If I Have Any Readers Left
I'm especially nervous because I was once on the receiving end of a friend break-up (she sent me a "You've changed, have a nice life" letter) and it hurt like hell. I suppose even more than the loss of the friendship (10 years) I felt humiliated and like a fool. Apparently (according to the letter), we'd been "growing apart for some time" (news to me).
So I don't want to do this to my friend. In fact it's the last thing I want to do to her. I've been taking the mature and thoughtful route - not returning her phone calls. Instead of getting my lame-ass hint, she calls and leaves more demanding messages, "Um, Hell-o! I've left you a few messages now. Call me back." Her messages are only slightly less pleasant than ones you might get from a bill collector.
I suppose I could sit down and have a chat, but what would be the point? She is who she is, I'm not interested in changing her and it's not like there's this long list of "crimes."
Okay, maybe there is. Let's see:
- She makes snide comments about Mr. J. and once actually said, "So, you guys don't ever really like, do anything, do you?" in reference to the fact that we don't travel much (or ever, what with all the house stuff.) Not traveling is one of the biggest crimes one can commit in her eyes and we are guilty, guilty, guilty!
- Mr. J. took a week's vacation to tile the bathroom. Her comment, "Oh, so that's what he does with his vacation" in the snottiest tone possible. Translation: Clearly you don't go anywhere or do anything so this is how you burn vacation time.
- Do I need to mention the babysitting? She seems to be under the impression that a.) since she pays for daycare during the week, she shouldn't have to pay for childcare at any other time. Her daughter will be four in March and to my knowledge she has only paid for a babysitter once. I got sucked in the first time by "Do you have plans tonight?" No, I didn't. What was up? Dinner and drinks later? "No, thank goodness. Now you can come over and watch the baby. I have to mow the lawn and then husband and I want to see a movie." That I only fell for once, or maybe twice. Now when she says, "Do you have plans Saturday morning?" she's not asking because she wants to go shopping (or maybe she is) but my standard response is, "What did you have in mind?"
- Do I need to mention the highly annoying voicemails demanding an immediate return phone call because she's trying to "organize coverage for the babies." I'm not getting a Ph.D in baby-sitting. Also, one of the many reasons I don't have children is so I can spend my free time exactly how I want to spend it. I don't need you begging me to watch your kids (for free, always for free) because you and your husband need to go to counseling. (Well, that one's my fault. I get sucked in because I'm a neurotic mess and the only person who likes a doormat is someone with dirty feet.)
I could go on, but the point of this entry wasn't (believe it or not) to completely defile this person's character. I just want to know how to terminate a friendship in a way that is least hurtful for the other person. (And to be fair, right now I have a bit too much pent-up resentment to discuss anything calmly with her anyway so that may not be an option for a while.)
Have you ever had to end a friendship? What did you do? Have you ever had someone end a friendship? What did they do? What was the outcome? I'd like to hear your stories, please.