So just in the nick of time, I reconnected with an old friend with whom I had been out of touch for quite a while. I was looking forward to speaking with her again, anticipating sharing our life changes and stories since the last time we’d talked.
And then I remembered why I have been so remiss in staying in touch.
Our friendship has a fatal – or at least potentially fatal – flaw. It is unbalanced, and with each passing year it is less based on shared understanding and mutual appreciation, and more on a unilateral need to dominate the conversation at all times.
Let’s just say I’m not the one dominating the conversation, or the friendship in general. I suppose this failing in our friendship is as much my fault as hers, but I’m not sure she even realizes the state I believe our relationship has entered. To her, I think, things are much as they ever were. I could be taking a big leap, here (but no one’s reading this anyway!), but I imagine to her I appear the same semi-flaky, interested but busy friend. She is even busier, I think, but she finds the time to call and talk at least. The problem is, she is the only one talking.
If I felt more comfortable, or closer to her, I might try to fix this uneven tendency in our relationship, but I think it has almost always been there – I just didn’t notice it as much when our time together lasted long enough for me to get a word or two in edgewise. I should have acknowledged it and addressed it when she dampened my wedding day, but hindsight is twenty-twenty, after all…
So I feel that I may end this first month of the Friends Forever Friendship Endeavor on a sour note – a note of failure. A sad recognition of the fact that maybe not all friendships are worth saving, rekindling, nurturing. Maybe sometimes there are unhealthy relationships, friendships that don’t promote the growth, happiness, or well-being of either party, and these relationships are better left to fade away. Perhaps this could be a lesson that not all friendships are intended for the “forever” status; it might be best for both of us to let it confine itself to Christmas cards and school reunions.
Despite my attempt to reconnect with this friend, I can’t help feeling like this particular experience was a bit of a failure. At best it was a difficult lesson learned in friendship. No progress on that measure of the Friendship Meter, it seems, but at least I have one day left…