My novel is about friendships. But what happens when friendships end, and why do they end? This is something that has confounded me later in life. For example, I’ve had most of my friends that I’ve met since the age of 8, and I’m now like—well, older than that. Yet, there are a number of friends I met in my early 30s whom I barely speak with anymore–even when I still run into them.
There are times when you can understand what happened to the friendship, like if you had a fight and there was a falling out. However, there are more disconcerting other times when you simply can’t understand where things went wrong. I tend to spiral about these friendships, always blaming myself for their demise, and seeking answers that I never obtain, including directly asking the ex-friend: did I do something wrong?
I just read a blog post that a woman wrote about ghosting a good friend, because she didn’t like the way she parented. She said she enjoyed the friend’s company very much, yet she couldn’t stand that her friend let her child run amok in the house and didn’t discipline him when he’d throw tantrums, or, worse yet, throw something at her child. I DO get this, the consternation with a friend’s parenting or lack thereof. Yet, I wonder: if you are such good friends, why can’t you simply address the matter with them? Tell them, “Hey, I really love you, but I’m having a hard time with the way you parent. I know that’s hard to hear but…”
Wait, now that I write that, I guess that seems harsh and wouldn’t go over well. Actually, this even sort of happened to me! I was good friends with a woman when my babies were toddlers. And she slowly started to distance herself once she had a child of her own. She basically pulled a full Houdini. I was upset, very upset. So, one day, I confronted her. I said, “You can’t just ghost me. We’ve been good friends for too long.” So we met up in person on a rainy day–so dramatic!–and she told me this: “Now that I have a child of my own, I don’t like the food you feed your children (with sugar), and I don’t like any devices or televisions.” So she axed me! Couldn’t she have given me a head’s up?
I don’t know. And I felt judged, hurt, and angry.
There are also those women who just disappear and you have NO CLUE why, and it’s probs not about the parenting. Wait, do I sound like a ghosted loser right now? I still have friends. Some. Promise.
This bothers me though. Once I make a friend, I want to keep her! And it’s totally awkward when you run into them at the store or something and have to pretend to make plans that will never happen.
Okay, full disclosure: I have done the fade-out friendship thing, because I just didn’t know how to explain that I felt we were not compatible any longer. Or, there are those friendships, like your floormates freshman year in college, who were your friends out of convenience, or because you were doing the same things, like going to the library with toddlers (also in my upcoming novel, Friends with Boats).
What are your thoughts on all this? Is it okay to ghost? Share in the comments below, and please share my blog, if you like it!
Oh, and be my friend. FOREVER!!!!