Tuesday, May 19, 2015

     Years ago, I had a good friend with whom I would enjoy lunch out occasionally. She was a very attractive mother-of-three married to a good friend of ours. We socialized frequently always enjoying each others’ company.

     One day, while we were having lunch, she said to me, “I can’t go to lunch with you anymore. As a matter of fact, I can’t see you anymore.” I gasped, putting down my speared lettuce and said, “What? What do you mean?” She said, “I can’t be around you. You intimidate me and make me feel inferior. You are always accomplishing so much, and you’re so ambitious and successful, I just can’t continue this friendship.” I was so dumbfounded, I didn’t know what to say at first, but then I said, “You are successful too. You are a long-distance runner, an accomplished dancer, a wonderful cook, a super mom of three beautiful children. You are just as accomplished as I am.” That didn’t appease her, and our friendship ended.

     Needless to say, I was stunned and very hurt. The irony was that I had always felt inferior and needy, and I accomplished things to make up for my lack of self-esteem. The very things I did to win respect and admiration were losing me friends. I told my then husband who was also shocked, but his empathy skills were less than comforting, so I muddled through my disappointment.

     Years later, after I was divorced and dating a man with whom I was mistakenly infatuated, I ran into this former friend and her husband. They were dancing together at a local upscale restaurant where my “mistake” and I were enjoying the one date we had outside of Denny’s and Big Boy. He was all dressed up in a sport coat that night, and I was wearing my sexiest mini-dress and stilettos. When I saw my former friend and her husband across the dance floor, I waved, and we danced over their way. I introduced everyone, and hugged them both hello. “Mistake” decided on the spot to change partners, so I had a brief dance with my friend’s husband. He was very attractive, although not my type, and I always liked him. We hadn’t danced more than a couple of minutes when he hugged me close and said, “I’ve always loved you, you know.” I thought he must have had too much to drink, as they were celebrating their 25th anniversary. I kidded him saying, “I love you, too, handsome.” And then it dawned on me. This was the reason I could no longer be her friend. It wasn’t me; it was him. Nothing I ever did intimidated her except flirt harmlessly with her husband. Hmm. Guess “harmless” was not the word she would have used. There is always an explanation.