Wednesday, November 22, 2006

CASE # 68 : THELMA + LOUISE



SUBMITTED BY: LOUISE
INFO:This is a different kind of case because we were friends and not lovers. Our breakup was so definitive, though, that it seems entirely appropriate for e-closure. (I wonder if other posters here have an easier time deciding whether they DO or DO NOT want the other party to come across this posting.)

A couple of years ago, after working with Thelma for a year or two, I went through a pretty unexpected divorce. Thelma and I were not close at the time, but noticing the frazzled thing I was, she stepped up and provided some fantastic support; taking late-night phone calls, offering her crash-couch, keeping me drunk when necessary, eventually helping me move. Once my feet were under me again, we continued a freewheeling sort of friendship, each of us, I think, learning a bit about different sorts of lifestyles from the other.

After about a year, she left our common workplace and went back to school fulltime. This is when our time together got dramatically cut, and our communications dwindled rapidly. There were a few impatient messages here and there; me helping her with her homework, she expressing desire (but never intention) of spending some time together. This past summer I invited her to my birthday party via a text message, to which she didn't respond. I later re-messaged her angrily (and cussily!), and didn't hear from her again for a few months.

Feeling like the exchange had blown over, and having not seen her since December, I sent her a text message last month. This is where we pick up our narrative. I'm curious to see people's responses to the interaction.


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DATE:10-2-2006
FROM: Louise
TO: Thelma


Graduate yet?

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DATE: 10-2-2006
FROM:Thelma
TO:Louise


No.

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DATE: 10-3-2006
FROM: Louise
TO: Thelma


Oh, well, then did you drop out yet?

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DATE: 10-3-2006
FROM: Thelma
TO: Louise


No. Why are you talking to me?

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DATE: 10-3-2006
FROM: Louise
TO: Thelma


Am I not supposed to be talking to you?

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DATE: 10-3-2006
FROM: Thelma
TO: Louise


Why bother?

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DATE: 10-3-2006
FROM: Louise
TO: Thelma


I'm not sure I understand... Do you mean why would I bother or why should you bother? I don't know if anyone is trying to get run off, but I can tell you there's no anger over here.

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INFO: Then the explanatory email, which took me quite by surprise.

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DATE: 10-4-2006
FROM: Thelma
TO:Louise


You succeeded in running me off. It appears as if my idea of a friendship and your idea of a friendship are totally different. I liken it to being on a teeter totter or involved in a tug-of-war. When I have all consuming issues in my life (school) and need to talk about them, I expect you, as a friend, to listen - knowing full well that when your all consuming issues(your ex-husband and his new girlfriend) are exasperating and you need to talk, I will listen. And I did. But then you didn't. Am I bitter? Absolutely. Please correct me if I'm wrong but not once did I ever respond with "I'm fine. Thanks for asking" when you shot me a text or instant message about your ex. Then you yell at me for not RSVPing to your party followed by hanging up on me when I wished you happy birthday on YIM. If you were going through a rough time, I understand but don't take it out on me and then expect me to believe you give 2 shits about me. It appears quite obvious that the only one you really care about is yourself. And that's absolutely fine. I learned my lesson.

This is why women suck as friends. Strange how you and I talked about this before.

We had some good times and I'm grateful for the experiences.

Ciao.

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INFO: Both of us are the types of women not to have many female friends, and it IS something we'd talked about. Though it seemed that part of the biggest problem with female friends is their tendency to not tell you when something is bothering them; rather waiting until it's time to blow up and make something melodramatic.

My response, as follows, ended the correspondence.


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DATE: 10-4-2006
FROM: Louise
TO: Thelma


I wish I had actually realized that you didn't find me to be supportive of the schooling and other massive stuff you were/are dealing with. I was really just kind of perplexed by what seemed to me a disappearing act on your part -- maybe I wasn't paying attention, but it just seemed like *poof* to me. Not that it's your responsibility to, but if you'd called me on any of it as you were feeling me being self-absorbed, believe me I'd have thunk it over and tried to remedy any shortcomings. I'm sorry that you either didn't think you could or didn't think it was worth it. I wouldn't have blamed you then, I don't blame you now, and I'm sure it's about the last thing in the world you wanted to be talking about/dealing with today. So I'm grateful you did.

Weirdly enough, I've spent about the past year walking other people through the drama of their own lives without them tending to be too concerned about mine, so I can REALLY understand how frustrating and infuriating that is. I'm sorry to have been a source of that to you. I just hope you know it was never intentional (not that ignorance is an excuse), and I've always had enough respect for you (still do) to have believed you if you'd told me I was being an asshole. I'm sure I've been shortsighted and self-involved, but I can hear that. I should probably work at being better at expressing when I'm frustrated myself, but the reason I did let you know (even though it probably mostly just sounded like bitchiness) was BECAUSE I care about you. Not because I don't.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I especially like jumping to "you don't care about anyone but yourself!" because someone didn't act the way she wanted/expected her to. A little hysterical maybe? Hm, I guess maybe women DO make lousy friends!

11:44 PM, November 27, 2006  

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