Last week, I was dumped. Not by a boyfriend…no, by a friend. Essentially, I was fr-umped. And you know what? It hurt just as much.
I was friends with Steve for a few years. We shared a common bond and interests and were always a good support system for each other. But we live very far apart so our contact was infrequent but fun. Then he met Tracey….
The dumping came via email. The body of the email read something like this (roughly paraphrased):
Joyous news, joyous news (engaged!), joyous news, interesting gossip, whoa too much information, joyous news.
Final paragraph: So I hope you will understand that we can no longer be friends. Please do not contact me and I will not contact you in the future.
Flash to Maggie with jaw on floor, hole in heart and ego profoundly pierced. Whoa!!! Whaaaat??? What do you mean you are terminating our friendship? I had no idea you could do that.
You see, I have always held onto friends and I never think of ending relationships… unless, of course, they produce a restraining order. I mean, sure, I have let friendships slide….you know….take longer and longer to return calls, deny a friendship on Twitter or remove their name from the Christmas card list….but I have never outright told someone that I no longer wanted to be their friend. Hmmm….does that make me a coward? Don’t answer that!
I find close friendships are so much harder to come by these days. It is tricky to make new friends – perhaps that is why I hold onto the ones I have so dearly. I liked how you made friends in the past. They were kind of created for you by your teachers, your parents, your brownie leader – sort of like the same random system they use in prisons to create cell mates – and yet somehow it worked….. we never questioned why we were friends – we just did stuff together and had fun.
Cheryl became my childhood best friend simply because her last name came right after mine alphabetically in the roll call in grade one. This meant we were paired up for every science project, reading project and field trip from age 6 to age 18. Cheryl and I grew so much together. It was great to have a buddy through the awkward times that come with young life. Short list of awkward times:
- cute boys (eg. Shaun Henderson) who didn’t know we existed
- white pants and our first period
- denting the family car on our very first outing to the mall after assuring our parents that we were good enough drivers to take the car out on our own
It was all good Beverly Hills 90210 style stuff…..but only if Beverly Hills 90210 was set in Burns Lake and it starred two heavier, much nerdier girls.
After we started working, Cheryl and I drifted apart. Cheryl got married, moved far away (to Maple Ridge), had kids and we lost touch. But I still think of her….fondly. The friendship never ended….it just fell into the ebe and flow of life. I think that is what I will miss with this frumping. With the finality, it will be harder to look back at the friendship with nostalgia. There will always be a sting to it. That makes me sad.
I know in this case it can be hard to be friends with the opposite gender. I saw When Harry Met Sally. (Was I the only one that found the scene in the diner with Meg Ryan to be a tad uncomfortable?) If a friend’s partner is the jealous type, it is game over. That is fine. I understand. I wish Steve only good things.
With my frumping, of course, I went through the classic seven stages of grieving in order to heal. These stages happen in this order:
- grape popsicles
- chunky monkey ice cream
- salt and vinegar chips
- Aero bar
- and, finally, cake
It made me feel better (about the situation) and worse (about the potential weight gain). And it reminded me to actively appreciate the friends that I have in my life …..I love ‘em…..I am going to send them a Christmas card right now. Hugs.