quandary: I've heard nothing out of her other than mass e-mails about her new dog or the house she finally bought. I assume her daughter's recently finished her first year of college (!), but don't know where (her dream school was Berkeley).

I know lives get busy, but when the person you've listed in your will as the guardian for your minor child sends you a "hello, how are you" note, wouldn't it be kind to send a note back even if it's along the lines of, "sorry, can't write more - terribly busy"? She didn't even send me a Christmas card this past December. I've sent e-mails kind-of-sort-of-but-not-really jokingly asking, "Are you still alive?" No "hey, good to hear from you" or "thanks for thinking of me" or even "drop dead." I haven't heard a peep.

Part of me is deeply hurt by this. If she doesn't want to be my friend any more why not tell me, rather than ignore me and leave me to guess, like a former college boyfriend did (he assumed that since I'm a smart girl I would get the hint if he didn't answer my letters or return my phone calls. He figured wrong. I tracked him down and demanded some closure.)? But I can't just fly off Out West. I know she hates confrontation as much as I do. Maybe that's the reason for the silence. The thing is I try to be a good friend. Is it too much to ask that it be reciprocated?

Part of me just wants to shrug it off - let it go. Let her go since it seems obvious that she's cut her ties here.

I am well aware of the transience of relationships, as much as I hate it. I dunno. Maybe she's just done with the Midwest and everyone associated with it, including me (ouch, that smarts).

This woman was like a sister to me and it's like she vanished off the face of the planet.

What do I do? I need some guidance here since this has been gnawing at me for a number of months. Alright, a year.

What would you do? Seriously.


Anonymous said...

I wish I was one of those lucky people that had never had a friend go AWOL on them, but I'm not. I actually had a friend I spent tons of time with make plans to go to dinner with me and not only didn't show up but dropped out of my life completely.

If I were to do it over again I would just stop trying to contact them and wait until they came to me. If they never do then that's their choice. Then again, my friend was determined to trash his life and that may not be the case with yours.

Cynthia said...

That's a tough one. We've all struggled with situations like that I think. I've been puzzling over something like that myself recently. I finally came to the conclusion that everybody is a package deal and if I look at everything else alongside where I felt I was let down then it still overall looks like a great friend...so I'm trying to just put it in perspective. That may not be much help to you...I guess what I mean, is it typical of your friend's personality to drift off and not respond? If it is maybe you have to look at the whole package and figure out if it's worth it. It's a hard thing regardless...I know it doesn't feel good. Sorry.

Lavender Lemonade said...

This sucks I agree. I have had this happened with pretty much every "long-term" friend I've ever had. I say do whatever it takes to get a response from her...call everyday for a week - just to talk to her and hear her voice and then you'll know - does she hate me, not remember me, is she suffering severe depression, is going through a mid-life crisis...etc.

Anonymous said...

i agree with lavender lemonade. (well...not the call every day for a week)...i have been on both sides of this issue & i appreciated when someone tried to make a connection & also - i've discovered that someone i was trying to reach out to was struggling herself. so...i don't say give up...but don't make yourself crazy in the process...if they are a true friend...they will come around

Catch Her in the Wry said...

I don't think you should get upset about this. It happens to most everyone. People will come into and out of your life many times during the course your lifetime. Generally it's because of new interests, new environments, distance, and one's life simply just going in new directions. Generally it's not a personal grudge. And it may not be a permanent absense.

I would, however, recommend changing the guardianship for your children to a person who is more actively involved in your current life. This is something that needs to be reviewed every few years for the very reason you've stated in your post.

Looseyfur said...

Fearless Freak sent me your way because I have similar friendship sitchos going on right now. I'm not quite sure what the deal is, but it appears to be going around. Like you I'd like to take care of the situation head on and in person... but from what the others are saying, it's probably better to just let things go.

But it is crazy obnoxious and it eats away. I would, however, think about changing the will to someone else at the very least. Maybe she'll come back around... but maybe the friendship really was one based on proximity.