Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Remnants of a Friendship...Part 9

Part 9

The plane landed in New York and I could not wait to get off it and go meet my husband. As I came down the escalator, I saw him standing there and I already felt comforted. I gave him a big hug and told him I was happy to be home. He asked me if I had a good time and I lied and said yes. All these months I hadn't mentioned anything to him because I had been hoping that things would go back to the way they were and he wouldn't have to know. Men don't really understand women's friendships anyway. He isn't very observant, but even he had asked me about the diminished phone calls, and I just told him that Marie was busy, and he dropped it. I didn't talk about the week with Marie, or any of the things that upset me during my visit, on our way home.

For example, I didn't tell him about a memory just came to me this morning, about a card I had given her when I went down for her graduation. It was a special card that I had someone get me from France, and it had "muggets" on it, which is the lily of the valley flower. It had a meaningful significance between us. I wrote a heartfelt note inside and gave it to her with a birthstone ring, marquis stone, in white gold, as a remembrance of the occasion. The card was so pretty, I brought a frame for it so she could hang it up, if she ever wanted to. Well, while I was visiting Marie, I had to use the "kids'" bathroom at least 50% of the time. And there, hanging on the bathroom wall in the kids' bathroom, was the card I had given her for graduation. My heart sunk when I saw it. I knew this was the room in the house that she hated the most. I knew the humidity of the showers taken day in and day out, would soon destroy it. And all I could think of at the time was just like this card, our friendship was symbolically going down the toilet. It hurt.

When I got home I was happy to see the girls and hugged them tight. Marie soon left on her trip with her niece. I was satisfied that I was right about the past eight or so months. The change was very real, even though she would not acknowledge it. August soon rolled around and we hadn’t been talking much. A couple of days before my birthday, I received a text message on my phone, from her daughter, asking for my home address. The day before my birthday a flower arrangement was delivered from Marie. It was difficult for me to make the call to thank her, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I put on my happy voice and called to thank her for the beautiful flowers she sent me. She told me her daughter had picked them out as though she didn't want the credit. The sickening feeling came back to my stomach. First it showed me she took the easy way out getting flowers online when we always made a point of getting special, thoughtful gifts. And second, she might as well have said she couldn’t even be bothered to go online to pick out the flowers herself. It seemed like a gift out of obligation only. I tried to make a little conversation, but she wasn’t very talkative. We hung up. I felt bad, but I didn’t want it to ruin my birthday the next day. A few minutes later the phone rings again. It’s Marie. I thought to myself, oh maybe she was busy, and now she has time to talk. I pick it up and hear a warm and cheerful greeting and I answer back. She tells me, in a very different and cold tone, that she had meant to dial her niece. I hung up. I was hurt again, to say the least. Our birthdays were once very special events, now mine meant nothing. About an hour later, while I was on Facebook, I saw a lot of pictures going up on her Facebook page. They were pictures of Marie and her niece in St. Lucia, having a great time. I almost thought the timing was deliberate, just to hurt me more than I already was. That's how it felt, but I'm sure it was just coincidence.

The following morning I received a text message on my phone from Marie, saying Happy Birthday. No call. I spent the day with my family. It’s August 17th, a Monday. Typically we would have had a long conversation at some point during the day, but no calls came all day and I got ready for bed. At 10 PM the phone rings. It’s Marie wishing me a Happy Birthday. I get the sense she wants this to be a short call, one out of obligation, and that’s why she waited until my bedtime to make it. We spoke for about an hour, that was mostly my doing. I told her my family was going to Connecticut on Thursday for along weekend, a tiny vacation. The tension seemed to ease up a little. We talked on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Wednesday morning we got into the discussion about this "perceived" distancing between us. I told her I would love to talk to her about it. She said she would call me Wednesday night as soon as she got home from work. I spent the rest of the day preparing notes of all the things I wanted to say to try to make her to understand where I was coming from. She still felt it was a jealousy issue. Wednesday night came. I had an early dinner so I would be able to discuss what I waited for months to be able to say. No call came at 5 PM or 6 PM. At 7 PM I texted her and asked if she was ready to talk. She texted back she was at her niece’s house and would call in a bit. That bit lasted until 10 PM. That’s when my phone rang. She proceeded to tell me all about her niece’s friends and their problems. Never mentioned the conversation we were supposed to have. I didn’t mention it either. It was already late and I had to get up the next day and go away with my family to Connecticut. I didn’t want to get myself upset and ruin this  little family time getaway. I put away my notes. Once again I felt my perceptions were reaffirmed. Things had changed and maybe there was no point in talking about it.

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