Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Taking a Break

I usually write about male relationshit issues, but I’m having a best girlfriend problem and it is so much worse. With a guy, you always have that skepticism that marks a friendship: is dude just spending time with me to get in my pants, really? What does dude want? I do it. I’m sure the rest of you ladies do it; even if the guy is your saintly best friend – the Little Voice of Wisdom is always around somewhere. With a female friend, I am much more likely to open up and just accept friendship and all that goes with it; trust. Therefore, I am much more selective about my female friends. I am much more careful about who I “let in” because I know that instinctively, I will probably have my guard down.

Ok, having said all that philosophical bullshit – I’m having a problem with my best friend (who isn’t my mom or my sister) of 11 years. A week ago, she just stopped talking to me and blamed it on my “tone of voice”. I snapped at her; I admit it. I was tired after 2 days of no sleep and Desert Dawg puking blood (and subsequent trips to vets in Shuwaikh and Ahmadi and back again for x-rays and blood tests, etc). I was worried because the same day, my beloved American Express had sent a notification that my card was being cancelled – due to no fault of my own (payments are always on time) – but due to the financial crisis. That alone was enough to make me cry. I was worried about the fact that the company I work for hadn’t paid salaries and were a full month late; I haven’t been paid since November because I took vacation pay early. So, I snapped at the person who is closest to me here. All of that is probably no excuse; I apologized profusely. I tried to call. She said, via SMS, that it wasn’t a problem; that she just “needs her space.” Oh no she di’int! That’s a guy thing!

The Desert Girl Philosophy on “Taking a Break” in Relationships is this: If your relationship needs to “take a break”, there is no going back. I don’t take breaks, because that means – to me – that the relationship isn’t strong enough to endure; to communicate; to work it out. It means just what it says; a break, a tear. It is broken. The minute that Ross and Rachel did it – it spelled disaster for how many seasons of their relationship?

First and foremost, if you have known ANYONE and spent almost every day seeing them or talking to them, you should be able to tell them how you feel – or something is basically wrong with the relationship to begin with. Who just dumps their friends? What kind of a person does that - especially when they obviously have several hard issues going on? Would someone who really cares about me ever do that? Does that mean that she was never a real friend? I think I have a right to be angry. Alas, anger is unhealthy. It starts phuckin with your chakras and then your wiring gets all messed up. I mustn’t do this!

Those who love me, I love.

I guess with all the other hooey I have going on, this was the worst. I’m blogging about it because I’m not going to talk about it. I don’t want to be one of those whiney people who runs around dwelling on a negative subject. But hey – I can blog and people can choose to read or not. Take a break. Ha ha.

So alas, I really am heartbroken. She is my best friend. Why would she do this? Of the small group of friends who I have discussed it with (4, to be exact), their advice is to “let it go”. I think my mother’s advice is the best: “I have found through my experience that people will never behave the way you expect them to. You can’t make them do the right thing.” True dat, Mommy. You can’t expect them to be kind or to talk about what is bothering them. You can’t expect them to be the kind of friend that you hope you are. It is still really really shitty when they disappoint you, though.

I haven’t even made it through a full month of 2009, and so far… well, lets turn that frown upside down and say that I really hope that 2009 will be a great year and that things will turn around.


been there said...

I have to say i disagree with you on your philosophy on "Taking a Break".

Of course women need their space too from time to time!!!

Hey, there's a good chance that her silence has nothing to do with you. It could be that she is going through sth right now but can't talk to you about it. She wants the space to think and handle it on her own.

Give her the time she requested...after 11 years of friendship she deserves it...but make sure she knows you are there for her IF she needs to talk.

Anonymous said...

Your post is exactly why i gave up on having close friends. Especially girls.

They are moody, unpredictable, and read too much into things. Drama Queens basically.

Well, let me tell you this. when u snapped at her, did u say something you shouldnt have said? Like something about her that you always overlooked but it just came out in a rage? Or is it just a yell?

second Q, do u really really REALLY cherish this friend?

I know the kind of nagging this situation ensures. You worry, will she forgive me and move on and become like we used to, or would she just wither away??? Is she still in this friendship or did she bail out?

You need to find out.

