Wednesday, March 21, 2007

it's a small world after all...

i apologize in advance if that song gets stuck in your head. :) this post is supposedly going to be about relationships but i have a feeling i will go off on a tangent or two or five. i will start by saying that i keep my life small deliberately. hubby and i made a conscious decision a few years ago to pare things down and live more simply- and it is an ongoing process. we still have too much stuff for two grown people- but we are working on it. i try to prioritize keeping things that we love or will use- like books or a vase my mother gave me. things in our apartment, for the most part, have meaning to us or we use it. spring cleaning time is coming around again- and it is a good time to purge those cmas presents we got that were too ugly to regift and we couldn't take them back. :) anyhoo- i said that to make the point of me prioritizing and keeping things simple.

i got together yesterday with a woman i have known since junior high. through thick and thin- she stuck the friendship out through sheer willpower. we have never had much in common- ever- except maybe our love of patrick swayze circa 1987. :) so, here we are 20 years later and we have less in common than ever. she doesn't do subtlety and i don't want to be mean when the only crime she has committed is being annoying and i have nothing to talk to her about. it really doesn't help matters either that she seems to be stuck in 1989 and our senior year in high school. sigh. i had a 'grown up' talk with her a year and a half or so ago- about being able to communicate about things other than music and soap stars and she was shocked and apparently cried after she got home (did i mention she tends towards melodrama?) sigh.

anyhoo- i don't contact her and i think she does me only out of habit. not that she doesn't like me for me- and it isn't that she isn't nice- i guess what i am saying is- i expect more from the relationships i choose to have in my life. she has a smaller life than mine and we don't share common interests- so conversation is difficult. so- how does one go about breaking up with a friend whose only 'crime' is being shortsighted and boring? and who apparently doesn't think big enough thoughts to wonder why she always has to call me?


dawn said...

wow, what a post. I can't even answer this one yet because I have to think. This is a difficult situation but I'm sure there is an answer.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

I don't think you can "break up" with a friend, until they decide it's over.

You could try acting like me for a couple hours. That should do it with no problem.:)

Clampett said...

Oi, Betmo.

"had a 'grown up' talk with her a year and a half or so ago- about being able to communicate about things other than music and soap stars and she was shocked and apparently cried after she got home (did i mention she tends towards melodrama?) sigh"

You perceive her as a child.

"anyhoo- i don't contact her and i think she does me only out of habit. not that she doesn't like me for me- and it isn't that she isn't nice- i guess what i am saying is- i expect more from the relationships i choose to have in my life. she has a smaller life than mine "

You think your life experiences are more profound than hers, and so you think you are more human than her.

Try telling her to stop calling....or wait...are *you* too nice for that....have you been leading her on while secretly enjoying your superior status in that relationship?

C-dell said...

That is a problem that we all have I had a friend like that, but I later learned that he did think that way about certain things, he just chose not to talk that way, because no one else would talk that way with him. I would just wean off the relationship slowly.

Peacechick Mary said...

I have a cousin who is stuck someplace in a Leave It To Beaver episode. She and her husband are also die hard Republicans and get the proper e-mails to make their proper statements that have nothing to do with thoughtful conversation. I try to avoid them, but remain polite even tho I want to scream and that's the best I can do right now.

Dizzy Dezzi said...

betmo, I have a very similar relationship with an old junior high gf. We even lived together for a time. We were the outsiders at school, that is how we became friends. But, at some point our lives took completely opposite turns. She used to call me about all of her personal problems (financial, parents, business) and I felt bad because I did feel superior to her (I always have good news, rarely anything bad in comparison to her life). Over the last couple of years, I have noticed that the only reason she ever calls is if she is starting a new business (like Mary Kay or Amway) and she needs someone to "help" get her business off of the ground. Within three months, she is calling about another "business opportunity". I have always been polite and sometimes I do spend money if it's something that I will use (but not enough to keep her in business...I have my own business to run dontchaknow). The funny thing is that she doesn't think much of my business that I have been running for almost 4 years (because it's just karaoke). Yet, not a single one of her business ventures has lasted past 6 months. Even her parents have refused to "help" her anymore. Just two weeks ago she called me to invite me to a real-estate seminar! I called her up and told her I was not interested, that my own business is doing just fine and I have no interest in real-estate or any other business venture, but thanks for asking...but if she wanted to get together for lunch, just for kicks, give me a call...she never returned my call. I think after 25 years of friendship, it will finally fade away due to lack of attendance. I won't miss her (although I will miss the days of our youth when all we did was sit around and listen to The Police or watch Chevy Chase--and laugh our a@@es off--in Vacation)

betmo said...

i think that the spirit of my post didn't get translated into the words- so i will try and explain my position a bit clearer.

my thought is that relationships fade over time especially when the parties involved don't have much in common to start with. i don't view this person as a child- she is just lazy. i don't value emotionally lazy people in my life but that doesn't make this person a bad person. she chooses to live a very small life- one where she goes to work and comes home to watch the soaps she taped or an old movie. she works retail and tries to stay forever young by dying her hair and dressing trendy. she was happiest in high school and chooses to stay there rather than live life now.

that doesn't make her a bad person and it doesn't make her less of a human being. which is why i asked- how do you breakup with a friend who refuses to pick up on the fact that you don't call or visit? who- when you sat down and wanted to talk about the relationship and where is was and where is was or was not headed- decided not to participate but go home and cry instead? she and i have nothing in common and i was hoping that she would realize that on her own. there is really no 'nice' way to end a relationship of any kind. being an adult myself- i realize this.

my question is- how should i perceive a 36 year old who behaves as an 18 year old?

