Sunday, October 05, 2008

Burning Bridges

It has been quite awhile since I ever acknowledged to having a best friend. Growing up, I had a small belief in best friends, those you share your deepest darkest secrets with, from silly crushes to favourite tv shows and books and secret desires to push annoying people down the stairs because I had read about such things and lived mostly in the world of make belief due to lack of entertainment.

I've always been surrounded by people, so called kindred spirits but rarely had anyone particularly close whom I could call my best friend. The closest friend I ever had was when I was in my early teens, where we rode the school bus together, joined the band in school (although only for 1 year) and spoke in F language about everything under the sun (much to the annoyance of some others who didn't know the 'language'). And then one day, without any warning, we just drifted apart (where she got chummy with some other kid whom I thought was the most boring person ever) none of us able to figure out why. They later on ceased being buddies as well. Today, I still hang out with this friend occasionally, and although we stopped speaking F language mainly because we are too old for such childish things and there's no need to keep our current conversation matters a secret.

Anyway, I met this friend last night, and we remembered an incident where another 'friend' of ours went ballistic because none of us (3 people) could make it to her wedding dinner, due to various reasons. She sent us a terrible e-mail which I almost wanted to reproduce here because I never imagined anyone who could be so mean (I'm sort of non-confrontational, so the e-mail came as a surprise) but I didn't because by the time I wanted to do so I wasn't so annoyed anymore. A discussion with victim no 3 of her e-mail reached the conclusion of allowing the matter cool down on it's own. About a year later, the ballistic friend starts communicating again, even though it's only through facebook.

About a week ago, she (ballistic friend) celebrated her birthday, and according to the friend I met yesterday, she was invited to a 'small birthday party' at the last minute. She couldn't go because of the last minuteness of the invitation (and I just realised that I wasn't invited! Tsk tsk) and now our ballistic friend is giving her the cold shoulder. So, I guess my friend will only be hearing from her in the following year?

Some of the friends I'm closest with (those who did Chem Eng with me) are the most understanding bunch ever. Invitations are sent out much earlier, and e-mails are circulated so you can plan, and even if you can't make it, no one is offended. Especially not to the extent of snubbing you for a year!

On a different note, I'm a bit perplexed by certain friends who suddenly decide to cut you off for no apparent reason - deliberately not replying messages/e-mails/yahoo messenger messages although they previously did so quite regularly. I've had two cases happen within the last year (2007) and can't seem to find any reason for such an action. Like I said, I don't go around picking fights and arguments with people. I'm thinking if it's time to start burning bridges on my own.... you know... clear up that cluttered phone book and e-mail addresses book.

PS: Edit on 6/10/08 - The two friends who cut themselves away were actually quite good friends of mine and also knew each other quite well. I was handpicked as a proofreader (of a play) for one of them and even contributed a haiku for the play. The other one I would consider a lost twin due to our similar interests (except for reading) which is why I think it's weird of them to do so, but then I also think I need to add that both of them have done this cutting off people thing once before (that I know of, anyway) That said, after giving it a bit of thought I've decided against burning the bridges with these two after all... (because they did it already) :)


  1. (randomly got here via petalingstreet)

    I personally think that it is hard to be cordial, friendly, chummy, to so many people at any one time. But then, I also believe that no matter how hard it is to keep things good and alive, there is no excuse for cutting people off for no reason at all.

    Friendships may go cold turkey once in a while and there can be no explanation except that each person drift along in different circles thus lack of things in common, but whenever someone we know makes contact, it is our obligation to return the favour.

    Just my few cents. (oh, and if you feel like burning bridges because the other party doesn't seem interested in the first place, you're more than entitled to :) )

  2. Terra, people are mental. I could tell you a story... and some day maybe I will!

    Anyway yeah, sometimes you just drift apart from people and then other times you have to think to yourself 'is it worth it?', 'do I get as much as I give?'

    It takes me awhile, but there are times when I'm just done with people. And I feel sad about it usually, but on reflection its nearly always been the right thing to do. Ideally you look for a situation where you don't see the person at all but if you happened to bump into each other, you say hi and only have good will to each other. It doesn't always work like this though.

    My mother always said to me that real friends are rare, and that if you have enough friends to count on one hand you're lucky. I think its fairly true.

  3. I have the same problem with my "friends". I guess they are just insecure people, and you are better off without them if your answers to these questions consist the two letter word - NO.

    1. Do you gain anything from having them in your life?

    2. Will they be there for you when you are in need?

    I seriously think these people add you on Facebook not because you are a friend to them, but only so that they can keep tabs on you and feel better about themselves as they snub your info and photos.

  4. snv: thanks for dropping by. It's true as we move on in life our circle of friends change due to different interests and other factors and it's allright if the feeling is mutual. It hurts when one friend drifts away and you're left wondering why, though now I believe that was most probably due to young age.

    aunty: Oh, yes... people are mental... I've heard lots of stories about crazy friends (I think my ballistic friend is one such person and yet everyone loves her so)

    I've actually never given thought to cutting off people (who cut me first)until very recently. But in my case it has never been in such a way where I dropped everything to help them and they just chucked me aside. I suppose they have their own reasons which we will never know.

    And I agree with what your mom said about us being lucky with just a handful of friends. It becomes more and more evident after we hit mid twenties.

    anita: yeah, it happens to everyone in some way, which is why I brought it up in the first place. And about the keeping tabs thing... my sister mentioned it as well very recently.

    I myself have not faced something similar,though.

  5. It appears you and I have similar problems with peoples and their bizarre antics. Good to see you have a firm mind about it.

  6. Yeah, I know... read about it on your blog. I guess people are just weird that way.... and it makes things a bit more interesting! :)

  7. I agree, people are mental and act weird many times. Sometimes though, maybe they're undergoing certain things we don't know about. I guess only time will tell if bridges will be re-opened and lines of communication re-established.

  8. True... they most probably have their own reasons.


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