Thursday, December 17, 2009


There was someone in high school with whom I had a close but unequal friendship. I was desperately insecure and she, well, she did not suffer this particular affliction. In one memorable, er.. memory, we went into one of those recording shops in the mall where you could get a tape (yesss, a tape, remember?) of yourself singing along with an instrumental version of a hideous song. She chose "Wind Beneath My Wings" because that, she said, was what I was for her.


So by the time we were seniors, with me enabling her the whole way, she was soaring above whatever I managed to feebly huff and puff below. Finally in the Spring of our senior year and on the heels of college acceptances (which I mention because I think it played a role), I started to come into my own ever so slightly. It's funny what a little acceptance letter from a school you really want to go to can do for the spirit. Suddenly I realized a certainly reality of our friendship and my role in it. And I didn't want it anymore. I didn't need it. I had the envelope. I was leaving and starting a new life in another state and [here's the rub] there was little consequence to my decision. So, I left her pretty unceremoniously. I came to the abrupt conclusion that I did not need that relationship anymore and that she would not change and I was done. I did not attempt to resolve or discuss. I actually remember feeling free.

It was not a shining moment of friendship or emotional maturity on my part. I went from being long-suffering to not being at all. I know that my sudden abandonment hurt her and I regret that. In fact, I know because she told me so at the wedding of a mutual friend a few years ago. It was such a dramatic moment for me that I am convinced I had a dream about it before it happened and I could scarcely sleep the night after. But even then, I didn't fully recognize my own shabby role. My response to her was a non-committal, "it goes both ways."

I hope that by now the universe has offset my bad behavior and that we're better friends to others than we were to each other.

1 comment:

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