Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Where is the Love?

There has been an epidemic. Have you noticed it? Everyone is going private.

I kind of hate it.

No offense to those of you going private, I totally understand your reasons. Really. You are good moms.

In fact some of you are my favorite people.

It is just harder to follow blogs that won't pop up on my googlereader.

It has also raised some questions of blogging etiquette. What do you do if someone wants to be invited and you don't want to invite them? Do you just ignore them?

This has happened to me.

There is an old friend who shall remain nameless. Though this post won't say anything bad about her. I actually really like her. still.

Our husbands worked together about 10 years ago and we were good friends. I knew some of her family since I was really young. We went to dinner together, we went to a company overnighter at a resort together, we did softball together, etc. Family baptisms. I even subbed in her bunko group.

She and her husband were hilarious. Hilarious! You couldn't NOT have fun around these two. In fact her whole family would crack you up. They are a close knit family, and you can't help but feel good just being around them.

But I have suspected for a while that she didn't like me anymore,which prompted some soul searching and introspection.

I am not really a fan of introspection as a rule. I don't really like to evaluate my faults. But it is necessary sometimes in order to avoid them in the future.

We fell out of contact with these friends about 7 years ago when our husbands stopped working together. Not right away, though. We had babies at the same time when I had Bren, and we e mailed pictures.

We have brought over Christmas goodies once or twice. We have been over there one other time recently, and Brenley still talks about their three year old, which is kind of sad. Because she doesn't know why I can't take her to her little friend's house. And our husbands will still talk to each other from time to time.

7 years is a long time! My kids were young. Rach was only five, Kindyl 3, and Mitchell was a one year old toddling around. I was a little immature myself I think (25 years old)

I was still new at this parenting stuff, and was more fixated on certain things than I should have been.

Our friends were a little bit older, had been parents for longer, and were a little bit more relaxed. Kind of like we are now.

This and my immaturity were my downfall, I think. Though I couldn't say for sure.

This is what I think happened, pure speculation mind you. I talked too much about my kids education, possibly making it sound like my kids were way more brilliant than hers. (which is not the case, by the way, I never thought her kids were anything less than fabulous) At the time I had Rachael at a private Montessori school and had to get a scholarship and clean the school twice a week in order to pay for it. Crazy.

I think I may have been a little obsessive about my weight and working out. I had been on bedrest with Mitchell for 5 months and put on a few pounds. (in retrospect, I really wasn't very big. Amazing what time and two more kids can do for your perspective )I had also just started going to the gym everyday, which was kind of a big part of my life.

In short, I may have been a little obnoxious. I also remember a phone conversation with her where I may have freaked out a little. I was panicked about something not getting done in time and ticked at Wendell about it. Again, it was my first time doing it and I overreacted.

That and a few other things that I can think of. There were things I would do differently now, to say the least.

As I was thinking about this, it reminded me of someone I recently met and hung out with a few times. She always seemed to point out how much more money her husband made. And how much more righteous her boys were. And a few other things that drove me nuts.

After a couple of times I told myself it just wasn't possible to be this person's friend. She would drive me crazy!

But then I realized something. She probably wasn't trying to make me feel bad. She was trying to make herself feel better. She may be a little insecure. But not a bad person. After a while it was obvious that this was the case. And now she is actually a pretty good friend. (though I still have to just smile and nod when she says rude things)

Had I been doing this too all those years ago? I admired my old friend. I admired her family. Was I insecure about my own? Perhaps. Did I come off the same way toward her? I don't know.

But it is possible.

When we lost touch I missed them. Because, like I said, they were both hilarious! They were good parents with great kids and fun to be around. Her husband was a good example to Wendell. (He doesn't need good examples now, of course because he is perfect;)but this was years ago, before he had perfected himself)

I told myself it was because they didn't work together anymore. And they moved 30 minutes away. Etc. But in the back of my head, I think I knew she just didn't like me.

What? How could that be? ;)Crazy I know.

Anyhow, when I started blogging I came across her blog. It was nice to keep up with her cute little family. I even commented once or twice. When she never commented back, I didn't think too much of it. She might just be the type that doesn't comment, right? There are plenty of people like that. It didn't really bother me .

Until she decided to go private and asked for e mail addresses. I commented and gave her mine a couple of months ago. Then she went private and I am not invited.

Am I mad at her? Honestly, not at all. It is her blog and her family and she has every right to invite whomever she wants. And frankly, she has legitimate reasons not to like me. Nobody should have to stay in any kind of relationship that they feel is toxic.

Mostly I feel regret. Regret for a friendship I have lost. And hurt, of course...

My sister thinks I should have Wendell ask the husband what's up. Since this is all speculation and they are still in occasional contact.

But I am too scared! I don't want to know for sure that she thinks I am a horrible person. Assuming may be better than knowing. By assuming, I can leave a tiny little option open in the back of my mind that it may have been an oversight. Or that she typed in my e mail address wrong. Etc.

I am a coward.

What would you do in this situation? Say it is no big deal (it really shouldn't be) and ignore it? Tell yourself not to obsess over this one person? That is probably what I should do. But I kind of feel this need to know.

