Not Riding Shotgun

by Jane Moneypenny

Before I begin, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my co-blogger Smallbone! She’s a mere 24 today, so here’s to a drunken sexy birthday of many surprises!

Now on to the normally-schedule programming:

I have a major pet peeve with backseat friendships. You know, the kind where people are so self-absorbed that the friendship is one-sided until they need something from you or they have no one left to turn to. Or those people that cannot shut up about themselves long enough to realize your life has completely changed and you’re the one who needs the support.

When do you give up on a friendship? Are you supposed to? One big lesson I’ve learned in the past few years is that not every friendship deserves the same degree of commitment. I used to throw myself into every friendship but the moment I was in a slump, people disappeared, especially if their own lives were going better. This goes a lot to what Mel commented in my last entry: We leave the men we date (or become friends with) better people than how we found them. Maybe this is the same with friendships. Unless I’m giving people too much credit and they’re just self-absorbed.

For instance, I had a former co-worker that moved to the city only a few years ago, so I became good friends with her and her husband (funny enough, the guy from the last entry is the husband’s best friend). I taught her everything I knew at work and helped her find her way in our crazy industry. When they purchased a house, I spent all day helping them move. Whenever her car broke down and had to go into the shop, I picked her up. And then she found a better job and disappeared from my life. Other than an email or two to boast happily about how great life was for them, there’s been no other attempt at contact from her. And actually, those emails resulted in a lunch date that left me picking her and dropping her off at the repair shop. It hurts that I thought I found a new friend but once her life got great, she stopped being a friend to me.

The point is, just because I put a lot into a friendship doesn’t mean I’ll get the same in return. Certain friends are meant for certain things: the friend you go to when you need a night out of fun and nothing more, a friend you for bashing your exes, another for cheerleading you all the way and a friend that is always going to tell you the truth. I think my struggle was realizing that some friendships have to remain superficial and that’s okay. I learned to back away from them and not let them walk over my inability to say no.

Thanks again for the support and comments from the last entry. When a close guy friend’s reaction was, “Oh well, maybe these men just don’t find what they want in you or like something about you,” (basically pinning the problem on me when I was already worried I was the common factor), the comments here were just what I needed to hear. And when I walked into work late in a grumpy mood Monday morning, my co-worker offered me a free ticket to the Cardinals Opening Day game. It’s fascinating to watch an entire city dressed in red and leave work early to welcome back the Redbirds. Now I just gotta make it to a Saints game…

**Edited to add: I’m also that person that stands in front of the cards aisle for an hour until I find the perfect card, as well as searching over the entire city for that gift that says it all. And then I get a DVD picked up from the sales-bin in return. But better to give than receive, right?