Saturday, February 12, 2011

Requesting permission to vent

Last March, after I cleaned out my closets for the Carson's Goodwill Sale, I was sure to set aside one of the terrific coupons for my oldest friend's birthday and or Christmas gift. I was worried about losing my job then, and I didn't want her to suffer if I got the axe. I bought her favorite, Vera Wang body lotion, for about $40, even with the coupon. I tucked into my closet, keeping it dry and dark to preserve the scent, and then brought it with me in December when I went to visit her to celebrate her birthday. It was the designated Christmas gift. She wouldn't open it, saying my Christmas present hadn't arrived yet. She wanted us to unwrap them together, over the phone, when mine was finally ready.

I was pissed. Christmas is on everyone's calendar. Plus she had blown off my birthday. She emailed me from her new home in Beverly Hills, like 2 days before, saying, "What do you want to do about your birthday? Shall we celebrate it out here when you come?" No. I want to insist that you FedEx overnight my present. Clearly she had forgotten my birthday, and now, weeks later, she had put Christmas off until the last moment.

And of course, with my oldest friend, none of this is her fault. My parents had the bad taste to have me during the same month of her cross-country move 53 years in the future. It's their fault. And it's the fault of the company she ordered my Christmas gift from. Not hers. It's never her fault.

OK. Whatever. I left the Christmas gift on her piano and headed back to Chicago.

Her move to California was turning out to be a disaster, and I tried to be as supportive as I could be. I posted photos of my trip - - including one of her Beverly Hills street sign -- on Facebook and let her know how to access them. Then, because I knew Christmas with her oldest, troubled son would likely be a stressful disappointment, I made a Jib-Jab Christmas Card for her -- starring her and I. It's not an opus, I'm not giving Martin Scorcese a run for his money, but I put work into it.

Here we are in mid-February. I hear from her all the time and know all about the problems with her health, her clinically-depressed 20-something son, her hyper-active and troubled freshman daughter, and now her job -- the one she moved out to Los Angeles for. She finds relief in her free time by farting around on Facebook, bonding with unmet "friends" who enjoy her passion for Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel.

Yet she hasn't found the time or the interest to click on the Jib-Jab card I made or to even glance at the Facebook photos I posted. Nor to send me my Christmas gift. As far as I know, she's lost the body lotion I gave her -- that Christmas gift I put so much care into choosing, wrapping, and delivering.

I am hurt and I am angry. And I am running out of patience. For while I'm the hurt and angry one, I know my oldest friend sees herself as the victim in this. Sometimes we have to take responsibility for our own actions, and the pain they cause others. Hearts as loyal as mine should be too precious for friends to injure.


  1. It's tough that she is so caught up in her own drama that she is trapped in the victim role. All relationships have ups and downs. Sorry this is in a down.

  2. it sounds like it is hard to be her friend at this point in time. at least for me it would be. i have a big i guess i would have already told her off...

  3. I don't think you needed permission to vent. You sound like a great friend to cherish, her lose.

  4. The problem with having a friend for as long as the two of you have been friends is that it's REALLY hard to blow these things off...or finally give up in defeat. It's a no win situation sometimes.

  5. Oh, I think I'll respond to you off-blog about this but for general consumption I'll say that I'm sorry that her actions caused you to feel disregarded, especially when you put such care into choosing a gift for her and being so understanding.

    It could be that she's really wrapped up in her own drama but it feels like this is sort of a patter for her, isn't it?

    Your open and loving heart is really special. I feel sad when it gets stomped on. (Resists urge to fly to LA and have a chat with said friend but am not a confrontational sort.)

    Love you. :)