27 Oct 2010

Death of a Friendship

12 Comments Personal Crap

When I was 15, I met a crazy, eclectic girl who was best friends with my beautiful best friend. We hated each other. For weeks we hung out, a threesome. The beautiful best friend in the middle, and the weirdo and me on either side. For the purposes of this post, let’s call the beauty “Beth” and the eclectic one “Zoey”. Zoey and I never spoke to each other unless we absolutely had to, which was rare. She would talk to Beth. I would talk to Beth. Beth would talk to us. I shared a locker with Beth, too. To this day I’m not sure why either of us were friends with Beth. She was only good at two things: Looking incredibly hot and belittling people.

One day Zoey found me in the Drama Department. “Lisa?”, she queried. “Zoey? What the hell are you doing in the D Building?” She wanted to know if I had a minute to talk. I did. She started, “Has Beth been acting weird to you lately?” I thought about it. “Yeah. She’s kind of been ignoring me and hanging out with (fill in beautiful, popular girls’ names here).” “Me too”, says Zoey, “What do we do?” We immediately decided, this girl and I who never spoke and hated each other for no reason, to move me out of Beth’s locker and right into Zoey’s. It happened that day. It changed everything.

Over the next week we became friends. We lived only blocks from each other. We had the same sense of humor. She was neat, I was a slob. She was a dancer, I was a comedian. She was Armenian, I was Jewish. She had huge, curly hair. Mine was straight and dull. She dressed like a gypsy. I dressed like Bill Cosby. She woke up early. I slept until noon. But we loved everything about each other, and we became inseparable.

Over the 21 years of our friendship, we became family. She was my sister, and I hers. We even called each other “wife”, and on my wedding day she told my husband he better be ready for two wives. We had months, even a year once, where we didn’t speak for one reason or another. Family is like that sometimes. Growing pains. But we shared everything. We spoke daily, either in person or on the phone, for hours. We shared clothes. We spent all of our weekend nights together. We held jobs together. We worked out together. We took a spa day at least once a year. We held each other in terrible times and laughed together in celebration. We also declared frequently that we were the cutest girls ever and that whoever didn’t know it was stupid.

Her mom was a second mom to me. She was always there with advice or food. For a few years, Zoey and I lived in the same apartment complex, which her mom managed. It was like Melrose Place without the sex. Zoey’s mom is a designer, so she always helped put our place together, she helped put our house together, and she set up everything for Garrett’s room before he was born. Then, as a gift, she didn’t charge for any of it. That was awesome.

I threw Zoey’s wedding shower. It was 1950’s Housewife themed. I cooked and baked for days. It was a great event. She threw my baby shower. It was “The Red Tent” themed. She turned her backyard into a full-on red tent, and even had hay bales for us to sit on. There was a henna artist, and a table set so beautifully on which she served mediterranean food. It was remarkable.

There was so much love between us. But there was also a lot of crap. There were jealousies and judgements. We always overcame them, but it got harder as we got older and our lives became more complicated. I’m struggling with exactly how much to write about it because it’s not only my story. I don’t want to slander her, even though I’m not using her name. Suffice it to say, she met a man who was different, and didn’t necessarily like all of us. She changed. Became more him than her. I had my baby and I changed. Became more Mom than girl.

When Garrett was five months old, Zoey became pregnant. Then the shit really hit the fan. She wanted no advice from me because I went to doctors, and she was seeing a mid-wife. She judged me for my C-Section, even though she denied it. She said hurtful things, even though she didn’t mean to. I tried to be there for her, but couldn’t. Not the way she wanted me to be.

I sent an email and, looking back, I wish I hadn’t. Not that one, at least. It was meaner than I meant it to be. She sent back venom. I sent back pain. She sent more venom, I believe it was more his than hers. We finally met in person, saying we’d start from scratch and leave our baggage behind. It didn’t feel right to either of us. That night she emailed me that she needed space. I emailed back that she could have it. That was two-and-a-half years ago.

My life has been far less complicated without her in it. Things opened up for me that wouldn’t have opened up. I realized how much she had judged me and hurt me over the years, and I’m sure she feels the same of me. I never met her child. She never really knew mine. She wasn’t there when my father passed. She isn’t there to talk to now.

And her mom? I miss her mom terribly. I never said goodbye to her. No closure. I know she hates me, she holds grudges hard. I wish I had talked to her. I hate myself for that. I owed her that. I truly wish my son knew her. She’d have been a great other grandma. Regrets.

Life truly is the way it should be. Zoey and I had the exact friendship we needed to have. We taught each other so much. We laughed for years. We became part of who we are because of our friendship. And then we entered new phases and the friendship no longer worked.

But I miss having a best friend. I have friends who fill me up with such joy. They are beautiful and we talk about everything. I love them. I’d do anything for them. But it takes years to build the kind of friendship where you treat someone’s house like it’s your own. Where you say things out loud that should really stay inside. Where you know what someone is thinking before they even say it. Where you’re not embarrassed for a person to see you right when you wake up. Where you sit on someone’s kitchen counter and eat food out of their fridge. Where you pee with the door open and keep talking.  I miss all of those things. 21 years is a long time to have a friend. I will probably mourn parts of that friendship for the rest of my life.