Talk to her one more time. Force her to do it face to face. One more. Apologize from your heart one more time, but make it very clear you have tolerated her childeishness and need of space enough. You were in distress, you snapped, BIG DEAL! people do it all the time.

But if she is a good friend, she should forgive and forget. I once snapped and humilated a friend unwillingly infront of other people and we stopped talking to each other for about a week. Then we got back together and now she might be my one remaining friend in the world. If your relashionship survives this snap episdoe, then it's worth picking up. If not?

Well, you obviously were not cherished enough as a friend. Because if u love someone strong enough, you are willing to let them make mistkaes and take them back. Thats why many women stick by their absuive lovers when they should'nt!

so plan is, talk, apologize, and give her an ultamium. She moves on o behaves... so be it all is sweeped under the rug.

If she sulks and behaves like a baby. Well it's her loss. Life is too short for stress and games...

daggero said...

Every man knows that friendship between women is fake and temporary the only thing is your temporary relationship happened to last 11 years .

Jewaira said...

Best place to release it all..on your blog.

Play it by ear but don't be too stubborn about giving her some space and a mini vacation. Who knows what she has been going through without saying or what has been on her mind.

Desert Girl said...

Thanks for the advice y'alls.

Daggero - I have to wonder about your age and what kind of an environment you have been brought up in to believe that there is no long-lasting friendship between women? I actually feel sorry for you for feeling like that. Perhaps you haven't had good female role models. I have friendships with other women that have lasted my whole life. What makes female friendships different than male friendships?

D said...

Ahhhh, did I post this twice? So sorry if I did!

I disagree with you, "been there." This person was a friend of hers for years! Not just a few months, or a passing acquaintance from time to time.

If the friend is going through things she can't discuss, then at the VERY least say it - "Hey, going through some stuff right now, need some time to myself." Her distance obviously came after the "snapping" which indicates the snapping is what caused the distance. But if friends can't sometimes snap at one another for no reason, apologize, and move on, then what kind of friend is that?

I agree with the other 4... let it go. I don't mean cut her off if she apologizes (in a reasonable amount of time). But certainly don't stress over the loss of a friendship which lacked many of the ingredients required to be genuine. I don't believe your friend is a bad person, or trying to be mean, but perhaps overly sensitive and self centered.

Don't give up on trusting friends in the future. Like you, I am skeptical of all men, but few women. So sorry you were hurt.

Desert Girl said...

D - thanks very much. That is exactly how I feel. If she needs her space, I can understand that, but I don't want her to place the blame on me for dumping me without communication. In other words - just what you said - just talk to me and say that you need some time alone and I'm good.

As for the "snap" - here is the scenario: I had a bunch of new Kuwaiti girlfriends at my home. I didn't invite them: our other friend, Sheikha Minor, invited them (although I was exhausted). I mentioned that I was tired and that I would appreciate that they only stay a short time). These new Kuwaiti friends don't speak ANY English, so I asked my best friend to translate (which, unfortunately, she was the only one who could and she hates to translate). So, at 11:30 pm after 2 full days of no sleep, my best friend stopped translating and I said, "Are you going to TRANSLATE or WHAT?!" That is ALL I said. It was the tone of my voice that she said bothered her (via SMS). I couldn't snap at new guests to my home, so I was actually snapping at them via my best friend - and I told her as much. NONE of these people have jobs; NONE of them have to wake up in the morning. I get up at 5 every working day.

"Self-centered" seems to be the appropriate phrase. She has never been overly sensitive - ever. She is usually the one who counsels me on how I shouldn't be overly sensitive, so this is all very odd for me.

I'm wondering now if perhaps I'm not the most fun thing going on right now because of the problems I have going on. That is superficial, but so many times I've had friends who are just after the next best thing.

ScotlandiyaArabiya said...

I can really sympathise with your predicament. Last year I lost a friend whom I had been close to for over a decade, and eventually came to the conclusion that sometimes shit like this happens through no fault of your own.

I lost my friend because I told her the truth. I had been avoiding this for months but was eventually backed into a corner when she asked me a direct question.

So... when she asked if I thought the jerk who had been messing her around for years would ever marry her, I said, "No."

Bis khalas, friendship over.

Nearly twelve months on she is minus a loyal friend who loved her like a sister and still hasn't managed to get him to take that trip to the gold souk for the ring.

