Trials of Friendship

I was talking to my closest friend last night and we got into a discussion about friendship. I’ve touched on this topic briefly in previous posts but last night it was weighing heavily on my mind so I decided to rant a little here and pick her brain a little there and ultimately decided this would probably make a good post even just to spill out everything I’m thinking right now. So in order to put it all together, I need to share a story about a friend I used to have.

About a year and a half ago, I met this girl while working. Actually I was one of the reasons she got hired at my workplace because I was one of her interviewers at the time. I wouldn’t say it was an instant friendship connection but we definitely got along really well and it grew tremendously in a short amount of time. We both really loved books which is normally how I connect with people because they share a love of reading but sometimes it’s for other reasons like sharing the same views or we just generally make a good team. We texted each other a lot; most of it about random stuff. And then we made it a point to hang out outside of work once a week. It worked really well for months. She was a bit scared to drive far distances so I would always go to her house. Plus, I lived in a one bedroom apartment and it’s hard to entertain in such a small space. We’d watch shows together and go to book sales, all that good stuff.

Then one day the texting pretty much stuttered to a trickle and then a stop all together. I didn’t understand why. Right before that, I had made a decision to transfer to a different store because it would provide me with better career development but I figured it wouldn’t affect our friendship too much cause technology was so great. I was pretty wrong and I got frustrated because I felt I was putting a lot into the friendship and pretty much getting nothing in return. When it became days between texts, I decided to ask her what was going on. I was always told her life was soo busy and she just didn’t have time to engage with me anymore. I admit, that hurt my feelings because I feel like it’s not that hard to message a person with the millions of avenues available to do so and especially when I’m becoming annoying by trying to reach this person almost every day.

I pretty much got tired of the excuses and simply stopped trying. Two weeks went by and I got radio silence. I figured if I’d stop sending her messages then maybe she’d get a clue and maybe take the initiative. She didn’t. So I gave up. I sent one last text telling her I could no longer be her friend and listed all the reasons why and that was the end of that. About a year later, I get a text from her asking me how life is.

ONE. YEAR. LATER.

I couldn’t even believe it. Like is this real life? And all that I had let go, the sadness and bitterness and anger and finally defeat came rushing back in one big ball of rage. I lashed out as much as you can in a text message and pretty much questioned why she was texting me. After a few exchanges, cause I’m sure she could tell I was heated, she informed me that even though I didn’t consider her my friend, she’s always still considered me her friend. Currently, in the present, she got wind that I’m pregnant and now she occasionally texts me wanting to know all the details about what’s going on my life but I’m quite short with her as you can probably imagine. I don’t really know how to feel about someone who can be a here again, gone again friend you know?

So I spilled all of this to my friend last night and told her how I feel like making friends is the easy part but keeping them is so hard. Maybe I’m desperate because I’m only getting older and making friends as an adult is harder than it was when we were kids. Or maybe I just care too much and I shouldn’t but I’m such an emotional person and I can’t help it. My feelings do get hurt easily and my response is to pretty much shut them off at least to the outside world and present this facade that I don’t care when I really do at least for a little while.

I equated growing a friendship to a sapling growing into a tree. You have a little sapling you’ve just planted and you check on it every single day, watering it and making sure it’s getting enough sunlight so it can grow to be a strong tree that’ll live a lifetime. If you stop watering that sapling for a day, it’ll still grow a little because it has a bit of nutrients stored in the roots. But if you stop watering that sapling for a week and then a week turns into two or more, that sapling is going to start to die and by the time you come back to it and realize you wanted to save it, it’s either already dead or a small seed will float elsewhere to try and root itself to become stronger than before.

Maybe I’m absolutely sensitive that I think so deeply on this subject but I think ultimately it stems from trying to understand how other people think and how it seems so easy for someone to borderline forget that you were a great friend. Or maybe you weren’t and they just didn’t inform you of their true feelings so instead floated away cause that was easier?

Long read and heavy topic I know. If you made it all the way to the end, I commend you, you’re awesome and I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

Something New

Throughout my days, whether it’s at work, home, or hanging out with friends, I find myself trying to learn something. There’s always something to take away. There’s also plenty to give.

My days are typically filled with work – from working out, to actually going to the job that pays me, sending or receiving emails, trying to network with rescue organizations, and beyond, I’m always working on something.  I’ve learned a lot from the younger people who work for me…and I’ve learned a ton from the older ones, too. It’s interesting to subjects from another lense.

I’d say that overall I’m a realist. I have realistic views, expectations, and hopes for the future. I’m not asking for or seeking perfection: but I want to see people trying. Trying is often times different than doing – but sometimes all you can ask is that people are trying.

Working in the pet food industry has taught me a lot. Managing people has taught me even more. Doing my best to gain something from everyone has shown me a lot about life. Having wonderful friends and a supportive family has certainly helped along the way. I challenged myself to create time to write something today. Something. Anything. …to try to be part of this blogging experience with a great friend. …to try to pull my weight, or at least part of it. The longer I sit the more emails flood through. Questions, comments, concerns, things that require fairly immediate action, others that just want my opinion on what to do or how to do it.

