How do you know when a friendship is over? When you don't hear from someone for six months? When plans are made and broken several times over? When plans are made and you're not included? When you're standing in the school yard at pick-up time and they studiously avoid talking to you?
All of the above have happened to me this year, although not with the same person. I think there are various watershed times in our lives when events conspire to tell us it's time to move on. I'm always the last in the line to realise it. Until it's pretty bloody obvious. I just don't know where to move on to yet.
It's like a slow death and I go through the various stages of accepting it's over. Anger. Depression. Denial. Bargaining. Acceptance. I've had a lot of anger and depression. Now I think I'll skip to Acceptance. There is nothing more I can do. The friendships are moribund. They brought me some pleasure in the beginning. But they're too much work for one person to keep going. Better to concentrate on the living, giving friendships.
No wonder I'm so into my animals. They never give me a moment's grief or unhappiness. With my husband away all week and my 12-year-old daughter going through that particular 12-year-old phase of being embarrassed by me and even hating me a bit, I need solid friendships. And I try to give back because I believe that to have a friend, you have to be a friend. But with some people, I've given too much and I feel burned and slighted.
Onto other matters: one of my favourite stores, TK Maxx, has also burned and slighted me and millions of others with the news of the security breach. I'll never feel I can trust them again. They could even go out of business over this. Then where will I find my bargains?