Remember this post I wrote about a week ago and I was all KUMBAYA, I LOVE MY FRIENDS (side bar: I still loves you). I realized recently that there are definitely times when it’s completely healthy and okay to cut ties with friends. Also lest you think I’m a heartless bastard (oh, god… I hope you don’t think that!), please note that it is NEVER easy to walk away from a friendship. I understand this all too well. The bonds women share are irreplaceable—we come to each other with our deepest secrets, our dreams and fantasies, our loftiest ideas.
Also, there are two sides to every story. This is my side.
Over the past 48 hours, I’ve experienced a very bizarre string of text messages that led to this post. I’ve had my suspicions that a certain friendship wasn’t healthy for me, but I kept it alive because… well, I’m not really sure why. Maybe I felt bad. Perhaps I thought I could turn things around, or that things would change… but they never really did. We had gone through something similar and emotional, and it was a strong connection that I knew I wouldn’t have with many people. I think we both felt a certain sense of peace from being in each other’s lives and having someone to talk to about a topic so sensitive.
But things always managed to get weird.
One day we were on a late-night phone call and she said some incredibly insensitive things about how I wasn’t getting any younger and I needed to do X, Y, and Z with my life. Out of nowhere, tears began to well and I sobbed into the phone. It was a really shitty thing to say and I was angry with myself for crying. A week later, I got flowers in the mail
I recently mentioned to her how excited Bryan and I were to begin IVF treatments at a new (to us) facility. She told me she heard terrible things about that place (which happens to be one of the top rated hospitals in the country) and “I don’t think you’re going to get anything different”
Over the past few weeks, she’s invited Bryan and I over to her house repeatedly, which is lovely, but Bryan works full time and weekends are always occupied with house stuff. Also his father is going in for surgery soon, and they only have a few weeks left to finish projects they started. I always felt like I was making excuses, but some weekends we barely have time to spend with each other!
Also if I’m being honest—he’s not a fan. He’s had his own interactions with her over the years, and he’s seen firsthand the result of some of the things she’s said/done. Truthfully, it was a friendship he just never really understood.
This past Monday I received some nice text messages about books to read and whether or not Bryan and I could come over this weekend. My brother is in town from FL and Bryan’s sister is in town from OK, so I had to say no—it just wouldn’t work. She told me she can’t have a fun, healthy relationship with me if Bryan is not on board and that we text and do lunch and that it’s not enough.
And I felt as though she gave me an out. Maybe we have different ideas of what a friendship means, and perhaps we’re just not compatible for one. If a friendship is that emotionally draining and stressful, I don’t want it in my life. Shedding the weight of toxic or unhealthy friendships frees up time to devote and nurture other, more meaningful ties.
Last night, I saw two girls I hadn’t seen in ages. One recently gave birth so I was able to meet her daughter for the first time (!! So little!) and the other moved to North Carolina and isn’t in Jersey very often. We caught up, bullshitted, drank sangria, listened to Tori Amos, and stuffed our faces and it was just… Easy. Fun. Relaxing. What a friendship should look like.
My point is, neither of those girls would snub me if life got in the way for a while, or if we could only get lunch and text every now and then. We would laugh our way through lunch and provide life updates through text.
Life is short. Make it count.