Yesterday, I learned about plasma and just how cool and helpful it is. Today, I’ve learned (and really have known for a while) that good friends truly are a dime a dozen. My co-author has carried the weight and the work of this blog since conception. I am thankful for her and I learn from her and about her everyday from this opportunity.

What are you learning about today? Is it something new? …perhaps it’s something you’ve known and are revisiting. Share it with us so we can all learn together! 🙂

Timely

My Bestfriend’s Husband

Life has been a little crazy for me lately. One friend told me she’s getting a divorce (yay!), we went to a funeral, and another friend just told me she thinks her husband’s cheating. Here’s the thing: he wasn’t…and she has. I’m her BFF, was her MOH, have spent more nights out partying with her than I care to admit, and I told her she should’ ve never gotten married.

…what the hell do I do?

I talk to this chick everyday on the phone while we drive to work. I cried on her shoulder during my divorce. We go to dinners as couples and are contemplating a vacation for the four of us. Now this.

Let me give you the back shory…her husband’s family owns a bakery -so he, his brother, dad, uncle, and mom all work together, aside from a handful of high schoolers who help out. His brother is currently married and has been for a good three years – to a girl they hired to work at the bakery. My friend and her husband got married at the courthouse so they could get a special loan on their home. They didn’t tell anyone they were married, not even their parents…well…I knew, of course. A year and a half later they had the “real” deal.

My friend has had flings with people from Craigslist, dishwashers at bars we went to, family friends, and even her husband’s relative. I’ve known about them all (or so I think). Her husband doesn’t know about any of this, so we think. My boyfriend is appalled and so are many of my friends. I just don’t know what to do at this point. I stood beside her at her wedding, for God’s sake.

The high school students are generally women. On several occasions my friend has told me that they text, call, and Snapchat her husband. At no point in time was she overly upset or worried by this until this last time. Tuesday my friend calls saying that her husband’s brother was found in the bathtub with one of the girls. …his wife went home early from work because she was sick. Long story short, they have been in this relationship for 6 months, the young girl tried to commit suicide over this man, and now he and his wife are “working it out”.

My friend’s husband was “friends” with the same girl. He was completely shocked when they told everyone the news. So, he’s been calling and texting her every day – even bought her flowers for Valentine’s Day, and she’s sleeping with his brother. When my friend found all this out she was irate. She left the house and wouldn’t tell him where she went. He called us crying (he’s never spoken to us on the phone before) begging her to go back home and talk to him. He swears he’s never even touched the girl but my friend is convinced otherwise.

Now my friend is saying her trust is completely broken and their relationship will never be the same. I told them that they should try counseling. (Been there, done that, and would do it again.) My problem is this: her husband has been completely open, honest, respectful, and apologetic about his inappropriate relationship with his associate. However, his wife, my friend, has not been honest with him. She has blown this out of proportion by lying, getting unnecessary people involved, and by stretching the situation to it’s maximum capacity.

While on the phone with her husband I was inches from telling him the truth about her past several times. He seemed so hurt, confused, and alone. I wanted him to know that he’s not the only one who has made mistakes and that we all learn and grow from our choices. On the other hand, I didn’t want to rock the boat anymore than it already was. My boyfriend tells me not to get anymore involved than I already am – basically don’t stick my nose where it doesn’t belong. My co-author tells me I should for sure say something. I care for them both and don’t want to see them get divorced about something silly or the past but damn.

What’s a girl to do? What would you guys do in my situation? Has anyone ever been in this situation that can provide feedback? Anything is appreciated as I try to be a good friend to them both.

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 9

I went into this post thinking I knew what I was going to write. Then I went back and reread my inspiration email and realized I must have read something completely different. The post today is supposed to talk about what you do when you’re not writing. For anyone who’s read my posts so far, you already know. I read when I’m not writing or working or any number of adulting activities. Today I’d rather talk about a friend who has triggered me to write today and ironically enough it has to deal with the daily prompt. If you ever need daily inspiration, that’s a great place to start; writing a prompt around a word.

So I have this friend. I want to say I use the term friend loosely because half the time I never know where we stand. You know how you have those people you consider friends and then you have the ones that are more acquaintances than anything? This friend falls somewhere in between. He started as my boss. Hired me at my first job out of college way back in 2011 when I had been unemployed for 4 months. I remember thinking he was such a nice person; always upbeat and happy. I worked this job for about 8 months and then I got an internship so I went away for  months. When I came back, I was back in the unemployed boat. I was unemployed for about month when my friend reached out to me again through Facebook and offered to cancel all his interviews if I would come work for him again. So I did. He ended up transferring to a different location and I didn’t think too much of it again.

Fast forward two and a half years and he’s working for a different company and, at that time, I was looking for a full time job. I was tired of working multiple part time jobs 50+ hours a week. I wanted a regular schedule. He offered me a full time position at the new company he’s working at and, again, I accepted. We’ve developed a pattern at this point. We made a great team so it was only natural that where he went, I followed because I automatically knew it would be a great working relationship. Everything I ever learned about being a manager, good and bad, I learned from him.

