Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Poll

When I was 19 and working for Parks and Rec, I met a guy. We'll call him Dave. Dave and I became good friends working together, although always platonic, no romantic vibes whatsoever. Eventually he got married and so did Hubba-hubba and I, who also knew him through work, and we would all hang out.

Time passed, kids were born, and yet we always found the time to hang out together a few times a year, whether it be dinner or birthday parties. So basically, I've known the one half of the couple for almost twenty years, and the both of them for at least fifteen.

Over the summer, you might remember our washing machine went out. Unfortunately, the day we had to go get a new one was the First Communion of the eldest daughter of the couple above. We were going to go to the "reception" portion at their house afterwards, something they said wasn't fancy and no big deal. So in the morning, I called and explained our circumstances and begged their forgiveness for not being able to come. We are normally not flaky people, and I figured that we would just maybe meet up the next week and I could give her our gift.

Well, I called a week later, spoke briefly to Dave, and asked him to have his wife call me back as to when she wanted to get together, as I felt badly about missing the party. He didn't seem upset, and I thought nothing of it, as they had cancelled out on things for us before. Because, you know, life happens to people and you move on.

Except, she never called. Then, about three months or so later I mailed them an inviation to the Munchkin's birthday party, as I have been doing since he was born. No response.

I'm confused. If they are willing to throw away a friendship over one missed party, then perhaps the friendship wasn't what I thought it was. Hubba-hubba has proposed that perhaps one of them got laid off, or some similar tough circumstances. I don't know what to think, or do, for that matter. They literally just sort of fell of the face of the earth.

Have you ever had someone fall of the face of the earth for you, too?

Or is is just me?


Sue said...

Yeah, something similar happened to us. After about a year, they got in touch, apologising for the long absence. Their teenage daughter had been suffering severe depression and eating disorders... they just hadn't had the energy or time or anything else even to think of other folk.

So, in the absence of any other evidence, I'd take your hubba-hubba's line that probably some disaster struck and they're unable to cope with other folk right now. I hope.

Sue said...

augh, just realised what those last two words must sound like. Of course I don't hope your friends have had some family disaster. I meant I hope that they're not deliberately avoiding you, and that they haven't been stupidly offended by your not attending their party!

I meant I hope that whatever it is gets sorted out soon.

Scout said...

I have a friend who disappears once a year or so and doesn't communicate for weeks and weeks at a time and then returns to tell me I'm like a sister to her. Her excuse is that she's chronically depressed, although she won't admit it. It wears me out.

dgm said...

When I was in junior high school I had this best friend who used to write and call all the time after I moved to the other side of the country. I used to visit her and other friends in the summer until one summer she totally stopped speaking to me and to this day, thirtyish years later, I have no idea why. I wrote long, pleading letters, I called, I had others ask her what happened, but no one ever found out. Weird.

As for your friend, it does sound plausible that something might have happened and they don't have the energy to put into friendship right now (Admittedly, I did that for a long period after my daughter almost died of meningitis when she was a newborn. Even with my closest friends, I had trouble letting anyone in after such a traumatic experience. Something to do with shaking the foundations of your reality.)

But I do think it also plausible that the wife is peeved about missing the event. Of course I don't know her, but I've seen people go apeshit over the pettiest things.

Well. I guess that wasn't too helpful.

J at said...

If I were you, I would write them a note, and try to find out. Tell them you're very sorry you missed the communion. Perhaps her feelings were deeply hurt, and she thought you shouldn't have scheduled the washer delivery for that day.

Or, perhaps it's something else. I had a friend I was VERY close to. I was her maid of honor. When she was going through a divorce, she just stopped calling me, and I finally got in touch with her. She said when she's depressed, she doesn't call. But then she said she was moving to another state soon, and would let me know her new info when she had it. Never heard from her again. Broke my heart. I wrote to her at her mom's house, figuring her mom would forward the letter, but still, nothing.


Oh, and then there's the woman who used to be best friends with my mom. She was like a second mother to me. She and my mom had some kind of a falling out, and she moved without telling me. When my mom died, I didn't have a current address. Eventually I did find one that forwarded to her and her daughter. Her daughter emailed me to tell me how sorry she was. She said the mom was planning to write, but nope. Nothing. Weird.

Hope said...

the only one's who have fallen from the face of the earth are ones that I've pushed ;), and they always know why.

One thing I know Gina is that it isn't worth the time conjuring up the whys, because, in truth there are a million reasons that it could be.
Give Dave a call.. lifes too short to pussyfoot around.

Maternal Mirth said...

Never. I stalk them until they cave.

Nance said...

Christmas is coming (I hear over and over again, anyway!), so maybe you can send them a nice card and note. In it you can tell them you miss them and that you'd like to get together over the Holidays. The season tends to make people sentimental for old friends and also the New Year tends to put things into perspective. Perhaps things will settle out then.

Ted said...

I hate to say it but ... I've been one of those "fall off the face of the earth" types -- and I've done it more than once.

But with your predicament I would try and contact them again. A card, a phone call, an email -- or maybe a combo of the three.

Patois said...

Okay, true confessions: like Ted, I'm the one who typically falls off the face of the earth. I know where it stems from, but it doesn't excuse why I do it having reached adulthood. It's tough, then, to reach back into people's lives because of the guilt.

I wouldn't write it off as the friendship being more to you than to her (him?). There's so many things that could explain it. If you're interested in staying in touch, reach out. If rebuffed, chalk it up to another earth-faller-offer, like me, and recognize it's her and not you.

Liz said...

Yeah I had a friend send me a scathing letter once about something I supposedly did to her. It turns out her therapist had her write it because for some reason I 'done her wrong'. I never did figure out what that was all about.

Awesome Mom said...

All the time my dear! The problem with moving all the time (and growing up moving all the time even though my parents were not military) is that it is very easy to loose touch and grow apart. I have a hard time maintaining a relationship with people that are not around me all the time. I think that some people that I only know online are some of my longest friend relationships simply because they never move, you can always find them online.

Ortizzle said...

This hasn't happened to me, but only because I haven't sent an invitation to anyone for anything for light years.

I think Nance has the right idea: ask them over for eggnog or whatever during the holidays. If they are going through a bad time, they may beg off. If that seems like too much or too formal, or you are already too worked up about it, take Hope's suggestion and just call Dave. Whatever the outcome of that phone call, it will probably give you an instant answer to the agony of not knowing and having to second-guess, because regardless of what Dave says, you will know if it's genuine, if he feels awkward because his wife is in a snit, or if something deeper is behind it that has nothing to do with you.

And even though I have never been in this exact situation before, I have been in countless awkward situations that were similar. The bottom line, and once again, I say nothing original here, is how much you value the friendship. If they are peeved for no reason, well, uh, do you really need friends who are not understanding? If they dropped off the face of the Earth because there is some crisis in their lives, at least you will know this, and maybe even be able to help them in some way, albeit simple moral support.

P.S. For the last 3 months I have been living proof that disappearing off the map can, and frequently is, a totally personal thing which causes good people like you to wonder what the hell is going on.

gmcountrymama said...

It would be good if you could at least speak to one of them. Hopefully their disappearance has nothing to do with your inability to attend a party.