Stupid, right? Who was (or am) I to give anyone advice (even semi-silly advice) on how to end a friendship? I only have two kinds of friends: the real kind and the fake kind. And of course, the fake kind are usually the ones to go. What can I say? I'm a conflict-avoider. That's how I end up with fake friends in the first place. So when we're done, it's usually a relief. I've gotten rid of two such friends in recent years, and it's been great. But when it feels like I have to lose someone from category one, it's a lot harder.
I know why I wrote the Spring Cleaning piece at the time. I wanted to seem cool. And funny. And I suppose I was feeling sardonic. That's what shines though. It's awful. Insipid and embarrassing.
But nonetheless, I found myself thinking about it yesterday as Nathan and I talked about how it's definitely time for me to give up on a couple of less-than-stellar friends.
But it's hard.
It helps if you're a little angry, of course. This weekend, as I struggled though a long distance phone call in which I tried and tried to connect with a person who I no longer trust and who didn't ask me a single, substantial question about my life, and who wouldn't (or couldn't) engage with my questions about hers, I started to feel a little of that, and it helped. Then, when my ex came up, she mentioned something about how I needed to "get over it." That helped too. THEN, she commented on how difficult my breakup was. For her. Actually, for our whole friendship circle. My breakup, she said, was really traumatic... for them.
Suddenly, it didn't feel so hard.
The funny thing is, this person has been trying to tell me for years that she's a "bad friend." She mentions it every time I talk to her, and in almost every email. So why didn't I listen before? Why did it take me years to get it?
I suppose because we don't grow up thinking of female friendships as dispensable. Romantic relationship, sure. Men? Marriage? Of course. But platonic relationships, especially between women, are supposed to be forever.
I think we've talked about this before.
I guess the bottom line is that what I said in my post about Craig a few weeks back is true: if you don't feel happy when your friend is happy, you know you're not really friends. And if you're not really friends, maybe you never were. And if you never were, what does it matter how it ends? What was it worth in the first place?
* Image by Lucasbite from Stock Xchng.