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Friends and Ends

Recently I called an old friend to touch base. Let’s call her ‘S’. We went back a long way, back to when she was married and I wasn’t, and we lived within a few miles of each other. We’d known each other for almost 12 years.

I was feeling good. Just minutes before, I’d had a pleasant but brief catch-up phone call with another old friend. This one I hadn’t seen in many years, but we kept in touch.

Anyway, I was looking forward to catching up on the phone with S. She and I had done this many times before.

But this time, her voice sounded cool, as in distant. Somewhat hesitant. Maybe even a little wistful.

‘You know, Chichi’, she said slowly. ‘I’ve decided I only want friends I see often.’

A pause and then her voice tapered off…

Her words took me by surprise. They seemed to come out in fits and starts, like they were being dragged out of her.

I thought I knew what she was trying to say and I wanted to get this over and done with.

‘Okay, S. You can be straight with me. You’re saying you don’t want us to be friends anymore because we don’t see each other often, right?’

‘Yes’. Her voice was barely more than a whisper.

‘I have so much to do right now that I can’t commit to seeing most of my friends that often. I’m able to keep the friendship going in spite of this. But I understand this isn’t enough for you and you’d rather we weren’t friends, right?’

I thought I could hear S’s silent transmission of relief.

‘So if that’s what you want, I won’t be calling you again. And that’s a promise.’

‘Okay, Chichi. I wish you all the best in the future.’

‘All the best to you too, S’. I’ll remember the good times. Bye.’

‘Bye’.

And so ended a 12 year-old friendship.

I did not want our friendship to end, but you can’t be friends with someone against their will. S and I lived about 35 miles from each other and while she had her work and her friends, I was juggling a family, a day job, a home business and countless friendships, both online and offline.

I am not able to meet regularly with friends who live in my neighbourhood, so how could I even think of having regular meetings with anyone who lived over 30 miles away? I know it’s a reflection of the crazy-busy lives many of us lead today.

What do you think? Have you had a friendship end because you both weren’t able to meet regularly? Please share your experience in the comments.

6 Responses to Friends and Ends
  1. Mylene
    October 3, 2010 | 2:14 pm

    I don’t think anyone in your position should justify their reasons for agreeing to such a strange and very unrealistic request. How strange was this friendship? The best friends I have are friends I made growing up in secondary school and uni in the 70′s and 80, friends I met in the clubbing scene and working life and social interactions in the 80′s and 90′s! Not those I see or meet regularly. Now, we have all gone on to do different things and live in the same and in other continents altogether. Some of these friends I haven’t seen in years even though we live 40 minutes away. But because we understand the commitments and demands of work and family life, diverse timetables and other things that make meeting regularly virtually impossible we are still tight. We keep in touch on the phone, by emails, text messages and by letter writing. I would never strike a friend off because we don’t see regularly! Ridiculous! I love and cherish my friendships and if my friends don’t treat me with disrespect those I make in my lifetime shall always remain on my mind and heart for life. This ‘S’ person was never your friend…someone you shared a specific time with but not your friend. How many of us have seen GOD? Yet, HE remains OUR BEST FRIEND regardless of all our human failings and especially when we don’t keep in touch or visit or ‘see’ HIM regularly. Thanks for the post Chi but you honestly do not need such friends…in my books they fall into the category of those one can call ‘FRENIMIES’. Have a good week. X

    • Chichi
      October 3, 2010 | 9:35 pm

      Thanks, Mylene, for your encouraging comment. You and I seem to have the same views on friendship and the commitments that make meeting regularly virtually impossible. I let my ‘friend’ go without a struggle – who needs that kind of friendship, anyway? Have a great week.
      Chichi

  2. Godfrey
    October 3, 2010 | 10:30 pm

    Chichi, You and I have come a long way. We’ve not seen for ages. Yet when Dennis and I talk about you we still share memories that are fresh in our minds. I believe that friedship is about what we are willing to give to the other person and not about what we want to recieve. Your friend had nothing to offer you. You lose nothing by her departure.
    A friend left me with just those words your friend left you with. She was a nice soul with a lovely disposition and a kind heart. She was good company just like we used to be several years ago. I let her be. Thanks to Facebook, she slowly warmed her way back despite living in another continent with no hope of our ever meeting again. Frienship has its laws. We can’t force it.G.

    • Chichi
      October 3, 2010 | 11:02 pm

      Hey Godfrey, thanks for the comment. I remember the days when you, Dennis and I lived in the same town – memories are indelibly etched on my mind. Interesting that your friend revived your friendship, despite the physical distance between you two. Maybe she realized she would be shortchanging herself if she only kept the friends she could see often. You are right – we can’t force friendship.
      Chichi

  3. Lee Ann Johnson
    October 18, 2010 | 3:08 pm

    A hard call, but I am continually delighted by coming back into contact with people I thought I’d lost. One of these lovely experiences is worth a lot.

    • Chichi
      October 21, 2010 | 8:21 pm

      I like reconnecting with people from my past too. Sometimes, though, I have found it difficult to sustain the connection because both of us have changed so much and we no longer have anything in common. But that’s another story for another day.

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