No, I don’t mean haters. Haters care far too much in negative ways to the detriment of both themselves and others. I’m talking about friendships and other relationships that die.
Well, what were they really anyway though?
I cannot count how friends I’ve had over the years who I don’t think really cared all that much. And maybe most people unfortunately have had those sort of friendships at one point or another.
Actually though, in my life, most if not all of those sort of friendships died years ago. I had one supposed best-friend who probably never really cared all that much about me ghost me after I had my first child. She wasn’t yet seriously dating anyone at the time and she had expressed what appeared to be some agitation or perhaps mild disdain about how different our lives were. Then one Valentine’s Day while I was pregnant with our first child, my ex-husband (then husband) took me out for dinner and this friend spent a decent hour or so texting me about a jerk who was leading her on (trying to get sympathy and advice from me). At the time I tolerated it and even embraced it because I felt empathy for her, but a while later when I thought she had started lying about this young man to make him seem more innocent than he was and convince herself that it was ok to keep seeing him, I lost my temper. I accused her of becoming a liar in regard to him. She was possibly devastated at being called at liar (she seemed very hurt at the time by that accusation) and while we had a real conversation maybe once or twice more after that she eventually just totally ignored me a year or two later. I wrote her a reasonably calm, sad, albeit genuinely hurt last message wondering about why our friendship had ceased and then let it go. She never responded. I unfriended her at some point as it just seemed logical. Later we became “friends” again on Facebook and I’m pretty sure I was the one who sent the request… We never have communicated beyond that request and its acceptance and that was years ago now.
The thing is, like some adults in my life when I was a child, emotionally I had taken on a sort of semi parental role at times with this friend. But, in her case, when I think of the good advice she gave me or the times she “was there for me when I truly needed it most” I draw almost an entire blank. I’d visit her lovely family occasionally and we’d have wonderful long chats and go tanning, to the beach and shopping at the Cherry Hill Mall. We’d peer at the latest Vogue over coffee or muse about the glory of Old Hollywood stars among other delightful things. Once we meandered around Manhattan and had Italian for dinner. But distance and the inherent cracks in the friendship tore it apart eventually…
Looking back I wish I could warn my younger self. First, I’d tell me to stop trying to help her with all of the guys she dated who were bad for her; trying endlessly to talk her out of wasting her heart or time. Sure I’d still have said something but…not even half as much as I did. She’s in a seemingly happy marriage with a wonderful little one now anyway… And I doubt my attempt to save her from sadness was ever all that valued and it certainly wasn’t reciprocated. *sigh* I just embarrassed myself and seemed like a square old lady, most likely. *laughing* “Uptight” as I have hatefully been called before and since by supposed friends and actual family. No, I can do better: I was an “uptight”, pitiable young woman who didn’t finish her college degree (A half year left! *gasp*) but instead got married like a foolish, outdated idiot.
(Rant: even though this friend knew I had inherited money from my family and was far from destitute she feigned actual care once while suggesting I go on Public Assistance when I considered ending my marriage. “I don’t think it’s wrong.” she said like the pretentious, pretend humanitarian she might have been. I then once more told her the actual Dollar amount I’d inherited because I was confused and caught off-guard by her suggestion. And, of course, she probably ignored that once more anyway and/or erased that information from her memory like she had before. “Oh! Your car is just like my car!” she also said, of course, when my father bought me a car around that time. “It’s not your money!” would have been the next thing she’d likely have said if not for the fact that her parents had bought her her car, helped pay for her education and etc. Right? *eye-roll* Because rightful, honest, normal marital property and parental gifts and inheritance are all evil, suspect, “paternalistic”, “capitalistic” and to be canceled if a hater or uncaring person isn’t included in that group and/or if they decide they’re simply just too damn cool for it all. *eye-roll* Or…if you’re trying to genuinely feel and seem superior and more healthy and successful and you want to delude and convince yourself someone is trashy and poor compared to you when you know they’re not…you might just decide magically that their actual, legally received money doesn’t exist or is somehow, again, magically not as moral, pure or even as real as your money… Yes, I did share a little of this with her in that last message but I did it kindly.)
Anyway, like the adults in my childhood who shouldn’t have wanted, much less allowed or encouraged, parenting from a five year old, she needed to sort things out on her own. Of course. And…like those adults…if she didn’t care about me beyond the lovelier moments then as heartbreaking as it was for me it was a relationship bound to die or be quite diminished. Eventually, at least. Because some people really, truly…don’t care. And if they ever did or do care, which may be highly unlikely, it makes little difference regardless when they euthanize a relationship in the end or slowly over time in a genuinely uncaring way.
“I think there are things [name of friend] doesn’t tell you.” said a (real) friend of mine at the time (on a side-note he’s now a screenwriter in Hollywood who has his own Wikipedia page so good for him). I knew he was trying to warn me, but I couldn’t believe he really knew more about her than I did. I thought I was her best friend… “Like what do you mean?!” I asked. He either didn’t literally know more or demurred… But, regardless, he was right in some way. I wish I’d listened. I wish I had known why to listen…