Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Awkward Part 4

Continuing to feel Awkward.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Tuesday lunch with my absent gal-friend was pushed to Wednesday. Lunch was a little surreal. On one hand, it was easy to fall into old patterns of friendship and conversation. On the other, there was this seven to nine months of non-contact which basically went un-addressed. At one point, she referenced a contentious relationship in her own life and said something along the lines of "It's amazing how people can do something to hurt someone without acknowledging it and apologizing." I'd managed to keep a light, friendly attitude about the meeting until that point, but I almost gasped at the critique of someone else which could just as easily have applied to her. She talked about wanting to get together more often like we used to. I agreed that it would be nice, but internally, I questioned whether it would be such a great idea.

After a week or so of reflection I really felt like I couldn't continue having any kind of regular contact with her without discussing the disappearing act first. We were both busy in the intervening week, so finally I laid it out in an email (sad that it came down to that). She responded fairly positively, stating that she'd felt bad about disappearing, pointing to a busy schedule which turned into guilty feelings. At a certain point, the guilt of being absent was harder to deal making not contacting me the easy choice. For months, I suppose. Is that it? That's sad. Nothing else? Really? Well, I did say that there wasn't much that she could say that would fix everything.

We agreed to talk more in person. I wondered whether I would actually hear back from her at that point.

She invited me to work-out, which I wanted to do despite being saddle-sore. I bailed on training today with the Zurn, but judged the pool to be a good thing, especially the prospect of some jacuzzi-time for the legs.

We got coffee after, and after some casual chit-chat, I asked if we were ever going to talk about "that."
"The email thing?
It was painfully awkward, but she said the same things over again in person. Absent because of busyness, then absent over guiltiness. Sad. I resisted the urge to fill long silences, but she didn't have much more to say about it than that. I tried to re-visit the time-line as I remembered and had written about it, especially how not hearing back after the email in January made me feel that I was off the friend list. She didn't quite apologize directly, but expressed how badly she felt, and that she heard and understood my feelings.

I guess the key isn't what she says, but how she acts from now on. Thanks to everyone who I made sit through this story in real life.

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