Friday, April 7, 2006

Writing and Watching TV -- Like Walking and Chewing Gum

How do you know when you're no longer best friends?

This probing question was asked this morning on pre-dawn television and darn if it didn't make me think about all my former best friends during the forty-five minutes it took me to get out of bed.

[By the way, Katie Couric is going to be making $60,000 a DAY in her demanding new job as a newsreader. I have no problem with that, since I also aspire to excessive weath, although my fiduciary clock is ticking. I do have a problem with someone named Katie doing Walter Chronkite's job. She should change her name to something more appropriate for the solemnity of the position. Heath, Alexandra, Mrs. Linklater.]

Patsy, my very best friend from birth until I was ten years old was taken away by a moving van. Our friendship was rent asunder. I think that's the phrase. I may be wrong. I used to think the phrase "various and sundry" things was actually "various unsundry" things.

She and her family moved out east the day before my family moved to the suburbs. I remember her dad got a thousand dollar raise and that was enough for them to pack up and leave. Staying in touch was almost out of the question. Long distance phone calls were limited to announcements of deaths and births by my frugal mother, so there wouldn't be any free range chats about little boys between two little ten year old girls. Keeping in touch by snail mail about our mutual crush on Ralphie Regabuto wasn't going to maintain the friendship in any meaningful way.

Dear Patsy, Today I played dolls. It was fun. I thought about the time we saw Raphie walking home from school. What are you doing?  Love, Mrs. L

So, like most little kids, we got sidetracked with other things. Our lives, for instance. 

My second best friend didn't happen until high school.  Before that I had a series of friends that I thought were best friends, but they didn't stand the test of time. Or stealing my clothes.

Ann and I became best friends at the end of sophomore year in high school.  We were very close all through the summer before college. I was dating my first true love and learning that the only reason girls wore bras was so boys could take them off.  She was dating a guy who used to climb up the trellis on the side of the garage to reach her room and have sex with her.  Her only comment  the first time it happened was, "It's not that big a deal."  Apparently she learned to make it sound like it was a big deal because he came back for a whole lot more.

[For some reason I'm reminded of today's announcement about the newly discovered 385 million year-old fossil of a five-to-nine foot scaly thing with an alligator head that trolled the ancient rivers --  the one that is supposed to be the missing link between fish from the ocean to animals on land. Apparently scientists claim this is an important link to the little tiny salamanders which grew to be huge dinosaurs, which in turn, after a lot of practice, led to the appearance of humans. My only question is how do they know that this creature wasn't going from land to water, instead of water to land? And how do they know it didn't just look that way because it lived in shallow rivers and could get around better with an alligator fish like body designed to navigate muddy river bottoms. Sheesh. somebody has to come up with a better answer to Darwin, but so far Creationism is pretty sucky.]

When it came time to go to college, Ann and I managed to continue our friendship with a lively correspondence from her school in California and mine in North Carolina. The next summer we went to a dude ranch together and one night she felt the need to tell me something after the evening festivities.

She told me that my boyfriend -- now my former boyfriend -- had called her up for a date when I was out of town the summer before we left for college. I already knew this. He had asked me ahead of time and I had said he could take my girlfriends out.  Well, I had no idea she'd take the lessons she'd learned from her trellis climbing friend and use them on MY boyfriend.  Not that MY boyfriend was innocent in their little caper.

Now a year later, she felt this uncontrollable urge to tell me what they did on their date. Why she decided to tell me -- a death wish? -- remains a mystery.

As soon as she finished sharing, I remember thinking THIS IS THE END OF OUR FRIENDSHIP.

Which brings me to the end of another friendship. One that has been dying like flies do when you pull off their wings. We haven't been best friends for awhile, although this past Christmas she just sent me a picture of the two of us in a frame that says FRIENDS FOREVER.

When I got the picture I thought, hmmm, how about FRIENDS NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE.

The end of that friendship has taken a few years. But it came to a head a few months ago when one of my children FINALLY told me why she didn't like this woman, something I never understood. Her dislike stemmed from something my friend had said to her when my daughter was twelve. Basically, it was "You aren't good enough for my son."  Her son and my daughter had hit it off during a vacation. And my friend, who had plans for him to be the next president, didn't think my daughter would make the best first lady for her perfect boy. So she made a pre emptive strike.  Had I known what she said, I would have made my own pre-emptive strike.

So after years of ignoring her habit of fibbing about EVERYTHING, her annoying bossiness, her sense of entitlement and the recent discovery of what she said to my daughter, the neon lights started flashing, FRIENDSHIP OVER!!! FRIENDSHIP OVER!!!  A couple of weeks ago when she called to say we need to catch up, I decided not to call her back.

[Have you taken a gander at the piece of ancient manuscript they just found that purportedly absolves Judas of betraying Jesus and makes it seem like he kissed him because they were gay?  How could anybody read anything on that disintegrating scrap of rag?  It could be a grocery list. Ten years from now there will be yet another interpretation that claims Paul's real namewas Art.]

Remind me not to watch TV while I'm trying to write important thoughts in my journal.  It's so distracting.


psychfun said...

That was hysterical! I love that writing style! Probably because that is how my brain works too! You are kind! I had friend who knew when my birthday was for a few years & claimed she didn't get off of work....ya, she didn't ask apparently. I never spoke to her after that. Well, it was just the straw that broke the camel's back. She also wrote me oh 5 or so years ago for Christmas (what is it about the holidays..hmmm) and just said, "Think of you wanted to know how you are doing etc..." Like nothing was wrong. Ok, we have not talked for hmmm almost 15 yrs & you are just causually asking...right! H-No! I was not about to reply!

ksquester said...

What a bitch!!!!  Want my six-shooter? I can overnight it!   Anne

sunnyside46 said...

gay messiah's,giant salamanders, adolescent sluts....anyoe wanna join in on a chorus of 'My favorite Things?

mosie1944 said...

I like your meanderings.  

screaminremo303 said...

I always thought "You can date my friends" was shorthand for "Please have sex with the skanks I used to hang out with." Maybe I'm mistaken. Climbing the trellis? Is that anything like mowing the lawn?

I read the thing about the scaly fossil with an alligator head. Sounds alot like Al Gore, except for the air-breathing part.

Judas as the victim? Is James Carville writing for the History Channel now?

ladeeoftheworld said...

Thanks for the education on various asundry

Fortunately, I have no friends.

lilhoneybee81 said...

And I thought that I was the only one who went through a series of best friends!!  A true best friend is a very rare find indeed!


onemoretina said...

    It's kind of sad when an old friendship does that final nosedive.  We grow and change, and so do our friends.  Unfortunately, we don't always head in the same direction.  And then sometimes, like this situation, they just plain cross the line.    
     Oh, well .... it's a whole lot easier than a divorce.  At least you don't ever have to talk to the offending party again.   On to the next !   Tina

gaboatman said...

Mrs. L
The most suspicious comment I have heard on TV recently was Katie Kuric telling her Today Show audience that she was taking the new job with CBS because she had to follow her heart.  We ALL know she is following the money!  But then, who doesn't LOVE money?  I can't believe your former best friend made that remark to your daughter!  And that was back when you two were still best friends.  Good riddance, I say!

swibirun said...

I don't think that I've have had a best friendship end over anything than time and distance.  Jim, Carson, Chris S., Rob, and Blake all moved away in our mid-20's.

Remo's comments...ha ha ha ha

Did said beyotch make your man climb the trellis before she applied her skills on him?