The Chasm of Friendship Drift

This blog post is a day late. The Day 17 topic of our 30 Day Writing Challenge is ‘Someone with whom you shared a friendship/relationship that simply drifted out of your life.’ As you’ll soon see, there is a reason I was not able to get this posted on Monday night.

The person that fits the subject of this post, let’s call her Mirabelle, is someone I met back in 2004. She was one of the first new people I met after my first marriage ended, and we quickly hit it off. I maintained a relationship with her through about the end of 2005 until, as the subject of this post suggests, we both just drifted away in separate directions. No rhyme or reason, just the final extinguishing of an ember that was once a flame.

It’s funny how that happens. Relationships that were once rock solid reduced, over time, to afterthoughts. It’s understandable when there’s an evident reason. I’ve been a part of a bromance that ended up in a dudevorce resulting from a misunderstanding and the subsequent battle of stubborn wills. I’ve dumped women and have also been dumped by them. With those, there was always a tangible cause and effect that makes clear why the relationship is no more. With Mirabelle, however, our friendship just faded.

It’s quite sad, too, when you think about it. We had the type of friendship where we’d call each other daily. She’d tell me about her issues at work and guys she was seeing. She’d lend me her ear as I continuously harped about my situation and the problems I was facing. We’d go out to dinner, sometimes with my kids, sometimes just the two of us. She once let me use her car to drive my kids down to Miami as it was much safer than taking them down in the little, one bench-seat Ford Ranger I had at the time. I introduced her to Sister Hazel. She introduced me to the TV show Firefly. We were, one might say, a good fit for each other.

When Mirabelle was faced with a big decision that impacted her career, I was the person she called to talk about it. We weighed the pros and cons of the decision, and with that she made her choice. She chose option A which meant leaving her current employer but staying in the Tampa area. Option B would have meant staying with her employer but moving back to the Midwest.

I like to think my life intersected Mirabelle’s for a reason, and vice versa. Last I heard from Mirabelle, she had met someone new and was about to get married. Perhaps it was my role in her life to advise her in her career choice, the one that kept her in the area and subsequently allowed her to meet her husband. Perhaps it was something else; a purpose I’ll never realize but one I believe was served.

I also like to think, mostly based on past experiences, not all new friendships are meant to last a lifetime. We meet, we interact, we impact (or get impacted upon), and we move on. It’s like the lyric from the Billy Joel song ‘Say Goodbye to Hollywood’: “So many faces in and out of my life, some will last, some will just be now and then. Life is a series of hello’s and goodbye’s, I’m afraid it’s time for goodbye again.”

This gets me to why I was not able to post this entry Monday night.

On Monday night, I was out meeting with a good friend of mine I hadn’t seen in quite some time. We don’t really live all that far from each other, but as with all things, she’s got her life and things going on and I have mine. We keep in touch via Facebook and the occasional text message, but for the most part it’s been a series of “we’ve got to get together” conversations. Well, Monday night we did just that. We set aside some time and made the effort to see each other. I am really glad we did because it was really wonderful seeing her. And if there was one thing my get-together with my friend provided, it was the opportunity to close the gap of ‘friendship drift’ between us.

There are some people in our lives that are just too special to allow them to aimlessly drift away, and sometimes all it takes is a tiny bit of resolve to say, “Let’s get together on this date at this time, period!” It’s funny how a little bit of forethought can help keep a relationship from becoming an afterthought.

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