I recently had a discussion with someone that was sad and upset (and mad) over a certain someone who failed to acknowledge, contact, interact – you name it – with the someone. She kept going on and on about how upset she was and how she couldn’t quite get past it.

Then I remembered reading something somewhere (probably somewhere super reliable like Facebook) that said, more or less, why waste your time on people who don’t care about you when you have people who DO love you right in front of you?

Of course, I’m guilty of the same thing so even as I was telling this person I was really trying to remind myself as well.

I have been through my share of bizarre and strange and hurtful relationships.

I had a friend who I grew up with. We were best friends from the days before puberty. She was my maid of honor and I was hers. We both baptized each other’s firstborns. Then suddenly she read something I wrote that she felt was directed 100% towards her (for the record, it really wasn’t but that is neither here nor there at this point) and she began to step further and further away from me. Of course, I had no idea I had hurt her with what I wrote so I continued to send her cards, emails, and messages on Facebook. Then she finally told me (she also told me that all those attempts on my part stressed her out because, get this, I was doing too much). Then we had a few email conversations and a couple of promises to get together that never panned out on her end (she didn’t call when she said she would, etc.). I told her the only way to move forward was to get all the pent up whatever out on the table and she just couldn’t do it. So, she let the relationship falter and die. Some days, I can hardly believe it. I mean, I considered her my sister and my kids called her aunt. She knows more about me than my husband. But I immediately cut off ties and deleted her from Facebook and stopped all correspondence with her. Strange. Makes me wonder just how good a friend we really were for each other if it all went poof over a couple of stupid sentences.

But she isn’t the only one.

I have a sister-in-law (she is married to my husband’s twin) who claimed we didn’t love my mother-in-law enough (yes, those were her strange observations because she judged us on how many trips we made from San Diego up to L.A. and I’m guessing it wasn’t the correct number in her I-Am-Now-God Book) that when she died they waited until she was cremated and buried before they informed us – in writing. When I gave her a piece of my mind she said she was tired of trying to figure me out and adios. Wha? That was eleven years ago.

Then there are those relationships that you are cordial to because you have to be but what do they really mean, exactly? I certainly don’t go out of my way and shouldn’t relationships be a two-way street? It can’t always be a one-way e-ticket (although a roller coaster sounds about right with some people!). You try and you call and you show you care but when the other person just clearly shows by their inactions that they don’t care, how much time and effort should those relationships take at the end of the day?

I don’t have answers to that.

I have several – more than I wish – of those types of relationships in my life. The ones where we could live five minutes away and still only see someone during the holidays. And no matter how often one calls or texts and get absolutely nothing in reply – how low does one need to beg for a relationship before you call yourself a complete putz and move the hell on?

I’ve had relationships end with friends over the years that fall into the category of convenience (we were neighbors, say, and when we weren’t any longer the relationship just wasn’t the same). Some change because we change. Not good or bad and no big argument or fight but we just drift and head into different directions and are following a different path than the one traveled on before, together. Some relationships end because I do believe they were put on your path for only the time they served and then when the purpose no longer existed, the relationships ceased.

I have a friend who lives in my subdivision and we met because our kids were in the same class and we both hailed from the southern California region and moved to Idaho around the same time. I don’t always talk to her. Life gets busy for both of us and sometimes she calls and I don’t immediately return her call. She still has a flip phone and she isn’t on Facebook (what the hell? I tell her all the time we need to move her into the new millennium) so she doesn’t text. But the minute one of us calls the other we are connected and plugged in and she is someone I can call after months of driving by her house and promising myself that I will remember to call her today – and ask for a favor or ask her a question or just call to say I was thinking of her and we will end up talking for an hour.

As I was telling that someone before about loving the ones that are near – I am working on that at the moment and trying to let go of the relationships that have fallen to the side of the road – much to my sadness.

All relationships take time. It takes a two-way street. It takes love and patience and forgiveness. And sometimes it just takes closing the book and leaving the unhappy ending the way it was written.


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