Monday, February 11, 2013

Sometimes the Fat Lady Sings

A while back I wrote this, assuming it was the death knell of my friendship with Tova.  In a way, it was.  But it was, in truth, the beginning of the death knell.  The actual multiple stabbing didn't take place until a bit later.

When she got engaged.  And didn't call me. 

I heard about it from one of our mutual acquaintances who texted me to ask me why I wasn't at the L'chaim.  What L'chaim? I answered innocently.  WHAAAAT???  You didn't know Tova was engaged????  But you guys are the best of friends.  What happened????

What happened?

That text back and forth was the first of many times I avoided answering that question.  Because I knew what had happened, and I had even written about it here  (same link as above). 

The friendship we had so badly needed had dissolved.

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It happens.  Shit happens.  Life happens.  David sometimes says you either roll with the punches or get your ass kicked.  (I'm sure he read or heard it somewhere, he isn't exactly the master of turning a phrase, but it's a pretty good description.) 

Tova and I had  a really good run. When we needed to be there for each other, we were the best of possible friends.  I stand by our friendship when it existed.  It was as good as can be.

But now it's clearly dead.  Wedding invitations are out.  I didn't make the cut.  Am I sad?  No.  As I wrote previously, I don't even really miss her.  That part of my life is over - lock stock and two smoking barrels. 

Would I have liked to have seen her walk down the aisle, perhaps catch her eye and smirk that she was surrounded by a weak father and a mother who hates her?  Sure.  Would I like to see my replacement friends?  Her new group and how they interact with her?  Absolutely.  But it's straight curiosity that drives these desires, not love or devotion or friendship.

Were I ever to write a book, its themes might be lost friendship.  They say "write what you know" and I feel like I have a strong grasp on it.  (The other options might be to write about redemption or soft core porn in case you were wondering.  But I digress.). 

Lost friendship.  Losing your best friend to circumstances and time and change.  Shouldn't it hurt more

What happened? 

The answer is so simple.  Was so simple.  Remains so simple.  Times moves on. You either roll with the punches or get your ass kicked. 

Except sometimes there are no punches to roll with.  Sometimes times moves on to bigger and better.  Sometimes you aren't avoiding a left hook, but making positive changes to your life.  Sometimes your dreams come true.

And, perhaps, there isn't enough room in the limo for all your old baggage.

Does that sound cruel?  Does it sound insensitive?  Is that all she is to me now?  Baggage?

Yes.  And No.  That's the truth.  She's baggage to me now.  But cherished baggage.  The kind you never throw away.  Heck, maybe you don't keep it displayed in the living room, but you lovingly wrap it up, put it in a box and keep it in the attic, refusing to throw it out no matter how many times you do your spring cleaning.


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I texted her some time after.  I wished her a mazal tov, told her I hope she has a wonderful life with her guy and wished her the best.  She didn't respond.  But that's ok.  My words were perfunctory and I'm sure she guessed that.  She knew I hated that guy. She knew I felt she can do so much better than him.  He's a deadbeat.  She knew I wrote the words because I had to write something.   So I don't blame her for not responding.  She could never be fake about anything.  Being so close to death, so many times, buys you a certain measure of getting to do things your way.

So it's over. The fat lady has sung. My friendship with Tova, once the buoy that kept me afloat in a sea of turmoil most of you can never fully understand or appreciate, is dead.

And I'm indifferent. 

6 comments:

  1. Yeah. I got over the friend who never returned my calls during my difficult 6th pregnancy (though she did say mazal tov to my mother in shul after the baby was born... what else could she say?)

    What I should have realized was that we had had nothing in common for about the past 5 years before the breakup ever happened. She did the smart thing by breaking up with me passively, oh well.

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  4. how odd. something very similar happened to me...and it's especially hard when the "mazal tov" is empty, because you dislike the man so much.

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  5. I find this very sad, but I'm probably projecting my own feelings onto Tova, since we don't know her point of view. I felt like maybe she was angry that you didn't seem to need her once you got married, that you went on with your now-happy life and she was hurt that you weren't interested in her any more now that your life was good. And she had helped arrange your engagement! But then I read the old post and was reminded that you had had a mutual falling out and each went on your way. So I don't know. Maybe the perceptions are different? We your readers don't know what the fight was about. Maybe you think it was mutual and you each happily went your own way and she feels upset that you feel fine with the friendship ending? You didn't actually say to each other at any point that you each are agreeing to end the friendship, so maybe though the evidence seems to say that to you, to her it means something else. Didn't she used to read this blog in the beginning, comment on posts? I'd feel horrible reading such apathy about me from a former very close friend. I guess this comment isn't very helpful and I don't even know whether I should post it, since it comes across as very critical of you. It does hurt that she couldn't even invite you to her festivities or even tell you her good news. I'm sorry about that, though I guess you don't sound so hurt, and that's kind of the point of the post. I just wonder whether her not inviting you or responding to your text are not in fact for the reasons you think, that maybe they are an indication of how upset/angry/hurt she is. Listen, please delete this comment if you find it offensive or inappropriate, I realize it may be much more about me than about you. If you are so inclined though it would be great to read your thoughts on what I've rambled on about here. Don't know whether this means anything after the bulk of my comment but it's been great to see you posting again and being happy and feeling level-headed even when things are not so easy.

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  6. All, especially Anon:

    For starters, there's nothing wrong with being critical of me - I'm far from right all the time (or even most of the time). Anon's comment was very respectful and I have no problem with anyone who criticizes me in a respectful manner.

    That being said - you are right, I did not factor in that Tova could have read this. And perhaps if I had thought of it, I would not have posted exactly as i did.

    That being said, I stand by what i wrote. it's not even about who was right or wrong. What struck me so strongly was my reaction or, more specifically, my LACK thereof. It simply is what it is.

    Tova was the most important part of the first 21 years or my life. There is no argument or debate on that. But perhaps our friendship has a shelf life of 21 years. I don't have answers. All I know is that our break was sudden and it was pretty complete. FROM BOTH SIDES. And from what i can see, she's doing alright. And I know I'm doing alright. There is no rule that peolpe must be friends forever.

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