Friday, April 29, 2011
When friends drift apart (for the best)
We've lived in Podunkville now for almost 3 years, which is so hard for me to wrap my brain around! Shortly after we moved here, I remember meeting this woman at a party, and she told me that whomever I was friends with at that time, I probably would not be very close friends with a few years from now. My friends would completely change. And she was 100% right.
There is something about moving to a place like Podunkville, especially when you are coming from a bigger city, that makes you seem like fresh blood to the locals. (It also makes you a target for invitations to in-home parties where people try to sell you makeup, jewelry, and candles - ugh! See me in hell!) Anyway, there were 2 couples we socialized with pretty regularly during the first 9 months we lived here. Then one of the couples got divorced, and their social scene obviously changed as they returned to singledom and the bar scene. But the other couple, well, I just think they're a bit off, but they're cool people. Just not our BFF's.
The woman, J, is someone who makes a very good first impression when you meet her. Very gregarious, funny. Then you spend a little more time together and start to wonder why someone with such an awesome personality like hers doesn't have any close friends around here, despite having lived here for basically her entire life. I finally figured it out: she is the classic example of that old adage "the friend to everyone is a friend to no one." She doesn't like to get too close to any one particular person. She is more comfortable keeping people at arm's length. The handful of times I had real, intimate conversations with her where I felt I was seeing the real her, were followed by months of unreturned phone calls, cancelled plans, "my kids are sick again," etc.... until she needed a favor, then she would suddenly show up in my in-box again.
So I had basically written her off as a flake. And I finally made some real friends who have stood the test of time. For awhile I had mostly forgotten about J. Then DH ran into her at work the other day and she gave him this whole song and dance about "Hey! Miss you! We used to see you all the time, what happened?" DH said "Yeah, I don't know, we've been busy I guess," while secretly thinking something like, "I'm pretty sure hush is still waiting for you to call her back from February, when you asked to stay overnight at our place before your trip to Mexico that you sneakily disinvited us from ("oops, my FIL could only get us a 1 bedroom condo, sorry!") so you could then surprise us at 9pm with a request to leave your car at our place and have us drive you to the airport at 5am on a Sat am so that you could save $ by not parking at the airport. And then when you get back a week later, you finally inform us your daughter contracted lice before your trip, and we should probably wash and sterilize everything in the room she stayed in..."
I fully realize I may at times seem extremely bitchy on this blog, but believe it or not, in real life I make it a point never ever to be openly rude or mean to people. I blog in part to vent the things my upbringing will not allow me to say. So I always return J's calls and messages, even though half the time I don't expect her to return them, and I keep my expectations extremely low.
It is weird though.