I love Zoey for everything she taught me. She made me stronger, not always in the kindest ways. She made me laugh. She made me dress better. She shared her family with me. She let me share mine with her. She listened (usually) and told me all her secrets. She knows all of mine. That’s weird, considering we’re no longer friends. But I trust her with my secrets. Hopefully, that’s not a stupid choice. I do have a lot of crap feelings toward Zoey. But the more time goes on, the more I’m just grateful for the good times. I try to think less about the crap. I guess I hope she remembers the good times, too.

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Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!
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12 Responses to “Death of a Friendship”

  1. Reply Dana says:

    I had a friend like that too, more like a sister than a friend… Ended badly and over something stupid… And she judged me and I spent a lot of time living up to what I thought she wanted me to be… It sucks not having a best friend anymore, and we found one another on Facebook but really haven’t exchanged dialogue… And I’m tempted to initiate something and then I realize that my kids deserve more than to watch me pour myself into a relationship where I get nothing in return. Nice to know someone else has experienced this…

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Wow. You just said it. You owe your kids more than that. That was exactly the main reason for the end of our friendship. Wish I’d articulated it better in the post. I didn’t want my son to see me fighting for a friendship like that. And I didn’t want him to see me being judged by a friend either. Amazing how our kids change everything.

  2. Reply Koch says:

    Wow. I really hope Zoey reads this. Meanwhile, speaking of those that love you the most, I hope to see you real soon. I know you’re busy being a Flawless Mom and all, but my schedule is going to be very open soon if you wanna goof off (I’m getting out of the gig with the lady).

    Oh, and FYI: I think I might like your unedited, rambling, personal posts the best. 🙂

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Oh, all of a sudden you’re schedule is going to be very open. Wow. Lucky me! I’ve just been waiting around pining for you, praying your schedule would open up.
      All sarcasm aside, I hope that happens very soon. I miss you. And I highly doubt Zoey will read this. But I’m glad you did. And I like to ramble better, too. xo

  3. Reply AL says:

    What a great description of what it feels like when events in life, growing up, falling in love, marriage, children and how with each time, we are changed, each of us. Reflecting on that relationship is a good thing, if painful. Disappointment never gets easier to take, in fact, if it involves someone we trusted and loved.

    You are a good friend. A honest friend. A caring friend. In time, Zoey may come to understand, or not, either way, you win! Dana is so right on this one! (Max too)

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      The good news is I never want or need for her to understand. We have a mutual non-understanding of each other’s new phases, and that’s okay. I’m with you though, that the reflection is good. Writing this blog was very painful and cathartic. It felt right to get it out. The one thing I’m pretty sure of is that she’s not reflecting on it at all. She was more of a “put it away where it can’t hurt you” kind of gal. I don’t think that’s very healthy. But again… NOT my problem! Thanks, AL.

  4. Reply dusty earth mother says:

    Wow, that is such an intense story, and told very well. I also have a friend that I miss and still can’t believe daily that she is no longer in my life, but I don’t miss the DRAMA. Do we go back and try again? That remains to be seen…

    Thanks for visiting me on Scary Mommy!

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      I always say why go back? There were reasons it wasn’t working, and you were friends at a time you needed the drama for whatever reason. Do you need it now? Doubt it. I really loved your post and look forward to reading more. Thanks for visiting me! Following you on twitter now and intend to keep up with your writing.

  5. Reply M.L.E. says:

    I, like Max, wish Zoey would read this. But I always want people who have “wronged” me to self-reflect, and see their actions and behaviors for what they are, as I inevitably do (and sometimes beat myself up for) when self-reflecting. Not likely in this case, I think. Some people just aren’t capable of that. Isn’t it weird to honestly wish someone well, even though the things they did to you were so painful? I guess that makes you a better person.

    We had someone in our lives once for many years (although not nearly as close as you and Zoey). It ended very badly (and that’s an understatement). What we all came to realize was that this person was a cancer in our lives, who was slowly sucking the life out of all of us. As painful as it was, making that break was the best thing that could have happened in the long run. Every time we have a get together in the years since, without the drama and hysterics and stress of worrying about how this person was
    going to do something to mess up the day, we are so grateful…for the peace and ability to just relax and enjoy truly genuine friendships.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. Reply Paz says:

    This makes me sad. 1 because I am pretty sure I know both “Beth” and “Zoey” and 2 because I have had the same experience with my school best friend. We were best friends from 5 until about 30. I have not spoken to her in almost 10 years and although I am better off, it is still sad. I used to get mad at myself for “Losing” a friend, but I did not “Lose” her, I just finally got to the point where I had to let it go and that is something I ultimately do not regret.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      That’s such an important thing, realizing the difference between “losing” and “letting go”. No regrets here, either. Pain? Yes. Great memories? Yes. But letting it go was necessary. Good to know someone else went through it, isn’t afraid to admit it friggin’ hurts, and knows it was the right thing to do.

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