Saturday, May 31

the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth

Ever really wanted to say something to someone but worry about how they'd react or how it might change your relationship? I've been thinking about this a lot recently! I think I've said this before on my blog, but it's worth repeating.

Not to brag or sound high on myself, but I have lots of friends, around the world! I have never sat down & listed them from top to bottom in order of importance, but I know who the important ones are. But I still wonder where I stand in their eyes. I say this because when I know I'm going to be near them, we start to make plans, then as the time gets closer I get this impending feeling like the meeting we've set up just isn't going to happen, then when the time comes as I worried the meeting falls through. They always apologise for not being able to make it to see me, but what I really want to say is, "I've just flown over 3,000 miles, hired a car, driven another 200 miles, and all you can say is sorry? Really if you were a true friend who really cared, you make more of an effort! I'm okay if you don't want to be friends with me anymore, I've got lots, just don't bother with all the lip service in the first place." This is also true of all those friends who swore up and down that they would come and visit me whilst I've been living over in London - a place to say and a tour guide to help you get around London for FREE, how can you pass that up?

I can list on one hand the number of people (dad, mom, Patty & Matt (they count as one), my cousin Tim, and my "brother" Mike) who have come to visit. This really makes me sad, actually it really pisses me off! To add more salt to this wound, my "brother" Mike introduced me to his best mate's family (Neala & Ben - who I spent Easter with this year) who all live in Germany. Neala in turn introduced me to her best mate Melissa & her family. This August Neala & Melissa are coming to visit me - ya know cause that's what friends do. I understand it's easier for them to fly over from Germany, but hello if you keep an eye on the airlines there are always good deals popping up for direct flights from Montreal, NYC (JFK or Newark), Boston, DC, etc. Corinne (my mate since 5th grade) is coming to visit in August & if she can't get cheap flights here I'm going to meet up with her somewhere else in Europe. Again if you don't want to fly to London let me know - I'm willing to travel to Europe to see you - that's what my sis & I keep talking about. So what is every one's excuse for not coming to visit?

MORE SO, what is their excuse for not seeing me when I'm home? No, wait, I get it, you just don't care enough! Don't give me some half arse reply like, "we didn't have time" YOU MAKE TIME for the things you want to do & the people you want to see! My real friends have done it for the past 3 years I've lived abroad, how come you can't?

"If you could say one thing to me without any consequences what would you say? Think about it . . . and say everything you feel, think and want cause life is short!" - unknown quote I really think fits in with this post!

Feel free to leave an anonymous comment especially if you think you have any insight into what I'm talking about.

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9 Comments:

At 01 June, 2008 06:25, Blogger Zee said...

If I still lived in Boston, I'd be there in a heartbeat! Maybe I'm out of touch with reality but flying to Europe from the west coast is typically more expensive, I think. (Maybe I'll look into that to see for sure!)

Definitely understand where you're coming from on the "friends" doing what's necessary thing to see each other. I've had experiences like that: when I was back from Boston for Christmas one year I drove all over the damn city meeting up with people I was excited to see and it is exhausting. So to have someone flake after you've made a collossal effort feels like a slap in the face. Good on'ya for telling the truth and putting your feelings out there. That's hard to do.

I do think people have a hard time telling the truth, just in general. Perhaps your friends think they're sparing your feelings by not showing up rather than being straightforward. Obviously, that seems bass-ackwards when you think about it, but people don't always think straight! :) It's hard to be honest and hard to hurt someone's feelings - however unintentionally - and I think it's even harder to acknowledge that a relationship may have changed because of physical distance. Or it's simply run its course.

I'm not trying to make excuses or justify behavior; simply putting out some general observations based on experiences I've had.

And from the "unsolicited advice" front: if these are friendships YOU really value, I would suggest telling them the truth about how their behavior made you feel. At worst they could get angry and storm off and never call you again - which will save you the trouble of ever having to see them again! - and at best you'll open up a dialogue and create a deeper friendship. At a minimum, I think you'll feel better and less angry if you're able to say, "You didn't show up, and it hurt my feelings - not to mention wasted my time, money and energy when I could have been seeing x, y or z person who really did want to see me. That's not how friends treat each other. What's really going on?" In my experience, the relationships that truly matter are the ones that weather the bad moments as well as the good ones.

