One Friend, Two Friend, Old Friend, New Friend

image_1-8This week it has become abundantly clear that to my old friends I am indeed, old news. Fair enough really; I rarely see them, and I don’t make much effort to see them, but that certainly goes both ways. And it’s not like I ignore their calls; I made the awkward ninety-minute journey out of the city to wish them farewell on their gap years – I do still care for these people! Basically, whilst I am well aware that we are no longer tight, I was under the impression that we were at least still friends. The kind of friends who hug at gatherings and share updates on our lives, and will go halves on a bottle of wine.

There are two sides to this story; there is the side wherein I was disorganised, and foolishly left things until the last minute; the side where I didn’t make enough effort to communicate my situation. And then there is the side where my messages were largely ignored, and I was left out of communal plan-making, and offered very little help in my hour of need.

The difficulty I am experiencing – trying to get to the Midlands for the wedding of a man I have known for no less than thirteen years! Since he was just a “wee ginger nipper”; longer, I might add, than any of our mutual friends have known him – is my fault. I will take the blame for my poor planning and I will take some of the blame for my financial instability (although I’ve been hit hard by things beyond my control on that point too). However, the overwhelming unwillingness of said friends to offer me any help when I’ve fucked up, seems somewhat… unfriendly.

Whilst I know it is absolutely not their problem, it seems to me that friends are supposed to be the people who offer you help regardless of whether they have vested interest or not. At nine o’clock every Friday night since I was six, The Rembrandts told me, if it hadn’t been my day, my week, my month, or even my year, my friends would be there for me.

Well, my best friends are. My best friends make an effort to see me; they invite me over, they meet me at the station, they will split a bottle of wine with me, they will make up the spare bed. But I suppose I have to face the fact that my old friends, whilst still friends of a sort, are no longer my best friends. (Yes, I am beginning to feel like Murray Hewitt, with his friends graph; and if they make me feel any less welcome I may have to demote them to strangers.)

I suppose this is all part of growing up and moving on. (See? I may seem mature, but 23 is just little really.) Change can be hard. And I will still smile, and be happy to see people at the wedding tomorrow – if I haven’t died on a coach before midday – and I’ll be glad to split drinks and spend time with the one friend who was up until 11pm last night texting me advice on how to get there; but in the long run, I am much happier on the sofa with Molly, or talking literary theory with RG, or sharing Dim Sum with Daddy. Because my life is different now; and really, now that things are sorted, and I’ve stepped back, I know am a very happy, lucky little girl.

It still hurts to be left to fend for myself, ignored by people I thought I could count on, but c’est la vie.

  6 comments for “One Friend, Two Friend, Old Friend, New Friend

  1. 11/07/2013 at 17:20

    Oh, I know this feeling well. I realized a couple of years ago that most of my ‘friends’ are no longer really friends. It’s sad to think about, but I too have realized I’m happy, despite having a much smaller circle. (Not that it had anything to do with my friends — they’re lovely — I’m just a different person now, and so are they.)

    • Harper Eliot
      11/07/2013 at 18:30

      I think that’s really the truth in a lot of ways; I’m not as upset with them as I seem to be in this post; just reeling from the realisation. You know how it is.

  2. 12/07/2013 at 12:12

    I completely get this. When my 1st marriage ended I found myself with a MUCH smaller circle of friends, people whom I thought were my friends suddenly vanished from my world. The funny thing is, I wasn’t that surprised. Now when I look at the people I call my friends I see the difference. I know if I called one of them and said I needed help they would move heaven and earth to do so…. my friends I have made from kink, writing, blogging and twitter are without a doubt the best friends I ever had.

    I am honoured to find my name in this post. To be honest you fit perfectly on our sofa. I realised the other weekend I spent nearly all of it topless and it felt completely natural, there was not a moment when it felt weird. Now that is friendship!

    Mollyxxx

    • Harper Eliot
      15/07/2013 at 14:00

      Hahaha, I love SO much that our benchmark for friendship is how comfortable we feel topless together. (And just FYI, the only reason I was less topless was because letting my breasts free is sometimes MORE uncomfortable than just wearing a damn bra. :-P)

      And yes, me too – my friends from kink, writing, blogging and twitter are pretty kick-ass.

  3. 13/07/2013 at 11:48

    As the years go on, things change. The close friends I had in my younger years, are not my close friends today. The people they choose to associate with don’t always jive with me. Their life paths are different than mine, married, children, dedicating a life to God. Life changes us as the years pass by. I am still friends with many, but not at all close as during my childhood. (not to mention the fact that I now live MILES away from all my original friends doesn’t help matters either). It is important I begin making more local friends as well.

    • Harper Eliot
      15/07/2013 at 14:04

      I think it can be really difficult, not so much to let old friendships go (which tends to happen naturally) but to find the energy to make new ones. Definitely worth it! but yeah… exhausting. And actually, now that I’ve spent some time with my old friends, whilst I know we’ll never be really close again, it was nice to see them, to catch up, etc. And I can live with that kind of friendship very happily.

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