No said...

Unfortunately, Betmo, I'm going to have to go with Clampett on this one. I think it's rather superior, but on the other hand, your feelings are understandable. Maybe she just likes to annoy you.

betmo said...

well, see that's the thing- i don't think that i am superior to her. i just don't choose to live the life that she lives and- far from leading her on- i have tried several times over the years to end the friendship. i don't hate this person. see- relationships are a two way street- folks sharing and adding to them- not just sucking and taking. i am expected to listen to her inanely babble about the latest movie that she went to see- but i don't get to talk about my compost pile- for example. if there aren't ideas and thoughts being shared by both- to me- it's a waste of time i could be spending doing something else. it isn't like i see her every day either- she lives 50 miles away.

i guess i am curious as to how other folks would handle this situation. other than calling me superior that is. see- the conversation to let her know that we don't have anything in common- already happened.

No said...

Didn't me to call you superior..just sounded superior from the post. I am such an anti-social, I very rarely talk to anyone, so I got nothin' for ya on this one...out of my realm. I'm always happy if someone wants to talk to me..I'm crazy that way.

Spadoman said...

Batmo.... here's what I think. You don't enjoy her company. You don't want to hurt someones feelings because if someone told you, "Uh, listen, Batty Mo, I really don't enjoy talking to you and I don't want to be your friend anymore.", you'd feel bad. You don't want to make anyone, an old friend, feel bad.

Try this. Ask her why she lives in the past. Ask her if she realizes it. See if she might have some good idea about this, after all, it may be escapism and he might just be reading you wrong, thinking the only thing she has in common was 1987.

Tell her you want to spend the next visit talking about you and what's going on in your life. Ask for her indulgence in this. See if any new connections are made. Maybe you'll find she has things she needs to share but doesn't share them with you. Maybe she is afraid of hurting you.

We are here in the earth. Things happen to us. But some times, things are happening to the pther person and we think it is about us. Some times we are just the person placed there to be the matrix for what the other person needs to do and react to, learn from. Try looking at her in this way once.

On the other hand, if you just don't lie her, tell her, straight out tell her that you don't ever want to speak to her again. Write her and ell her, or call and leave a message. I wouldn't have the balls to just flat out tell someone that I don't like them anymore and don't want to be their friend. I couldn't do it. I'd work and cultivate what I could and ask Creator what it's all suppose to mean. Take the discomfort and frustration and use it as an exercise in patience possibly.


Sewmouse said...

Dear Julie:

Over the last few years, our lives have gone in such totally opposite directions that I just cannot seem to find a single common ground with you anymore.

It seems that all my beliefs offend you - that my belief that women are the equal to men, that christianity is inheirently sexist, that George Bush is a horrible person, all cause you pain in the extreme.

I really care about you too much to make you as upset as you choose to become when you confront my disagreement with your "fundamental beliefs".

With great sorrow, I believe the time has come for us to go our separate ways. I wish you well.

Sewmouse's Real Name

It can be done.
She still sends Xmas cards. I trash them unopened.

Sarah said...

My opinion is that you cannot stay friends with somebody you don't respect. Friends connect because they have similar beliefs and/or goals in life. Even when "opposites attract," they usually have a few things in common to cement their friendship.

However, it's difficult to let go of somebody you've known for so long. Personally, I would not be able to do it. But I see some very good advice from others here, so I would take it all in and make the final decision by yourself.

landsker said...

I`m not so good with advice about people,so you might not agree, but, how about you obtain a copy of "The naked lunch", by William Burroughs.
Read, or re-read it, then invite your friend to lunch, giving her the book, and insisting she read it before your next meeting.

Then again, who knows, maybe your friend has been there all those years, merely so that this week, you can examine the topic of friendship.

EAPrez said...

arrrrgggggggg! I remember when we were living in S. California and took the kids to Disneyland and got stuck in that SMALL WORLD thing. Felt like we were in the friggin Twilight Zone. Damn I didn't think that nightmare would ever end :-)

Your description of your friend is the same way I felt about my family when I moved back home. I'd been around the world - living in different countries and several states - I met people from around the world - had a college education - and they've never really been anywhere. I felt like I had nothing in common with them and dreaded get togethers. I felt like the odd man out and felt like I was surrounded by idiots. Then I did an inventory on myself and decided to change my attitude towards them. I had to accept them for who and what they were and appreciate the gifts they did bring me. I was critical of them for not being more like me rather than appreciating them for what they were. Hell they all listen to country western music, I can't stomach it, they all sit around and watch football, which i think is a supreme waste of time. I was wanting them to appreciate my interests while poo pooing theirs. Still don't like country western or football BUT I can appreciate our differences.

In your case, your friend is not your family and if you honestly feel she contributes nothing to your life then - let the relationship die. Friendships are like marriages - sometimes one of you grows more than the other. Often time growth means you move forward and the other stays behind. There is nothing written in stone that says all acquaintences and frienships must be life long. Sometimes guilt makes us hang in there too long.