I was really cut up about it but then realised that I expect real friends to be honest,even if that honestly can hurt. You want your girls to look out for you and also to be able to tell you when you are behaving like an arse. That is friendship.

I know you feel bad but you seem to be a fun, outgoing, witty and above all genuine person DG and if she choses to cut ties with you it will be her loss. Hell, I'd be your friend in a heartbeat girl!

Anonymous said...

You're vulnerable. No pay, no major heartthrob, no job security, Desert Dog worries . . . and it's easier to focus on a short disagreement than on some of the major issues. Give her space. You're a lot of fun, and you have a long history together. Trust the foundation you have built. If she gives you an opportunity, grovel. A good girlfriend is worth it. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Desert Girl, I totally understand you right now. From the scenario you are giving me I don't see why she would be mad at you at all! , I am thinking that your friend is probably going through something and she just couldn't talk to you at that moment, she will probably call you soon and talk to you about it. Communication and honesty is the key for a great
relationship or friendship. From my experience I can tell you that I have many friends! but I can count with my fingers how many I really trust. Some friends they just want to use you to get many different things and I've been there to tell you many stories! My best friend and I have been friends for 12 years!! she is amazing, we tell each other our problems all the time, and we accept our mistakes all the time . A friend will tell you the truth even though is very hurtful! just remember that!....I do belive in long term friendships bet women, you just have to be very lucky to share your problems and life with the right one! haha because ENVY! is horrible!!! I live in the states and I am actually from South America and I've known many Women who try hard to be my friends just because they want something out of me or try to be like me ! I HATE THAT! ok let me stop hehe ...Well just don't worry you are a very smart person and I know everything will be fine, Also I hope that everything works out for you , I know you are stressing out right now with the job situation and everything! you must be very tired! ....(really quick)I remember when I first got to the states 12 years ago and I didn't know a word of english and ughhhhh!!! Oh my goddddd I was in High School and this girl I met in music class helped me out translating for me all the time!!! I remember like if it was yesterday she used to get so tired of translating that she will roll her eyes everytime she had to do it!!! well that girl stayed friends with me and this is my best friend today :)
Ok I am done with my story now...hehe don't give up on sending your resume around, I know you will get something really soon :) Take Care

D said...

Aww, doesn't sound like what you said was really that bad at all. Especially considering the surrounding circumstances (you having to wake at 5am -- them not having a job). Your friend really should have taken those things into consideration when evaluating the "tone" you addressed her in.

You also say your friend "hates" translating...fair enough. Don't ask her to order your meal during every outing, or carry on a conversation with a man (non English speaking) you just met. But asking her to PLEASE politely explain to the guests it would be an early evening isn't what I consider "translating" it's more like conveying a message.

Not sure where your friend is from, or what culture she was raised in. Not that being from a different culture makes one person better than the other...but it certainly makes us different. I'm sure after many years as her friend you're well aware of these differences and have problem overcome numerous things you would consider inappropriate, or outright rude. Perhaps in time your friend will realize this, and see that's she lost someone who appears to have a great personality, wonderful sense of humor, and genuine character.

Good friends truly aren't so easy to find, but should definitely last a lifetime (no idea where Daggero meets friends).

been there said...

@ D (comment # 6)

You mentioned, "If the friend is going through things she can't discuss, then at the VERY least say it - "Hey, going through some stuff right now, need some time to myself.""

Again I have to disagree :)...Yes, maybe for the alpha type women such as yourself it is easy for you to express your feelings straight out to your best friend; but for a lot of women, it isn't!!

I comment under the name 'been there' cuz i HAVE been there...i lost a great friend because like DG she snapped at me and i took it personally. And no it wasn't a big deal, and no it wasn't the first time she snapped, and yes i too had snapped at her on numerous occasions. So why was this time different? Coz i was going through the initial stages of depression (though I didn't know it at that time) I couldn't talk to her about it because i myself had no idea why i was acting the way i was.

Of course, i am not saying that your friend is probably going through a similar phase; what i am saying is don't be quick to label her as a selfish, self-centered friend. Yes, she might be giving you a lot of crap these days, but isn't that what friends do--put up with each other's crap? ;p

Anyway, wish you and your friend your old friendship back :D