When it comes to lifelong friends, I’m pretty lucky. Mine are drama-free, not too flakey, and terribly supportive of the fact that I’ve launched an entire blog in hopes of adding to their ranks.
But nobody’s perfect and no matter how much I love my best friends it would be silly to pretend they never do anything that annoys, or—let’s put it more delicately—baffles me. Like when they drop off the face of the earth.
Now, I’m not naming names, Sara, but one of my BFFs is famous for pulling vanishing acts. We’ll go through a period where I call her repeatedly and she never picks up. Or I write her a million random emails and don’t hear back for a week. I learned long ago to accept it in this case, for a few reasons. Namely, a) I know it’s not personal, b) my own communication skills leave a lot to be desired and c) she shows up when it counts.
Last week I emailed said friend a few times, including to point out a guest post I’d written about our stellar friendship. I got radio silence from her end for about a week. When she finally responded, she assured me she was not ignoring me, just too swamped to deal with email. So I did what any true friend might. I warned her I was going to blog about her.
Her response? “I won’t be offended as long as you mention how [my disappearing] has nothing to do with how much I love you. And that it’s because I’m someone who once I feel close to someone, do forever, no matter the contact. And would still go out of my way to do anything in the world for you, even if I don’t do a lot of the low level maintenance.” I mean, seriously, how could you ever hold anything against a friend who writes that? Especially one who’s walked the walk. ‘Cause no matter how often she vanishes into thin air, she really has gone seriously out of her way for me. More than once. More than anyone.
Another friend fell into a black hole for months before our wedding. I called and called and called some more—first to chat, then to collect an RSVP, then to make sure he wasn’t actually mad at me for some reason—and got nothing. He was once one of my best friends, and Matt’s, so I was obsessed with tracking him down. In the end, of course, it was nothing. He wasn’t mad at me or purposely ignoring my calls/texts/emails/gchats/facebook messages (No, I’m not crazy or a stalker. This was over the course of eight months)…he just was swamped. And the more time that went by, the bigger window of free time he needed to call and play catch up. I was so relieved when he was finally back in my life that I couldn’t actually be mad.
If a potential BFF turned out to be a vanisher, that’d likely be a dealbreaker. But the right to disappear for a bit is a privilege earned by friends who’ve proven themselves. And there’s something poetic about those relationships that really do pick up where they left off, no matter how much time has gone by.
Right? Or am I just a total pushover? Do you have any disappearing friends? Do you get mad or let it go? Chime in…