Series of events later and he and I are no longer working together. I left the job for various reasons. Unfortunately, one of those reasons was him. It’s amazing how power can change a person. I decided he no longer had my best interests at heart, as my friend, and it showed. Anybody that knows me, knows that I try really hard to fix a friendship if I feel its worthy enough. I didn’t want to leave the job on a rocky note so I met with my friend and we had a heart to heart about the events that led up to my decision to not only better my life for my long term goals but also so that we could stay friends. I cared about him a lot and it didn’t sit right to have a job come between us.

Fast forward to today and we still talk on occasion. His life though is not so great. He’s almost what you call a people pleaser. He tries very hard to make everyone happy without any regards to himself and his true feelings. Needless to say, I’ve seen it burn some bridges in his life. It also doesn’t help that his health is steadily declining. The most recent scenario in his life involves him saving his brother from losing his house by moving in and paying his mortgage for him. The time has come where my friend feels that his brother should sell him the house. Naturally, that makes the most sense especially since his brother’s credit score has been prospering because of him. The house gets reviewed and a price put upon it. The brother is not satisfied and demands more money… from his own flesh and blood…. who’s saved him all this time…. Family mean nothing?

I had a lot of things to say about this. I won’t go into detail but you can imagine where my thoughts went. One of my main points was he should move and get his own house and wash his hands of this ridiculousness. He’s torn because even though he agrees with me he still feels he should help even though he literally can’t afford it. Instead of letting his brother accept defeat, they sit in this limbo where he’s still paying this mortgage and his brother isn’t budging on his terms.

I just don’t understand. Sometimes the best way to get to a better outcome is to accept defeat. There’s that phrase that failure is not an option but sometimes it’s the only option. I believe my friend needs to evaluate his life and focus on the things that matter the most; specifically his health. He’s letting other people’s words, emotions and actions drive his decisions and they usually don’t end up in his favor along with working himself to death. His coping mechanism for problems is to bury himself in work instead of face them head on.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. I don’t know.

 

I probably shouldn’t, but I did.

I’m thinking about what to write about in response to the daily prompt. After googling the word, because let’s face it, it’s a weird word, all I can think about is the inner murmations I have with myself in certain situations. For example, today I was speaking to a friend about an upcoming film.

Me: “Hey, did you see the trailer for that new film?”

Her: “Not sure who’s in it.”

Me: “Scarjo, Kate McKinnon, and some other girl I don’t remember the name of.”

At this point she goes and checks out the trailer.

Her: “Looks fun. Maybe we should go see it.”

Me: “Mhmm, sure.”

What I’m really thinking here is, ugh, Scarlett Johansen. She has that face that even when she’s happy and excited it still looks like bitch face. Doesn’t really clash with what I see as a funny movie. But do I tell my friend that? She might be a huge Scarlett Johansen fan. I probably shouldn’t say this. How to phrase this without sounding harsh?

Me: “You know…”

….and proceed to say what’s exactly on my mind. Luckily she knows me well and took it in stride.

Take this next scenario. I’ve decided I need to find and try a new leave-in conditioner. I’ve watched all these YouTube videos with natural girls talking about their hair routine and how they swear by such and such product. Here I am wondering if any of these products would work for me cause that looks like my hair type so why the hell not. It’s currently snowing outside and that alone makes me not want to go anywhere. I shouldn’t be lazy. I should get up and go! Instead, I start to think about ways I can get my husband to go instead. I have to phrase this in such a way that he thinks it was his idea all long. I go through all these ideas in my head.

Me: “Soo I need leave in conditioner.”

Him: “I feel like you already have some.”

(I do, but that’s not the point!)

Me: “Not really. There’s this new one I want to try”

And then I proceed to tell him all the reasons why including the ingredient panel and their benefits.

Him: “grunt”

Me: “So I was thinking I’d go to Target and get the conditioner and then maybe go to Sam’s Club and get a pack of razors but after I do the dishes and cook breakfast.”

Him: “grunt”

Me: “Okay sounds good right?”

Next thing I know he’s putting on layers of clothes looking like he’s going to venture out in the cold outdoors. This is exactly how I wanted this to play out! I should feel bad about my mini mind manipulation, but I don’t. Inside I’m smiling but of course I ask.

Me: “Where you going?”

Him: “I’m going to go to the store for you.”

Me: “You don’t have to”

Him: “Don’t worry about it. You’re cleaning and cooking. I’ll do something too.”

SCORE! He goes off to the store and ends up calling me about what specifically to get even though I sent him screenshots. He came home with the wrong stuff, even with guidance. I knew that was going to happen. I kept thinking to myself, “I should have went.” It’s one of those where you walk in the store and you know exactly where to go versus he goes into the store and, instead of asking someone who works there to point him in the right direction, he walks around aimlessly until giving up and calling it a lost cause. He asked me if it was the right stuff and I nodded and said yes and thank you. It’s the gesture that counts right? Plus, fuck snow.

There are always those”what should I say vs. what I really want to say” moments you have with yourself depending on the situation. Sometimes the word vomit completely overrides the logical and you hope it comes out sounding nice enough in a way that the end game isn’t disastrous.