Anyway, just some random thoughts from me... Hang in there! I wish I could afford to come to London to visit: if you're still there when I'm finally out of debt (I've got a self-imposed moratorium on travel until I'm back in the black) I'll be ringing you up for a place to stay!! And if you ever find yourself on the west coast again let me know: I'd love to hang out a bit and catch up! (And I promise not to make you watch a lousy movie like Happy Feet!! :-D )

 
At 01 June, 2008 10:15, Blogger Sara said...

Cheers Zee! One of the friendships that I'm referring to I've decided isn't worth the effort and to me isn't even worth the "what's going on" conversation, so I'm just going to let that one fade away - easier for both sides I think. A few others I'm trying to get in touch with and see where it goes when I do finally stand up for myself with the truth . . . will be interesting to see where it goes!
and yes still WAY cheaper to fly from Boston than from Portland (just ask my mum - lol!!!) Thanks again for you comments - always love your insight :)

 
At 01 June, 2008 23:53, Anonymous Susan said...

Hi Ra,

Really interesting post. I think that you are right that you make the time for the people who are important to you, especially when they are in the vicinity and most especially when they have made an effort to get there (wherever that may be). That being said, I would imagine that you have a lot of true friends for a whole variety of reasons haven't been able to make it to London to visit. Sometimes it's hard to know the extent of what other people are dealing with until you ask... I don't think that just because people haven't visited makes them less true friends.

Just by the by, what I wouldn't give for the time and money to be able to come and visit you in London! I do love living vicariously though as I am stuck in the Mid West seeing all of your exciting travels! Just my quick thoughts as I wish that I were in London instead of studying 15 hours a day for an exam that it looks like I will barely pass...

Love all the stories and photos!

 
At 02 June, 2008 08:55, Blogger BRAINCHEESE said...

Hmmm...well you asked for it! IF OR WHEN I ever get to London, best dust off the ol' couch. So what if you don't know me from Eve!!! You'll be able to recognize me as the one with CHEESE for BRAINS...LOL

Linda D. in Seattle

 
At 02 June, 2008 21:02, Anonymous Amanda said...

I know how you feel. Dom and I have this conversation ALL THE TIME. Mostly because none of his friends have come over for a visit. None. And it's not for lack of money since they travel to other parts of the States including California which, you may recall, is further away than Wisconsin.

It is hard these days to buy tickets to travel but I think for some people it's more the effort. You are the only one to have come visit us in Madison, by the way. The ONLY ONE. It's kind of sad.

But I think Susan is right. Just because people don't come doesn't mean they aren't good friends. Sometimes people just can't. For many reasons. And I think Zee is right as well, you should just be honest with people and tell them how you feel.

I, for one, am SO EXCITED that you are coming home in a couple of weeks so I can see you. I can't wait!!!

It's because I heart you. And many people do, so remember that. I know you're all the way out over there and it makes things complicated but it doesn't change the way we all feel about you.

So if people aren't making an effort for you after you've done it for them maybe it's time for a chat. And if you don't feel like it's necessary, maybe give it a shot anyway. Sometimes people really don't see that they are hurting you. I know I would/do want you to tell me.

Love you lots and can't wait to see you!

 
At 11 June, 2008 01:05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder who this post is really about???? I think I can guess...a former single, perfect, wonderful, charmed MOM??? Forget about her...we ALL know she isn't worth fretting over...if I could I would be in London...would stay until you threw out with the trash...live your life...don't sweat the small stuff. Enough said!!

 
At 11 June, 2008 02:38, Blogger wolfen18 said...

I don't have many friends, and it really doesn't bother me. I can be social, but I'm basically a loner. Married a loner...spawned a loner.

If you're talking about the "Princess" or she who gets the award for blowing the most post docs or she who is the most shallow female I know about (except for maybe Paris Hilton...and I don't know that twat)...drop that stupid fucking bitch.

Just my opinion, of course.

wolfen

 
At 11 June, 2008 17:32, Anonymous Zib said...

Someone needs to put her in her place!!

 
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