Should I have Wendell ask and potentially put these people on the spot? Possibly make them feel the need to lie about it to spare my feelings? Is that really fair?

What do you do?

11 people know I love comments!:

Jen said...

okay first off LOVE this post. I have been on both sides of this, really I can admit that sometimes I have been a sucky friend. But I am one that hates confrentation in any way so most likely I would leave it be and chalk it up to oversight. Sorry I am not much help! And yeah all these private blogs are killing me!

Connolly Clan said...

This is a great post! I love when people can be real, honest and vulnerable about their lives and feelings. A rare thing now days. What if she really just doesn't want to be friends and you have Wendell call and that puts her on the spot again. Forced friendship? What if she just got busy and deleted the wrong emails? What if it was an oversight? In this age of digital mania, you just never know what people are thinking. My high school kids would constantly ask me what I thought about a text from a girl. We just couldn’t decipher some comments. Alas, I am one of those that rarely make comments. I love reading posts, but usually run out of time to comment. I would leave it alone. She probably knows that you have made an effort to be her friend. The ball’s in her court. Having said that, I am extremely reserved and if people don’t really try hard over and over, I lose touch with them. Sad, I know. I love you Sherry!

Sarah said...

If it were me, I'd definitely not have Wendell ask. It'll put them on the spot and they probably won't tell the truth anyways, to not hurt your feelings. Try to move on, learn (as you obviously have), and be a better person for the lesson.

Rhonda said...

First of all, Sherry, you are a great friend! I have totally been in that situation before & I know exactly what you are going through. I still think about those people that I lost touch with for whatever reason & it makes me a little sad. I swear, I could've written this post. But, what you have to focus on is that it may have nothing to do with something that you did & something to do with them. Truth is, even if it was something that you did, you have given that person the opportunity to mend the relationship with you & she chose not to. I think that says a lot. To me that means that the other person has some issues if she can't forgive & move forward. It's truly her loss. I would certainly never say that you were a toxic person. We sometimes do silly things for many reasons but it doesn't change the fact that you learn from them. It makes you who you are today. As hard as it may be, you need to let it go & move on. I know that you will take it personally but TRY not to. Just remember that you have other friends in your life who value your friendship & chose to keep you part of their lives. Do your best to maintain those healthy relationships & continue to be a great friend. That's all anyone can do. Love you Sherry!
Oh, & sorry that I didn't invite you to my blog. hahahaha
(Maybe you should accept my invite. wink wink)

Dan and Jan said...

Isn't it so great that we can grow up and mature and not be the person that we were at 25? I am glad for this in my own life. Isn't it also great that family gets to be around for the good and the bad, the before and the after, and all the in between?

I think it would be fine to have Wendell say casually, "Hey we miss seeing your cute family on your blog, how are you doing?" That wouldn't be any pressure and it would leave it up to them. Good luck.

Sarah said...

I should also add to my previous comment by saying that we are all so different at 35 than we were at 25 (which is weird, because at 25 I was much the same person I was at 15), and that if your former friend can't forgive the little things and move forward, it's her loss. You have never been anything but sweet and wonderful for as long as I have known you. We all have said and done stupid things that we regret, but just try to forgive yourself and realize what a wonderful person you are.

Patrice said...

I am private, of course. And for a long time, I was feeling bad that someone didn't ACCEPT my invitation, when in reality I had typed in the address wrong.

Call, apologize, and get it out in the open. You DO feel bad that you haven't remained friends, and that is a place to approach her from. I know that if someone contacted me from a place of reconciliation, I would most definitely respond favorably.


I am non confrontattinal that way. I would probably never say anything to afraid of making a mountain out of what could be a mole hill, but always wondering. I am no real help huh?

Crazymamaof6 said...

i hate that. the loss of the friend for an unexplained reason i mean.
the blog thing, could be an oversight.
or maybe she only had room for 100 people and you didn't make the cut not because she doesn't like you but because she has 100 people that she really wants to be able to see the wonder of her private blog. could that be it?

or chalk it up to live and learn and move on.

it's hard when you feel a bond,the kids miss their friend, and someone drops out of the friendship with no explanation why. it's offensive. and sad. and it's happened to me too.

maybe she's secretly got something going on with her. maybe she has her own issues that she doesn't advertise. and she's dealing with that by herself.

you can't do anything to change it. and knowing might be more offensive than pursuing it.

i love this post. i've been the one dumped and the dumpee. and well it's better to do the dumping. since you hold the power. but being the dumpee the only choice you have is to move on and take it as she sucks. and you rock and it's all her bitchy issue.?
and flip her the bird while you are at it. right at her "this is a private blog and you aren't invited page." trust me . it feels way better.

Mariah said...

I'm with ya.... even though my blog is ~privy~, it still stinks!


I hate private blogs. I never see them and then I feel bad that I never comment. Oh, well.

As for your friend, I would be uncomfortable if you called me on it. If it is just by chance, she will think you are over reacting. If it was on purpose, she will resent you.

I always plan a dinner party or barbecue if I want to spend some time with a friend. Nothing big, just a little casual social thing. Just let her know that you miss them and thought it would be fun to catch up. If she says no, that is fine. You have the things that really matter anyway!