Sunday, March 27, 2011


I spoke to my sister on the phone today, the one who's teenage daughter is going through a serious rebellious phase. Yesterday, I stopped by my friend's house on my way back from the gym to see how she is doing. Her father has just been diagnosed with cancer and is staying at her house while he sees some experts at Stanford Hospital. A week ago I called to check on another friend whose husband just dropped dead from a heart attack two weeks ago at the age of 63. My dad was thrilled to hear me wish him a Happy St. Patrick's Day on the 17th, even though it was almost 11 pm at night. I try to see my friend Judy on a somewhat regular basis, who moved from the suburbs to San Francisco two years ago and is still recovering from the back surgery she had performed last summer.

I am be a good friend, a good sister, a good daughter. And yet, it plagues me that I have lost some friends along the way. Some I have lost to attrition - we just don't have time for each other anymore in our lives, we move on, we find new interests or make new friends better suited to us. But some friends I have lost to what one friend likes to refer to as "a falling out". An argument, a fight, a difference of opinion, a misunderstanding, or an issue of trust. I know I am not the only one who has "lost" friends over time, but it bothers me none-the less.

When I was a kid growing up, the friends I had in elementary school were not the same friends I ended up with in high school. Something happens when you are growing up; your interests change, your personalities change. You wonder how you were ever friends with this idioit or that jerk in the first place. Perhaps growing up is not the only time one feels this way.

I have lost two good friends over the past two years. Both men. One took his whole extended family with him. I am angry at him for what I perceive is his cowardice to hash out our different perspectives in person. I am angry that he would just rather walk away from our long standing friendship. But I cannot really do anything about it.

The second friend I have lost is my most recent my ex-boyfriend. Granted, "ex-es" are tough to keep on as friends in the first place. But I try anyway. I try because there is usually a good reason that I was attracted to that person in the first place. I have a great relationship with my ex-husband. I have in the past remained good friends with other men I have dated (some, but not all). So I have tried to salvage a similar relationship with this particular ex-boyfriend. But, our "friendship" is not working out as well as I had hoped.

And so, I leave this post with a question: Should I just walk away from trying to make our friendship work out with my ex? It certainly would be easier to walk away than trying to make it "work". At what point do you say, its just not worth the effort? Perhaps in asking that question, I have found my answer.

Marriage is hard work. Friendship shouldn't be.

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