Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
People drift. We grow up. Our perspectives change. Our interests change.
You don’t listen to Jesse McCartney on repeat anymore. Now you can play Patty Griffin albums non-stop.
Things happen. Life-changing things, that change people. These moments change our friends, our families, the way we see our friends, and our families.
Drifting is something I’ve accepted will happen in life.
Nonetheless, there are people that I am sad to see drift away.
I’m usually pretty slow to open up, I mean really slow. It takes me a good deal of time to warm up before I am comfortable enough to truly be myself with someone.
I think that’s what makes losing a friend to drifting so heartbreaking.
My closest and most dear friend and I drifted for some time. I think we needed to grow separately before we could come back and truly appreciate each other. There was an ‘incident’ that dug a trench between us. Time and growth filled that trench and allowed us to meet in the middle. From there it’s been an understanding of who the other is and a genuine appreciation and love for each other that has given us the strength we have now. I know I can’t see the future, but if I could, I have a feeling she’ll be there for all of it. I know I’d be there for her.
There are those that I’ve been able to touch base with. It’s comforting knowing how the other person is, and seeing that they are happy even though we no longer have common interests to bring us together again.
Yet, there is one for which I haven’t found that middle ground.
In fact, we haven’t discussed it at all. Not even a little.
Why? Partly because I’m fearful of confrontation and partly because, I think that even if I did, it wouldn’t make a difference.
There go my psychic abilities again.
We were inseparable once we both moved home again. But once her husband returned Stateside – he’s a military man – our time together dropped considerably. Ok, understatement. Our time together became practically nonexistent.
Now don’t get me wrong here. I understand wanting to be near you hubby when he’s home from the military especially after not seeing them for God knows how long. But, then was home for 3 months. Nothing changed. 6 months. Nothing changed. A year. Nothing changed.
In that time I became single and my parents began what would ultimately be a messy divorce. I’m not all fun and games. There’s been a lot on my plate. From nursing my broken heart to watching me fall into little tiny fragments of myself as my family fell apart, being my friend is not an easy deal. She was married while I was in college, getting drunk and running around like college girls do. Being my friend, it’s a lot of listening, and it was a lot of weeping for awhile. I contradict myself, I switch sides after seeing the whole picture, I don’t react right away but when I do, it’s fierce. I love with a passion, but I fight like a lamb. (I used to fight like a lion, I’ve been tamed in recent years.) For awhile, she was a constant in my life.
As I spiraled she stood at the center casually offering me a scolding, but never scathing, ‘tsk, tsk!’ For that, I will forever be grateful. She may have no idea how incredible of a friend she was for me in that time and no matter what has happened to our friendship, what she did for me will never be forgotten.
You can imagine my surprise, then, as I watched her fade from life.
I would ask her to hang out and it would be, ‘I can’t, I have to cook the hubby dinner.’
At first I joked back, ‘C’mon, one night,’ but inside I was saying, ‘Really? He can’t freakin’ cook for himself? Order out? I haven’t seen you in God-knows-how-long, and you NEED to cook him dinner tonight? I couldn’t even see you for like, an hour?’
Perhaps I should have said all that out loud?
Then there’s the ‘I really can’t spend money.’ I couldn’t argue with that, so I got to a point where I legitimately offered to just pay for her. I didn’t care I just wanted to see her. I missed my best friend.
Then I noticed that when we talked it was usually about boys. Even when she would message me just to say ‘Hello’ it always was followed with a, ‘Any men in your life?’
To be fair, there have been various men in my life during the spiral and I’ll admit though the majority of them were never relationships – they did have a tendency to overlap each other. The Writer, The Bartender, The Cali Boy, The Irishman, The Military Man, The Tattoo’d Guy….
But, uh, we don’t need to talk about that right now.
When I had a man, it was all, ‘Oh, we should double date!’
‘Oh yeah! Totally that’d be fun!’
Ok, I wasn’t being honest. What I should have said was, ‘No. I don’t want to. I wanted to hang out with you and watch movies and joke about Dane Cook and whether or not I was a total loser at Wii Fit. I wanted to talk boys and lip gloss and paint our nails.’
I just wanted my best friend back.
Now, I find out that not only does she rarely contact me, ‘Hi! How are you? Any boys in your life?’ but she’s buddy, buddy with the One that Broke My Heart.
Don’t read into that wrong – be friends with whoever you want. I get it. But, you abandoned me? To be best friends with him and his wife? We’ve known each other since junior high? You can’t do best of both worlds? Do you think I couldn’t handle you being friends with both of us? I live in a different state! I think there was a ringing of ‘disloyal’ in my mind. Can I even call it that though? It’s not, it just feels like it because she was never honest with me about it.
I get it, the whole military wives and all. I have only a semblance of an idea of how the two of you have felt/will feel. But does that make me less of a friend?
Our last conversation via text, I’m not even going to get into, because it makes my blood boil. All I’m going to ask is, ‘What would make you think that your best friend would talk shit about you to your husband or vice versa!?’
Was I too much to handle? My family drama? My personal drama?
Is it that I’m single and live a different life than you?
Is it because I wear v-neck shirts that have a tendency to show too much cleavage?
Is it because I look at life differently now?
What I know, is that one of the few people that knew I was a total dork and loved me anyways, is now more like a stranger to me.
I don’t miss feeling like I have to have a boyfriend to be her friend. I don’t know if she realized that she was making me feel that way. I don’t miss feeling like a third wheel – and don’t give me the ‘You’re always a third wheel when you’re with a couple.’ That isn’t true. My best friend has been with her man for six(?) years now, and I’ve never feel like a third wheel with them. I don’t miss feeling insecure about my bra and clothing choices.
I’m not going to dress like a nun because you’re husband is in the room. I’m single and lookin’ and I’ll rock whatever assets I’ve got. I’m not even going to dance with the possibility that you’d be worried about your man looking at another girl, especially your friend, because that’s entirely absurd. If you thought I was looking at your husband, well that doesn’t even warrant a response.
What I do miss is the way she made me look at a situation from all sides. I miss her moral compass – though I didn’t always listen. I knew that if I wouldn’t want to tell her something – then I was probably doing something wrong.
Mostly, I miss her spirit. She made me laugh, let me be a goofball.
Unfortunately, I think that if she called me tomorrow, my insecurity would take over and I wouldn’t be myself. The comfort I had talking to her and the joy I found in her as a friend may be gone and I don’t know if either of us would work to fix that. Perhaps we really are too different now.
I don’t have any last words for her. Part of me is upset and angry with her for the way she just drifted and didn’t seem interested in keeping our friendship alive and another part of me is just downright sad to have lost her as a friend and another part of me wonders if I should be upset with myself for talking about my problems so much. But if I couldn’t talk to my friends about it, who could I talk to?
My old roommate had a horse named Drifter. I’d like you to imagine whatever sound effect he would put in here, because I don’t know how to spell that.