With xmas approaching and in the spirit of openness, I decided to send a card to ex-friends because enough water had passed under the bridge that I finally wanted to give them my perspective on why the friendship had lapsed. Today, it arrived back, unopened, marked “return to sender”, and since we know from various comments that one of them e-stalks us, I’ve decided to post (names pulled) the letter I sent. This is my way of finally closing the chapter.
Dear X and Y,
Wow, a lot of water has passed under the bridge.
First, we want to wish you both a very merry xmas, and a happy, safe and prosperous new year.
In the spirit of honesty, I wanted to explain where our friendship has gone. Whether you choose to read this is entirely up to you, but for me it marks a mechanism for closure regardless.
We both have many happy memories of the friendship we’ve shared with the two of you. When we first moved to the Central Coast the two of you were warm and welcoming and we have always been – we always will be grateful for that friendship.
We had many good times together, but over time we noticed that we were being increasingly excluded from the things that you did. Where we were once regularly shared meals together, the contact became lesser and infrequent. Where we once had invitations to dinners and special events, they became few and far between. And when we continued to try to keep that contact in place, restrictions and conditions were constantly placed: you’d accept a dinner invitation but ask to bring along someone else; you’d go out for breakfast or lunch but not find our choice of venue satisfactory and want another one. And the invitations to share things that might have been enjoyable experiences evaporated.
It was with no small amount of melancholy that at one point, when we noticed yet another wine makers dinner that we weren’t invited to, Darren made the regretful comment, “What does one have to do to be invited to such an event?” and Z responded with “You have to be a drunk straight guy.” This seemed to sum up where the friendship had gone – we weren’t the drunk straight guys.
Increasingly it seemed to us we were second fiddle to your other friendships. That’s your choice, and we don’t judge you on that, but there seems to be this belief on X’s part in particular that we rudely pushed you both away, and became ‘too good’ for the Central Coast.
On the contrary, we were – sometimes quite rudely – pushed away and excluded. We became what seemed to us to be just simply “someone cancelled” friends.
Friendships come and go, and not all friendships can last a lifetime. We didn’t move because we were too good for the coast, we moved because the coast no longer offered us what we needed. We didn’t move to get away from friends, we moved to get closer to friends.
And when I in particular chose to delete you both from Facebook earlier this year, it was only for one reason: to preserve the memories of the friendship we once had. Those memories were slowly being eaten away by all the unhappy experiences of the last few years, and I didn’t want them to disappear entirely.
Regardless of what either of you may think, we both still treasure the friendship we had with you.
Love and best wishes.
That chapter is now closed.