A few months back I was accused, by someone I considered a dear friend, of doing something I didn’t do. At the time, I was furious. How could someone who knows me so well really think I would do such a thing? I pushed back and then I let it go, figuring it would blow over, as most things do when you know someone as long as we have.
Then as I was going through the final Christmas cards I realized this person cut me from her Christmas card list, didn’t wish me a happy birthday and a few other random things which in isolation are all relatively small. However, taken in light of her accusation really annoyed me.
Then I got to thinking about all of the other times, she has accused me of doing something I haven’t done. Times which she doesn’t even know I know about and a pattern of passive/aggressiveness appeared. Have I really just accepted this for 20 plus years? How have I never noticed this? The more I thought, the angrier I got. The angrier I got the more I realized this wasn’t friendship, this was just someone I used to know.
In the time we have known one another she has asked a boyfriend to try to seduce me to test our friendship (she doesn’t know I know this). Backed out of being my maid of honor, skipped my wedding altogether and now accused me of trying to seduce her husband. A husband, I might add, I introduced her to who is also one of my closest friends. When my son was going through a series of very serious surgeries, she didn’t even acknowledge it was happening until I snapped on social media and called her out on it (not my finest hour I admit but I was stupidly stressed).
During that same time, I helped her recognize she had a serious health disorder and found the treatment facility that saved her life. Introduced her to her husband. Have dropped everything in my life to be there when she needed me. Flew home from a business trip, drove 8 hours, one way, to attend and read in her father’s funeral.
I’ve never been one of those people who measure what I do for friends. Over the course of a long friendship there is a natural ebb and flow, give and take. With really good friendships, you don’t notice inequities. You simply understand you need to be there for your friends. You stand up, show up and put up, confident in the knowledge your “friend” will do the same.
But what happens when the person you thought was your friend doesn’t reciprocate? The answer, at least for me, is simple. They cease being your friend and simply become someone I used to know. It was a hard decision and I might eventually regret it. However, other friends fill the void. Friends who have proven they are there when I need them. Be it with a kind word, a swift kick in the pants or a hug when I didn’t even know I needed one.
So for my good friends who have lifted me up and been lifted up by me I offer this prayer
May God give you for every storm, a rainbow
For every tear, a smile
And a blessing in each trial
For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share
For every sigh, a sweet song
And an answer for each prayer
For all of those others, the ones who want the value of friendship without the cost, here is your prayer.
May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your crotch
And may your arms be too short to scratch
I never said I wasn’t a vengeful bitch…