Monday, January 22, 2007

Do Not Resuscitate

Most of us would like to think that our friendships would last for all eternity – beyond the highs and lows of life, career and relationships. But if we sat down and really thought about it – how many friendships have come and gone within the blink of an eye? Now think about the friendships you really thought would last forever. You know, those ones where you both just click and you just KNOW its going to be a great friendship.

Do you ever wonder what went wrong and what they’re doing now? I do. All the time.

It’s part and parcel of friendships, interests change, relationships or careers take you in different directions and the friendships end or fizzle out quicker than a flat bottle of Coke celebrating the 1987 America’s Cup. Sometimes they end when you or your friend end them with no explanation.

Such was the case with my friend Big Lips. When we first met at work, we hit it off instantly. Her wild persona, her lioness mane of hair, her loud mouth, being Italian (Sicilian nonetheless) and of course, her big lips - I instantly took a liking to her. We thought the same way, we loved the same cheesy early 90s Italo dance music, our bitchy nature and our attitude to life could practically have rendered us the same person.

But there was always one thing that stuck out for another friend and I… Whenever I mentioned that we should all go out together outside of work or that she should have set me up with one of her single friends, she put up a weird barrier where you knew it was a barrier but she tried to pull it off as a genuine excuse or protector for me. Something was off. But the friendship still continued to grow and develop to the point where I was invited to her wedding in Mount Eliza, met her husband on numerous occasions, met her friends and was introduced to her parents. All in all, it was a pretty normal and fun friendship.

I fell deeper and deeper. She was like a Venus Fly Trap. Her dream of opening her own business was put into motion and I assisted her with almost every aspect of the business – name, logo, website content, it goes on to the point where she even offered me position which would grow as the company did.

Then came the point when we both decided to leave our workplace (on the same day nonetheless). Coincidently we were both off to Europe, although I think her travel plans were a result of me constantly talking about my trip. We both set off for Europe but our schedules wasn’t going to allow for a European rendezvous. Or so she claimed…

By the time we both returned from our European sojourns, I maintained contact with the occasional phone, emails and text messages. But she didn’t reciprocate. It was all a little odd, until we had managed to organise a catch-up with some other friends who I still, to this day, see regularly. At the dinner she was the same Big Lips as I had worked with. But once the dinner was over, the contact stopped completely. No-one from our group has heard from her since. Although her business is up and running, with the name, website and content that I had created for my apparent “business partner”.

Months went by and I was out to dinner with a friend who I’d worked with. She eventually revealed that Big Lips was under the illusion that I had fallen head over heels for her and was deeply in love. Oh how wrong she was! She was so off the radar that she clearly didn’t know my preferred sex. I must have been a good actor! But alas, Big Lips was convinced I was in love with her and that was the reasoning behind her withdrawal from our group. But I believe it was only a small part of it, not the entire reason.

But you’d wonder – why invite someone to a wedding, get along famously with them and even offer them a job, if all the while, you weren’t going to maintain the friendship. I guess I will never know.

But friendships end for the strangest of reasons and other friendships have ended for a myriad of reasons and this is just one example. How hard you invest in your friendships depends on a number of variables and I suppose both parties can be at fault at times. But how much is it their fault and how much are you to blame? It’s all semantics I guess.


Marie Young said...

Shit!!! I thought you were talking about me for a minute!!

I met you at work, have long 'lioness' hair and am Sicilian!!! Anyway, good to know you still love me.

Now about blame, you are DEFINATELY not to blame for a wonderful friendship coming to an end. You are one of the most dedicated, loyal and supportive friends i have ever had.

I think that if you can get past those first few years of friendship (and still actually like each other) then by about year 5 you are considered more family than friend, so it doesn't matter how badly you treat each other anymore!

Since our friendship is going on 7 years strong now, i guess i can now start calling you 'Papa Tonnes'.

R*Y A N said...

people come, people go.

they stay for a season, sometimes a lifetime.

but in your ex-friend's case, she's clearly a nutter.

you're better off.