Old friends

I’ve always had a bit of envy for those people who can maintain lifetime friendships. You know the ones. They’re well into adulthood, but still BFF with their childhood playmates/high school pals/college roommates even through the years and the miles. I have a hard enough time making friends, but it seems I have an even harder time keeping them.

(One friendship from graduate school did endure for twenty-plus years. Though neither Tanya nor I was good about keeping in frequent contact, we’d touch bases every year or two. It was quite a shock, then, to read about her death in the alumni newsletter two years ago.)

So many of my friendships of the past seemed based on being at the same place at the same time. There was one group, though, that I really thought would be my BFF — a group of fiber artists that met online in the early ’90s, coalesced into a tight circle of seven women over several years, gathered F2F whenever we could manage given that we lived all over the continent (and in one case beyond). We cheered each other, supported each other, provided shoulders, ears, and the occasional kick in the butt for each other as we all worked our way through our respective spouse problems, employment issues, child-rearing dilemmas and the muddled messes of life. I would have had a much more difficult time getting through my divorce, rebuilding my life, and battling the major depressive episode of 2002-2003 without them. I’m not sure I could have done it.

I met DH in August 2003, and suddenly had someone else I could count on for support. I didn’t have Relationship Problems any more; my kid was off at college and not constantly in my hair; my depression was under control; the Weaving Muse had wandered off to parts unknown. When DH and I married in summer 2004, most of the Group came to our wedding. But things felt strained — some of the camaraderie was missing. The constant stream of chatty emails was falling off, and finally came to a screeching halt the next late spring, at least in my inbox and one other.

Five of the Group are apparently still hanging out together — they all went to Convergence together this summer. The other two of us still don’t know why we were dropped, and we both feel like we were, in fact, deliberately dropped.? I don’t know if it was something I did, if I changed too much without realizing it, or if it just happened.

In the end, it’s another friendship that I thought would last, gone. Poof.

What is it about friendship that, evidently, I don’t Get?