Relationship Filter: How do you know, and what do you do, when a 25+ year friendship may have reached it's logical end? Novella length setup:
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet to Human Relations (32 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I have a friend that I've had for about 25 years. We have always been very close, even when I've lived abroad. We've helped each other through college, divorces, abortions, childbirth, deaths of friends, lovers and parents...you get the idea.
We live in different cities, and while we share some of the same circle of friends, I don't care for most of her friends, and she doesn't really know any of mine.
In the last decade or so, she's become a rising star in her chose career path, which has rewarded her with significant financial reward. Because she has more resources than most of her friends, she's developed a group of "fans"; i.e. friends who are almost sycophantic in their friendships, because they like that they can to go to theaters and restaurants and weekends at 5 star hotels that she will pay for. (I've kept up with her financially, and she and I have never had a unbalanced financial relationship.) When she does pay for things, she does it in such a way as to make her other friends effuse about how wonderful she is, and how generous she is. I find the whole thing rather distasteful because I find the display of wealth to be distasteful. (I feel that if one does things like this for one's friends, which I *do*, it should be done quietly and without drawing attention to it.)
A couple of months ago, she and I planned a weekend. It was a "learning"weekend, in that we booked spots in a conference, booked a 4-5 star hotel, and as a belated bday/xmas present she had purchased tickets to a theatre production I wanted to see.
It is important to note here, that while I was once a big drinker, I've made it clear to all my friends that I have a drinking issue, and I generally avoid events where drinking will be the main activity. I have a very hard time stopping drinking once I start, so I generally don't start.
The night I arrived in town, she'd made reservations at a wine bar for dinner. Now, this place doesn't serve actual entrees; it's more tapas and wine tasting. Ok, weird...but whatever.
The next day, about 3 hours into the conference, she announces that she doesn't feel good, and we need to leave. So, I ended up forfeiting the conference fee and not seeing the conference...but ok, if she doesn't feel good, I'm not going to make her stay, so we leave and go back to the hotel.
The day after that, we run around the city for a bit, talking about our plans for the theatre that night when she remembers that it's another of our friend's birthdays. She decides, on the spur of the minute to get two extra tickets for this friend and his girlfriend. Only she didn't ask them if they were free, and the girlfriend was working.
So, to use the extra ticket, she decided to invite someone that she *knows* I don't like. No, someone I despise. I find this person to be horrible on every single level. She's stupid, she's obnoxious, she's annoying, and her mother smells of elderberry wine. (Seriously, she showed up for this theatre event in a t-shirt with a calculator that spelled out "boobies" on it. Shudder.) I would rather have a root canal than spend any time with this person for any reason, ever. But this person is insanely fawningly sycophantic, and I think my friend may have needed a fix.
When I told my friend that I was really not happy about this arrangement, she told me that I was being ridiculous and to just deal with it, even though she prefaced the news that Boobies was coming by saying "I know you don't like her, but..."
After the show, everyone (but me) wanted to go to some trendy place and drink. Now...first and foremost, I've made it clear that I don't find drinking or dealing with drunks to be on my list of things I want to do. Secondly, I can be an incredibly cruel drunk. So, if in the company of someone I really don't like I'm not going to drink, because I will get vicious. When drunk, making people like Boobies Girl cry makes me happy. Ergo, I wasn't going to drink. Thirdly, I'm am the anti-trendy. I hate trendy places. I'm a round Janeane Garofalo. However, I was a passenger, and I was outvoted.
We stayed at the bar until it closed. Then everyone wanted to go to an after hours bar, which is where I drew the line and said that I really needed to get some sleep, since I had a long ass drive the next day. I was told that I was being passive aggressive by not wanting to go to a after-hours dance club filled with tripping kids half our age. Good lord, we're closer to 50 than 20, there is no excuse for us to go hang out somewhere like that. Sheesh.
The next morning, she was obviously pissed off at me. We packed up and were out of the hotel by breakfast. One the way out of town, when our paths fork, she didn't wave or anything. Subsequently, when I asked her to tell me what my share of the hotel was, she sent me a very formal invoice, using her family name; as in "Mrs X should remit the following expenses to Ms Y", which struck me as really odd, when she could have just said, "Hey, paypal me $X00."
Since that weekend, we have not spoken. Other than the invoice, there has been no email contact. I've left her 2 phone messages, and a few tweets, but there's been no real contact.
I *feel* like she should apologize to me for the constant pushing of booze and for intentionally creating a situation where I had to bite my tongue for eight hours, but I've neither asked for an apology, nor do I expect to receive one. From her perspective, I'm sure she feels like she did nothing wrong.
I'm thinking that the friendship may have just finally run it's course. Whereas we have a ton of things in common; our love of books, our fields of interest, a lifetime of stories together, we don't have any day-to-day stuff in common. We don't really share the same friends, we don't watch the same sorts of movies or TV, we have radically different lifestyles, and we have a palpable difference in the people with whom we choose to spend time.
Am I wrong in thinking that this weekend was concrete proof of how different we've become? Am I right in thinking that we "broke up"? Should I just let the friendship fade into that realm of bday and xmas cards? Have any of you experienced what it's like to lose the best friend you've had for most of your life?