Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Tale of Three Friendships

Actually two of them aren't friendships, but each has blessed my life in certain ways, in fact I don't know if #3 would have been possible without #1 and #2 to give me perspective. I wrote these three in response to David over at In the Dark and Dreary Wilderness. Thanks, David, for prompting me to think and write.

1. To my old friend who recently surprised me:

Dear _______, Can you believe that after all these years I finally found you again? When I friended you on Facebook, I didn't really expect you to friend me back. After all it's been more than a decade since we've talked. I eventually got the message that you weren't interested. It took me a long time not to think of you daily, but eventually I slowly let go, and you made it easy because you never followed up. When I was able to become more objective about our one-sided friendship, I realized I was the one who was interested in you and at first you were polite, but eventually your lack of doing anything to reach out to me helped me understand that I was wasting my time. But then you friended me back on Facebook. Wow, I've got to tell you that made my day, but I'm really glad we now live hours away from each other. I've gotten in the habit of not thinking about you, but when I saw David's post, it reminded me of you. Thanks for friending me, wow I got one, two maybe three mouse clicks from you. ;D I realize now that it is as close as I will ever get to any kind of a authentic friendship with you, and after all these years, I'm OK with that. (Moral of the story: Probably not such a good idea to friend certain old friends on Facebook?)

2. To someone who didn't become a friend, but I could have handled it better.

Dear __________, I hope you are doing well and sometimes I feel guilty that I didn't follow up with you when you made it so obvious that you wanted some kind of relationship with me. I should have just told you, sorry I'm not interested. But I took the easy way out, the wrong way out, I just basically ignored you until you went away. I wish I had been able to handle that better. I wish I could have said, "You've called several time and I always make some excuse, but the truth is, I'm not interested in a friendship. It's really nothing personal at all, just one of those cases where there isn't a good match." But I didn't say that. I wasn't very mature, but you weren't very perceptive when you just kept calling and I just kept saying no. Oh well, maybe we both have learned something. (Moral of the story: Candor is possible, at least in retrospect?)

3. To my true friends:

Dear __________, So many times you've brightened my day with a message or a phone call or a visit. I'm so glad that we've built a solid friendship that has weathered the years. I'm glad that our friendship isn't a one-way deal. I reach out to you, you reach out to me. Sometimes we have to say no but most of the time we find a way to say yes. Thanks for being there through thick and thin, through years of summers, winters, falls and springs. I had to wait a long time to cross paths with such a good match, such a good friend, but it was worth the wait. I'm smiling as I write this because it seems to me that the best part of our friendship is yet to come. I could be wrong, of course, but I don't think so. (Moral of the story: Storms eventually give way to clear skies?)

What do you think?


  1. Real friendships are natural, spontaneous, and effortless. But, at the same time they take work, caring, risk.

    We have all experienced all three types of friendship you outline here... those that we try hard to connect and get no equivalent response; those that we try hard to ignore and wish they'd go away, and those that are reciprocated.

    Oh the joy when the reciprocity occurs and the sparks fly. Yes, it still takes work, caring, and risk, but when reciprocated, it magically seems to be natural, spontaneous and effortless.

  2. Thanks, Beck, you nailed it, as you so often do. Unrequited love is so common it's the stuff of some of the world's greatest hits, whether they be opera or country, musical theatre or rock, rap or jazz, and anything else you can associate a meaning with.

    Reciprocal relationships also exist in many flavors. Some start sweet and turn sour. Some are hot and some are as invigorating as a mountain stream on a hot summer's day. We're lucky to have such variety in our lives if only we can keep it all in perspective. Thanks for helping me see that, through your candor and friendship.