Life is harsh especially when you come to the jacked-up conclusion that you no longer have anything in common with a friend. It’s not that they did anything wrong. It’s not that you did anything wrong. Time has happened. You’ve changed and they’ve changed, such is life. Nobody tells you this is how it is, but it is.
It starts off slow. They say something that doesn’t make sense to you. You say something that doesn’t make sense to them. They invite you out dancing and you decline because you are married, are in your mid-thirties, and have a child that you adore that you wish to put to bed every night. And you’re not into pretending you’re ten years younger than you really are. And you’re not into flirting with somebody to buy you a drink because by this point in your life you’re totally capable and willing to buy your own drinks because you realize that you prefer your own company to the company of others. And you’ve already found the love of your life who you are madly in love with, so there’s no need to look. And you have a lot of other things on your mind that you don’t want to get into. Things, you don’t think they can even fathom, but they haven’t changed. They’re exactly who they’ve always been. They haven’t done anything wrong. You haven’t done anything wrong. You are simply in different places, on two different paths. But the question is: can two people living completely different lifestyles really be friends?
I decided to meet up for dinner with some former friends and as we were in catch-up-speak one of my friend said, “I don’t read books. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I read a book.” And they scoffed as if books were the lowest form of entertainment, like they were meant for nerds and not for everybody. And my heart bled a little because I realized then that we don’t have much of anything in common. Sure we can gossip about people from the past, but that gets old quick. When he said he didn’t read, it was like a line being drawn in the sand and I knew that we were fundamentally different. Books are important to me. Reading is important to me. And after that, I had a hard time taking anything he said seriously. It was a blaring sign that the rekindling of this former friendship was not going to happen and it wasn’t just the reading that did it for me.
He actually rolled his eyes while I was speaking and mid-sentence too. I can’t even remember what we were talking about. All I remember is the way he made me feel when he did it; irrelevant and stupid and like crap. Maybe that wasn’t his intention, but that’s how he made me feel. I know that people often misconstrue the eye-roll because nobody is in anybody else’s head and nobody else can tell what an eye-roll means except the person doing it, but that’s the vibe I got. And I don’t remember him being that way with me in the past and to be honest, it caught me off guard. It was like I didn’t know him at all. I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to meet up. Must’ve been nostalga. There had to be a reason we hadn’t talked in over ten years, right?
The night ended and I went home. My friend went to a club.
We are just two very different people. Maybe we always were.
Okay, so maybe it’s not just the difference in lifestyle that changes friendships, but more so how we feel we are treated. If you start questioning your friendship and think you’re destined to be your own best friend, chances are your friendship has changed because you’ve already reached the point of, with friends like these… well, you know the rest.
So do I think two people living different lifestyles can be friends? Of course I do, as long as there is respect. But if there isn’t, take that as a warning. Respect and trust go hand in hand and if there’s a crack in the foundation, chances are the house is going to sink.
I’ve lived long enough to know that my time is precious. I don’t want to spend it with people I have nothing in common with. I do not feel guilty or obligated. I feel relieved that I know myself enough to let a former friendship like that go. Like I said before, he didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong. Our former friendship has simply morphed into an acquaintanceship and I’m okay with that.